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Government awards Havering £10,000 to tackle childhood obesity

PUBLISHED: 12:06 30 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:47 30 January 2019

Havering has been awarded £10,000 to tackle childhood obesity. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA

Havering has been awarded £10,000 to tackle childhood obesity. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Havering has received £10,000 to develop innovative plans to reduce childhood obesity that can then be shared across the country.

The government is working with 13 local authorities, including Havering, to develop plans to tackle the problem of overweight children.

In spring 2020, five successful authorities will be selected to take their plans forward over three years and will be given expert advice and £100,000 a year to help them realise their plans.

Councillor Jason Frost, Havering’s cabinet member for health and adult care services, said: “Tackling childhood obesity is a priority for the borough. We have already successfully introduced innovative programmes through Veggie Run, England’s first council-created app to promote healthy eating to schoolchildren.

“Now, as part of the trailblazer programme we have been given £10,000 to take part in the 12-week research stage to continue our fight against obesity.

“We’ll be getting residents and local businesses to look at the food and drink environment and asking them to help shape plans to tackle the issue. If successful, we could be one of five final councils awarded up to £100,000 per year, for three years, to carry our proposal into implementation.

“This is another example of the council’s commitment to ensuring young people in Havering have the healthiest and best start in life.”

The programme will focus on inequalities and aims to share learning and best practices, consider further actions that government can take to support local action and achieve large-scale changes and test the limits of existing powers through innovative and determined action to tackle childhood obesity.

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “This three-year trailblazer programme, managed by the LGA and funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, will see councils take the lead in developing new and innovative projects to tackle this epidemic at a local level, making a real difference in their communities.

“No child should be at a disadvantage in life because of where they are from and this programme aims to support councils to reduce this gap, with a view to preventing children from becoming obese in the first place and able to live healthy and fulfilling lives.”

Steve Brine, public health minister, added: “We know that when it comes to improving the health of local communities, local leaders are the real experts.

“We need innovation, ambition and passion to tackle childhood obesity, particularly in deprived areas, where children are more than twice as likely to be an unhealthy weight.

“They have the potential to not only improve the health of children in their own communities but across the country by helping us to shape future policy on childhood obesity.”

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