Councils will share £41m to improve public health
By Leicester Mercury | Friday, January 11, 2013, 07:30
Councils are to get a little more than £41 million to improve public health in the coming year.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has allocated almost £20 million to Leicester City Council. Leicestershire and Rutland county councils will get £20.2 million and £1 million respectively from April.
Local authorities take on responsibility for public health in April.
Mr Hunt said: "For the first time, we are giving councils the power, freedom and a protected budget to tackle public health issues such as alcohol abuse, smoking and lack of exercise.
"These new arrangements mean improving the health of their communities will be at the heart of everything councils do.
"From adult social care to transport, housing and planning, everything will be designed to get people healthier."
Leicester deputy mayor Rory Palmer, who has responsibility for health, said: "The allocation is broadly in line with what we would expect.
"Now we have confirmation of this, we can start planning where to spend the money.
A spokesman for Leicestershire County Council said: "We welcome the announcement. It is good news.
"We still have to understand the detail, but this is a significant increase in money for prevention, with rises in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
"The challenge is to make sure we get really good value for money and carefully consider how we use the resources made available to get the maximum benefit for the people of Leicestershire."
In the 2014-15 financial year, the city council will get £22 million, Leicestershire County Council £21.8 million and Rutland County Council just over £1 million.