Skip to main content

Local Authorities (Public Health Duties)

Volume 527: debated on Tuesday 26 April 2011

17. How much funding he plans to allocate to local authorities in order to perform their new public health duties in each of the next three years. (52565)

We want local authorities to have the powers and the resources that they need in order to make a real difference to the health and well-being of their local populations. Shadow allocations for the local ring-fenced public health budget will be announced later this year.

Hull’s Lib Dem council does not have a very good record on public health. It is currently slashing services delivered to children through its children’s centres and early years services. We all know that public health can be improved by that early investment. What is the Minister going to do to ensure that councils take their wider public health responsibilities seriously?

I thank the hon. Lady for her question. With resources come responsibilities. I am pleased that the hon. Member for Hackney North and Stoke Newington (Ms Abbott) has welcomed the shift in public health. There is no doubt about it: local authorities have a long history of delivering public health improvements, and this will give them the opportunity to see again some of the improvements that were long awaited under the last Government.