Local democracy during coronavirus

During coronavirus, we've made some changes to how we're running council meetings. See our coronavirus updates for more information on meetings and decisions.

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Louise Cook  Democracy Officer

No. Item

In light of the changing circumstances around the Covid-19 pandemic, this meeting was held remotely. Scrutiny Committees are not decision making meetings.  Therefore the outcomes recorded in these minutes are not subject to approval by the Chief Operating Officer under his emergency delegated powers.


Declarations of Interest

At this point in the meeting, Members are asked to declare:

·        any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests,

·        any prejudicial interests or

·        any disclosable pecuniary interests

which they may have in respect of business on this agenda.


Members were asked to declare, at this point in the meeting, any personal interest not included on the Register of Interests, or any prejudicial or discloseable pecuniary interests they may have in respect of the business on the agenda. No interests were declared.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 144 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 2 November 2021.


Resolved: That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 2 November 2021 be approved as a correct record and be signed by the Chair at a later date.


At this point in the meeting, the Chair requested an update on plans that had been put in place to structure how savings would be delivered, implemented and monitored to enable the budget setting process to be more robust. The Assistant Director of Public Health agreed to retrieve this information from relevant officers and email the information to Committee Members.


Public Participation

At this point in the meeting members of the public who have registered to speak can do so. Members of the public may speak on agenda items or on matters within the remit of the committee.


Please note that our registration deadlines have changed to 2 working days before the meeting, in order to facilitate the management of public participation at remote meetings.  The deadline for registering at this meeting is 5:00pm on Thursday 20 January 2022.


To register to speak please visit www.york.gov.uk/AttendCouncilMeetings to fill out an online registration form.  If you have any questions about the registration form or the meeting, please contact the relevant Democracy Officer, on the details at the foot of the agenda.


Webcasting of Remote Public Meetings


Please note that, subject to available resources, this remote public meeting will be webcast including any registered public speakers who have given their permission. The remote public meeting can be viewed live and on demand at www.york.gov.uk/webcasts.


During coronavirus, we've made some changes to how we're running council meetings. See our coronavirus updates (www.york.gov.uk/COVIDDemocracy) for more information on meetings and decisions.






It was reported that there had been one registration to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.


Ms Wu spoke on agenda item 4, Oral Health Promotion. She highlighted to the Committee her own personal experiences after moving to York 18 months ago. She explained how she had found it difficult to access information and found the system confusing, particularly when trying to locate and join an NHS dentist practice. She made reference to the many dental surgeries who did not accept new NHS clients. This meant that patients were left to use private services. She noted that the lack of an emergency NHS dental service in York, had resulted in residents having to travel to Harrogate for an emergency appointment.



Oral Health Promotion pdf icon PDF 194 KB

The reports and discussion are to give assurance and identify improvement on the measures and services in place for the population of York on the prevention, treatment and maintaining good oral health.

Additional documents:


Members considered a report that enabled a discussion on identifying improvements on the measures and services in place for the population of York on the prevention, treatment and maintenance of good oral health.


The Committee were joined by the following professionals:

·        Nurse Consultant in Public Health

·        Assistant Director of Public Health

·        Specialist Practitioner Advanced in Public Health

·        Dental Commissioning Lead, NHS England

·        Dental Consultant, Public Health England

·        Manager of Healthwatch York

·        Chief Executive of the Ebor Multi-Academy Trust

·        An Associate Dentist in York

·        A member of the North Yorkshire Local Dental Committee and the British Dental Association General Dental Practice Committee


The Nurse Consultant gave a brief introduction. She highlighted how good oral health was achieved, in that it required a system wide partnership approach from a number of organisations. Through understanding the needs of the local population, and by working collectively with partners, work could be undertaken to focus on recovery and identification of where policies, strategies and initiatives were required to improve oral health, early intervention, access to dental provision and reduce inequalities.  It was also noted that the Covid pandemic had exacerbated and heightened pressures on the system.


Each representative provided an update within their service areas.


The Specialist Practitioner Advanced in Public Health addressed the 5 key elements the Local Authority had responsibility for, as noted within the report:

1.   Oral health promotion.

2.   A biennial epidemiology survey. 

3.   Provision of leadership via an Oral Health Advisory Group (OHAG).

4.   The production of a children and young people Oral Health Strategy – written with partners.

5.   Supporting Flexible Commissioning in local dentists to reduce oral health inequalities.


The Dental Commissioning Lead addressed NHS England’s response to the challenges, noting that:

·        NHS England was responsible for the commissioning and contracting of all NHS dental services and that all primary and secondary care dentistry had been impacted by the pandemic.

·        Throughout the pandemic practices were required to meet a set of limited conditions, which had been increasing per quarter. The requirement was currently set at a minimum of 85% of normal pre-Covid activity, feedback received showed that some practices were struggling to deliver that level of appointments due to staff absences.

·        Given the challenges with access and providers working through their backlog, practices had been asked to prioritise seeing patients with the greatest clinical need, which would likely mean a delay for patients seeking non-urgent and more routine dental care, such as check-ups. A return to full capacity would be dependent on the further easing of Covid-19 control measures.

·        All of the funding NHS England received for dentistry was committed to existing national contracts that were agreed in 2006, with no end date. To address the significant delivery concerns and to improve access and reduce inequalities, NHS England introduced a Flexible Commissioning model across Yorkshire and the Humber in 2019. A number of other work streams were also going to be a focus throughout Yorkshire and the Humber, including the development of, subject to procurement, both a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


Childhood Obesity in York pdf icon PDF 558 KB

This paper provides an overview of the situation regarding healthy weight in York, with a particular focus on children. It gives information about the national resources produced to tackle childhood obesity and draws on experience from other countries.  It provides and update on work to date in York.


Members considered a report that provided an overview of the situation regarding healthy weight in York, with a particular focus on children. It provided information on the national resources produced to tackle childhood obesity and highlighted experience from other countries.


The Assistant Director of Public Health and the Public Health Specialist Practitioner Advanced attended the meeting to provide an update and answer questions raised.


Members were informed that:

·        Body mass index (BMI) was a widely used method to check for a healthy weight but was not used to diagnose obesity. It was useful as a population measure to give an indication of prevalence of obesity.

·        Following the 2019/20 survey, around 60% of the adult population in York were currently classified as overweight or obese and around 1 in 5 reception aged children (225 children) and around 1 in 3 Year 6 children (245 children) were classified as overweight.

·        A recent analysis of childhood obesity found that prevalence of obesity was generally highest in the most deprived wards of Westfield, Clifton and Guildhall. Children from Black ethnic minority groups and boys in York were also found to have higher rates of obesity.

·        Mothers who were overweight or obese had increased risk of complications during pregnancy and birth.

·        It was a reasonable assumption to expect that rates of obesity would rise due to the pandemic and that this would be seen when the data was available.

·        Excess weight gain occurs when energy intake (food eaten) regularly exceeds energy burnt although the inequalities seen in obesity were more complex. The environment people lived in had a huge impact on their ability to be able to make healthy food choices and the resources showed that those unhealthy food environments were more prevalent in the more deprived areas.

·        Approximately only half of UK households had a food budget that could meet the costs of the government’s healthy eating guidelines.

·        No area in the UK had seen a sustained reduction in obesity rates in adults or children and people in more deprived areas reported lower levels of physical activity than average.

·        Amsterdam was recognised as having had success of tackling childhood obesity. Studies looking into why Amsterdam were successful highlighted three key aspects of their programme, leadership, doing things differently and taking a multifaceted approach.

·        A Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives Strategy was produced in 2018 and a Healthy Weight Steering Group was established. The Healthy Weight Steering Group oversaw the implementation of the strategy which also included; mental health, a tiered pathway for treatment of obesity and the implementation of a new programme called HENRY (health, exercise, nutrition for the really young). The HENRY programme would support families with children aged five and below.

·        The Council was developing their own Food Strategy, which would have strong links to the Financial Inclusion and

had also signed up to the Healthy Weight Declaration in 2020.


Members noted that this was a complex issue that required a multi-agency collaborative approach and in answer to their questions, the Assistant Director  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.


Work Plan pdf icon PDF 281 KB

Members are asked to consider the Committee’s work plan for the 2021/22 municipal year.


Members considered the Committee’s draft work plan for the 2021/22 municipal year.


Following discussion it was noted that Healthwatch York were undertaking research on young people’s mental health and were keen to liaise with the Council on this subject.


Resolved: That the work plan be noted and the Democracy Officer liaise with Healthwatch York regarding the joint commissioned meeting with Children, Education and Communities Policy and Scrutiny Committee on 28 February 2022.


Reason: To keep the work plan updated.


Back to the top of the page