Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, responds to a report by the Institute for Public Policy Research calling for a new approach to public health and prevention.
“This report echoes recommendations that we have called for and highlights that prevention is the bedrock to a healthier, more equal and prosperous society.
“Focusing on early intervention and prevention and better self-management is not only better for individuals, it contributes to our economic health and is the most effective use of local government and NHS resources to help people live longer, healthier and more independent lives and reduce health inequalities.
“Councils are committed to tackling entrenched challenges like adult and childhood obesity, mental illness, alcohol and drug misuse, and sexually transmitted infections. But to help councils improve the health of their citizens and support the NHS even more effectively, government needs to use the Spending Review to plug the £3.6 billion funding gap facing adult social care by 2025 and reverse the £700 million in reductions to councils’ public health grants.
“Licensing and regulatory services need resources to monitor and enforce new restrictions. Councils are also struggling to fund universal services, including parks, libraries, leisure centres and children’s centres, which can directly impact on the social determinants of health.
“We look forward to working with government to help shape its green paper on prevention and realise the potential and ambition of councils to help enrich and save lives, taxpayers’ money and pressure on the NHS.”
Notes to editors
- Councils in England face an overall funding gap of £8 billion by 2025. The LGA’s #CouncilsCan campaign aims to influence the forthcoming Spending Review and highlight the growing risk to vital local services if the Government does not take action to secure the financial sustainability of councils.
#CouncilsCan: Spending Review 2019
With the right funding and powers, councils can continue to lead local areas, improve residents’ lives, reduce demand for public services and save money for the taxpayer. Securing the financial sustainability of local services must be the top priority for the Spending Review.
- Councils’ public health grants have been reduced by £700 million in real terms from 2015/16 to 2019/20.