Health chief wants to cut takeaway numbers

Health chief wants to cut takeaway numbers. Photo credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire
Health chief wants to cut takeaway numbers. Photo credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire
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The number of takeaways should be limited in poor areas and where there is a problem with obese children, a county councillor said.

Coun Charles Edwards spoke after it was revealed Blackpool, which has some of the most deprived areas in England and an issue with childhood obesity, is the takeaway capital of England.

He said he “could not believe” there had been a 20 per cent hike in the number of takeaways in Lancashire from 2012-2016, and said: “I don’t think it’s unreasonable in [some] deprived areas to say, ‘We’ve got plenty now’.”

Coun Edwards, who is the authority’s health boss, wants to ban takeaways within 400m of high schools, refuse applications to open up shop in areas where more than 15 per cent of Year Six pupils and 10 per cent of reception youngsters are obese, and to lower the amount of eateries in deprived neighbourhoods.

Councils are allowed to limit the proliferation of certain types of outlet in order to create a healthier environment.

National guidelines, which were updated last year, encourage councils to promote access to healthy food and suggest planning authorities should have particular regard to the proximity of fast food outlets to locations where young people congregate.

In Blackpool, 21.1 per cent of Year Six children are obese, Public Health England figures revealed in February. In Wyre the figure drops to 16.8 per cent, and in Fylde it drops to 15.6 per cent.

Measures to tackle childhood obesity in Blackpool are making an impact with figures showing the number of 10 and 11-year-olds who are overweight has reduced.

A number of borough council campaigns, including a drive to cut fizzy drinks, were credited.