Report of the Scrutiny and Support Manager
The Scrutiny and Support Manager presented the report which outlined the activity the Borough and District Councils since the last meeting.
It was reported the at the last meeting of the Cannock Chase District Councils Health Committee they had received presentations on Healthy lifestyles and Public Health. Clarity was requested on the duties of both the District/Boroughs and the County Council when carrying out Health Scrutiny. It was explained if an item concerned one Borough/District alone, then that local authority was able to look at it. If an issue had a wider detrimental effect, then the County Council would consider it.
The Committee were informed that at Lichfield District Councils last meeting, the items of business were Rough Sleepers and the prevention and support offered to them.
The South Staffordshire District Council Member explained that their Committee had received presentations from the South Staffordshire CCG and the Well Being Clinic.
The Stafford Borough Council representative added to the information in the report by informing the Committee that during a recent Planning Development application for approximately 1,500 new homes, the CCG had failed to respond on health implications or considerations.
The Committee acknowledged a Planning Authority could not legally require Health to respond and there was no statutory requirement to consult with Health on planning applications under 500 houses, but it was felt that in order to plan effectively for the populations wellbeing, Health partners should have an input and therefore legislation should be changed to require a response. There was also concern that any planning conditions that are added to permissions can be removed by way of challenge at appeal if they fail to meet the tests set out by the Government in the Planning Practice Guidance Note.
It was felt that Local Authorities need to look at health from a collective viewpoint as development size or number of properties add up and have considerable impact on health. The County Councils infrastructure plan was also in the process of being developed and it was hoped that health was a part of this.
There was also a discussion on whether raising the item at a meeting of the Chief Executives and Leaders Forum could help to ensure that health implications are considered and on whether District and Borough Councillors could add pressure on Planning Committees when applications come before them at a local level.
The representative from Tamworth Borough Council informed the Committee that their last meeting had contained a presentation from the University Hospital of Derby and Burton. The next meeting would be considering Mental Health issues; the First Response Service and GP provision across the Borough.
a) That the Chairman write to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government explaining that Scrutiny Committees are powerless to scrutinise the wider determinants of health if Health Partners are not a statutory consultee when dealing with planning applications.
b) That the Chairman write to District and Borough Councils to ensure that they are considering Health implications with the same level of importance as for example, highway observations.
c) That the Chief Executive and Leaders Forum be approached to ensure that they are considering Health implications with the same level of importance as for example, highway observations.