MP: Close streets to allow play

Cars could be banned from certain residential roads to allow youngsters to play out in the street, a health minister has suggested.

Junior health minister Anne Milton proposed closing streets in certain areas to encourage youngsters to play safely outside in an effort to tackle childhood obesity.

She said she came across the idea during her recent visit to Colombia, where it has already been implemented successfully.

Ms Milton told MPs during a Westminster Hall debate: "On Sundays, they (the Columbians) close certain streets so that everybody can play in them. That is an outstanding idea.

"Before constituents email to complain about their streets closing, I should say that I accept it would not work everywhere. It could, however, work in some places."

Ms Milton said there needed to be a coordinated approach between Whitehall departments to tackling childhood obesity.

She added: "We have to facilitate and help more people to want to lose weight and stay at a healthy weight. The truth is that no single solution will make a difference; the issue is about using all the ideas raised in this debate to turn round the supertanker."

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