Agenda item

Flintshire Food Enterprise and the Food Poverty Response


That the committee endorsed and supported the proposal for a new Social Enterprise model which will make a significant contribution to reducing food poverty in the County.


The Chief Officer presented the report which provided information on the development of the food enterprise and response to food poverty.  The project had developed from the holiday hunger campaign into a partnership with Clwyd Alyn, Can Cook and Flintshire County Council to form a social enterprise.  He referred Members to section 1.09 of the report which set out the aims of the social enterprise and that the meals on wheels model would also provide a social aspect delivering to communities especially rural areas whose residents would probably would, on a day to day basis have little social contact and interaction. He then provided information on the domiciliary care food provisions services saying the aim was to move from food aid to food purchase for vulnerable groups which in turn would support people in communities thus tackling loneliness. He referred Members to page 27 point 1.11 in the report which outlined the initial investment with Flintshire aiming to build and develop a production kitchen to deliver food to communities and housing associations. 


Councillor Jones sought clarification on a couple of phrases within the report:-


·                On page 26 at point 1.01 “people do not have access to good fresh food by choice” and asked what that referred to.    In response the Chief Officer clarified there were people who used food banks and that whilst providing an excellent service they did not provide good fresh food. The by choice was that they had nowhere else to go.  The Benefits Manager added there was an issue with people not being able to access good fresh food especially in rural areas.  She added everyone whatever their background had a right to access good fresh food.  Councillor Jones suggested it should be changed to “may by circumstance”.

·                He then referred to the next paragraph “it is known that for every £1 spent on food 37p was added for diet related disease that required treatment later” and asked for clarification.  In response the Benefits Manager explained that this was taken from a piece of research carried out by health professionals looking at the wider impact on the health service because of diet related illnesses.   The comment was made as a consequence of poor diets or people not having enough to eat then 37p from every £1 would be required to treat those people.    Councillor Jones commented that the 37p was what society had to pay to compensate for those choices made in earlier years.


            The Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside said these measures were important especially when applying for funding and outlined the work being undertaken by local authorities and the Health Service with regard to prevention.   The Cabinet Member for Corporate Management and Assets added that this was a great initiative especially for those living in rural areas who would not only received a good nutritious meal and but would also have contact with another person.  We also need to reduce the number of cancers caused by bad diets.


Councillor Paul Johnson raised the following points:-

·                At point 1.12 in the report and the first bullet point “inclusion of the social value narrative he suggested it should just read “social value”. 

·                In the monitoring report reference was made to the Social Value Officer and his question was were these going to be linked.  He asked if this would be coming to committee at a later date for members to have a better understanding of what could be delivered as regards social value.  

·                With regard to the Ethical Employment Model he asked how this would work with the three different partners involved and asked if hairdressers had been consulted as sometimes for people living in isolation their only regular contact would be with their hairdresser.  He referred to KIM Inspire and wondered if this would be a way to engage with people?


            The Cabinet Member for Social Services referred to the large amount of work being carried out on loneliness and isolation which crossed over into the Housing & Assets portfolio. She also referred to the work being undertaken within the social services portfolio with regard to food poverty and period poverty. 


            The Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside reported when she worked in a post office / hairdressers which was the hub of the community and recalled a time when an elderly resident had had a stroke and no one knew, it was about having those links in the communities.  She then referred to procurement of services and the need to ensure that there was that social element in place.  She added that she would raise this and had made a lot of notes.


            The Chief Officer referred to the point on Ethical Employment which was important in this model commenting all three partners were working together on this. 


            The Chair reported on the over 50s’ group which he was involved with saying once people came along, they stayed and then had that support network.  He then referred to the young person who went blind because of his poor diet and asked what came first was it education or having that good food available.  You need to have the food there and then educate.   He then referred to Councillor Jones’ point that every £1 spent on food 37p was added for released diseases, and asked what food that referred to.  It was confirmed the reference was for highly processed food, microwave and highly salted food.


            Councillor Jones commented on a programme which was provided to hairdressers for them to identify signals of difficulties and providing them with the ability to signpost that person to the services they needed.  The Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside commented previously she had received messages from her local hairdresser asking for help with that the person’s permission.


The recommendation was proposed Councillor Martin White and seconded by Councillor David Wisinger




That the committee endorsed and supported the proposal for a new Social Enterprise model which will make a significant contribution to reducing food poverty in the County.

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