Skip to main content

March 2019: Enjoying life long into old age

“Essex Assembly continues to successfully fly the’ Let’s Keep Moving Flag”

It was incredible to see so many leaders unite at the  Essex Assembly on 5 March to explore how we’re supporting our citizens to enjoy life into old age.

The conversations that took place once again demonstrated our passion and commitment to shaping the Future of Essex. As one of the delegates eloquently described; “whole system leadership is a mindset, a movement, a language. It requires good communication and confidence”, and our progress on this, our collective Future of Essex journey, was evident at this our fifth Essex Assembly.

Together we shared our experiences, celebrated our success, challenged our thinking and set new ambitions to collaborate in designing our communities and services to provide our increasing population with the same excellent quality of life as they live and grow old in Essex.

Future needs planning

The programme of workshops enabled us to participate in some future needs planning to address our partnership priorities to tackle avoidable physical and mental illnesses, promote independence through innovation, support carers, design healthy places, prevent isolation, increase employment opportunities, encourage learning and adopt a whole system leadership approach to effecting sustainable change. You can read the highlights, actions and recommendations from the eight workshops here.

Ask the experts

Our expert panel, hosted by Cllr John Spence, Chair of the Essex Health and Wellbeing Board did a fantastic job of answering your many questions and provided some insight into how the many and changing needs of our ageing population can be addressed to support citizens in relation to employment expectations, social care, active communities and education to enjoy independent, healthy, safer lives.

The panel have kindly taken the time to respond to all the questions we received via text from the audience on 5 March. You can view all of the questions and answers from the panel here.

Maximising the potential of new communities 

Professor Rachel Cooper spoke about the importance of adopting a whole system approach to designing new communities, collaborating with developers and exploring innovation. In particular she described the human, material and financial factors that will help to determine the success of a place and promote healthy outcomes for future communities. Rachel challenged us all to get involved early on in these discussions, and to be creative in engaging our communities in the design of our future places.

You can view Rachel’s slides here, and for more information on the little book series on liveable cities please visit 

Rachel’s keynote speech was the first in a series of talks and workshops organised through the Essex Communities project to engage senior leaders across the system in debate and discussion on shaping new places. Workshops will take place during Apr-Sept 2019 and aim to focus our future planning on the implications of community growth across public services, and ensure that we maximise the economic, community and public health potential of major new developments. Topics include:

The power of technology: what does this mean for public services in new communities?

What makes us safe: shaping new places to reduce crime and strengthen communities?

Maintaining new communities: opportunities for citizen-led stewardship and local public services?

Living well: designing new communities to improve our health.

Invitations to these events will be circulated during March, if you would like to be involved please email

Getting to know our citizens

Thanks to those of you who registered your interest to participate in, and facilitate, conversations with our citizens. There’s still time for you to join in, just drop us an email at

We’ll be in touch to arrange these opportunities for you, and we’ll use the content of these conversations to better understand; how individuals, businesses and communities want to engage with us; the barriers that we need to address; how we can build their trust; how we can collaborate with and involve residents in our decision-making processes.

The next Essex Assembly will focus on Uniting Behind a Sense of Identity and will take place on 17 September 2019. This will be a great opportunity to reflect on the conversations we have had with our citizens and to use them to; shape the story we want to share with our residents and businesses to showcase the great work taking place across Essex; celebrate what makes Essex a great place to live and work; invite residents to play their part in building strong communities and encourage visitors, investment, and new opportunities to Essex.

“Leadership now is so important for our shared future. Thinking of how we'll be living our lives in 40 years, and working together to create great places to live, work and visit”




Leaders from across Essex united at the March 2019 Essex Assembly







Download Prof Rachel Cooper's presentation by clicking on the image below