A local authority's public health boss had admitted there is 'a lot of work to do' to tackle rising rates of sexually transmitted infections in his borough.

Cllr Damian Talbot spoke out as Blackburn with Darwen Council's executive board approved a new Sexual Health Strategy for 2024 to 2028.

It showed that the borough's once sky-high figure for teenage pregnancies has dropped to below the national average, but the borough's abortion rate is above the national average, and the testing level for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the under-25s is below the percentage for the rest of the country.

The figures, in a report to the executive board on Thursday, also revealed worryingly low testing figures for chlamydia - one of the most common STIs.

They also revealed that in 2022, 143 cases of gonorrhoea were recorded in Blackburn with Darwen an increase of 88 on the year before when there were 55, and that in the same 12 months 23 syphilis cases were recorded – up from four in 2021.

Cllr Talbot said: "There is still a lot of work to do."

Conservative group leader Cllr John Slater said: "This is very important for young people and public health generally.

"The data is not going where it should do."

Cllr Talbot said the production of the new strategy had been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic but he hoped it would have a positive effect by promoting education, inclusivity and tackling stigma

He said many key figures were worse than the national average and promised Cllr Slater he would bring a report back to the executive board in 12 months time outlining its effectiveness.