A Growing Problem
The day starts with the quarterly Manchester Partnership Board which has a very full agenda. The first main item, once the usual apologies, minutes and matters arising are out of the way, is a report from the Director of Public Health on childhood obesity.
This is one of six key themes identified in the Joint ( Health and Social Care) Strategic Needs Assessment not least because obesity significantly increases the risk of a large number of ailments, some life threatening. The solution is in some ways self-evident, eat less and eat better and get more exercise but achieving this in an age of junk food and growing food poverty isn't so easy. The current attempts to tackle an issue that affects more and more young people are built around the themes of starting well, developing well and living well but the board view was that we need to aim for more evidenced based and intensive outcome focussed interventions.
We also look at the latest draft of the State of the City - Ten Years On report, looking at how Manchester changed between the 2001 and 2011 censuses ( censi? ). We are still awaiting some more data releases from ONS in order to complete this but I will return to it when we have a final version. We look at the impact of welfare reforms, something I've already written about and again something I will no doubt return to. The final two big items are both work in progress. Manchester's climate change action plan, A Certain Future, is being refreshed and added to, particularly taking account of adaptation, something not addressed in any depth in 2009, and something now becoming increasingly pressing. We are also updating the Manchester Community Strategy. The current strategy was designed to cover the ten years from 2006 to 2015. The world has changed a bit since 2006 with the credit crunch and prolonged recession/low growth and for the final years of the strategy we need something that reflects the changed circumstances. The vision and the objectives remain the same, but we do need to look at the methods and timescales for achieving them.