The first Manifesto for Public Health has been developed by Directors of Public Health in the North West. The public health manifesto, “Top Ten for Number Ten”, will raise awareness of important public health issues, both nationally and in the North West. This document can be used as a constructive evidence-based aid to policy development locally and nationally in time for the development of cross party political manifestos ahead of the General Election in May 2015.
Not only will the document be used to help leaders from across the political spectrum to understand important public health priorities but it will be used locally to shape public health work in the North West now and for the future. Local members of the community, groups and local politicians are also being asked to get involved and put their name behind these priorities.
Abdul Razzaq, Chairman of the North West Directors of Public Health Group (NWDsPH) said, “We have a real chance now to help our political leaders understand and make plans to tackle these important public health issues, issues that really affect every one of us in the North West.
“But, we aren’t only asking politicians in the Capital to read and sign up to this document, all of us within our communities; individuals, groups and our local politicians, now have the chance to help us have an impact on the public health agenda locally and nationally. Hopefully the information and quite frankly, startling statistics, should result in some interesting conversations starting.”
The public health manifesto contains the ten highest priorities as identified by the North West Directors of Public Health, supported by a summary of the evidence around each issue. “Top Ten for Number Ten” includes priorities that look at the whole public health spectrum, from food packaging and marketing to children to raising the living wage and tackling personal debt. The full list of ten priorities can be seen here:
- Introduce a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol to tackle alcohol related harm
- Introduce a sugar sweetened beverage duty at 20p per litre to reduce poor dental health, obesity and related conditions
- Commit to the eradication of childhood poverty to meet targets set by the Child Poverty Act 2010
- Work with employers to increase payment of the living wage to benefit both businesses and employees, and introduce a higher minimum wage
- Ban the marketing on television of foods high in fat, sugar and salt before 9pm to reduce children’s exposure to unhealthy food advertising
- Implement the recommendations contained within the “1001 critical days” cross party report to ensure all babies have the best possible start in life
- Implement tougher regulation of pay day loan companies to prevent people ending up with unmanageable debts
- Require all schools to provide a minimum of one hour of physical activity to all pupils every day in line with UK physical activity guidelines for 5-18 year olds
- Introduce policies to encourage active travel and use of public transport to increase physical activity, reduce emissions, increase road safety and reduce pollution
- Require compulsory standardised front of pack labelling for all pre-packaged food and beverages (including alcohol)
Abdul Razzaq continued, “We know these are tough challenges but we cannot ignore them, or let this chance to raise awareness with our political leaders pass us by. We really need the public, local groups and our local politicians to get behind these priorities and help us make changes needed to make a difference. .”
‘Top Ten for Number Ten’: A Public Health Manifesto is being launched on 1 July 2014 at the Festival of Public Health UK hosted by Manchester University.
Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health in Knowsley, added “By identifying our top ten issues and working in collaboration at the highest level to address them will help us to deliver our priority of improving the health and wellbeing of our residents. I look forward to progressing them and I am confident that this will result in a range of benefits for our local communities.”
The Manifesto is available to download at the following website, where people can also sign up to support the priorities; http://phlive.org.uk/phmanifesto