The Hertfordshire Assembly has been established as a means of bringing together a broad range of partners from across the county to:
- help steer and develop shared views of emerging plans and strategies
- gain a collective understanding of key issues affecting
- put its combined weight behind initiatives benefiting Hertfordshire and its people.
The membership of the Assembly is generally 'non-executive' and drawn from a wide range of organisations to bring varying perspectives together. The Assembly meets twice a year.
The Assembly planned for 22 November 2017 was cancelled. The next Assembly will be held Tuesday 13 February 2018.
Meeting of 13 February 2018
Meeting of 28 February 2017
The eighth Hertfordshire Assembly was held on Tuesday 28 February at County Hall, Hertford. David Williams, acting as Chairman in the absence of Robert Gordon, opened the Assembly and welcomed over 30 people from a wide selection of organisations.
The Assembly heard from Jim McManus, Director of Public Health about the Drug and Alcohol strategy for Hertfordshire; a multi-agency strategy covering prevention, enforcement and treatment and care.
Following the presentation Assembly members raised issues including domestic abuse and the impact of ‘hidden alcohol’ amongst middle-aged women. Also discussed was good practise now underway for people where alcohol or drugs negatively affect their daily life. e.g. ‘No More Project’ in Stevenage. A request was made for data about how older people were affected by drug and alcohol misuse and the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment report available on the HCC website was recommended.
Clarification was sought about how small businesses can offer support. The Street Warden Scheme operating in some districts was an example of an initiative working effectively in tackling anti-social behaviour relating to alcohol consumption and invariably preventing a cost to the NHS and Police by removing the potential for crime through injury. Small businesses selling alcohol were invited to consider a financial contribution towards this sort of initiative.
Steve Peacock, Programme Director for the Hertfordshire & West Essex Sustainability & Transformation Planpresented the Hertfordshire and west Essex STP publication ‘A Healthier Future.’ The Sustainability & Transformation Plan brings together the challenges and opportunities that face NHS and care services in Hertfordshire and west Essex as they work together to improve health and wellbeing within the funds available.
Following the presentation questions were raised about the engagement processand Steve confirmed this was a national programme which had required a response within tight timescales. The STP programme team now seeks to engage with partners to build services that work for local communities. It was acknowledged that the successful delivery of the aims of the STP particularly around the prevention workstream relies on effective partnership working including with district councils and the voluntary and community sector.
The interrelationship with planning housing provision with health provision was made. The importance of revising health service provision alongside town centre regeneration plans and health services infrastructure to support housing developments was acknowledged. The STP team were urged to explore the opportunities for funding of health services provision from new housing developments.
Clarification was made that the STP’s focus is wide – addressing health services for adults, children, early years and pre-natal.The valuable contribution from the voluntary and community sector towards the prevention agenda was acknowledged; organisations were invited to analyse their contribution to the prevention work stream. There was a general consensus that a unified response to pooling resources to help deliver services to the same population is needed.The STP aims to continue supporting current initiatives that are effective and working well, there is no intention to dismantle the integrated health and social care practice which has proved successful in Hertfordshire.Clarification was made about the two community ward closures at St. Albans City Hospital, it was confirmed that this was an operational decision and not within the strategic remit of the STP.
David Williams closed the Assembly and advised members that the annual half day conference will take place on Wednesday 21 June in the afternoon.
Meeting 3rd November 2016
The seventh Hertfordshire Assembly was held on Thursday 3 November at County Hall. Teresa Heritage, acting as Chairman in the absence of Robert Gordon, opened the Assembly and welcomed over thirty people from a wide selection of organisations including five district councils.
The Assembly heard from David Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire about the forthcoming Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan (2017 - 2022). The current Police and Crime Plan: Everybody’s Business (2015- 2020) was published in June 2015 and set out a five year plan for Hertfordshire. Much of the content contained within the five year plan remains fit for purpose and whilst some projects and initiatives require updating, the direction of travel across many areas of business remains. The revised plan will be open for public consultation from 28 November 2016 to 16 January 2017.
A slightly amended date for public consultation has been agreed following the Assembly to extend consultation by an extra week due to the Christmas period and the revised dates are included in the report.
The second agenda item was about town centre regeneration in Hertfordshire and was delivered by the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), East Herts District Council and Stevenage Borough Council. Hertfordshire LEP works with partners to increase the economic prosperity of Hertfordshire and there are a number of regeneration projects underway in Hertfordshire.
Before the Assembly attendees were invited to a short networking opportunity where the Transport Vision 2050 consultation, open until 14 December 2016, was promoted together with details of the Young People Manifesto 2016/17. The Manifesto is produced by members of Herts1125, led by elected Herts Members of Youth Parliament (MYP), and describes the issues they are campaigning to change and improve for all young people.
Meeting of 9 February 2016
The sixth Hertfordshire Assembly was held on Tuesday 9 February at County Hall. Robert Gordon, Chairman of Hertfordshire Forward and Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, opened the Assembly and welcomed forty-four people from a wide selection of organisations including six district councils.
Devolution in Hertfordshire
The Assembly heard about the progress made on the devolution agenda for Hertfordshire and discussed how this work could be progressed further. The following key points were made:
- Partnership working in Hertfordshire is successfully embedded, which forms the basis of any devolution plan
- The process so far has been productive however, we need to continue to align our objectives to jointly better serve the people
- Housing is recognised as a priority within the 5 themes; Transport Infrastructure and Planning will encompass housing priorities in addition to Health and Care
- A new mechanism for a Hertfordshire wide approach to housing was mooted.
Hertfordshire Skills Strategy 2015 - 2017
The appetite for this Strategy originated at the Hertfordshire Forward conference in 2014 and aims to increase and develop Hertfordshire's workforce to ensure the county can continue to support a strong economy within which businesses can thrive, whilst enabling all residents to maximise their own individual potential. The Assembly heard how the strategy was developed in partnership by Hertfordshire County Council, Local Enterprise Partnership and the Department for Work and Pensions and the progress made. There followed a discussion which included the following points:
- The Skills Strategy aims to close the skills mismatch often expressed by large employers whereby skills developed do not necessarily meet the demands of industry
- Initiatives such as 'Skill Makers' in Watford aim to respond to employers concerns about work readiness and lack of training/education opportunities to help meet local skills demands
- Importance of raising parental aspirations; the Skills Strategy aims to raise the level of apprenticeships to degree standard. The University of Hertfordshire is launching its first degree apprenticeship in Engineering and Computer Science in September 2016. Parents of school leavers are expected to play an important role in encouraging children to take up degree apprenticeships and encourage school leavers to consider all available career paths
- The Skills Strategy recognises support needed for entrepreneurs. A support network is available to all new start-ups.
Years of Mental and Health and Wellbeing Strategy
Hertfordshire Year of Mental Health, July 2015 and July 2016, aims to inspire and motivate people from across the county to take a few simple steps to help challenge mental health discrimination, and to improve the lives of those with mental health problems. The Assembly heard about the progress made. Hertfordshire Health and Wellbeing Board are refreshing the Health and Wellbeing Strategy and invited the Assembly to give their views on the draft priorities. The strategy commences a twelve week public consultation exercise from 15 March and the final strategy will be launched in June 2016. The following key points were made:
- Need to continue the prevention agenda and ensure that we can influence all sectors including building design/development to enable a positive impact on mental health
- Improve access to mental health support for pupils at Primary Schools
- Mental health has been selected as a continuing priority for young people in the 2015/16 Herts Young People's Manifesto
- Representatives of the organisations present were asked to appoint a Mental Health Champion and undertake to proactively promote mental health across all of their business.
Meeting of 12 November 2015
The fifth Hertfordshire Assembly was held on Thursday 12 November at County Hall. Robert Gordon, Chairman of Hertfordshire Forward and Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, opened the Assembly and welcomed thirty-six people from a wide selection of organisations including eight district councils.
Herts Young People's Manifesto 2015/16
The Assembly heard from Members of Youth Parliament and representatives from Herts1125 who presented details of the 2015/16 Manifesto that describes the issues they are campaigning to change and improve for all young people.
Hertfordshire Forward Conference 2015
The Assembly heard the findings from the Hertfordshire Conference held in July. The solutions offeredby the delegates for an enhanced partnership approach for Hertfordshire included; a county wide plan covering housing, infrastructure and environment, devolution for Hertfordshire and building on our partnership working. The Assembly heard about the progress being made on these issues including an item on the devolution agenda for Hertfordshire from Mayor Dorothy Thornhill, Chair of Hertfordshire Leaders Group.
The Hertfordshire Compact is a written understanding between the statutory and voluntary sectors about how they will co-operate and continue to develop positive working relationships for the benefit of Hertfordshire's communities.
The Assembly aheard about the Voluntary Sector Commissioning Strategy for Hertfordshire. Public sector commissioners of health and social care are committed to addressing the fundamental challenge of moving investment into preventative services and recognising the opportunity of working in partnership with voluntary and community sector partners in this pursuit.
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