Milton Keynes Council hopes to ban takeaways near schools

editorial image

Takeaways and fast food eaterys could no longer be able to open in MK if they are ‘a five minute walk’ from a primary or secondary school.

The Labour administration has outlined the ‘exclusion zones’ in a recent development plan, which will go before cabinet on February 21.

Cllr Hannah O'Neill

Cllr Hannah O'Neill

This comes just days after Conservative leader Edith Bald criticised council bosses for withdrawing vital health funding to tackle child obesity,

If the plan, penned by current councillors, is approved, it will be submitted to the Secretary of State next year and the new rule implemented.

Also included in the report are the general statistics of overweight children in the area.

SEE MORE: Milton Keynes Council withdraws ‘vital’ funding which tackles child obesity

The latest data reveals that one in three (almost 34 per cent) of Year 6 children (aged 10-11) who attend school in MK are overweight or obese.

According to the report, ‘obesity for this age range in Milton Keynes has been rising steadily over the last three years’.

In reception (aged four to five) 22 per cent of Milton Keynes children are overweight or obese, a slight reduction since 2010.

Earlier this week, funding was removed from the Sport MK initiative, which works to improve opportunities for children in the city.

Commenting on this, Conservative Councillor Edith Bald said: “Tackling obesity is one of the top priorities for public health in MK, so I’m amazed to see the council cancel this project.

“Obesity is clearly a challenge across the country and it is right we try to tackle it head on through investing in better understanding and provide activities for children. Prevention is by far the best option that’s why intervention and a young age is vital.”

However deputy leader of the council Hannah O’Neill, said: “Our MK Council health priorities are investing in preventative services, mental health and sexual health, but ultimately the cut to the obesity service is a direct result of a reduction in our funding to provide these services.

“Milton Keynes Council is facing unprecedented cuts from central government, and public health is no different. 
“The grant we receive for Public Health services has fallen by nearly 11 per cent, yet despite this the reduction of 5 per cent to the obesity service contract is still well below the overall cut, and the service will continue.”

Learn more about Plan:MK here.