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Public Health Grants to Local Authorities (2013-14) and (2014-15)

Volume 556: debated on Thursday 10 January 2013

Today I am announcing ring-fenced public health grants to local authorities for 2013-14 and 2014-15.

This Government have an ambitious vision to help people live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives, and to improve the health of the most vulnerable fastest. From April 2013, upper tier and unitary local authorities will take on a new duty to improve their population’s health, funded by this ring-fenced budget. Local authorities are best placed to understand the needs of their communities, and to tackle the wider determinants of health at a local level, putting people’s health and well-being at the heart of everything they do—from adult social care to transport, housing, planning and environment. The public health grants will allow local authorities to transform the lives of the local people through commissioning a wide range of innovative services.

Despite difficult financial circumstances, I am pleased to announce that we have been able to provide an above inflation growth representing a major investment in health and the prevention of illness. We are investing £2.7 billion in 2013-14 and £2.8 billion in 2014-15. In each year every local authority will see real-terms growth. This is on top of an updated 2012-13 baseline that is now just over £2.5 billion, significantly above the estimate of £2.2 billion that we published in February last year.

Announcing allocations for the next two years will provide local authorities the certainty they need to extend and develop their planning, including for initiatives that may be better delivered across more than one year.

The allocation is built on the advice of the independent Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA). ACRA’s interim recommendations went through an intensive engagement during the summer, generating some important changes that we believe will be welcomed by the public health and local government communities.

Full details of the public health grants to local authorities have been placed in the Library. Copies are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office.