Pennine Lancashire Consortium of local authorities: Year 3 Q1 update

Pennine Lancashire Consortium of Local Authorities plan to test planning powers to restrict food retailers that do not offer healthier options and test a range of levers to incentivise existing retailers to improve their offer, whilst supporting elected members and community grassroots movements.

The Childhood Obesity Trailblazer Programme is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care and administered by the Local Government Association. Public Health England also providing expert support and advice.


  • Hosted debut online conference aimed at planners on 28 September 2021; Planning for Healthy Food Environments’ Symposium toolkit to be developed following symposium
  • Sent out planners’ agreement for joint signatory from lead planner and lead member
  • Deep dive report completed
  • Two further virtual forum meetings with elected members held, bringing total to 13
  • Provided stipend to districts to design and deploy their own projects that support the trailblazer aims/objectives
  • Good engagement from new Steering Board co-chair, (Portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing)
  • Finalised renewal and rebrand of the Recipe 4 Health award (ran face-to-face consultation session with businesses and Young People in Blackburn with Darwen to develop branding) Recently held a takeaway masterclass, attended by local takeaway businesses, cafes and food caterers to promote the R4H award
  • Interim surveys sent out to District Leads, Planning Officers and Elected Members to gather feedback on what is working well/what is not and where the gaps are.


  • Concerns around economic regeneration for much of Pennine Lancashire due to pandemic
  • Still working on ratification of the Joint Planners Agreement due to differences in council sign-off structures
  • Difficulties in engaging some planning officers (most likely due to capacity)
  • The elections/summer break affected Elected Member engagement at Health and Wellbeing Board Forums
  • Difficult to progress policy working across Unitary, County and District Councils
  • Continued worry businesses will be risk averse to testing out adaptations to menus.


  • For political buy-in, brief senior teams as early in the project as possible
  • Being able to work face-to-face with young people allowed for meaningful partnerships/projects to be developed across Pennine Lancashire; crucial for project sustainability
  • Offering longer timescales to help engagement.

Next steps

  • Writing article on Deep Dive and submitting it to ‘Place and Health’ academic journal
  • Developing supporting toolkit following the Planning for Healthy Food Environments Symposium
  • Hosting a series of six 30-minute sessions for Elected Members termed ‘COVID-19 Recovery’
  • Elected Member Activity Challenge ‘Walk the Talk’ planned
  • Host ‘in person’ meeting of the steering board and wider stakeholders to showcase good practice
  • Recipe4Health:Takeaway Takeover’ project in BwD, voucher scheme to be tested in BwD and Pendle, Pendle R4H campaign, working with the Business Improvement District (BID) in BwD to engage and promote businesses
  • #GetsHangry campaigns: celebratory event, case studies, sharing toolkit
  • Meeting with UoL evaluation partner to review evaluation framework and further evaluation activity.