Council meetings

Agenda item

Motion 3


The motion was moved by Councillor Best and seconded by Councillor

Howard. The motion was then put to the vote and declared to be unanimously



RESOLVED that the following motion be agreed:


The public health grant funds vital services and functions that prevent ill

health and contribute to the future sustainability of the NHS. Local authorities

are responsible for delivering most of these services, but their ability to do so

is compromised by public health grant reductions and the broader funding



In 2018/19 and 2019/20 every local authority will have less to spend on public

health than the year before.  Taking funds away from prevention is a false

economy. Without proper investment in public health people suffer, demand

on local health services increases and the economy suffers. Poor public

health costs local businesses heavily through sick days and lost productivity .

Unless we restore public health funding, our health and care system will

remain locked in a ‘treatment’ approach, which is neither economically viable

nor protects the health of residents.


The Government is looking to phase out the Public Health Grant by 2020/21.

Thereafter, they plan to fund public health via 75% business rates retention .

Whatever the model, it is vital that local authorities have enough funding to

deliver the functions and services they need to provide. Deprived areas often

suffer the worst health outcomes, so it is also vital that areas with the greatest

need receive sufficient funding to meet their local challenges .


Lewisham Council notes that:


           Around four in ten cancers are preventable, largely through avoidable

risk factors, such as stopping smoking, keeping a healthy weight and cutting

back on alcohol .


           Smoking accounts for 80,000  early deaths every year and remains the

largest preventable cause of cancer in the world .


           Smoking-related ill health costs local authorities £760 million every

year in social care costs .


           Additionally, obesity and alcohol account for 30,000  and 7,000  early

deaths each year respectively.


           All three increase the risk of: cancer, diabetes, lung and heart

conditions, poor mental health and create a subsequent burden on health and

social care.


This Council believes that the impact of cuts to public health on our

communities is becoming difficult to ignore. This case becomes more pressing

given the Government’s consideration of a 10-year plan for the NHS. For this

reason, we support Cancer Research UK’s call for increased and sustainable

public health funding. This Council calls 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. In turn, Lewisham

Council will continue to support and fund public health initiatives to the best of

our abilities - to prevent ill-health, reduce inequalities and support a health

and social care system that is fit for the future.”


[1]DCLG. Public health grants to local authorities: 2018 to 2019.

[1] Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). Ready Reckoner: 2018 edition.

[1]Hansard. Local Government Finance Settlement, 19 December 2017

[1]Marmot, Michael G., et al. (2010). ‘Fair society, healthy lives: Strategic review of health inequalities in England post-2010’.

[1] Cancer Research UK. Can cancer be prevented?

[1] NHS Digital. Statistics on Smoking, England – 2017.

[1] Cancer Research UK. Smoking and cancer.

[1] ASH. Cost of smoking to social care - 2017.

[1] National Obesity Forum. Impact of obesity.

[1] ONS. Alcohol-specific deaths in the UK: registered in 2016.


Supporting documents: