Local authorities ‘left in the dark’ by Government over health budgets
Councils are unable to plan vital public health services because they are still waiting for the Government to tell them how much funding they will get, the Local Government Association (LGA) says.
Local authorities, according to the LGA, have only a few weeks before they set their budgets, and yet they are still to be formally told their individual public health funding settlements for 2016/17 and 2017/18.
Councils are also expecting a £330m reduction in public health funding between 2016/17 and 2020/21. On top of this is a further £200m cut in-year in 2016/17, as announced last November.
Expressing his disappointment at the delay, Andrew Furber, president of the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) said: ‘The reductions in funding are going to be hard and the uncertainty makes it much more difficult to plan appropriately.’
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, LGA public health spokesperson, said: ‘Councils have been left in the dark by government as the wait goes on for them to find out their individual public health funding settlements for the next two years and beyond.
‘This means they're unable to plan how and where they spend money and allocate resources, leading to uncertainty about vital prevention services such as tackling teenage pregnancy, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, sexually transmitted infections and substance misuse.’