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PUBLIC HEALTH NEEDS LOCAL FOCUS

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The Local Government Association is pushing for local area agreements to be used to give focus to councils' role in...
The Local Government Association is pushing for local area agreements to be used to give focus to councils' role in public health.

A task group is being established by the LGA's Community Well-being Board to consider how councils can work in partnership to improve public health.

The board's chairman, David Rogers (Lib Dem), said: 'Primary care trusts have more funding to improve public health and often locally this money is pushed the way of local government. This works better in some parts of the country than others - we need to find out why.'

An LGA insider said: 'Agreements could be set up looking specifically at public health.'

It is hoped the group can capitalise on the local government background of the new ministerial team at the Department of Health. Following the post-election reshuffle, four of its six ministers have experience of working in local government while a fifth, Liam Byrne, wrote a pamphlet on giving councils more power.

Sir Jeremy Beecham, the LGA's Labour group leader, said: 'We have a greater opportunity to register with people with a decent grasp of local government.'

A localist DoH?

Minister of State for NHS Delivery Lord Warner, former director of social services at Kent CC

Minister of State for Health Services Rosie Winterton, former parliamentary officer for Southwark LBC.

Minister of State for Quality and Patient Safety Jane Kennedy, former social care worker at Liverpool CC

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health Caroline Flint, welfare and staff development officer at Lambeth LBC

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Care Services Liam Byrne, author of Local Government Transformed

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