Leeds Health & Wellbeing Board (Feb ’19)

When the opportunity arises, I do like to attend the public gallery of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board.  The board is concerned with the strategy in the Leeds area and is comprised of various local authority executives (council, NHS etc).  Their values very much align with my own, therefore like to keep abreast of how senior decisions may actually make it to the ground (or the reverse, where the ground reaches up).

Health and Wellbeing Board:

Leeds Gov site:

Today’s meeting largely focused on the reports summarising current progress. All does look positive. As I sat in the meeting, my undertone of concern was the focus on data and it felt to me as if there was potential for disconnection between figures and meaning. This was echoed as some emphasised the importance of experience. I’ve worked in Agile delivery and seen the benefit of representatives from all levels of decision makers and service delivers spending time together regularly to have brief (stand-up) meetings.

Still, I came out of the meeting with a couple of things to look in to further:

  • ARTS: There was mention of ‘Arts’ to be included in the Health and Wellbeing Board initiatives – I need to investigate if this could be a channel to help progress my Leeds Deaf Children’s dance workshops on a longer term.
  • CAREERS: In the remit of reducing poverty and give extra support for those that need it, I realised my recent focus (deaf dance, DJ, video production) could be re-purposed as “I want Leeds’ deaf children to have the BEST careers.“.

Vision: I would like to see major businesses offer workshops to sensory impaired (e.g. deaf) high-school children, so they can be enthused with careers plus crucially, businesses can start to learn what adaptions may need to be made. Sensory impairment is not intelligence impairment. I’ll investigate this feasibility through my business links but also feels like an initiative Leeds BID could support.

Next Health and Wellbeing Board Meeting: 25th April

Even though this was a health and wellbeing board with 30 or so attendees, not sure how many people chose active travel – pretty sure I was the only one on a bike!  This was however another great example of the pedestal we place cars on; lots of parking in highly visible areas but cycle facilities tucked away with no signage and even not recommended as being safe!

Still, I’d say I had the last laugh as I rode back stopping at Greggs (where else!) and ate my lunch in the Kirkstall Nature Reserve by the River Aire ford crossing. Beautiful.