PUBLIC health chiefs across the North West have adopted a "Top Ten" approach to raise awareness of important health issues.

The list includes priorities that look at the whole public health spectrum, from food packaging and marketing to raising the living wage; tackling personal debt to seeking a commitment to eradicate child poverty.

The first Manifesto for Public Health has been developed by the directors of public health in the North West with the aim of making an impact on the public health agenda across the UK.

It is published to help leaders across the political spectrum to understand important public health priorities.

It will also be used locally to shape public health work in the area both now and in the futures.

Abdul Razzaq, chairman of the North West Directors of Public Health Group, said: "We have a real chance now to help our political leaders understand and make plans to tackle these important public health issues, issues that really affect every one of us in the North West.

"But we aren't only asking politicians in the capital to read and sign up to this document.

"All of us within our communities; individuals, groups and our local politicians, now have the chance to help us have an impact on the public health agenda locally and nationally."

Listed among the top priorities are:

  • The introduction of a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol to tackle alcohol related harm.
  • Bringing in a sugar sweetened beverage duty at 20p per litre to reduce poor dental health, obesity and related conditions,
  • Working with employers to increase payment of the living wage to benefit both businesses and employees
  • Introducing a higher minimum wage and ban the marketing on television of foods high in fat, sugar and salt before 9pm to reduce children’s exposure to unhealthy food advertising.

Fiona Johnstone, Wirral's director of public health, said: "We welcome this first NW Manifesto for public health.

"Wirral Council is already moving on many of its recommendations, including support for a minimum unit price for alcohol, support for a minimum wage, and work to help eradicate child poverty and build aspiration.

"As a leading public health organisation, we support these recommendations, which can only have a positive effect on people’s health."