Smoking services in Reading will receive a £238k boost after being cut by 75% in April.

Both smoking cessation and weight management services will receive further funding this year after Reading Borough Council (RBC) considered partners’ feedback and dipped into its public health reserve.

The changes were approved at Monday night’s policy committee and do not impact on the total public health budget for 2018-19, agreed in April.

Councillor Graeme Hoskin, lead member for health and wellbeing, said the council has used a small amount of reserves and unspent money to keep the services going at a higher rate.

“We did not want to cut smoking services. I am pleased we have been able to re-allocate funds. Particularly the stop smoking service.

“I am incredibly angry when I see the chancellor posturing that austerity is at an end. There are going to be some further serious cuts to what we want to do for this town.”

The smoking cessation service budget dropped from £355,000 to £88,800 for the 2017/18 financial year.

It will now rise to £327,000 after RBC decided to add £238,200 from the public health reserve.

Funding for weight management services will now halve rather than be eliminated entirely.

Both are in-year changes; they will go immediately into this year’s budget: April 2018- March 2019.

Budgets for both services were revised after the council received feedback from partners West Berkshire CCG and Thames Valley Police.

The council plans to combine the total budget for smoking cessation and healthy weight support in the future.

The budget for health checks were slashed from £80,000 to £20,000 after performing above the national average.

Cllr Hoskin said the council wants to increase spending on health checks but must cut funding somewhere.

There is a reduction of £258,000 in the central grant from Public Health England for 2018-19, which means the council must consider what areas will be cut in the coming years.

A public consultation on proposals for future health spending will run from November 1, 2018 to January 6, 2019.

Cllr Hoskin said: “The consultation is about future years. The money we have to spend is falling. I am not happy about that, but we will have to make these tough decisions.”