Monday, January 26, 2009

The quarterly meeting of the Health and Wellbeing partnership today spent some time trying to work out how a new strategy could avoid repeating what is already in other strategies! If we didn't spend so long writing strategies maybe we'd have more time to implement them, or is that wishful thinking?
A serious question to which we found no easy answer is how to change the habits of the increasing number of obese people in the borough in order to improve their health. It seemed to us unlikely that government initiatives such as free swimming sessions would help much because those who want to swim will use them and those who don't but perhaps need the exercise most won't. Lots of education in all sorts of guises seems to be the answer as long as it's properly targetted but it's expensive and time consuming to deliver such help and not always possible to get it to the right people. It was interesting to hear just how much is being done though.

This evening the Western Area Partnership had a very interesting presentation on the work being done around the River Tees corridor to ensure an accessible enjoyable green corridor through the borough. Fingers were crossed all round the table for the success of the lottery bid to get some funding to start the ball rolling at Preston Park.
Then we had another very interesting discussion as part of the scrutiny review of Neighbourhood Policing, Neighbourhood watch and CCTV. The question of whether people know who their Neighbourhood PC and PCSO was received with some bewilderment. It was obvious that the message hasn't penetrated the community far beyond councillors and some well established groups. It was also clear that the plethora of numbers given out to contact the police is a deterrent in some instances. It'll be interesting to see the report when it is completed.

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