The Forum continues the fight for fairer funding
Jo Churchill MP, the new Minister for Public Health (replacing Seema Kennedy, who has moved to the Home Office), found Enfield’s abysmal public health funding allocation at the top of her agenda when she took over the post.
Joan Ryan, Enfield North’s MP, had followed up the July Westminster Hall debate which confirmed that the current funding model is not fit for purpose.
Ms Churchill has now conceded the justice of our campaign saying: “We want local government funding to be decided in a fair, robust and evidence-based way, reflecting the most up-to-date evidence on councils’ relative needs and resources.”
Joan Ryan is now asking for clarification how this ambition is to be achieved. She has asked the new Minister, whose portfolio now includes prevention as well as public health and primary care, to meet her along with a deputation from our Enfield Over 50s Forum.
The aim would be to ensure that those areas like Enfield with the greatest need should receive the necessary resources – unlike this year’s £47 per head for Enfield compared with the London average of £73 and Kensington & Chelsea’s £130, Islington’s £103, Camden £100 and Haringey’s £69.
Meanwhile, the Forum is pressing for answers on how health prevention services in the borough can be expected to match those in boroughs we are twinned with and have more funding. And we are asking as an interim measure for the return of this year’s £446,000 cut in Enfield’s public health grant.