Whether it is supporting stopping smoking, encouraging healthy eating, protecting good mental health, or delivering universal or targeted health visiting services or simply working closely with the NHS - councils have a significant role to play.
The 10th anniversary of the ban is a time to look back at what has been achieved. While it took a long time to get the legislation introduced – cinemas first started restricting smoking in the 1970s – when it did happen it was pretty seamless. Four months after the introduction of the ban, the government announced 98 per cent of places inspected by local authority officers were compliant.
The asset-based approach sees citizens and communities as co-producers of health and wellbeing; promotes community networks, relationships and friendships as a way of providing mutual help and support; and, most importantly, empowers communities to control their futures and create tangible resources for themselves.
Deprived communities experience poorer mental health, higher rates of smoking and greater levels of obesity than the more affluent. They spend more years in ill health and die sooner. Reducing health inequalities is an economic and social challenge as well as a moral one.