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diane abbott

Local authorities to spend public health budget on road gritting and leisure services, says shadow health minister

Local authorities are set to spend ring-fenced public health  money on road gritting, environmental health and leisure services,  says shadow minister for public health, Diane Abbot, MP.

Speaking at a Smith Institute event at the House of Commons today, Ms Abbott, said she had written to local authorities to get their feedback on the health reforms and most had cited concerns over lack of clarity and uncertainty over how much public health money they would receive. Revised baselines and final allocations are expected to be distributed by the Department of Health in the next few weeks.

Describing health and wellbeing boards as ‘the glittering jewel in the crown of NHS reforms’ which Labour saw as the ‘right direction of travel’, Ms Abbott said the boards must be viewed in the bigger financial context.

She said: ‘In the context of the financial pressures and the uncertainty, the Government’s position about what we cut generally is the new localism.

‘If you ask

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