Arts Leisure & Culture Select Committee Minutes

Wednesday, 21st January, 2015
Jim Cooke Suite, Stockton Central Library, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 1TU
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell(Chairman), Cllr Eileen Johnson(Vice-Chairman), Cllr Carol Clark, Cllr Nigel Cooke, Cllr Gillian Corr, Cllr Alan Lewis, Cllr Ray McCall, Cllr Mick Womphrey
Reuben Kench(DNS), Peter Kelly(PH), Judith Trainer, Sarah Whaley(LD)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Andrew Sherris,
Item Description Decision
AGREED that:

1) the report be noted

2) the possible areas for recommendation as detailed within the summary of evidence be agreed and that the final report be presented at the next meeting of Arts Leisure and Culture, prior to submission to Cabinet for confirmation
AGREED that the Work Programme be noted.


The Evacuation Procedure was noted.
There were no declarations of interest.
Members were asked to consider and review the summary of evidence and formulate draft recommendations in relation to the Review of the Effects of the Arts Leisure and Culture on Wellbeing.

Members received information regarding the scope of the review which was to understand the impact of the arts, leisure and culture on individuals and community wellbeing and if this provided a case for future commissioning of arts in health initiatives.

The main issues discussed were as follows:

- The evidence gathered highlighted that there was correlation between people suffering with mental health also having poorer physical health. The evidence shown in the report detailed that depression increased the risk of mortality by 50% and doubled the risk of coronary heart disease in adults. The Committee heard those suffering from diabetes were also at higher risk of suffering from poor physical health.

- Positive health benefits the arts had on child health specifically creative therapies in Mental Health Treatment for Children.

- The work Special Needs Activities with Parents Support(SNAPS undertook to help young people with various disabilities/complex and additional needs aged 0-25 years.

- The Silvers Programme which provided activities for older people was held and ran by the ARC in Stockton and provided creative learning whilst supporting older people to remain active, socially connected and feeling well. Members expressed how much they had enjoyed an event they had attended at the ARC and that they had received a great number of positive comments from residents who attended them on a regular basis. It was a great way to get out, learn new skills and socialise with other people.

- The Committee then focussed on the evidence which had been provided by Caroline Ryder Jones who was an Occupational Therapist and who had carried out work with Dementia Sufferers. In terms of measuring the benefit of activities on those living with dementia Caroline had utilised a Dementia Care Mapping Tool which was a recognised method using continuous observation to gain a picture of the activities and wellbeing of people with dementia.

- When looking at National Research, Members discussed the evidence which had been provided by Dr Theo Stickley, who was an Academic Lead for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities from Nottingham Univeristy. All Members were extremely complimentary on the information which they had received from Dr Theo Stickley.

- The scientific evidence which had helped New Economics Foundation(NEF) create a set of five simple actions which could improve wellbeing in everyday life as follows:

1 Connect - Connect with the people around you.

2 Take notice - Be curious.

3 Give - Do something nice for a friend or stranger.

4 Be active - Go for a walk or run.

5 Keep Learning - Try something new.

- Members went on to discuss specific information within the report which showed statistically how Stockton faired nationally in a wide range of health and wellbeing indicators, which could be impacted by engaging in Arts, Leisure and Culture activities.

- Members felt that there was a distinct difference between men and women when it came to social interaction, especially if men were living on their own. It was perceived that many women tended to have a network of friends who they could talk to, where as single older men who may have relied on their working environment or social club in the past may be more isolated now if those things were no longer available to them. It was agreed that an understanding of each individuals network was required to assess needs better. The Committee agreed that the Arts Leisure and Culture Services available needed to appeal to men as well as women in order that they could benefit too.

- The issue surrounding transportation to enable residents to attend events. Transport and accessibility must be taken into account when developing projects, however part of the challenge was to hold activities locally within walking distance for residents.

- To enable services to be offered locally, Members explored the possibility of using other venues such as schools, which had available equipment and space and which were perceived to be a local facility which was underused by the local community. However, there could be child protection issues to be resolved prior to schools providing those facilities.
The Scrutiny Team Leader informed Members that a proforma to suggest a scrutiny topic had been circulated to all Members. Members were asked to send any comments or suggestions directly to the scrutiny team for consideration.

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