Crompton Liberal Democrat Councillor Diane Williamson will be proposing a motion to the next full meeting of Oldham Council (Wednesday 28 March) calling for Oldham Council to prohibit new hot food takeaways within 400 metres of schools and is appealing to the Borough’s schools to apply a ‘stay-on-site’ policy at lunchtimes and ban takeaway deliveries to school gates.
In October 2017, the medical journal, The Lancet, reported that one in every ten young people, aged 5 to 19, in the UK was classed as obese. In Oldham, the situation is even worse. The Public Health England profile for the Borough, published July 2017, reported that one in five, 21.9%, of children at Year 6 were classed as obese.
Commenting, Councillor Williamson said: “Childhood obesity has risen to epic proportions and, if it is not addressed, it will mean future generations will be faced with massive health problems. Obesity into adulthood leads to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes and certain cancers. The national picture is bad, but the Oldham one is worse; the Government needs to take urgent action, but as a Council we also need to take action as well.”
“Takeaway food is usually junk food; it may often be tasty but it is also unhealthy. It piles on the calories and is a major contributor to childhood obesity. The Oldham Liberal Democrats are therefore suggesting that the Council looks at imposing a ban on granting planning permission to any new takeaways within 400 metres of a school. At least twenty two other Councils have done the same.”
The motion is being seconded by fellow Liberal Democrat Crompton Councillor Julia Turner: “Deliveries on takeaway foods to schools are also an unacknowledged problem. In June 2016, the Royal Society for Public Health called for a ban on these deliveries after it found in a survey with young people that half had ordered fast food on their smartphone and a quarter had paid for these deliveries at the school gates.”
“The School Meals Service in Oldham is outstanding and produces delicious and nutritious meals every day that I hope every child would want to eat. The Oldham Liberal Democrats are calling upon every one of our Borough’s schools to help us combat child obesity by banning school gate deliveries and by enforcing a ‘stay-on-site’ policy on pupils at lunchtimes.”