Barking and Dagenham councillor angry over ‘inequality of health grants’

A councillor has hit out at the government for awarding larger public health grants to wealthier boroughs.

Cabinet member for health, Cllr Maureen Worby, welcomed a £12.9million grant for Barking and Dagenham for the financial year 2013/14 but said it came with a “sting in the tail”.

She added: “Our borough has some of the most acute health inequalities of any in the capital, yet boroughs such as Kensington and Chelsea –which would seem to have less intensive public health needs – have received more than we have.

“This is something that will need to be addressed as we move forward into the new regime.”

But Cllr Worby said the money, with the support of a “highly engaged health and wellbeing board”, would make a positive difference to the health of the borough’s population.

Under current plans, the authority will receive a further £14.2m from the government in 2014/15.

A Department of Health spokesman defended the amount awarded. He added: “London Borough of Barking and Dagenham will receive £12.9 million in 2013/14.

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“This represents a significant real terms increase in funding, which is well above the average increase.”