Wrexham in North Wales is looking to follow nearby St Helens and ban new fast food outlets within 400 metres of schools or sixth form colleges. Council chiefs are set to vote on the plan, which would be enforced by local planning guidance, tomorrow (5 July). Hot food takeaway outlets would be affected but pubs and restaurants are specifically excluded. A report to the council’s executive board from Lawrence Isted, head of community wellbeing and development, who is heading the proposal, says one in four children aged eight or nine in the region are overweight or obese. “This problem is exacerbated by the proximity of our schools and low nutritional food.” He wants younger customers to be directed to the town centre and local shopping centres instead. The plan has already received positive response from bodies including the NHS-backed Public Health Wales and the local police community safety officer. However, one body, the Association Of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham, highlighted a “potential flaw”: many shopping areas in local villages are near schools, and banning new takeaways could hinder development. Last month St Helens Council in Merseyside adopted the so-called “no fry zone” policy, saying the measure was needed to help tackle an obesity problem in its constituency, where an estimated 20,000 people are overweight.