Pennine Lancashire consortium of local authorities: Year 2 Q4 update

Pennine Lancashire Consortium of Local Authorities plan to test planning powers to restrict food retailers that do not offer healthier options and test a range of levers to incentivise existing retailers to improve their offer, whilst supporting elected members and community grassroots movements.

The Childhood Obesity Trailblazer Programme is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care and administered by the Local Government Association. Public Health England also providing expert support and advice.



  • Final draft version of deep dive work complete and preparing to send to various planning and public health journals
  • Joint Planners Agreement to support adoption process once the project ends due to be signed off shortly. Received positive feedback from planning colleagues
  • Article written by Dr Alison Tedstone (Public Health England) and published in an August edition of a planning journal that references Pennine Lancs Trailblazer work - good profile raising for trailblazer work: 
  • Why the planning system and planners are critical to stop an increasingly obese nation during post-Covid-19 recovery
  • Worked with Pendle in production of video for their local plan consultation - highlights how Pendle will use their planning powers to support healthier spaces & childhood obesity agenda
  • Continue to work with Sustain and national colleagues on Joint Planners Agreement and on further ‘Planning for Healthy Food Environments’ symposium


  • Completed 5-week practical delivery programme with Rossendale Valley Leadership Academy students -looked at developing students’ knowledge around takeaway consumption, nutritional information, taught essential cooking skills to make healthier versions of takeaway meals at home
  • Pennine Lancs has surveyed businesses and carried out a consultation with young people to get their views/opinion on the rebrand, there is excitement about the rebrand. Currently looking at next steps – ‘soft’ launch planned for Oct and will have dedicated website space

Elected Members/System Leadership

  • Food Active hosting webinar on late summer to support councils in adoption of Healthy Weight Declaration within district councils - district leads and elected members invited to participate & share good practice
  • Pendle Council in process of developing elected member health and well-being champion role - will sit across PCN & local authority and include advocacy for H&W Healthy Weight Declaration. Pennine Lancashire  helped shape ‘job description’ for this and will use it as best practice example
  • Rossendale Borough Council now developing H&W strategy, recognising childhood obesity as key issue to be addressed. Trailblazer recognised in helping to push Health & Wellbeing agenda forward within Council
  • Elected Member meeting taking place in early September. Brief sent to members – discussion will focus on Trailblazer work and upcoming learning opportunities for members: 1. ‘Walk the talk’ is a project in partnership with Sport England that will launch in autumn and is an opportunity for Elected Members to increase their engagement with schools. Next steps to look at which schools to engage with and when to launch project. 2. Second activity members can look forward to are the 30 minute information sessions planned re  Covid  recovery to inform members and will take place every 6 weeks

Social movement

  • Face-to-face engagement in Burnley and Hyndburn taking place - #BurnleyGetsHangry sessions, run in partnership with Burnley Youth Theatre, run from Apr–Jul, ending with final performance on access to food/food poverty. Hyndburn sessions, run in partnership with Civic Arts Centre in Oswaldtwistle, run in the summer. Group developing mural on healthy food
  • Completed & printed children’s book ‘Max’s Not So Sweet Dream’ with aim to record a live reading of book in late summer
  • Paper to be written on social centre and behavioural changes. A blueprint of an upcoming campaign is ready and available on the website and the local authority wants it to be run around food poverty – plan to complete the work in the autumn.
  • Looking at further work with Healthy Living to collaborate with a group of college students to discuss the work that they have been involved in – it will be run as a food forum for young people who have been involved in the project. Currently have a project plan, finalising brief and drafting evaluation questions. Final report to be written following the work


  • Healthy food environment symposium to take place 28 September and attendees are a mix of local authorities elected members, planners, district leads, steering group members. A case study will be produced following the event.


  • Relationship between planning and public health being recognised more on a local level
  • Raising programme’s profile - in particular, the Healthy Weight Declaration, as a mechanism to support district wide commitment to healthy weight and health and well-being is a good opportunity to demonstrate how members can advocate for health and wellbeing locally and connect members to wider primary care networks and vice versa
  • Working in partnership with other programmes & council officers crucial to ensure project sustainability
  • Through trailblazer work, young people have found a voice around food issues - the aim is to maintain that and explore how young people can engage more with their elected members


  • Capacity due to changes in roles and budget restrictions
  • Lockdown prevented face-to-face meetings with local businesses. Zoom/Team fatigue can be an issue, making online engagement more difficult

Next steps

  • Sign off Joint Planners Agreement
  • Ask members their opinion on the best methods of engagement moving forward
  • Work towards R4H launch
  • Consider wider engagement with schools and madrassas
  • Discuss with Democratic Services how to embed trailblazer learnings into Council practice
  • Collaboration with University of Liverpool in developing Pennine Lancashire Evaluation – evaluation meeting scheduled to take place in October
  • Liaising with delivery support partner on the #gethangry campaign and the toolkit should be ready in the next month