‘Missed opportunity’ on public health

Proposals in the Green Paper include ending smoking by 2030, encouraging healthier eating, and stopping under-16s from buying energy drinks.

The policy document also sets out priorities on promoting physical activity, developing guidelines on sleep and targeting those at risk of diabetes, with an ambition for everyone in England to have gained an extra five years of healthy life expectancy, free of disease or disability, by 2035.

It was published in late July, in the week that Theresa May stood down as Prime Minister.

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Everyone agrees that prevention is better than cure, but councils also need adequate funding for their public health services to help achieve the stated aims of this approach.

“The Prime Minister must now prioritise preventative services by reversing the £700 million of public health funding cuts over the last five years.

“Only this, alongside a joined-up prevention approach across government, can help councils tackle persistent problems like obesity, mental illness, substance misuse, sexually transmitted infections and the health impact of loneliness, as well as addressing some of the serious health inequalities that still exist across the country.”

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