Liberal Democrat council groups are being encouraged to submit motions questioning their council’s health spending plans, whilst also condemning further government cuts to the public health budget.
Amongst a number of ministerial statements rushed out on the last day of business before Christmas, the Secretary of State for Health announced a further £85 million cut to the public health budget. These are on top of already existing cuts and it is now feared that non-statutory services, such as those related to sexual health, could be affected.
An example council motion is shown below. Thanks to the Oldham and Stockport Liberal Democrat council groups for sharing it.
Condemning further central government cuts to the public health budget
This council meeting notes:
- The vital role played by Public Health, including our hugely successful vaccination and immunisation programmes, support for those wanting to stop smoking, and otherwise helping [council name] residents to lead healthier lives by avoiding diseases and unplanned pregnancies; and
- Notes with grave concern the announcement of a further £85 million cut to the Public Health Budget, as one of 12 ministerial statements published by the Government on the last day of the 2018 parliamentary term before Christmas, only weeks after the Secretary of State for Health described ‘prevention’ as his priority.
This council meeting further notes:
- The comments of the Health Foundation, who described these cuts as a false economy and who have calculated that an additional £3 billion a year is required to reverse the impact of the Government’s cuts to the Public Health Grant to date and have called for this increased budget to be allocated according to need; and
- The warnings from the King’s Fund that such cuts could put pressure on councils to cut non-statutory sexual health prevention services, which could lead to more sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.
This council meeting believes that our Public Health team perform vital work to help keep the residents of [Area] healthy and to avoid more costly admissions to hospitals and other interventions by our NHS and that this should be properly funded by central government.
This council meeting resolves to:
- Thank our Director of Public Health [Check job name] and her team for the great work they do across [Area] despite continued financial challenges;
- Condemn the use of the time just before Christmas to “sneak out” announcements such as this;
- Call on the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Health to consider carefully how best to implement the required cuts to services which will result from continued government cuts to the budget; and
- Ask the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Health, calling on the Government to deliver increased investment in Public Health and to support a sustainable health and social care system by taking a ‘prevention first’ approach.
Councillors and groups are encouraged to find specific local examples of the issues set out in the motion which can be used to highlight how the people in your area are being affected. This may include highlighting ongoing issues, casework and referring back to previous campaigns on similar issues.
Any council group looking for further information is encouraged to contact us to discuss specific approaches in their area.