Pennine and Lancashire consortium of local authorities: Year 2 (July-October 2020) update

The Childhood Obesity Trailblazer Programme is funded by the Department and Health and Social Care and administered by the Local Government Association. Public Health England also providing expert support and advice. Pennine Lancashire Consortium of Local Authorities plan to test their planning powers to restrict food retailers that do not offer healthier options and to test a range of levers to incentivise them to improve their offer.


  • One bulletin has been shared with the subscription list and on social media
  • Instagram account has been set up
  • Good levels of interaction on Twitter

Elected Members/System Leadership

  • Two further successful virtual Health and Wellbeing Forum meetings with elected members from across the footprint
  • Online ‘Health and Wellbeing’ learning and development module has been finalised and is ready to be launched in the coming weeks. The district health and wellbeing infographics have also been completed and we now progressing with an ‘assets and opportunities’ version with input from district leads. The information for the ‘Healthy Weight’ learning and development module has been compiled and is now with the design team
  • In the process of developing an online password protected portal for the elected members to access. This will host the learning and development module as well as other supporting resources.


  • Deep dive work is very nearly complete
  • Continued to work with a public health colleague at Blackburn with Darwen Council to pull together the data for the planning evidence base. We are using MapInfo to overlay data and to provide districts with detailed information on childhood overweight/obesity and a variety of data including hot food takeaways and convenience stores, greenspace and opportunities for physical activity, and food growing
  • Have drafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will be an overarching approach to tackling obesity and improving health and wellbeing across the Pennine Lancashire footprint. The next step is to engage with planning leads for feedback, followed by Executive Boards and portfolio leads
  • Working closely with Pendle Borough Council (planning and policy leads) to support their local plan consultation. Funding has been allocated to develop a health and wellbeing video to support the consultation.

Recipe4Health/Business Incentives

  • Have gathered data from the pilot sites with the new menu analysis tool
  • Held a number of meetings with JustEat who have provided a list of businesses to engage with on the Recipe4Health scheme

Social Movement

  • The ‘Great Big Pan Challenge’ was a success, with a good level of social media engagement. This has been a useful tool to raise awareness of the Healthier Place Healthier Future programme
  • Have developed activity packs for those young people who have limited access to the internet. These have been distributed by a number of partners and will be analysed in due course
  • We have developed a number of online learning modules based on four key themes; 4-7 year olds, sugar and healthy swops; 8-12 year olds, food waste; 13-17 year olds, junk food marketing; and all ages, rubbish, plastic and the environment. These have been trialled by the holiday activity fund and we have sent a survey for feedback.
  • The activity packs and learning modules are free to download on the new Great Big Junk Food Debate webpage. This will be added to as resources are developed.
  • We are in the planning process to host a debate (probably virtually) on the Government’s plans to introduce a 9pm watershed on HFSS products. The aim is to get local (Northern) insight and a potential advocate.


  • There is a lot of scope for virtual engagement – with elected members, planners and communities
  • COVID-19 may present some opportunities for improved health and community cohesion moving forwards
  • Linking in with other programmes across Pennine Lancashire (Together an Active Future, Holiday Activity Fund, Blackburn with Darwen’s Food Resilience Alliance) has supported a number of the programme objectives
  • The planning white paper could have implications for the programme
  • The planning deep dive was a huge piece of work, made more difficult by different planning portals – some much more difficult to navigate than others.


  • Capacity continues to be an issue. The Project Officer has left their post. Limited capacity means we have been unable to do as much as we wanted to with the business engagement and social movement
  • The amount of time required to develop relationships with Elected Members continues to be more than first anticipate
  • Engagement varies between districts
  • Capacity in Councils due to the COVID-19 response will remain an issue for some time to come
  • Planning White Paper poses an issue around supporting Councils with Local Plan making and developing Supplementary Planning Documents to restrict A5s.  The deep dive will hopefully bring some evidence to support the need for planning restrictions and we will continue to watch and wait for the outcome of the consultation.