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Community Wellbeing

Report June 2022
Introduction from Cllr Jonathan Hawkins

Cllr Jonathan Hawkins

The well-being of our residents and communities goes through all our Councils priorities and policies.

Enhancing our community wellbeing is essential to ensure all our residents young and old alike feel safe, well and secure.

By working and listening to our fellow stakeholders and partners we can ensure our resources are used effectively to help make future decisions.

This update report sets out the progress the Council has made in achieving the key actions set out in the 2021/22 thematic delivery plan and I am pleased that good progress has already been made across this area.

As we emerge from the COVID -19 pandemic our focus is on continuing to help our communities recover.

By building and developing partnerships we have made over many years and more recently during Covid we can do much, particularly in relation to mental health and rural poverty. We are in challenging times and I want this Council at the forefront of supporting people.

Our leisure Centres and open space are essential to health and well-being of our residents.

Working with Devon County and the NHS, in partnership with others, we can understand the challenges that our communities face and develop a plan to help those in rural poverty.

This is the first performance report aligned to the Community Wellbeing element of the Better Lives for All strategy.

  • 5 Activities are on track
  • 1 Activity is slightly off track but plan in place
  • 0 Activities are at risk of not completing as agreed
  • 0 Activities are not yet due to start

Over the coming pages, we set out more in-depth updates for each.

CW1.1 - Work with partners to pilot new approaches to tackling rural poverty in an area identified as in the most deprived area of South Hams

Key Highlights

In 2021/22 Officers have been tasked with developing a pilot scheme to tackle rural poverty. This has involved scrutinising data regarding rural poverty (from the Regional Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and other sources) and understanding the current provision of services (both statutory, charitable and voluntary) in the Council area. We are currently engaged with Devon County Council’s public health outreach team regarding the rural poverty pilot with the aim of developing a joint action plan. This action plan will include outreach activities in the local community aimed at reducing health inequalities and rural poverty. This area of work has received a huge amount of support from DCC and other partners in its initial stages. So much so that it has taken longer than first anticipated to be able to talk to all prospective partners and agree a more detailed scope of work, this is why the Project has been considered as amber (of track but a plan in place).

Key risks / Issues

  • Communities require sustainable support
  • The success of Charitable and voluntary groups are key to improving wellbeing in communities in a sustainable way
  • Direct Council supported interventions may be appropriate to address specific need.

Looking ahead to the next six months

Officers will continue to liaise with Public Health colleagues at Devon County Council and voluntary and community partners to identify an appropriate location for a pilot scheme. We will look at how we can support the existing voluntary and community sector infrastructure in a sustainable way or consider more direct interventions where there is a specific short term need.

Overall Rating AMBER

Amber - off-track but plan in place

Action CW1.2 – Delivery of £4m Dartmouth Integrated Health Hub

Key Highlights

The scheme received planning consent in early December 2020. The contracts for the lease agreement between SHDC and the Torbay, South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and SDH Innovations Partnership LLP was signed on the 18 June 2021. The main construction works contract was signed on the 22 July 2021. A Letter of Intent preceded the main contract signature allowing necessary design works and material procurement to proceed leading to physical works commencing on the 21 June 2021.

The contractor has confirmed that they remain on schedule to complete the Health and Wellbeing Centre in August 2022.

The trust will then be able to start fitting out and equipping the internal spaces ready for everyone to move in and start fully functioning. The Council has an agreed (fixed) contribution to the delivery of the main scheme. Any further costs are met by the NHS Trust who are managing the contract and its delivery through to completion.

Key risks / issues

Disruption to delivery of works

Looking ahead to the next six months

Continue with the delivery of the scheme with completion scheduled for August 2022.

Overall Rating Green

Green - on track

Action CW1.3 - Support more people to live independently for as long as they choose through efficient delivery of housing related grant schemes

Key Highlights

The Council is able to use its allocation of the Govt’s Better Care fund to finance disabled facilities grants. The focus of our work is on providing the maximum assistance to residents that we can and ensuring that any identified need is met as quickly as possible. Please find updated performance figures attached (Appendix B).

Spend on DFG’s is based on demand, over which the Council has no control, and at present the service is processing and approving applications in line with this demand. The council is currently undertaking a rebranding exercise on DFG’s to highlight the service/offer to residents who may not identify themselves as being eligible. The Council has a healthy budget as a result of good performance and astute negotiations.

With a wider Private Sector Renewal (PSR) Policy, the Council is able to spend the Better Care Fund on other areas such as home assistance and Energy Company Obligation top-ups. The Council is using part of the funding to support wider fuel poverty interventions and supplement national grant programmes. This will also have a positive impact on climate change by supporting vulnerable lower income households to access lower carbon solutions.

Key Risks / Issues

  • We are not in control of all of the timescales in the overall process
  • The Government grant provided varies from year to year
  • We are not in control of demand that may vary from year to year

Looking ahead to the next six months

We will continue to ensure that this area is sufficiently resourced to continue our good performance.

Overall Rating GREEN

Green - (On Track)

Action CW1.4 – Increase active participation in sport and leisure activities

Key Highlights

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the usage and recovery of leisure centres across the country. Challenging conditions have affected Fusion Lifestyle, the Council’s operator, following the reopening of the facilities in April 2021.

All the Leisure Centre’s successfully re-opened from 12 April in line with COVID-19 restrictions and from 19th July more activities and usage could take place with the easing of the restrictions.

Centre participation across all 4 leisure centres in South Hams has increased since re-opening. Usage of Leisure Centres is getting very close to pre-COVID levels.

There is a separate report being presented to this Overview and Scrutiny meeting regarding the Leisure Contract that provides more details on performance.

Key Risks/Issues

None identified

Looking ahead to the next 6 months

  • Continue to support Fusion in delivery of our leisure services
  • To continue to liaise with the council network of other Fusion contracts and maintain its Devon leisure partnership and networking.

Overall Rating - GREEN - on Track

Action CW1.5 Delivery of projects to enhance outdoor public spaces

Key Highlights

Section 106 funding; So far in 21-22, we’ve spent £376,963.60 and allocated a further £568,193.92 via grant offer letters, making a total of £945,157.52 either spent or allocated. We are anticipating that another £94k will move from “allocated” to “spent” by year end (and there may be a few more allocations).

This exceeds the originally forecast allocations of £818k set out in the delivery plan and means that we are supporting more schemes than anticipated.

Key Risks / Issues

Some schemes are taking longer to deliver than anticipated, but this is largely out of our hands as most of the projects are being delivered by external partners (e.g. sports clubs, town and parish councils).

Looking ahead to the next six months

We will continue to work hard to ensure funding is allocated and spent

Overall Rating - GREEN - on Track

Action CW1.6 Work with the voluntary sector to plan how we can work better together in the future

Key Highlights

In February, we launched a £50,000 grant funding scheme for voluntary sector groups that are working to support the Health and Wellbeing of our residents. This has utilised funding provided by Devon County Council for us to use in supporting the Health and Wellbeing of residents in response to Covid-19. 39 applications have been received and are currently being assessed by officers. All projects that are funded must complete by 31 December 2022.

Officers are now regularly attending meetings with the sector (arranged by the CVS Community Connectors). This is giving us a real insight in to the voluntary sector activities taking place across the District.

The Team Devon Voluntary Sector Work Stream continues to meet on a monthly basis to progress work that will lead to a proposal for how the statutory and voluntary sectors can ensure we do not lose the closer working relationships forged during the pandemic. This work is led by the sector, for the sector and a report setting out their proposals will be received shortly.

South Hams CVS attended the January Scrutiny meeting setting out their strategic plan and progress over the past 12 months in supporting the voluntary sector.

Key Risks / Issues

We are not in control of the Voluntary sector but can support their activity where appropriate.

Looking ahead to the next six months

District Council (as part of Team Devon) consideration of VCSE work stream proposals for future working.

Overall Rating - GREEN - on Track

This update will be considered at South Hams District Council Overview and Scrutiny Meeting on 17 March 2022 at 10 a.m. Watch live on

You can watch the meeting on our YouTube Channel

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