Local Government Lib Dems lobby Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister on Health Bill
Cllr Richard Kemp, LGA Lib Dem Group leader, and Portsmouth City Council and Deputy Group Leader Leader Gerald Vernon Jackson have met with Nick Clegg and Paul Burstow following the announcement that the Government will allow more time for consultation over the Health and Social Care Bill."We welcome the extra period for consultation and for local government there are some great opportunities in the Bill", Cllr Kemp said. "We made three key points when we met with Nick and then with Paul". "First that the transfer of public health and the wider involvement for local government represents a step forward for more local decision making over health services and we strongly welcome this. "Second, that diversity in the Health Service does not have to mean privatisation or private sector providers - for instance social enterprises can have a key role to play. "Third, the strategic role of local authorities covers a wide range of public services ranging from housing to licensing policy. All these areas have an impact on people's health and this is another reason why the Health and Well Being Boards which include councillors must have the power to sign off plans before they are implemented by the GP commissioning consortia so there is clear local democratic influence" "What is clear though is that a strong locally accountable health service is crucial if we are to give local people a real say over their health services"