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Urban health

Why we’ll be at party conferences this year

23 September 2022
3 min read

We’ll be using our presence at the Labour and Conservative party conferences to ensure decision-makers understand the importance of safeguarding health during this economic crisis.

This will be Impact on Urban Health’s first year attending the political party conferences. Amidst a backdrop of considerable political upheaval, and with mounting cost-of-living pressures dominating the policy agenda, we couldn’t have chosen a more important conference season to engage with.

The party conferences are held each year in the Autumn, and offer the UK’s major political parties the opportunity to come together and discuss challenges, opportunities and future direction. Those conversations can often verge from the friendly to the forthright. The conferences also bring together a huge number of individuals, charities and businesses seeking, through events and meetings, to promote their own key areas of policy concern.

This year’s conferences are likely to be more subdued than usual. The Queen’s death and the national mourning period has placed politics on ice for the past fortnight, and has meant we know less than we might have done about the new Government’s plans and ambitions. And while the conferences are an opportunity to discuss every policy issue under the sun, this year the mounting cost-of-living crisis is casting a long shadow.

For Impact on Urban Health, the challenge of rising costs-of-living make our policy engagement this Autumn all the more important. We know that pressures on individuals and families are so severe in part because of the underlying inequalities that guide the issues we focus on. And we know also that, without coordinated intervention from policymakers and businesses, the cost-of-living crisis risks worsening health and wellbeing in our urban areas and beyond.

So we’ll be using our presence at the Labour and Conservative party conferences to ensure decision-makers understand the importance of safeguarding health during this economic crisis. It is vital we avoid already deep health inequalities worsening, with devastating impacts on families and communities. It’s also important because we know the economic growth both parties want to stimulate relies upon a healthy, resilient society. There can be no effective response to the cost-of-living crisis which does not put health at its heart.

We’ll also be using our platform at the conferences, and some of the events we’ll be running with partners new and old, to keep the spotlight on crucial issues of health equity which risk being overshadowed. That includes highlighting the importance of food environments which support children’s health – more important than ever as the Government considers rolling back some of the most hard fought and effective public health advances of the past decade. It also includes keeping policymakers focused on the enormous impacts of air pollution on individuals, our society and economy.


The events we are supporting in partnership are:

  • Where next for our broken food system? Tuesday 27th September, 10.30 – 12pm, Liverpool
  • A breath of fresh air, Sunday 2nd October, 2.45 – 4pm, Birmingham
  • The children of lockdown, Sunday 2nd October, 6 – 7.30pm, Birmingham
  • How will the Conservatives improve healthy life expectancy? Tuesday 4th October, 12 – 1pm, Birmingham

Get in touch

We’ll also, of course, be taking the opportunity to talk to old allies and new friends. If you or your organisation is attending the party conferences and would value a catch-up, please do let me know at

Get more of our work on health equity