The leader of Bradford Council has criticised the £2.6m Government in-year cut to the district’s Public Health budget.
The district will see a reduction of 6.2 per cent in its pre-agreed budget as part of a £200m clawback from budgets across the country in Chancellor George Osborne’s spending review.
The cuts in Bradford are the equivalent of losing £4.87 per person in the district from the budget which is more than double the amount being lost in wealthy areas such as Windsor and Maidenhead, Wokingham and Surrey.
Having been announced after this year’s budget had been allocated, the reductions will be achieved by delaying or discontinuing spending plans for this year, restricting any new spending proposals and one-off savings from managing vacancies and non-recurrent funding from NHS England.
Coun David Green, Leader of Bradford Council said: “The Council has already allocated the whole of the £41.5m public health grant from the Government for this financial year.
“The Government announcing a mid year cut of £2.6m and their lack of clarity about the future of the public health grant is making it increasingly difficult to plan and deliver the vital public health services that some people rely on.
“The fact that every council has received the same 6.2% cut, from the wealthiest to the poorest areas, means that no account has been taken of a local population’s health needs or existing geographical health inequalities.”
Anita Parkin, Director of Public Health for Bradford Council said:
“We’re disappointed that we are being asked to cut budgets that have previously been agreed.”
“This will make our ability to tackle health inequalities across the district and achieve national targets even more challenging.
“Although substantial work has been undertaken to minimise the impact of the cut on the public health of the district, it is inevitable that this will have a detrimental impact on the services we are able to deliver.”