Links to other council planning policies and processes

Once the Community Plan items for active healthy communities have been identified, the Active Healthy Communities website can be used to link the actions to other council plans and activities. The website has been divided into Corporate Planning, Operational Planning, Planning scheme tools and Local Law & Policy Matters sections. In each section is strategy wording ideas, resources and information to deliver the health outcomes of the Community Plan.

Councils have various plans and policies that contribute to and influence the active healthy lifestyles of citizens. Reviewing these existing policies and activities that relate to active healthy communities can supplement higher order goals and assist in the generation and coordination of detailed objectives, outcomes and strategies.

Relevant council plans may include:

  • Physical Activity Plan
  • Health and Wellbeing Plan
  • Cycle Strategy
  • Walking Strategy
  • Access Policy
  • Pedestrian Access and Mobility Plan
  • Social Plan
  • Community Development Plan
  • Young People Plan
  • Open Space Plan
  • CBD/ Master Plan
  • Environmental Management Plan
  • Multicultural/Diversity Plan
  • Transport Plan
  • Structure Plans.

Up skilling staff to progress active healthy communities

Many active healthy communities activities can be carried out using existing Council resources by incorporating actions into existing policy and work activities. However, some staff may need to be up-skilled in active healthy community approaches. New ways of working may also be required where a coordinated approach to deliver attractive and safe communities and activity centres is used. ‘Place-based managers’ have been created in some councils to fulfill this role. ‘Active transport managers’ have been created in other councils to coordinate active travel options. ‘Food for All’ project officers have been created in Victorian councils to coordinate activity to address access to healthy food.

Specific training needs that may need to be taken into consideration in executing an active healthy communities program may include:

Councillors (1):

  • benefits of active healthy lifestyles in improving personal health of residents and reducing environmental impacts, congestion and social isolation
  • national and state level health data and the role of physical activity, healthy eating and breastfeeding in promoting health
  • local demographic break-downs and projections, and existing/ anticipated health needs and costs
  • how various council actions contribute to provision of supportive physical and social environments
  • the integral role active travel plays in creating more sustainable local travel option.

Staff (1):

  • benefits of active healthy lifestyles in improving personal health of residents and reducing environmental impacts, congestion and social isolation
  • the potential of Corporate Plans and Operational Plans as coordinating service delivery mechanisms
  • the significance of local structure planning as a mechanism, at a Community Plan level, for promoting easy and safe access to key destinations
  • the role of coordinated place-making in promoting safe, attractive activity centres and connections
  • active travel options (reducing car dependence) and the legal/ administrative actions for their introduction, funding etc
  • personal health benefits of active healthy lifestyles.

Staff training could be extended to cover those involved in relevant local committees (e.g. local traffic committees and volunteer groups).

Refer to the Active Healthy Communities booklet and powerpoint as resources for introducing the concept of active healthy communities.

 

Reference:

  1. Wiggins D (2010). Addressing active living through council’s Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework. NSW Premier’s Council for Active Living: Sydney