'Face the public' event planned for Hartlepool to look at tackling priorities after covid pandemic

Plans have been drawn up for health bosses to host a ‘face the public’ event later this year to look at tackling priorities in Hartlepool following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 2:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 2:24 pm
Coronavirus testing taking place in Hartlepool
Coronavirus testing taking place in Hartlepool

Hartlepool Health and Wellbeing Board has approved hosting a ‘face the public’ event remotely in September of this year.

The event is held annually, with the exception of last year due to Covid-19, and updates residents on work being done, future plans and challenges, and offers the chance for questions to be asked.

Craig Blundred Hartlepool’s director of public health, said after much discussion and contemplation they have laid out plans to hold it later in the year for the health and wellbeing board.

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He added he hopes it will ‘restart the process’ of looking to tackle the priorities for the board, which include looking at the impact of violence, including domestic violence, and drug and alcohol issues.

They also include ensuring the maintenance of a universal offer for the whole population and the development of a targeted place based approach.

Mr Blundred said: “Obviously at the moment we are still working within restrictions and the ongoing pandemic, so we need to start to think about what we would do this year for a face the public event.

“Our proposal is that we do have a face the public event purely for the health and wellbeing board in September 2021 and conduct that in a remote way, so that we maintain Covid safety while we’re doing that.

“Obviously progression of all of these priorities hasn’t happened as quickly as we would have liked, clearly because of the pandemic and the restrictions and also work being diverted to that.

“We hope the face the public event will provide us the opportunity, hopefully by then, of thinking about how we restart the process for those priorities.”

The event could also include some socially distanced activities, depending on the Covid-19 position, according to his report.

Cllr Shane Moore, Hartlepool Borough Council leader, said he was pleased to see the event would be going ahead this year.

He said: “I’m pleased that we’re going to be able to move forward with this this year, because not only is it important that we continue with these face the public events and get vital feedback from the residents that we all serve.

“Also because it finally means that we’re hopefully going to be able to start working on the proposals that we all came to in 2019, because I think we did set a really good working arrangement moving forward about what we wanted to target.”

Councillors also stressed the importance of beginning to look at the longer term impacts of Covid-19 on the area, but it was agreed this would be looked at separately.

Cllr Stephen Thomas said: “I do think that as early as possible the authority and partners need to be considering some of those longer term implications of Covid as we move through lockdown and hopefully back into a much more normal society.

“The implications from Covid and the long term effect both for individuals and our communities are going to be with us for many years to come.”

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