Agenda item

Cabinet Member Interview

Cabinet Member for Community and Wellbeing – Councillor Tricia Youtan


The Cabinet Member for Community and Wellbeing was invited to the meeting of the Committee to present and answer questions based on her portfolio.


No questions had been received in advance of the meeting. Therefore the Chairman was invited to present her portfolio summary.


The Committee noted the extensive nature of the portfolio, it covered a wide range of the Council’s services including health, community and wellbeing.


Some of the current and recent initiatives included: social prescribing in the District and the expansion of the community warden scheme in villages such as Pulborough and Ashington. Also under this portfolio was the issuing of grants to voluntary organisations, for those who meet the criteria.


The Cabinet Member highlighted some of the successes in terms of crime and disorder, health, social wellbeing, equality and diversity. These were detailed in the summary paper along with some of the challenges.


The Council worked in partnership with a number of organisations for many of the initiatives covered. This also meant that power was often limited as the Council was not the final decision making body.


The Chairman invited the Committee to ask questions based on the portfolio.


Members expressed concerns over the health provision in Horsham, with the increasing population. The Cabinet Member recognised this problem and continued to work with the four CCGs in the area to try and improve the situation.


The Cabinet Member was asked for an update on ambulance response times, including first responders,  this would be provided following the meeting. 


Mental health was a very relevant topic and Members questioned what the Council did specifically in relation to the services it offered for those with mental health conditions. Members also questioned the mental health support for cancer sufferers and survivors. This was mainly within the remit of West Sussex County Council, although there were a number of voluntary organisations which the District Council supported.


The Members questioned whether the Council had the financial resources to achieve the outcomes sought within this portfolio. It was explained that officers continued to press for more funding from external sources and work within the budget.


The Committee discussed the suicide rates in the District, these remained a concern. 


Members questioned whether the Council would work with the leisure centre operators in the District to withdraw the sale of high-sugary drinks. A response would be provided following the meeting.


The local health provision would be added to the agenda for the next meeting of the Committee to consider whether it should be added to the work programme for a potential task and finish group. 

The Committee also noted that there had been a recent review of policing in the area which has led to an increase to 10 police officers stationed in Horsham and it was hoped that this would lead to better response times.


The Overview and Scrutiny Committee recognised and supported the positive work under this portfolio and it was suggested that a presentation be made to all Councillors by the lead officers on the work they do with the voluntary associations in this area.


The Chairman thanked the Cabinet Member for attending the meeting.






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