Questions - health measures and smoking

Council meeting 23 September 2014

Question to Cabinet Member for Human Resources & Assets from Cllr H Thomas

Subject: Health measures for employees and smoking

Question 2

Question: I welcome the no- smoking signs which have recently been placed in the Civic Centre reception car park. Smoking is well documented as a serious danger to health. What measures is the Council taking to provide support and advice in regard to health and wellbeing to our employees and the general public?

Answer: Newport City Council is committed to improving the health and well-being of people living and working in Newport, the range of work undertaken is extensive.

Working in partnership across Newport, the Single Integrated Plan has a dedicated Health and Well-being theme. This focuses on the key health needs of Newport and a range of projects have been identified with partners to be delivered. The key health issues are smoking, physical activity, healthy eating and mental health. Smoking initiatives include the launching of Smoke free playgrounds in February 2014, delivery of the shakedown smoking prevention programme in two secondary schools as well as brief intervention training to a range of staff groups working with the public. To improve physical activity, Newport delivers a successful exercise referral programme with 68% of clients completing the 16 week programme. Over the past year the programme has also included the Foodwise healthy eating programme. The council is also co-ordinating the 2014 Love to Ride programme which last year involved 26 organisations with over 620 staff taking part. The Single Integrated Plan has also been adopted the “5 ways to Wellbeing” to promote positive mental health across the city.

In terms of staff employee specific measures, we coordinate a range of programmes, these include:

• Healthy living events to raise awareness with staff

• Employee Assistance Programme

• Amendments to a range of policies to further support healthy living

• Sustainable fruit and vegetable coops,

• Provision of mindfulness sessions

• Alternative therapies and physiotherapy

• Exercise classes to staff in work time

• Healthy canteen options

In August 2013, we were awarded the National Corporate Health Standard Silver in recognition of the health and wellbeing agenda in place for our staff.