York councillor says council not advertising chocolate is "nannying"

A Liberal Democrat councillor has criticised the City of York Council for not advertising chocolate products on bus shelters.

Coun Darryl Smalley said the City of York Council is “nannying” by developing an advertising policy to restrict high fat, salt or sugar adverts being displayed across the city.

The council has defended the policy, which is set to be formally agreed at the executive meeting on April 18, saying children can be susceptible to this kind of advertising.

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“The City of York Council needs all the cash it can get,” Coun Smalley posted on X.

Darryl Smalley says the council should allow adverts of sugary foods on its billboardsDarryl Smalley says the council should allow adverts of sugary foods on its billboards
Darryl Smalley says the council should allow adverts of sugary foods on its billboards

“I couldn’t care less if Twix’s are advertised on bus shelters and the City of York Council surely has better things to do than further complicate contacts with this nannying.”

Before the end of the current bus shelter advertising contract, the council conducted an independent market appraisal to understand the value of place-based advertising across the city.

According to council officers, the market appraisal provided “sufficient information” for the council to negotiate a new 15-year, plus a one-year option to extend, concession contract with its incumbent partner, J C Decaux UK Limited.

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Coun Jo Coles, executive member for health, said: “As a council we want to reduce our health inequalities, including ensuring health is factored into all our policies and the decisions we make.

“We know that children are particularly susceptible to food advertising and that currently over 50 per cent of the calories they consume come from ultra-processed food.

“This report is about the council using the limited powers we have to swap out unhealthy food ads for healthy ones.”

Peter Roderick, director of public health at City of York Council, said: “The number of children living with an unhealthy weight has been increasing in York and nationally.

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“Approximately one in four reception-aged children, one in three year-six children and two in three adults in York are not living with a healthy weight.

“Changing our advertising policy is another significant step in the right direction to helping support families and young people and reinforces all the positive work we’re doing across the city to improve children’s nutrition.”

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