We welcome the Government's continued support for the devolution of public health responsibility and power to local authorities, allowing local services to be shaped to meet local needs must continue to be the core principle of the reforms as outlined in the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
- Local authorities continue to make progress on improving health and wellbeing and tackling health inequalities since public health was formally transferred from the NHS in April 2013. Public health was now settled in local government, with a growing confidence that, even though there was much more to do, councils are taking on responsibility for health and wellbeing across all their functions.
- We have repeatedly warned of the serious consequences of funding pressures facing local services from unprecedented funding reductions since 2010 and growing demand for services.
- Local government is operating within severe financial circumstances. For example, the public health grant has been cut by almost £600 million (nearly 10 per cent) from 2015/16 to 2019/20. Government funding for the Early Intervention Grant has been cut by almost £500 million since 2013 and is projected to drop by a further £183 million by 2020. The LGA estimates that local government will be faced with a core funding gap of £5.5 billion by 2019/20.