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District Action on Public Health

How district councils contribute towards the new health and wellbeing agenda in local government

With the return of public health to local government from April 2013, the sector will once again be at the forefront of the public health agenda. Local government has a rich history of delivering public health improvements dating back to before Victorian times. It was the outbreak of diseases such as cholera in the 19th century and subsequent provision of local drinking water and supplies, sewers, refuse collection and later housing and town planning that helped establish local government as a formal arm of constitutional government.

By returning public health as a statutory function of unitary and upper-tier local authorities, the reforms give a greater focus and strategic direction to the impact of local government’s contribution to the wider determinants of health, health improvement and health protection, and utilise the sector’s unique position at the centre of local communities.

In collaboration with the Char tered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), -the Char tered Institute of housing (CIH), and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) this District Councils’ Network (DCN) publication gives focus to the unique contribution districts will bring to the public health table. The DCN wants to ensure that districts play their par t at the hear t of the public health agenda in the coming years.