Teenage pregnancy rates in Cheshire East are falling, according to new Government figures.
Statistics from the Office for National Statistics show that conceptions among 15 to 17-year-olds fell by 9.1 per cent between 1998 and 2008.
The rate of 34.5 conceptions per 1,000 girls is lower than the national average of 40.4.
Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “We are very encouraged by these figures, which show that Cheshire East has the third lowest teenage pregnancy rate in the North West. However, we know we need to do more.
“Reducing conceptions among under-18s is a key priority for Cheshire East Council and our partners in the Cheshire East Children’s Trust.
“We are working in line with the refreshed national Teenage Pregnancy Strategy to focus on strengthening the delivery of sex and relationship education in schools.
“We are placing a strong focus on equipping children and young people with the knowledge, skills and understanding to make informed choices in order to lead a healthy lifestyle, including their sexual health needs.
“Work is also underway to review and improve the access and delivery of sexual health services to teenagers.”
Lorraine Butcher, Cheshire East Council’s Head of Service for Children and Families, said: “This significant downward trend in teenage pregnancies is testament to the strong partnership working being undertaken in Cheshire East to address this important issue.
“Young people are at the heart of our planning and we have sought their views on the range of service provision that they currently access and need. While the rates are reducing we are aiming for the rate of reduction to increase in line with national targets”
Dr Heather Grimbaldston, Director of Public Health at Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust (PCT), said: “The Children’s Trust has prioritised this area as a key focus for improvement. I am confident that by working together the levels of teenage pregnancy in Cheshire East will reduce at an increasing rate over time.”
The Cheshire East Children’s Trust comprises Cheshire East Council, Central and Eastern Cheshire PCT, Connexions and schools’ representatives.