Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, responds to a RSPH report on improving the street environment to help tackle childhood obesity.
“We urgently need to take action to tackle childhood obesity and councils are playing their part, but need stronger planning powers to help deal with this epidemic.
“The majority of councils have adopted policies designed to set curbs on fast food outlets, but current legislation means they lack planning powers to tackle the clustering of existing takeaways already open. Extra powers would also help them to control junk food advertising near schools, nurseries and children’s centres to beat the child obesity crisis, across all billboards, along with a strengthening of advertising standards.
“Councils appreciate that a flourishing hospitality sector in our towns and cities is good for local economies and where they have introduced restrictions on takeaways are working with businesses to help create healthier menus for their customers. This has to be part of a joined-up approach to addressing health inequalities in our communities and transforming our local food environments.”