Thirty local authorities are taking part in a pilot project that aims to improve the conditions where people are born, grow, live and age.
The ‘Shaping Places for Healthier Lives’ scheme – which is being run jointly by the Local Government Association and the Health Foundation – aims to tackle health inequalities.
Councils will work with schools, businesses and charities to identify issues affecting health inequalities in their area, and work out what steps could be taken to improve mental and physical health.
The 30 councils will progress to the next round in January 2020, when they can work on developing their projects further with the help of LGA workshops. In April, 12 councils will be offered a grant to develop their proposal further, and a final five will be chosen in the summer to receive £100,000 a year for three years, funded by the Health Foundation.
“People’s health and wellbeing is affected by so much more than just what immediate health and care services are available in their area,” said Ian Hudspeth, chair of the LGA community wellbeing board.
“Other important issues which councils have a crucial role in, such as housing, skills, employment, transport and public spaces, all have a part to play in deciding our wider public health.
“If you live in good quality accommodation with convenient access to work, have the right skills to progress in life while being able to use your local leisure centre or public park, your chances of living a healthy and fulfilling life are much improved.”
Hudspeth said these opportunities should be available to everyone, and encouraged councils to apply and take part in the scheme.
Find out more about the scheme.