Facing the big challenges for public health
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden joined Shadow Health Minister Sharon Hodgson to talk about the ‘big challenges’ facing the town - including drug use, smoking, and funding cuts.
They met Blackpool Council’s director of public health, Dr Arif Rajpura, and his team for a presentation on the ‘stark inequalities’ between Blackpool and other local authorities, including a spike in deaths of young people and reduced life expectancy compared to other areas.
They also discussed to drug and alcohol abuse , early years learning, mental health, HIV treatment and support, and smoking rates - particularly among pregnant women.
Mr Marsden said: “Since 2010 the number of deaths caused by drug misuse across the town has doubled. The £850 million in Tory Government cuts to Blackpool, combined with our high levels of transiency make this more difficult for the council, police and other agencies to get a grip on.”
Ms Hodgson added: “Blackpool has one of the highest rates of smoking in the country, so it is great to see the dedicated work taking place to try and reduce those high levels of smoking especially when taking into account public health budget cuts Blackpool has suffered.”