Briefing 71 – Why we need local government to deliver good health – Jan 2016

b071_PolicyBrief_LocalGovernmentDeliveringGoodHealth_Jan2016-thumbnailKEY POINTS:

  • Protecting spending on health services isn’t just about protecting the NHS: local government also provides direct health services.
  • Local Government services are vital services for maintaining health and wellbeing
  • These cuts are unsustainable and will increasingly lead to higher costs for other services particularly the NHS.


Most of us hope that we don’t need to use the NHS very often. We also have a general idea of what the service is and what they key staff like doctors, nurses and paramedics can offer us. Politicians know how much people value the fact that we can access doctors and emergency services if required. No matter what really happens with funding for NHS services no serious politician stands up and campaigns to cut the health budget.

The contrast with local government is stark. The word “council” is used to denote a poor quality or basic service. Many people think they don’t use any local government services but they are wrong. All of us use local government: our streets are swept and lit, roads maintained, our own and the street bins emptied and the contents dealt with, fly-tipping cleared, we take public transport, our children go to nurseries and schools, we walk in the park and we swim in sports centres. There are also the vital care services for those with disabilities, chronic conditions and of course the elderly. These are all services that make as much difference to our health and wellbeing as doctors and nurses.

A vital part of our campaign will be highlighting the role of local government in delivering health services, protecting public health and preventative spending to stop many health problems building up in the first place.

More in PDF Briefing b071_PolicyBrief_LocalGovernmentDeliveringGoodHealth_Jan2016