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.”
Does this spell regeneration? Or sell out?