The Role of Local Government in Promoting Wellbeing

Published on 1 January 2014

This report speaks to the heart of what local government is about: supporting a better life for people and helping to build resilient communities, now and over the longer term.

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 well-being is first and foremost a health issue to be dealt with by health professionals. We know that the factors underpinning well-being 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 well-being – 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 well-being of our communities. The report also addresses the question of how local government can begin to act on well-being at the population level and make the vision of ‘well-being for all’ a reality.

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


Publication details

Aked, J. Michaelson, J. and Steuer, N.