Senior councillors in Leeds will discuss a new programme aimed at improving health levels and tackling inequality across the city at a meeting next week.
At its meeting at Civic Hall on Wednesday 19 April, the council’s executive board will consider an update on realising the city’s commitment to becoming a Marmot City. This will see the council and its partners engage in a two-year programme with Professor Sir Michael Marmot and the Institute of Health Equity (IHE), who are leading international experts in addressing health inequalities following on from the Marmot Review which was published in 2010.
Becoming a Marmot City requires a strategic approach to developing systems and structures to improve health equity with a focus on tackling inequality. It is based on ensuring everyone has access to the ‘building blocks’ for health – the best start to life, good education, stable and well-paid jobs, homes that are affordable and safe, and clean air. It also means that people live free from racism and discrimination, with environmental sustainability a priority.
The Marmot vision for the city is based on ‘a fairer Leeds for everyone’ with the aims of:
Increasing everyone’s opportunity to have all the right building blocks of good health
Developing approaches for everyone but at a different scale or intensity depending on the needs of different communities
Focusing on every stage of life from birth to death
The programme aims to build on existing systems and structures, working with communities and partners to deliver meaningful change by addressing health inequalities.
The approach for Leeds has been developed by Leeds City Council together with health providers and partners through the Leeds health and wellbeing board, Leeds Policy Network and health champions in the city. Voluntary Action Leeds and Forum Central (the umbrella organisations for third sector groups in Leeds) are also members of a cross-sectoral Marmot City working group.
The programme will follow two one-year phases from April 2023 to March 2025. Year one will focus on assessing health inequalities in Leeds and the priorities areas of ensuring the possible start in life for all and improving housing and health in the city.
The second phase in 2024-25 will see the Marmot approach rolled out more widely, with the flexibility to be adapted and changed based on the findings of the first phase with the aim of improving the health of the poorest the fastest.
The programme will be officially launched in June, with five large partnership events to take place across the two years supported by focused workshops and reports which will be produced at the end of each year.
Leeds City Council executive member for public health and active lifestyles Councillor Salma Arif said; “As a city we are delighted to be working with Professor Sir Michael Marmot and the world-renowned team at the Institute of Health Equity, benefitting from their proven knowledge and expertise to help us tackle health inequalities in Leeds over the next two years and beyond.
“Together with health partners and stakeholders in Leeds, we are committed to working with all communities to make a difference so we look forward to getting this important programme underway.”