With the escalation in cases of coronavirus in the UK, the Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to urgently announce the public health grant for local authorities to help deal with the crisis.
The public health grant, which has been delayed over recent months, is crucial to enable local council’s to fund public health work. The delay has made it extremely difficult for local authorities to plan health services in the community, such as the NHS Health Check programme and public health advice to NHS Commissioners. With the coronavirus, this delay has become even more serious.
With this in mind, the Liberal Democrats have contacted the Secretary of State, Matt Hancock MP, to request that the Government announce the funding urgently, in order to ensure councils can fulfil their important role in helping to contain the virus.
Robust infection control measures continue to be in place and the risk to individuals living and working in the City of York and North Yorkshire remains low. York remains very much open for business.
Councillor Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat Leader of the Council, said:
"Having failed to inform local authorities how much the public health grant will be, the Government have made it incredibly difficult for local councils to plan health services in the city”.
"Even if it was business as usual, this delay would be shameful from the Government, but with the Coronavirus, it is worse. Public health information is vital to lowering the Coronavirus risk, and local councils must be empowered by the Government to support our communities during such crises and address the gaps in the nation’s social care sector.”
"The Government must announce the public health grant immediately, so local authorities, like City of York Council, can be supported in their vital work to care for our local communities.”
“In the meantime, robust infection control measures are in place and we continue to be in close contact with partners across York and North Yorkshire, including health agencies, to receive specialist advice so that the City of York and North Yorkshire remain a safe place to live, work and visit.”