14 Feb 2017 Blackpool taking the declaration a step further
On the 2nd February over 20 representatives from organisations across Blackpool declared their commitment to promote healthy weight. The pledges were made at a Healthy Weight Summit organised and lead by Blackpool Council. The aim of the day was to encourage the public and voluntary sectors, schools and private businesses to develop their own healthy weight charters to tackle obesity.
In 2016, Blackpool Council was itself the first local authority in the country to sign Food Active’s Local Authority Declaration to commit the organisation to promoting healthy weight in the town.
The event was held at the Winter Gardens and attended by a range of organisations including: Food Active, Living Streets, Blackpool Transport, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Bispham Endowed COE Primary School, St John Vianney Catholic Primary School, Lancashire Constabulary and Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group.
Speakers, Emma Reed, Deputy Director, Department of Health provided the audience with an informative overview of national child obesity trends and issues, while Dr Arif Rajpura, Blackpool Council’s Director of Public Health outlined the case for action in Blackpool.
Cllr Graham Cain, Cabinet Secretary, said: “Obesity and its associated illnesses such as diabetes is a serious public health concern. We have been on our own journey to achieve the objectives that we set out last year and want to share our knowledge and experience with others.
“I am delighted by the overwhelming support demonstrated by the number of pledges made. The summit has been a tremendous success. There is a real desire to improve and protect the health of our communities. Working in partnership we can all make a difference.”
A year on from signing its own declaration, Blackpool Council has introduced the ‘Healthier Choices Award’ accreditation scheme for cafés, takeaways and other establishments. A new healthy lifestyle and weight programmes for children and families was launched last autumn, new healthier vending machine guidelines were rolled out across the council, and their GULP campaign (Give Up Loving Pop) will be relaunched in Spring 2017. The declaration will be evaluated in March to measure the success one year on.