COVID-19 has created a ‘perfect storm’ of existing inequality and disease, leading to higher rates of coronavirus infections and death among the most disadvantaged people, the LGA has warned.
A lack of access to skills and training, and overcrowded housing, are among the deep-rooted, structural issues that need to be tackled if we are to build back better from the pandemic, according to a recent report by the LGA.
While councils are doing all they can to protect their communities from the worst effects of the pandemic, the LGA says it is clear that fundamental change is necessary to address the multiple health inequalities that have been exacerbated by COVID-19, including those related to age, gender, ethnicity, occupation and geography.
Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “COVID-19 has cruelly exposed and exacerbated the many social and health problems that existed before the pandemic, which need to be urgently addressed as part of our national recovery.
“We know that where you live, your age, ethnicity, gender and job status all play a part in determining your chances of living a healthy, long life. As we start to return to a more normal way of life, we want to work with government to ensure we finally address the longstanding health inequalities preventing us from levelling up the country.
“This should mean greater, more consistent funding for councils’ public health services, alongside other local government services, such as housing and employment, all of which can influence the future health and life chances of our communities.
“By ensuring that everybody, no matter their background or where they live and work, is able to realise their potential of living a long healthy life, we can truly build back better from the pandemic.”