Pillar 2: The places and communities we live in


The wider determinants of health are evident in the places and communities we live in, impacting our lives significantly. The quality of the built and natural environment, including neighbourhood design, accessible spaces, housing, the food environment, green spaces, transport, and air quality affect our health and our health behaviours. In addition, there is strong evidence for the positive impact social relationships and community networks have, especially on mental health and wellbeing. These factors are shaped significantly by the development and implementation of environmental planning and design decisions, both nationally and locally.

Environmental disadvantages are not evenly spread. The more disadvantaged a community, the more likely it is to lack good quality open and accessible spaces, easy walking and cycling routes and well-located services. These communities are also more likely to experience environmental burdens such as pollution and crime. We recognise the key role the Community Safety Partnership plays and we want to tackle hate crime and promote tolerance across the borough.

All these factors contribute to clear inequalities in society.

We will:

  • Strengthen our joint approach to planning and developing localities to promote good health for all residents of Cheshire West.
  • Use clear strategies and principles of healthy design – with businesses, the built environment, and public services - to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents and tackle health inequalities.
  • Strengthen infrastructure developments such as cycleways and public transport networks that support healthy lifestyles for all our residents.
  • Ensure that our social prescribers have a holistic view of the people they are supporting, e.g., that debt might be an issue as well as a person's symptoms of ill-health, and that they are equipped to respond appropriately.
  • Improve access to those who have a social prescribing role.
  • Support community-led opportunities to increase physical activity through e.g. school settings such as Smile for a Mile, free access to parks and green spaces and active travel.
  • Tackle discrimination and racism and their outcomes.
  • Identify methods to involve residents in the development of health inequalities assessments and remedies at place level, e.g., through the creation of a community engagement panel.
  • Work with residents and local stakeholders to understand 'true' regional poverty and local financial pressures including the reality of all care costs, in-work poverty, debt burden, tax credit/welfare reforms, benefits, and housing costs (e.g., Poverty Truth Commission).
  • Support the Community Sector to act on the wider determinants of health.
  • Develop place-based partnerships to strengthen approaches to community policing (e.g., public, and mental health, police, children's services, DWP) and develop a public health approach to violent crime.
  • Work with residents and partners (e.g., businesses, NHS) to improve quality of existing green spaces in areas of higher deprivation.
  • Localise region-wide actions to create health promoting environments (e.g., unhealthy advertising, planning decisions).
  • Work in partnership to regenerate areas.
  • Work alongside local communities to better include their needs when reviving local high streets.
  • Extend incentives to encourage people back to public transport.