Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 12th March 2015
Title of Item/Report
Scrutiny Review of the Effects of Arts, Leisure and Culture on Wellbeing
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that presented the Arts, Leisure and Culture Select Committee findings following the Scrutiny Review of Effects of Arts Leisure and Culture on Wellbeing.

The report presented the outcomes of the Scrutiny Review of the Effects of the Arts, Leisure and Culture on Wellbeing undertaken by the Arts, Leisure and Culture Select Committee during the Municipal Year 2014/15. The topic was identified for review at Scrutiny Liaison Forum and included in the 2014/15 Work Programme by Executive Scrutiny Committee.

The review sought to understand the impact of arts, leisure and culture on wellbeing and if this provides the case for future commissioning of arts in health initiatives.

As there was significant evidence associated with the physical activity and physical wellbeing, the review had sought to focus in particular on the effect of arts and cultural activities on mental wellbeing.

The Arts, Leisure and Culture Select Committee considered national and international research and also considered local case studies at themed meetings focusing on children, older people and place.


1. Policies which see continued investment in cultural and arts activities aimed at community level wellbeing be endorsed and every effort be made to retain sufficient professional expertise and capacity to deliver or advocate for such programmes.

2. A modest budget be allocated to "seed fund" community based arts and cultural projects on a non-recurring basis and that Health and Wellbeing Board agree a criteria for allocation of resources with a focus on reducing social isolation and improving mental health and wellbeing.

3. The Health and Wellbeing Board work with the CCG to encourage all GP practices to sign up to social prescribing and seek to expand the menu of options for social prescribing.

4. Arts and cultural options to be routinely considered across partners when commissioning preventative and mental health services.

5. Through implementation of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy:-
a. better use be made of arts and cultural activities to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of local people;
b. ensure that local planning policies continue to support historic places and healthy living environments.
Reasons for the Decision
The report presents the findings of the scrutiny review that took place as part of the agreed work programme for 2013/14.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Beall declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 9 - Scrutiny Review of the Effects of Arts Leisure and Culture on Wellbeing as he was the Chair of Eastern Ravens.
Details of any Dispensations
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on Friday, 20th March 2015

Date of Publication: 16 March 2015

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