Local Government and Social Care Funding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:40 pm on 24th April 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Co-National Campaign Coordinator, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 1:40 pm, 24th April 2019

It shows precisely the short-sighted way that the Government have approached funding local government. The fact that they passed on public health budgets to local government was, I think, a good move. It was one of the few things in the Lansley Act—the Health and Social Care Act 2012—that I thought was good, because it took back to local councils precisely what they were invented to tackle, which is to improve the health and wellbeing of the citizen. Of course, many councils started off their lives 150 or so years ago as local boards of health. Having that focus on public health and on health and wellbeing is absolutely right, but we cannot do that while cutting those budgets. That is the scandal: the areas that have seen the biggest cuts to their spending power, the areas that have seen the biggest cuts to the revenue support grant, and the areas that have seen the biggest cuts to the public health grant are the ones that need that resource the most.