News from Unmesh Desai: Roman Road is named as one of the top ten unhealthiest in London
Roman Road in Tower Hamlets has been named as the 2nd unhealthiest high street in London in a new report published by the Royal Society of Public Health. Local London Assembly Member, Unmesh Desai AM, has responded by rallying for investment to be brought forward by the Government “to bring more libraries, leisure centres and healthy food outlets into the community and tackle local levels of inequality”.
The new research has revealed that streets with the most fast food shops, bookies and payday lenders are all concentrated in the poorest parts of the capital. In contrast, places that offer greater access to leisure centres, libraries and cafés tend to be inhabited by more affluent Londoners.
The report, which identifies both the top ten healthiest and unhealthiest high streets in the capital has shown that the former have an average deprivation score of 19.9, with the latter coming in with a rating of 26.9.
It also reveals the stark divides that exist within certain local communities, with boroughs such as Haringey, Brent and Havering having high streets listed at both ends of the healthy living scale.
To combat health inequalities in London, the Mayor proposes to use planning policy to limit the number of fast food outlets that be set up in any one area.
His draft London Plan will also set guidelines on the inclusion of green space and health and education facilities in any developments.
However, Mr Desai AM is now calling upon the Mayor to push for the more urgent introduction of regulations upon the numbers of payday lenders, fast food outlets, and betting shops that are allowed, on and around, local high streets.
Local London Assembly Member, Unmesh Desai AM, said:
“It is incredibly concerning that Roman Road has been named as one of the unhealthiest high streets in London.
“It is clear that we need robust regulation put in place to clamp down on the number fast food outlets and betting shops, whose presence can be incredibly harmful to the mental and physical health of local people.
“To tackle local health and social inequalities, it is also essential that public services such as health centres, libraries and skills providers are set up in our community where they are needed most.
“However, to achieve this, we need the Government to stick to their word, truly put an end to austerity and begin to properly invest in our grossly underfunded public services”.
Notes to editors
-The Royal Society of Public Health’s report on London’s unhealthiest high streets can be found here;
-The Mayor of London’s draft London Plan can be read here;
-Unmesh Desai is the London Assembly Member for Tower Hamlets
For more information please contact Labour Group Research Support Officer, Nick Wilson, on 020 7983 4401. Number not for publication.