London Councils

Local Government call for higher public health spending

The Local Government Association has issued an urgent call for an investment of £2bn to help transform the health and care system towards preventing ill health rather than waiting to fix problems only after they occur.

Cuts to social care damaging the NHS

New figures from the King’s Fund show that cuts in local authority social care budgets are adversely affecting health services. 88 per cent of NHS acute trusts are forecasting a deficit at the end of this financial year.

Arts as a resource for tackling health inequalities

Public Health England has published a series of resources to help local authorities address health inequalities. The guidance and resources emphasise that the creative arts can “help individuals build and maintain social connections and can be beneficial for health and wellbeing.”

Local authority spending squeeze

Councils will lose £3bn under proposed changes in planning legislation which will dramatically affect cultural provision. The Government’s proposed rules will free house-builders from the requirement to support infrastructure according to analysis by the Local Government Association.

The calculations are the result of proposals which change Section 106 payments from property developers building homes for first time buyers. These payments are often utilised to support local developments including arts and library funding.

Proposals for Health and Wellbeing Boards

The Local Government Association and NHS Clinical Commissioners have issued a call for local authorities to better support Health and Wellbeing Boards in taking a holistic approach to prevention and incorporating more creative approaches to tackling the wider determinants of ill health.

The report includes recommendations for Government and local authorities to do more to support Health and Wellbeing Boards in developing local health services that bring together the full range of services in a community in a holistic and person-centred approach.

Social care and culture hit by local authorities

Spending on culture and on adult social care has been disproportionately reduced by local authorities over the past five years according to a new report. The National Audit Office report examined the unprecedented squeeze being experienced by local authorities and the effect on different areas of spending.

The research found that Government support for local authorities will have fallen by nearly 40% over the course of this parliament leading to drastic cuts in local authority provision for social care and cultural activity.

Alternative models for cultural support

The New Local Government Network – an alliance of local authority providers – has compiled a report offering examples of different ways of supporting cultural activity. The report notes a trend where more local authorities are commissioning arts activity because of its impact on health and wellbeing.

Local authority arts and health

New research indicates that 96% of local authority arts services contribute to health and wellbeing outcomes. Arts Development UK’s annual local authority arts investment survey, estimates the total spend in England and Wales on arts services for 2014/15 is £194.5m.

An estimated 74% of arts budgets is spent delivering public service and wellbeing outcomes. Arts spend per head of population in 2014/15 is estimated at £2.41 per person.

Guide to the health system

The Local Government Association has produced a helpful guide to the current healthcare structures. Designed for newly elected councillors, the guide explains the relationship between local authorities and public health, the role of health and wellbeing boards and the funding structures behind Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Local authority spending on culture and health

London Councils are conducting research to identify the value of London local government’s contribution to the arts and culture sector, and to local authorities and the communities they serve. It has published initial findings presenting a snapshot of current arts funding including support for arts and public health activity.

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