The role of local government in promoting wellbeing

Part of the Healthy Communities Programme

This report presents the findings of a project commissioned Local Government Improvement and Development and the National Mental Health Development Unit.

It aims to dispel a common misconception – that wellbeing is first and foremost a health issue to be dealt with by health professionals. We know that the factors underpinning wellbeing are largely social, not medical, in nature. So why do we rely on health practitioners alone to provide the solutions? Several of the most important levers for improving wellbeing – for example planning, transport, education, leisure, and housing – are instruments of local government.

This means that councils and the local partnerships they form have real power to affect change in the wellbeing of our communities. The report also addresses the question of how local government can begin to act on wellbeing at the population level and make the vision of wellbeing for all’ a reality.

It provides case studies of best practice from around the country, and shows how the aim of wellbeing fits with the Government’s Big Society vision.

Find out more here.



If you value great public services, protecting the planet and reducing inequality, please support NEF today.

Make a one-off donation

£5 £10 £25 £50 £100

Make a monthly donation

£3 £5 £10 £25 £100