TWO York councillors have welcomed increases in the Government funding the city will receive for its new public health duties.

City of York Council will take the lead on improving local health from April and will receive £6.64 million – £33 per person – from Westminster in the first year of the new system, with the original £6 million allocation having been increased by a ten per cent “uplift”.

Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, cabinet member for health, housing and adult social services, claimed last week the funding was not enough, although the council's director of public health, Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, said he was pleased by the ten per cent increases for 2013/14 and 2014/15 and they would allow “some modest investment”.

Strensall councillor Paul Doughty, vice-chair of the council's health scrutiny committee, said the uplifts were “great news” and meant York would benefit “significantly above inflation”.

He said: “It gives the council real opportunities to target additional funding to the city’s most vulnerable residents.”

Coun Sian Wiseman, a former nurse who is also a Strensall councillor and a member of York’s new health and wellbeing board, said: “This represents real investment at a local level and will not only allow improvements in statutory care, but also a greater emphasis on commissioning services and action to specifically deal with circumstances which affect our health.”