"It is clear that public health funding for councils, which provides drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services, represents value for money and helps to relieve pressures on other public services such as criminal justice and the NHS, further down the line."
Responding to a report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists calling for greater investment in public health services to meet rising demand for addiction treatment, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
Councils are absolutely committed to ensuring that all those who need help with alcohol and drug addiction get the right support and treatment, but as this report states they need long-term government investment in public health services to do so.
“This includes helping vulnerable people being given another chance to find work, rebuild relationships, improve their physical and mental health and find safe and secure accommodation.
It is clear that public health funding for councils, which provides drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services, represents value for money and helps to relieve pressures on other public services such as criminal justice and the NHS, further down the line.
“The forthcoming Spending Review needs to see significant and sustainable investment in public health, including a reversal of councils’ £700 million grant funding reductions since 2015, to keep providing the essential services which help people stay healthy and free of addiction.”
Notes to the editor
The LGA represents more than 330 councils of all types across England. We work on behalf of our members to support, promote and improve local government.
It is councils who had led communities through the COVID-19 crisis. Our recent polling shows that 71 per cent of residents trust their council and two thirds are satisfied with the way their local council runs things in their area. Our new discussion paper - Re-thinking Local - sets out how councils must now be empowered to locally-lead the COVID-19 recovery and tackle the economic, environmental and community challenges that we will face as a result of the pandemic.