Blackpool Council hopes £10m investment will improve wellbeing after resort is named 'unhealthiest place in England'

Is Blackpool really the unhealthiest place England? The town ranked dead last according to the first official national health index

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 3:45 pm
Can Blackpool throw off its dishonorable new title in the upcoming year?

Coun Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said the authority was 'well aware of the health challenges facing residents' following the publication of the report on Sunday, and has promised that a £10m investment in child and adult social care will go towards improving the wellbeing of local people.

Blackpool received a score of just 86 - the lowest in the country - while Wokingham in Berkshire was named the healthiest place in the country with a score of 110. The Lancashire County Council authority area was 82nd on the list, with an overall score of 99.

The scores, collected by the Office for National Statistics and financial services company Lane Clark & Peacock, were found by combining different health factors in every area such as dementia, cancer, alcohol misuse and adult obesity.

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Coun Williams said: "We are well aware of the health challenges facing our residents and are committed to ensuring that we bring about sustained changes to make a real impact on their quality of life.

“This research has been carried out to enable politicians and decision makers across government to see the impact their policies have on the health of the population. The policies and funding allocation from every department whether that be housing, transport or education can all impact of the health and well-being of our residents. I hope the regional inequalities that the research has highlighted encourages the Government to change the way they approach their decision-making.

“Our 2021/22 budget will see a £10m investment in children’s and adult social care to protect and improve services that are there to enhance people’s life chances.

"As a council, we are continuing to drive economic regeneration though a number of development plans which will create more jobs and result in a better Blackpool to work and live in. The My Blackpool Home programme and selective licensing policies are two examples of schemes which aim to improve the standards of homes and neighbourhoods which we know play a crucial role in both physical and mental health.

"The NSPCC-led Better Start programme continues to support children so that they can enjoy a healthy development in preparation for life in school. Our work in building community resilience through programmes such as Blackpool Headstart, as well as supporting organisations such as Empowerment and Fulfilling Lives, aims to assist those with complex or additional needs as well as anyone who feels they are lacking the support they need in life.

"We also continue to promote obesity awareness and were the first place to make a Local Authority Declaration on Healthy Weight. In terms of tackling addiction, our Smokefree and Drink Less services offer free, tailored support for anyone who needs it.  Empowerment and Fulfilling Lives, aims to assist those with complex or additional needs as well as anyone who feels they are lacking the support they need in life. These organisations are at the heart of our new ADDER programme, which aims to put the person facing multiple disadvantage at the centre of a multidisciplinary team response, taking the services and support they need to the individual.

"These are just some examples of how we are trying to support our residents and improve their health.”