Magazine article Public Finance

Recession 'Is Affecting Community Health'

Magazine article Public Finance

Recession 'Is Affecting Community Health'

Article excerpt

Improving health in local communities has been jeopardised by the recession, a local government report has said.

The study, commissioned by the Improvement and Development Agency, surveyed chief executives and senior officers from local authorities and primary care trusts. It showed that obesity, smoking and the wealth gap remained the vital health issues.

More than 80% of those surveyed said that the recession had forced local authorities to economise. However, the majority said they expected to prioritise tackling health inequalities over the next five years.

Councils in the North are more likely than those in London and the South to say that alcohol and low life expectancy are the main problems. Nine out of ten councils now employ someone to tackle health inequalities.

David Rogers, chair of the Local Government Association's community wellbeing board, said: 'Councillors are highlighting a number of different health inequalities, reflecting the range and demographic profile of their area, which this report confirms. …

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