Agenda item

Lincolnshire County Council - Role of Public Health

(To receive a presentation from Phil Garner, Health Improvement Principal, Public Health, Lincolnshire County Council)


Note: It was agreed that agenda item 9 – 'Proposal for a Walking Festival' would be considered as part of this item.


A presentation was received from Phil Garner, Specialist Programme Manager, Public Health, which provided them with further information in relation to the following areas:

·         What is Public Health?

·         The Components of Public Health;

·         NHS Changes;

·         Health and Wellbeing Board;

·         The New Public Health Functions;

·         Public Health Priorities;

·         The Growing Evidence-base

·         Physical Activity and Health;


Members of the Local Access Forum were provided with the opportunity to ask questions to the officers present and some of the points raised during discussion included the following:


·         One of the key targets was to engage with people who had never exercised before.  It was hoped to do this with those people who were already engaged with health services for existing problems.  Health professionals were being trained to sign post people to various local activities;

·         It was queried whether there would be any funding available from Public Health for a walking festival?  Members were informed that the way that the Wolds festival was funded would be changing, and a decision was expected by 3 February 2014 on whether Public Health would be able to support the Wolds Festival.  Scoping work was being undertaken across the south of the County for a southern walking festival.  An autumnal time had been suggested for it to take place, and for it to link into some of the cultural and tourist attractions.  A rolling programme of events was suggested taking place from mid-September to October half term.  It was queried whether this Forum would want to be a key stakeholder in taking this forward?

·         Public Health had funded work on rights of way to keep the access open;

·         The funding for Public Health had been confirmed by the Department for Health until 2016;

·         Ideas had been put forward in relation to the proposal for a walking festival, and it was thought that the suggestion to get the twinning association involved was an interesting idea, as there was a need to encourage more visitors to this area.  There had also been a suggestion from Gordon Norris to build links with disabled groups in the area;

·         There was a need to encourage people to try walking as a form of exercise.  Any suggestions for walks for first time walkers would be appreciated;

·         It was suggested that the Gravity Fields festival could be a key point for linking in with events in the south of the county;

·         It was noted that the Society of Lincolnshire History and Archaeology was trying to put together a series of walks of specific historical interest;

·         Rutland had a number of routes which were being promoted in leaflets, work had also been done on developing an app and also a QR code which would provide further information on routes;

·         With the 100 year anniversary of the start of the First World War approaching, there were a lot of historic things to see in Grantham;

·         It was suggested that this be brought back to the next meeting of the Local Access Forum and that John Law would draft a letter inviting a representative of the Wolds Association to attend the next meeting;

·         It was commented that it was important for people to go for a work in the first place;

·         Some parish councils had held village walks in their own parishes;

·         Mile stones along routes were important, particularly for users of mobility scooters or electric wheelchairs so they knew far they could travel;

·         It was suggested that leaflets about walking routes should be promoted to slimming group leaders as some of the members of these groups may not have considered walking as a form of exercise;

·         It was important to highlight the different lengths of walks to people, as first time walkers may only want a short route start with, but then may decide to tackle a longer one;

·         The idea of designating towns/villages in the south of the county as a 'walkers welcome' was put forward, with a number of different routes starting and ending at that location.  This could also help to boost the visitor economy for that town;

·         It was noted that Public Health was currently working with Weight Watchers and Slimming World and the districts to promote exercise in these areas;

·         Promotional activity which supported physical activity was typically a district council function;

·         In terms of the need for mile markers, it was noted that some bespoke oak mile posts had been produced as part of ROWIP 1 but they were quite expensive.  The production of these markers was still supported, but they tended to be included as part of specific projects such as the Coastal Country Park.  Where the authority could draw down funding to provide them, it would always take that opportunity;

·         An e-mail had been received from the town clerk at Caistor indicating interest in the town becoming a start point for walking routes;

·         It was thought that the walking festival for the south of the county was an excellent idea;




            That the points raised during discussion be noted.



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