TEENAGE pregnancies in Halton are at their lowest ever rate, according to new Government statistics.

There has now been a 57 per cent reduction since 2007, when the number of schoolgirl mums in Runcorn and Widnes was at its highest.

The number of teenage conceptions for the first quarter of 2013 is 17, a 32 per cent reduction compared with the same period in 2012.

The figures are recorded by the Office for National Statistics.

The total number of teenage pregnancies for the whole of 2012, the last full year statistics are available, was 92.

Halton Clr Ged Philbin, board member for children, young people and families, said: "We have worked very hard to reduce this figure so this is great news.

“This is a reduction of almost 50 per cent in five years. So, clearly the schemes in operation in the area are having their desired effect.”

Dedicated young people's sexual health clinics have been provided in community venues.

Outreach sessions are delivered through an outreach bus as street-based teams target specific hotspot areas.

Holistic health drop-in sessions organised by Halton Youth Provision provide information and advice on reducing risk taking behaviour, such as sexual health and substance misuse.

Schools across Halton have been encouraged to introduce relationships and sex education. They have been offered support through the development of the ‘Healthitude and Teens and Toddlers programmes’.

Free emergency hormonal contraception is available from pharmacists across the borough.

Free sexual health awareness training has been provided by the Children Trust, to enable frontline staff to feel competent in talking to young people about positive relationships.