Agenda item

Physical Activity Ambition

To receive a joint update report from the Head of Active Leeds and the Chief Officer Consultant in Public Health on the development of the Physical Activity Ambition for Leeds.


The Head of Active Leeds and the Chief Officer Consultant in Public Health submitted a joint update report regarding the development of the Physical Activity Ambition for Leeds.


The following were in attendance for this item:


·  Cllr Fiona Venner, Executive Member for Adult and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships

·  Cllr Salma Arif, Executive Member for Public Health and Active Lifestyles

·  Tim Fielding, Deputy Director of Public Health

·  Tony Cooke, Chief Officer Health Partnerships

·  Steve Baker, Head of Active Leeds

·  Emma Powell, Project Enabler (Get Set Leeds)

·  Katy Bowden, Development Manager Sports and Active Lifestyles


The Executive Member for Public Health and Active Lifestyles provided an overview of the development of the ambition collaboratively with Active Leeds and Public Health, noting data for Leeds as 31% of children and young people, 23% of adults and 36% of those over 65 are inactive. Poorer communities had lower levels of activity, with the inequality gap for activity widening with initiatives to reduce this being Get Let Leeds, Covid-19 Rapid Review, Big Leeds Chat and insight from national campaigns. An aim of the strategy is for Leeds to be a place where ‘everyone moves more everyday’ and has the opportunity to live an active life with The Leeds Everyone Moving More Leadership Group championing this vison. The report outlined the progress of workstreams since the Board’s last update back in March 2022.


The Head of Active Leeds also outlined the following key points:


Ø  Since the last update in March 2022, governance arrangements have now been put in place, including a good leadership team to influence the sphere of work.

Ø  The connotation of the phrase ‘physical activity’ may discourage certain individuals. Movement in any shape or form is to be encouraged and does not always need to be structured activity.

Ø  Alongside Parks & Countryside, spaces had been established to accommodate many forms of exercise.

Ø  Work had been done with care homes so residents can exercise in creative ways at various levels of ability.

Ø  Targeting health inequalities, in particular people living with mental health issues, was noted as a priority and movement can have positive effects for mental wellbeing.

Ø  In response to the Board’s previous feedback, engaging with people from a young age was a key priority to influence ongoing healthy lives, which involves a variety of stakeholders.

Ø  Community work in priority neighbourhoods will allow the development of their own initiatives that work best for a given community.

Ø  Funding had been received from the Department of Transport to influence social prescribing and active travel.

During the Board’s discussions on this matter, the following points were also raised:


·  The Get Set Leeds initiative was noted to be positive and was confirmed to have a wide community reach and value as events were free and did not require a structured, competitive nature.

·  It was confirmed to Members there are 73 public exercise circuits and multi-use game facilities, including 29 outdoor gyms within parks and green spaces in Leeds. The importance of accessibility and safety traveling to and in these spaces was stressed.

·  Wetherby Leisure Centre had recently been updated to be more energy efficient, however it was highlighted that the changing rooms and disability access were noted to be below standard, which led to some dissatisfaction among the community. Officers confirmed the changing rooms were on a priority list for improvement and plans for the gym equipment to be renewed and further exercise classes targeted for older people were ongoing.

·  While it was noted that the report had largely focused on the physical and mental health of young people being a priority, it was highlighted that the offer is universal in terms of improving physical and mental health for all ages and abilities.

·  Further engagement with vulnerable people, such as those living through domestic violence, could be implemented through safe hours at various facilities.

·  With 40% of councils at risk of closing their leisure centres, Leeds still invests in their facilities which was positive when framed against the national picture and funding constraints.

·  Rehabilitation work with MacMillan for cancer patients, commissioned through the West Yorkshire ICB, was noted as a big area for health programmes. 


RESOLVED – That the contents of the report, along with Members comments, be noted.


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