SHA Scotland contemporary motion
Reducing health inequalities locally
This conference recognises that health inequalities are a scourge on our country and no serious plan to tackle health inequalities in Scotland can ignore the pivotal role of local government.
Through their planning powers, management of transport and traffic systems, open public spaces, and leisure and cultural services, Councils can contribute to improving the quality of the built and social environment. They have powers to promote equality and wellbeing. They work in partnership with the NHS and other agencies, and community organisations to support public health by leading community planning. In short, they make a vital contribution to weaving the social fabric of their areas and seeking to create and sustain healthy places for people to be born, grow, live, work and age.
Conference welcomes the new SHA Scotland publication, 'Reducing Health Inequalities Locally', which sets out how councils can improve the health of their communities.
Conference also recognises that the ability of Scotland's councils to make a real difference is seriously constrained by the Scottish government's budget allocation in its Budget Bill. Cuts to local government place even greater burdens on our hard pressed NHS.
Conference therefore calls on Scottish Labour MSPs to continue to make the case for fair funding for local government based on the preventive spending benefits councils can deliver, and with a greater recognition of the distribution and burden associated with socioeconomic deprivation.
Conference also calls on Scottish Labour council groups to make tackling health inequalities central to the purpose of their councils.