Teenage pregnancy rates in Blackpool on rise again

The teenage pregnancy rate in Blackpool has risen for the first time in the past four years, it was revealed.

Monday, 27th March 2017, 9:47 am
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 10:19 pm
Blackpool has topped the list for teenage pregnancies, statistics showed. Stock image

Some 108 girls between the ages of 15 and 17 conceived in 2015, the latest Office for National Statistics have showed.

In 2014, that figure was 95, in 2013 it was also 108, and in 2012 it was 112.

It means the town has the highest conception rate in England, with 43.8 girls out of every 1,000 falling pregnant.

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Hartlepool has been listed as having one of the highest rates for teenage pregnancy across England and Wales.

However, the conception rate for under-16s in the resort has continued to fall, from 61 in 2011/13 and 55 in 2012/14 to 52 in 2013/15.

And nationally, rates have fallen to their lowest level on record – to 21 per 1,000 girls.

Izzi Seccombe, chairwoman of the Local Government Association’s community and wellbeing board, said: “The government’s decision to make sex and relationships education compulsory in schools will help young people to develop healthy relationships, delay early pregnancy, and look after their sexual health.

“However, we are concerned that all this good work could be put at risk by the false economy of government cuts to councils’ public health funding, and that the drop in teenage conception rates will be even harder to sustain.

Hartlepool has been listed as having one of the highest rates for teenage pregnancy across England and Wales.

“Getting it right on teenage pregnancy will not only make a difference to individual lives, it will help narrow inequalities and reduce long-term demand on health and social care services.”

Blackpool Council has previously admitted teenage pregnancy has been an issue for some time, but said it had been working with youngsters around intervention and education, and 2014’s figure of 95 was the lowest in Blackpool since records began.

In 2015, 37 per cent of pregnant girls between 15 and 17 had an abortion, compared to 54 per cent over under-16s, statistics added.

Coun Graham Cain, Cabinet Secretary for Blackpool Council said: “The number of under 18s becoming pregnant has halved since 2003 and the general trend for teenage conceptions is falling – last year’s rates were the lowest in Blackpool since records began.

“This overall trend is down to the partnership work that takes place between the Council, NHS Blackpool and the voluntary sector.”

“Teenage pregnancy in Blackpool has been an issue for a long time but our close work with young people around intervention and education, particularly around helping them make informed choices with regards to their sexual health and contraceptive methods such as Long Acting Reversible Contraception, has helped to bring pregnancy rates down significantly.”