The following Motion has been submitted in accordance with Council Procedure 15.1 and 15.2:
Proposer: Councillor Greenway
Seconder: Councillor Lloyd
Arun District Council recognises the importance of making defibrillators accessible and having them registered, especially in public places, sports grounds and Government-funded facilities.
This Council understands the role that it has in facilitating the delivery of new defibrillators across the Arun District.
The Council supports and welcomes the planned rollout of defibrillators by the Government to all state-funded schools that currently do not have one, with over 20,000 expected to be delivered to almost 18,000 schools by the end of the academic year.
This Council asks the Leader of the Council to:
(1) Commit to working with the local community to find suitable places to place defibrillators, acknowledging that they are most effective within three minutes of a person collapsing, and to support finding funding for defibrillators in public places and community spaces;
(2) Seek to register defibrillators held within District Council facilities with ‘The Circuit’, The National Defibrillator Network, supported by the British Heart Foundation; and
(3) Promote via the Council’s publications (including on social media) the benefits of having a defibrillator in the community and explaining how they can be used in an emergency situation.
The Chair confirmed that in line with requirements of the Constitution a motion had been submitted in accordance with Council Procedures 15.1 and 15.2.
The Chair invited Councillor Greenway to present and propose his motion.
Councillor Greenway confirmed that Rustington had 13 defibrillators registered with ‘The Circuit’ and that Bognor Regis had 27 also registered with ‘The Circuit’. Although this sounded like a lot of defibrillators, in the event of an emergency the ambulance service would only directed the public to a registered defibrillator it was just a few minutes away. This was why it was necessary to register as many defibrillators as possible to increase coverage across the district. Businesses, community groups and other councils were taking action and so this motion sought to register all defibrillators on their premises. For example, the Arun Leisure Centre and the Littlehampton Wave did not have registered defibrillators. Councillor Greenway confirmed that his Motion acknowledged the welcome provision from central government to fund schools with these lifesaving units, meaning that more children would have quicker access in a time of need.
Councillor Greenway asked the Leader of the Council to work with the community to help find suitable places for defibrillators and to look out for funding to help increase the coverage in public places. Councillor Greenway confirmed that had submitted this motion also to West Sussex County Council where it had received unanimous support. Finally, Councillor Greenway outlined that he had been touched by stories heard in the local and national media in terms of how heart problems had impacted those closer to home. He therefore felt it vital for the council to do all it could to help residents and so he urged Members to support the motion.
The Motion was then seconded by Councillor Lloyd.
Debate then took place with the Council fully supporting what they saw as a well-meaning Motion.
Councillor Stanley explained that he had received an email recently from William Quince, MP regarding this subject. The Council had already emailed out to all Town and Parish Council Clerks correspondence regarding this subject and encouraging them to look at defibrillators in their local community by registering them. It was highlighted that as many Councillors in undertaking their duties also supported local community groups and businesses, they needed to urge them to register defibrillators with ‘The Circuit’, and the National Defibrillator Network. Councillor Stanley stated that was also reaching out to Members who sat on the Arun Times Editorial Board to consider the content of this motion at its next meeting to assist in pushing it forward. Looking ahead, 16 October 2023 was “We start heart day” and so it was hoped that by working with the Council’s Communications Team this could be promoted using social media to gain some awareness.
Councillor Stanley confirmed that he wished to make an amendment to
Recommendation (3) to read as follows [any deletions have been
strikethrough with any additions shown using
(1) Promote via the Council’s publications (9ncluding on social media) the benefits of having a defibrillator in the community and signposting how they can be used with the British Heart Foundation Guidance explaining how they can be used in an emergency situation.
This amendment was the seconded by Councillor Brooks.
Councillors Greenway and Lloyd, as the proposer and seconder of the motion, confirmed that they would be happy to accept Councillor Stanley’s amendment.
In continuing to debate the Motion, Councillors expressed full support for it. They asked if further work could be undertaken to promote the location of defibrillators at the Civic Centre and the Town Hall and to provide confirmation that training on how to use them had been provided to appropriate staff. A request was also made for further work to be undertaken to providing them at sporting venues.
Finally, Councillor Greenway, as proposer of the motion, thanked Members for their contribution and positive debate. He stated that he agreed with the comments that had been made about training to staff and that this linked positively with what Councillor Stanley had confirmed in that all Town and Parish Clerks had been contacted.
RESOLVED – That
The Leader of the Council:
(1) Commits to working with the local community to find suitable places to place defibrillators, acknowledging that they are most effective within three minutes of a person collapsing, and to support finding funding for defibrillators in public places and community spaces;
(2) Seeks to register defibrillators held within District Council facilities with ‘The Circuit’, The National Defibrillator Network, supported by the British Heart Foundation; and
(3) Promotes via the Council’s publications (including on social media) the benefits of having a defibrillator in the community and signposting how they can be used with British Heart Foundation Guidance explaining how they can be used in an emergency situation.