Author Topic: Pot holes, bins, sexual health and contraception...  (Read 90 times)

Rhiannon

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Pot holes, bins, sexual health and contraception...
« on: October 19, 2018, 11:07:00 AM »
Why the actual fuck are local authorities now responsible for whether women can get contraception or not?

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/sep/06/sexual-health-care-cuts-stop-helping-survivors-fgm

Harrowby Hall

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Re: Pot holes, bins, sexual health and contraception...
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2018, 02:03:22 PM »
This is a product of a government system which is highly centralised.

In reality there is little local government in England - merely local administration. Local government organisations - county councils, unitary authorities, district councils etc operate under a system of powers and duties. A power is the ability to decide whether or not some activity can take place, a duty is an obligation to perform some activity.

A trivial example of a duty and a power might be demonstrated by refuse collection: the collection of domestic refuse is a task which a local authority has imposed on it be statute - it is a duty. On which day of the week a particular area receives its collection service is entirely at the discretion of the authority - it has the power to decide.

Local authorities have few real powers. They can decide whether markets take place or not and whether fairs can be held ... and similar. In most other instances the authorities are micro-managed by Whitehall.

Local authorities have the power to determine the local rate of Council Tax. However, much of the money required to provide local services is provided by the Treasury according to a formula. If the headline rate of the Council Tax is greater than a particular level then the money from the Treasury will be capped - probably together with a public admonishment for setting too high a Council Tax.

In this instance the motivation appears to be to reduce the level of central government spending - it will look good in the Budget speech. But providing contraception services is - politically - important. Solution: turn it into a local government duty and let local government authorities sort out out how to pay for it.

Where a service is rationally located is of no importance. It is the central government's bottom line that is important. Don't get me started on "academy" schools ...

Quote
Sexual health and contraception services are no longer funded by the NHS directly, but by local authorities a change that was implemented by the government in 2012. Due to planned cuts of 600mby 2021 to the UK public health budget, councils are now struggling to fund their local services, meaning we do not have the resources to provide the care our communities need
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 02:05:52 PM by Harrowby Hall »
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Rhiannon

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Re: Pot holes, bins, sexual health and contraception...
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2018, 02:43:27 PM »
Yes, the only reason for making local authorities responsible for funding contraception and sexual health services has to be to shift the spending off the NHS figures. But the consequences are going to be huge. I'm already hearing of women who can't get their implants and coils changed on time because the wait through local clinics is four or five months. There are health implications beyond getting pregnant - for example in someone nearing the menopause a return of periods can cause endometrial thickening which nearly always leads to a hysterectomy. A working coil or implant prevents this. My guess is that the costs to the NHS will rocket.

Humph Warden Bennett

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Re: Pot holes, bins, sexual health and contraception...
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2018, 03:17:55 PM »
Thank you for drawing this to our attention.

What occurs to me is that it is not impossible that some authorities will do what K & C Tories did after Grenfel, sending out a questionnaire asking residents if they approved of their money being spent on re cladding tower blocks. They would then use the results of the same so as to reduce spending on sexual health.