12 surreylive.news NEWS & MAIL WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2020 YOUR VIEWS Letters Councils’ public health teams are working hard to continue to reduce smoking rates in their areas, alongside local charities and community groups, and these latest findings are a testament to their efforts. We need to continue to support people to give up smoking, both through the current crisis and beyond, if we are to save lives in the immediate and longer term. This includes reaching out to those most in need, including preventing children from taking up the habit and developing further health problems later in life, relieving pressure on other services such as the NHS, social care and welfare. Councils can help the government to achieve its ambition of eliminating smoking in England by 2030 through their tobacco control and other public health and support services, but need certainty over long-term funding to help do so. Antisocial behaviour has caused ‘living nightmare’ LIFE in social housing is becoming a living nightmare for some of its tenants as their peace is shattered, their property damaged or stolen, their sanity tested and, in many cases, their wellbeing threatened. With drug dealing and antisocial behaviour becoming a major problem on a daily basis, where is the help they were promised by their housing associations, and when will the police finally be given the power they need to deal with the offenders? According to social housing bosses, feeding and helping wildlife is antisocial, resulting in them issuing threatening letters to those who feed wildlife, and yet the drug dealing and antisocial behaviour it attracts goes unpunished. On contacting housing associations about these problems, their only answer is to ‘call the police’. So what happens then? The police visit but nothing changes, the guilty get a slap on the wrist and are told not to do it again. Even the police know they will be doing the same thing again and again. It’s scary when discarded needles are found where children play, when doors are bashed in during the early hours. Then there are the fights, the screaming of profanities and the sight of people relieving themselves in public. Children are subjected to seeing addicts passed out in gardens, to seeing laws broken without punishment. What impression does it make on the children? Will they grow up believing they can do exactly what they like, that drug taking is normal? Worse, will they think that antisocial behaviour will only result in them getting a new place to live? So often we are told these people are sick, so why aren’t they in assisted living or monitored? Drug dealing attracts very undesirable people who threaten, intimidate, mock and spit at people, knowing they will get away with it. On the occasions these people are moved on, they are given nice homes while the people who have to stay can’t even swap their house because of the bad reputation of the truly address this. It ultimately places the health of our children at serious risk. This pandemic has starkly highlighted the risks associated with obesity and places a renewed impetus on tackling this once and for all. Too many children are vulnerable and open to the added health risks associated with being obese. The analysis by Labour of the latest NHS figures highlights the incredibly poor attempt by the government to get a grip on this. It should be an urgent call to action which requires the adoption of urgent measures. This must include a comprehensive 9pm watershed on junk food advertising, mandatory labelling of food and drinks in out of home outlets and regulatory backing for UK-wide reformulation targets to reduce calorie, fat, saturated fat, salt and added sugar levels on products. It is also vital that we have a health and social care system that is capable of responding to the needs of overweight and obese children and adults. This includes support for local government to create healthier food environments and ensure public health services are adequately funded to support the needs of the population. Prevention is, of course, the best means of action and should go hand in hand with an overall approach looking at the wider health needs of the population, but we have a crisis now and therefore need immediate intervention. Cllr Paulette Hamilton, Vice-chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board The police visit but nothing changes, the guilty get a slap on the wrist and are told not to do it again. Thank you to Paul Farmer, who took this stunning picture of a red fox peering out of the undergrowth and posted it to the Surrey Live Flickr group DIY Dash for hospice needs colourful ideas North Camp resident WITH schools out for the summer, and lockdown having exhausted many parents’ ideas for keeping the kids entertained, how about signing up for Phyllis Tuckwell’s Dash of Colour – Do It Your Own Way, and choosing a colourful way to have fun and raise money for an important local charity? As coronavirus restrictions have prevented us from holding our usual Dash of Colour fun run, we’ve launched Dash-DIY, so you can choose your own way to take part. You could complete a fun run on your own, with members of your household or with friends at a social distance, and ask someone to throw our colourful powder paint over you before and after the run. Or if running is not your thing, you can simply choose something that is. You could hop, skip and jump your way round the route, or bounce it on a space hopper. Do a scavenger hunt and get sponsored for every colourful item you find, get groovy with a colourful danceathon, challenge friends to a bake-off with the most colourful cake winning, or hold a sponsored silence dressed in as many colours as you can. Everyone who takes part will be sent a Dash of Colour T-shirt and two sachets of paint to cover themselves with, and a medal once they have completed their challenge. You can set up a sponsor page online and every penny you raise will go towards helping us provide supportive and end of life care to local patients and families who are living with an advanced or terminal illness, such as cancer. To register, visit www.pth.org.uk/ dash-of-colour-diy. Registration costs £10 and you will be sent your T-shirt and powder paint sachets, as area left behind by the dealers and addicts. Isn’t it time laws were changed, action taken by the police and housing associations? When will those suffering the nightmare be given the same consideration and help that the dealers and their clients seem to enjoy? A North Camp resident, via email Care workers cannot be left out of pay rise IT is unacceptable for the government to sidestep the issue of social care workers’ pay with the announcement of a public sector pay rise that will not include them. Care workers have been a stalwart of the Covid-19 frontline; 24 hours a day, seven days a week our professional care home staff have continued to provide care under the most challenging circumstances. They – like their amazing colleagues in health – have done this with compassion, providing a lifeline for the most vulnerable in our communities. This has never been a lowskilled job and should never again be consigned as a low-paid role. We need the government to act now to ensure each and every care worker is recognised and rewarded for their extraordinary work. well as fundraising details. And don’t forget to share photos on our Facebook events page (www.facebook.com/PhyllisTuckwellHospice/ events) or tag us in on your own social media posts, using #DOCDIY! Fiona Chapman, Events fundraiser, Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care There is plenty of room for a greener mindset Prof Dame Parveen Kumar, British Medical Association board of science chairman WITH the Chancellor handing out £1 billion to reduce public sector building energy use, local sites are a poor example of reduction. Take a walk near the Hawley Training area Public Private Partnership and there is not a turbine or solar panel in sight, even though with huge roof space and large car parks, space is no problem here. As for the cycle path along Minley Road, more squirrels can be seen than cyclists and most employees here are locally based but most use a car judging by the queues. Further support vital to help kick the habit SMOKERS are at particular risk of Covid-19 and it is inspiring to see a million people have quit the habit for good since the pandemic began, according to a new report by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). It is also encouraging that we are seeing younger people giving up smoking earlier on in life, but this needs to be replicated across all age groups. Vic Rayner, National Care Forum It’s time to get a grip on childhood obesity THE childhood obesity crisis shows no signs of slowing due to the lack of inaction by the government to Keith Winkworth, via email PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY PRESSREADER PressReader.com +1 604 278 4604 . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW
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