We’re not afraid to admit it. We were wrong. Malcolm Kennedy has played a blinder, and Project Jennifer is looking like, finally, it’s got its priorities right.

We never liked the ridiculous idea of a health centre, and considered the proposed library an affront to North Liverpool’s overflowing cultural offer – so we’re glad to confirm that they’re not getting either.

But what they are getting, we understand, is a shiny new drive-thru McDonalds.

Cllr Kennedy, we salute you.

North Liverpool is really, really keen to hold on to its record of having heart disease, obesity and diabetes levels amongst the highest in the country. And, with this bravura display of cunning, sir, you’ve secured a certain home win for this beleaguered community.

What’s even more audacious and brilliant about this development – taking shape, remember, where the Great Homer Street market traders were promised their new home at the heart of the scheme – is that it flies in the face of the Council’s ‘Eatright Liverpool’ promise – set up between them, the Primary Care Trust and John Moore’s University,

“The 2007 Liverpool Lifestyles survey identified that a third of those interviewed were overweight and 16% were obese,” the Council says in its own report, Taste For Health. “One in 10 of our children are obese when they start school and by the age of 10 this has risen to more than 1 in 5. Obesity is recognised as one of the biggest threats to health; all partners need to be innovative, to find new ways of collaborative working that will address unhealthy weight.”

This proposed new McDonalds? It’s the dictionary definition of innovative. It’s less than 90 seconds away from Notre Dame College, on Great Homer Street. Where children go.

“Taste for Health will contribute to the targets of reducing ill health, deaths from coronary heart disease and cancers and increasing life expectancy,” the Council says. “It will also contribute to an improvement in dental health and a reduction in childhood obesity.”

Well, that’s a good job – because Project Jennifer’s promised dentists’ isn’t happening either.

Eatright Liverpool was set up after nutritionists from LJMU analysed the contents of 300 fast food and take-away dishes and found staggeringly high levels of salt, saturated fats and calories.

Teenagers need 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. With one Big Mac meal and Coke, they’ll get 1,320 mg. That’s around 90% of their daily requirement in one hit.

Project Jennifer? It’s a bold new future – yes, it might be cut short for those who go on to develop coronary heart disease, but that’s a small price to pay, surely, for this brave and brilliant new vision for North Liverpool. Well done everyone.

For further reading, we draw your attention to this:

In 2010 Liverpool City Council, Liverpool PCT and local communities recognised Everton Park as a flagship site for change within the 2010 Year of Health and Wellbeing programme.

“The area surrounding Everton Park has some of the most extreme health and social inequalities in the country and is set to undergo immense change, providing opportunities for improved life chances for the residents of the area and surrounding North Liverpool area.”

Yeah. That.

Does this spell regeneration? Or sell out?

13 Responses to “North Liverpool: Stuff The Poor”

  1. global city

    The important point is that, clinic or not, this type of project was crap 30 years ago and never actually desirable. Sub-suburban retail park…and to think just how long this has taken to pull together!

  2. I think the pseudo outrage is pretty offensive to the local community. The subtext is: “They are poor people and must not be trusted to make their own food choices”. How patronising. But very Seven Streets.

  3. Great read and yet very sad,this is a poor area so i don’t know what Jim is on about maybe he works for the council,the title says it all, this is the last thing this area needs with no health centre but a drive through, now thats not regeneration

  4. You clearly missed the sarcasm – of course people can’t be trusted to make their own food choices – look around man – there’s rubbish like most of the chain fast food business – e.g pound bakery, Eat (S**t) 4 Less and the like seemingly popular with cheap poor food.. until people can be persuaded to change then nothing with improve – and that’s no thanks to PJ either.

  5. Nice opinion piece, but here’s a thought, maybe a bit more info about the project, response from the council and local people and history of the site. Then we’d have something more than a slightly patronising tirade against Macdonalds and fat children. just saying.

  6. To really change a community you need to change people’s economical situations, there are families in everton where generations have not worked since Thatcher closed down the docks. Job creation would help revatilise these areas far more than anything else.

  7. Why are you ‘just saying’ this? Does that mean you could have been saying anything really and your opinion is merely a bunch of words? Surely you have meaning behind what you are saying… you are not ‘just’ saying it?!

  8. absolutely disgusting and their thinking about shutting down everton park sports centre fuckin joke we need immigrants on this side of town just to get a bit of recognition

  9. Danyel J. Roberts

    The autism is strong in this one. Eddie, don’t take offhand colloquial phrases so literally… it doesn’t make you look clever, it just makes you look socially incompetent.

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