Haringey Council since 2013 responsible for improving health so they tax benefits make people hungry &demolish homes

8 April 2017


Yesterday on World Health Day and Taxpayers Against Poverty (TAP) published  9th and last blog of our series on Health Equality by Maddy Power a Phd Student at York University and Professors Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson of the Equality Trust - it is called "Food Bank Britain: who is responsible?".

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 Local authorities have, since 1 April 2013, been responsible for improving the health of their local population and for public health services. Councillors should therefore ask the following Councillor's questions and/or seek and publish the relevant information from the NHS? 

TAP blog 9 publishes national information (see below) which raises questions about how the council is performing those duties for all the people of the borough and in particular for the people of Northumberland Park, the most deprived ward of the borough. Also relevant is the unprecedented increase in mortality in England and Wales in 2015. 

  • How many people from the Northumberland Park Ward were admitted to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of malnutrition in 2010/11 and in 2014/15?
  • What percentage of people in the Northumberland Park ward are;

                      a) marginally food secure?
                      b) have very low food security?

  • What percentage of women in Nothumberland Park ward cannot afford to put food on the table?
  • What percentage of GPs in the borough serving the patients of the Northumberland Park ward have been asked to refer patients to a food bank in 2014/15 and 2015/16?
  • What percentage of babies in Northumberland Park ward were born low birthweight in 2010/11 and in 2015/16?
  • What was the mortality rate in Northumberland Park ward in 2010/11 and in 2015/16?
  • How is the council undertaking its responsibilities for improving the health of the people of Northumberland Park and in what way does the council think demolishing their homes will assist the council to improve the health of the people who live there?

Please note that the incomes of the poorest after housing costs in the UK are expected to reduce over next four years and the council continues to tax working age benefit incomes and ferociously to enforce the council tax with court costs, and bailiffs fees, regardless of the hunger that enforcement does cause.

With good wishes, 
Rev Paul Nicolson. 

TAP health equality campaign Blog 9.

Food Bank Britain: who is responsible? 
Madeleine Power, Richard Wilkinson, Kate Pickett:
University of York and Equality Trust

SUMMARY - see full text on TAP website

Amid the politics of austerity, the state is relinquishing its responsibility for preventing hunger.

  •  Being food secure means being sure of your ability to secure, at all times, enough food of sufficient quality and quantity to allow you to stay healthy and participate in society.
  • The rise from the 61,468 food parcels which were given out by the Trussell Trust  in 2010/11 to 1.1 million people in 2015-2016 does not reflect the number of people living with insufficient food in the UK today:
  • Food security figures released in the last week of March by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) show that 13 per cent of UK adults are only marginally food secure and that 8 per cent have low or very low food security.
  • In deprived areas, such as Bradford, we have found that 14 per cent of women with young children cannot afford to put food on the table.
  • Reduced entitlement, increased conditionality and the restructuring of and reduction in state-provided crisis support have pushed people to seek emergency help with food.
  • Difficulties include inappropriate sanctioning decisions, errors made in declaring people on Employment Support Allowance fit for work and, more generally, ineffective administration of welfare payments.
  • The survey of GPs has only been conducted for two years. 16 per centsaid they had been asked to refer patients to a food bank in the first year and 22 per cent in the second year.
  • 7366 people were admitted to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of malnutrition between August 2014 and July this year, compared with 4,883 cases in the same period from 2010 to 2011 – a rise of more than 50 per cent in just four years​.​