Labour is today publishing new analysis exposing devastating Tory health cuts which are forcing 85% of councils to reduce their public health budgets this year.
In total the Government is forcing councils to make £800m of public health cuts over 6 years, and Labour’s new analysis of this year’s Revenue Account Budget figures published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government shows:
- 130 out of 152 local authorities (85%) plan to reduce their public health budgets in 2018/19
- In total £96.3m will be taken out of public health compared to 2017/18
- Among the worst hit services are sexual health which is being cut by 95 councils and loses £17.6m, and substance misuse which is being cut by 114 councils and loses £34m
- Public health budgets aimed specifically at children are being cut by a total of £25.9m year on year.
- Smoking cessation budgets will fall by £3.1m and obesity budgets by £1m.
- Swindon will lose £366,000 from its public health budget.
- From that public health budget, Swindon will lose a quarter of a million pounds from funds aimed at tackling substance misuse, and £148,000 from public health services for children.
Cllr. Jim Grant, Labour Group Leader on Swindon Borough Council,said:
“It shows these cuts to public health budgets are cynical and wrong when drug related deaths are at their highest ever, rates of STDs are rising and in Swindon we have more young children obese and in need of a child protection plan compared to the national average.
“The Tories’ short sighted ideological cuts to services that keep families happy and healthy are leading to some terrible problems in Swindon. Not least the fact we have nearly double the number of children with child protection plans against the national average. When this is the case why is the government cutting one hundred and forty eight thousand pounds from public health services for children locally?
“Local services that are there to work with vulnerable families at an early stage to keep them well are being slashed in every part of England, and people in Swindonare suffering. Swindon is already the only large town or city in the country to close all our Children’s Centres.
“Labour locally as well as nationally, are determined to narrow health inequalities and prevent families falling in to crisis, by having funded programmes that support families at an early stage to give them the tools to stay health and prevent them falling in to crisis. One way we will do this is by reintroducing Children’s Centres that can support families in improving their health.”