Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

People Select Committee Minutes

Monday, 22nd February, 2016
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central library, Church Road, Stockton, TS18 1TU
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell(Chairman), Cllr Eileen Johnson(Vice-Chairman), Cllr Kevin Faulks, Cllr Lisa Grainge, Cllr Di Hewitt, Cllr Stefan Houghton, Cllr Barbara Inman, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley
Peter Acheson(Consultant in Public Health), Gemma Mann (Health Improvement Specialist), Diane McConnell (Assistant Director of Schools & SEN), Simon Mills (Acting Licensing Team Leader), Andrea Murphy (Preventions Co-ordinator), Kaye Pickering (Children's Centre Manager), Laura Provett (Big Life Children's Centres), Kirsten Webber (General Advisor - Secondary), Peter Mennear, Jenna McDonald (ADE)
Item Description Decision
The evacuation procedure was noted.
There were no declarations of interest.
AGREED that the minutes were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
AGREED that the minutes be approved.
AGREED that:

1. the information be noted and the summary of evidence be considered at the next meeting.
AGREED that the work programme be noted.
The Chair provided no update.


The minutes of the meeting held on 14 December 2015 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Consideration was given to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2016.
The Committee received information from the following services with regard to Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD):

- Education Improvement
- Early Years and Youth
- Youth Direction
- Licensing

The following points were highlighted by the Education Improvement Service:

- Five secondary schools and eight primary schools had attended school specific FASD training sessions, and one primary school attended the multi-agency briefing

- A Risk Taking Toolkit was devised for secondary schools which provided guidance and support in developing lesson plans. FASD would be included in this from 2016-17year onwards. Members noted that a tool kit to support primary schools would also be devised in the future.

- Students in Year 7 onwards were given the opportunity to study alcohol and its affects which included FASD

Members raised the following points/questions:

- It was asked whether it was mandatory for schools to deliver the Risk Taking Toolkit. In response, it was noted that the toolkit was not part of the national curriculum and therefore was not mandatory. Schools needed to take ownership of these issues.

- The Committee was keen to understand the number of schools that engaged in the toolkit. It was highlighted that secondary school representatives attended training on the toolkit and only two schools did not attend.

- Members asked how schools responded to the toolkit and resources which were available. It was heard that while creating expert understanding was a challenge, many schools found the toolkit interesting and beneficial to their pupils. School FASD-specific training was available to all secondary schools.

- Education and Health Care Plans were increasingly noting FASD as a factor

- It was asked how widespread FASD was across the Borough, in response, it was noted that very few children born with FASD had received a formal diagnosis therefore, this was difficult to measure. It was highlighted that FASD overlapped with many other developmental type disorders.

The following points were highlighted by the Early Years Service:

- Children's Centres were focusing on resources and programmes which they currently delivered and those which could be delivered in the future.

- Midwife Clinics were held in Children's Centres which involved parents receiving professional medical advice at the early stages of pregnancy. Ante Natal support was also available in Children's Centres and targeted at those who were more vulnerable.

- Stockton services were considering the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C) which was an alcohol screening tool that helped to identify patients who were hazardous drinkers or had active alcohol use disorders. It was noted that the test was currently used more extensively by professionals across South Tees.

- The Committee heard that the number of nursery children on Education and Health Care Plans was increasing.

- Members were informed that Stockton Town Centre Ward was being targeted by the 'A Fairer Start' project which aimed at developing an innovative targeted programme to improve the life chances of 0-3 year olds. Big Life were providing the volunteers for this and informal advice on FASD could be provided as part of this.

The following points were highlighted by the Youth Direction Service:

- The Youth Direction team was made up of participation and guidance services, and projects including the Universal Youth Service, targeted support, and prevention. The participation and guidance team focussed on school careers and specialist careers on the age bracket 14-24.

- The majority of the work was carried out by Universal Services which aimed at raising awareness and providing young people with the information they required.

- The Risk Taking Behaviour Road show was delivered in schools and youth clubs when requested.

- Referrals were made when necessary to the lifeline service which was co-located with Youth Direction.

- Many people entered the Youth Direction service at different levels, it was noted that early advice and prevention was important.

Members raised the following points/questions:

- It was asked whether youth clubs were available and easily accessible to all children in the Borough. It was noted that while youth clubs were available, outreach services and youth workers directed young people to youth clubs if unaware of available services. Members were informed that pop up youth clubs were held in order to gain an understanding of what young people want.

- It was highlighted that the popularity of youth cafes was expected to grow however it was difficult to attract young people due to other groups which attended the venue.

The following points were highlighted by the Licensing Service:

- Members noted that the FASD review was an opportunity to educate licensees with the support of the Committee and Officers.

- Work was being carried out between Licensing and Public Health on the Alcohol Strategy. It was noted that work was also being carried out on developing an interactive map of all licensed premises in order to build a case for potentially objecting to increases in licensed premises across the Borough.

- The Council was developing a new Alcohol Strategy to tackle all aspects of alcohol harm

Members raised the following points/questions:

- The Committee was keen to understand whether Licensing officers had an input in the labelling of alcohol. It was heard that the service often had little or no input on the labelling of products. Members were informed of a bill submitted to Parliament regarding the sizing of labels on alcohol however, the bill was not pursued.

- Members suggested producing FASD posters and advertising in pubs and nightclubs. This had been done previously and was welcomed by the trade.

- The availability and strength of alcohol was discussed, and the issues associated with drinking in the home.

- It was highlighted that it was equally important to educate both men and women on the effects of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

- It was suggested that FASD could be flagged up during discussions on contraception such as the pill in order to communicate the message before making the decision to plan for a child. It was noted that GP's and Practice Nurses could raise awareness of FASD during appointments when prescribing or fitting contraception, amongst a range of issues.

Members discussed the merits of raising awareness of FASD in a similar manner to anti-smoking and drink driving campaigns. It was noted that even with huge publicity campaigns, it took some time for messages to influence normal behaviour. There was a need to reduce alcohol harm across the population as a whole.

Members discussed lobbying MPs, Councils and the Government.

Members noted that the Committee wanted to support the regional Book-in Bloods trial discussed at the previous meeting.
Members gave consideration to the work programme 2015-16.

Pupil Premium was discussed as it had been previously identified as a future review.

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