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
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.”
 Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). Ready Reckoner: 2018 edition.
Hansard. Local Government Finance Settlement, 19 December 2017
Marmot, Michael G., et al. (2010). ‘Fair society, healthy lives: Strategic review of health inequalities in England post-2010’.
 Cancer Research UK. Can cancer be prevented?
 NHS Digital. Statistics on Smoking, England – 2017.
 Cancer Research UK. Smoking and cancer.
 National Obesity Forum. Impact of obesity.
 ONS. Alcohol-specific deaths in the UK: registered in 2016.