Councillors will discuss concerns about the Government’s intention to cut local authority public health budgets when they meet next week.
At a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet on Thursday (25 June), members will consider the potential impact of the Government reducing local authority public health budgets by £200 million.
The Cabinet will also discuss the Council’s response to the Department of Health consultation about the reduction, which could leave Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council with £960,000 less to spend on public health this financial year and will have a similar impact in future years.
Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “It is well documented that there are significant health inequalities across our Borough. Stockton-on-Tees has the biggest gap in life expectancy in men in the country. We work hard with our partners to improve and protect our residents’ health by tackling the major causes of early death including heart disease, cancer and respiratory illnesses, particularly those most vulnerable and at risk.”
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member of Adult Services and Health, Councillor Jim Beall, added: “Our council ensures there is a wide range of high quality services available for all aspects of improving public health, from new services for weight management to well-established smoking cessation services, drug and alcohol treatment services and sexual health services. Recently we have started a new universal scheme to provide toothbrushes and toothpaste to all children in nursery and reception to help address the very poor levels of dental health in children.
“This funding reduction contradicts the pledge from the NHS to focus more on prevention. I fear it will have an adverse impact on local services and add further pressure on our local hospital so I will be recommending to Cabinet that Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council actively participates in the Government’s consultation and seeks support from both local MPs to try and minimise the impact of this cut in Government funding on the people of the Borough.”