By Vivienne Russell | 21 December 2012
Councils will not be notified of their public health funding allocations until the new year, it has been revealed.
The Local Government Association said the Department of Health’s decision was ‘disappointing’ and would make it ‘almost impossible’ for councils to plan effectively.
‘We are now just three months away from perhaps the biggest change in local government in a generation and we still don't know how much money is being made available for councils to tackle costly public health issues such as smoking, alcohol abuse and obesity,’ said David Rogers, chair of the LGA’s community wellbeing board.
But Rogers added that he was pleased the department had agreed to give councils a longer-term funding settlement for public health.
‘This will provide councils with a greater level of certainty beyond next year,’ he said.
‘However, we urge the government to announce their plans as early as possible and let councils get on with the job of delivering a high quality public health service for their local populations.’
The DoH said: ‘We want to make sure that local authorities have the right funding to organise high-quality public health services for their local population.
‘We will be announcing the public health funding allocations in the new year. We have already committed to a real-terms increase in spending, but we also want to be able to offer each local authority a clearer long-term understanding of their future funding. This means we need to undertake extra work to make sure this happens.’