Future of LHIB (1)

MQT on 2013-01-30
Session date: 
January 30, 2013
Question By: 
Onkar Sahota
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Given that the LHIB has no statutory powers how does the Mayor intend to deliver on improving public health as part of his duty to tackle health inequalities?


Answer for Future of LHIB (1)

Answer for Future of LHIB (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Onkar, I have to be honest with you; this is an area of constant frustration to me. If you compare London to New York we could be doing so much more on this - and we will - but we do not have the budgets. I do not have NHS money. I would like to be able to have proper - and I say this as a libertarian Conservative - I would like to have proper campaigns against childhood obesity, I would like to have proper campaigns on cancer and on alcohol abuse. I think that would be a really good thing for us to do as a city. It is extremely annoying that we do not have the statutory power or the budgets to do so. I am trying to rectify that matter. If you are willing to help and support in that then obviously that would be much appreciated.

Onkar Sahota (AM): Mr Mayor, I agree with you that you have been let down by the Conservative Government, you have not been given statutory powers, but you still have a duty to reduce inequalities. This morning I have been listening to all the frustrations you are experiencing in being an objective assessor of the impact of the changes. You have said you have not got the resources to do it. So how are you going to address this issue?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): By what you suggest is the way forward; LHIB needs to be put on a statutory footing. We need to reverse that mistake and we need to get a budget. We are looking at particular sources for that funding.

Onkar Sahota (AM): I know, Mr Mayor, that you do not have education in your remit but you are putting £500,000 into the academies' programme. Are you prepared to put money into this aspect of undertaking your duties?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): We have got to do it with the boroughs. The boroughs are critical to this. What I wanted was to build up a coalition with the boroughs and to do it jointly. Because of the decision that was taken not to have LHIB on a statutory footing it is more difficult. We are looking at alternative sources of funding and try to leave it there.

Onkar Sahota (AM): I know that London Councils have put a proposal to you, Mr Mayor, for a Health Board, but I think that should be funded by you. Are you prepared to fund it?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Yes, but we need to get some dosh from somewhere.

Onkar Sahota (AM): I am giving you the opportunity here to come out --

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Do you have the money?

Onkar Sahota (AM): This is something you recognise as important. You have a proposal on the table. You have put £500,000 into the education. Can you --

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): £500,000 does not butter many parsnips -- not that you should butter parsnips by the way if you worried about your health.

Onkar Sahota (AM): Certainly this is an area where you could money into it to show leadership, that this is something of concern to you. Are you prepared to fund it in conjunction with London Councils?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Yes, but we need to find the dosh, and we are working on that now.