Publication from Siân Berry: Response to the Mayor's draft Health Inequalities Strategy
I am responding on behalf of the Green Party Group
I welcome the vision the Mayor has set out for a healthier city and agree with including the objectives set but have proposed more.
This strategy seeks to embed health as a cross-cutting theme across all the areas over which the Mayor has responsibility. This is the right thing to do.
I also welcome the progress Transport for London (TfL) is making in mainstreaming health through the Healthy Streets approach, and the recognition of the impact on physical and mental health of some of the proposals in the Mayor’s environment and housing strategies.
However, while the Mayor has provided an overview of his aspirations and outlined a general approach to reducing health
inequalities in this strategy, it is not yet a delivery plan with measurable targets.
He is relying on a wide range of organisations to act to progress his vision but, as Mayor, he is ultimately accountable for the success or failure of his final Health Inequalities Strategy.
He must therefore publish a set of performance indicators against which his progress on achieving his objectives can be gauged. We can only judge the Mayor’s intentions at this stage rather than his ability to deliver on them.
The Mayor could have gone further too. He hasn’t – for example – explored how a four-day working week could reduce work-related stress. And he doesn’t have plans to tackle the financial exclusion that can lead to poverty, which in turn damages health.
In addition, the wellbeing needs of older people, children and disabled Londoners are well catered for but there isn’t a big enough focus on older children and teenagers, particularly their mental health and wellbeing.
In this response, I provide feedback on some specific aspects of the Mayor’s draft Health Inequalities Strategy.