a) Report of the Corporate Director of Regeneration, Economy and Growth.
b) Presentation of the Corporate Director of Regeneration, Economy and Growth.
The Board received a report and presentation of the Corporate Director of Regeneration, Economy and Growth on the Inclusive Economic Strategy, presented by the Regeneration Policy Team Leader, Glenn Martin and the Public Health Strategic Manager, Mick Shannon (for copy see file of minutes).
The Board were informed the strategy was being completed using a three stage process:
1. Economic Review
2. Economic Statement; document to inform conversations on the strategy
This provides details of the 5Ps framework that will be used to structure discussions with stakeholders:
3. Conversation with stakeholders and partners and strategy development, with the draft strategy out for consultation in Summer 2022, with the final version in place by the end of 2022.
The Board learned that to ensure the views and aspirations of a wide range of stakeholders are understood a consultation exercise was launched in January 2022 called ‘our Big ECON-versation’ which was an online survey running until 22 April 22.
Councillor R Bell noted the Board’s performance framework for the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy included the indicator to decrease the overall levels of employment and close the gap for employment of people with disabilities and the general population. He asked how that work would be supported by the Inclusive Economic Strategy. The Regeneration Policy Team Leader noted that the co-production was key, working with Public health colleagues, albeit it was traditional to include awareness of long-term health issues that existed in pocket within the county. The Public Health Strategic Manager agreed co-production was important, as was having an action plan, as well as working with partners to be able to hear from the disenfranchised. The Regeneration Policy Team Leader noted that many schemes were EU funded and therefore there was a need to ensure that there were such allocations from the new UK Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF).
Councillor T Henderson noted the pandemic had a big impact on those people who were mature and experienced, with many deciding to leave the workplace, leaving a gap in knowledge and skills. He asked how would we work to engage the workforce for longer through the Strategy. The Regeneration Policy Team Leader noted there was a challenge and Business Durham were speaking to businesses to help support them, as were the local Enterprise Agencies. He noted the business breakfast taking place this morning as an example. The Public Health Strategic Manager noted that from the public health side it was important to understand people were living longer and to try and make County Durham an attractive place for people to come and work, as well as recognising the skills and talents of older workers.
The Director of Public Health noted that there were a large number of employers in the room and asked what role the Council and NHS could play. The Regeneration Policy Team Leader noted there was already a lot of work with both as employers and noted the benefit of strengthening existing partnerships. The Public Health Strategic Manager noted public health pursuing new areas relating to economy and health with a new specialist, noting work with the NHS and University with further details to be brought back to the Board.
That the Health and Wellbeing Board consider the process and provide any comments on key areas to be considered as part of ‘Our Big Econ-versation’.