Bexley’s public health funding to rise

David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has welcomed the announcement of a rise in the amount of public health funding that Bexley will be granted.

On Thursday (10 January), the Health Secretary, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, published the allocations for each Council, showing that Bexley would receive £29 per head of population in 2013-14, or £6.9million in total. This will rise to £32 per person in £2014-15.

When provisional allocations were announced last year, Bexley had only been granted £19 per person. Mr Evennett made representations to the then Health Secretary, Rt Hon Andrew Lansley MP, on behalf of constituents to express his concern about the provisional allocation, which was one of the lowest.

As part of the Government’s health reforms, Councils will be responsible for public health matters and spend the money they are awarded on their local priorities. It is also ring-fenced.

Mr Evennett said “I am pleased that the Health Secretary has listened to the representations that I and others have made on this issue. As I have highlighted in Parliamentary debates, the consequences for public health of problems such as obesity, smoking, alcoholism are significant and action is required now to help people change their behaviour and habits.

“We are fortunate that we have excellent and established programmes locally such as the Bexley Stop Smoking Service, which has helped thousands to quit. I hope that the reforms that the Government has made and the money Ministers are providing will help make a difference.”