Wrexham school fast food ban plan unresolved

Reporter:

Andrew Boyd

A CONTROVERSIAL plan to ban takeaways outside schools remains unresolved.
Members of Wrexham Council’s executive committee deferred plans to introduce a 400 metre exclusion zone  outside schools.


The measure is designed to help tackle obesity in Wrexham county borough where a quarter of children aged eight and nine are deemed to be overweight or obese.

Nearly 60 per cent of schools in Wrexham county are located close to takeaways, a figure the council is keen to avoid getting any bigger.


Executive members debated the issue a day after planning committee members had voiced objections to the proposed development.


Laurence Isted, Wrexham Council’s head of community, well-being and development, said: “My advice would be the same I gave to the planning committee. This is a small first step.”


Cllr Mark Pritchard described the process as “flawed” and felt there would be nothing to stop youngsters going and buying similar items from shops.
He said: “How can we stop them? We can’t stop them.”


Cllr Pritchard also said he believed mobile vans would still be able to come along and serve children, but Mr Isted said they would also be covered by legislation.


Another critic was Cllr Bob Dutton who said the planning committee had taken the right stance in not supporting the policy and felt Wrexham Council was being expected to make a decision that should have been made by the Welsh Government. “I think this should be a national policy and not left to the local authorities to deal with.”


Other members favoured taking a more considered approach to the options, recognising the steps being taken by the council towards tackling obesity.


Cllr Joan Lowe said: “Shouldn’t we as a council be giving guidance to people that we are concerned about our young people and all the population?”

See full story in the Leader

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