Archive for January 28th, 2011

Crawley MP Supports Chewing Gum Campaign

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Crawley MP Supports Chewing Gum Campaign

Henry Smith has today shown his appreciation for the advertising campaign undertaken by the Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG) who are helping to raise awareness surrounding the detrimental environmental and financial consequences which arise from the dropping of gum in public areas.

Having previously worked hard as Leader of West Sussex County Council to raise awareness of the problems associated with this kind of anti-social littering, Henry Smith explained, “Each year councils in Britain spend approximately £150 million on cleaning gum from the streets. Last year Crawley was chosen along with nine other local authorities across the country to test-case the benefits associated with such advertising and, thanks to a positive advertising campaign on the part of CGAG, as a result Crawley saw a 37 percent decline in chewing gum refuse in and around town.”

Henry continued, “Despite this, the costs associated to jet washing which is used to clean up street stains and gum, the principle remit being gum removal, still equated to £16,800 which is simply inexcusable, particularly when there are over 350 council bins spread out across Crawley. As a Crawley resident, I want to see the area free from chewing gum stains and, from a number of letters I have received from concerned residents, I am aware that the majority of residents would agree it is an eyesore that must continue to be addressed and I hope that the advertising campaign will continue to be a success.”

CGAG is a joint initiative established to educate gum-chewers about the irresponsible disposal of chewing gum. Chaired by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), High profile representatives from the chewing gum industry have aligned together to help raise awareness on the matter.

Members of CGAG include Keep Britain Tidy, the Local Government Association and the Chartered Institution of Waste Management, with 2011 marking the fourth consecutive year that the Group has run its awareness drive to promote consumer responsibility.

Graham Rowe, Crawley Borough Council’s Street Scene, Waste & Recycling Manager, commented, “I would remind residents that dropping chewing gum on the floor is anti-social, costing a lot of money to clean up and that people can be fined if they are caught so please do remember to use the bins provided.”

If you would like further information about CGAG and its annual initiatives, check out their website at http://www.chewinggumactiongroup.org.uk/.

Follow Henry daily on Facebook by visiting: www.facebook.com/henrysmithmp

Better cycle connections for Crawley

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Better cycle connections for Crawley

The journey has just got easier for cyclists wanting to travel between Crawley town centre, Manor Royal and Three Bridges.

Two separate routes – between Manor Royal and the town centre and Manor Royal and Three Bridges – are now clearly signed, giving cyclists a direct and convenient route.

West Sussex County Council worked in partnership with Crawley Borough Council and the  to identify the best routes.

It’s hoped the schemes will encourage more people to use a bike for journeys rather than the car.

The County Council’s Cycling Champion, Derek Whittington, said: “This is a real boost for cyclists. I hope the routes will be well used by people commuting to work or travelling into the town centre.”

Councillor Claire Denman, Crawley Borough Council Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development said: “These are important routes for cyclists travelling to work in Manor Royal and hopefully the clearer signs will encourage more people to get on their bikes and leave their cars at home.”

A further route from Manor Royal to Three Bridges via St Mary’s Drive is also due to be worked on in March.

Still time to have your say on adults’ services proposals

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Still time to have your say on adults’ services proposals

A consultation into proposals which could mean changes to the way West Sussex County Council decides who receives adult social care is due to close next month.

The proposals would mean that the County Council would no longer provide for moderate level needs – focussing on substantial and critical level needs only.

People are being urged to have their say before the consultation closes on Thursday February 3.

Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services Peter Catchpole said: “We’re keen to hear from as many people as possible during the consultation.

“The proposals would bring the County Council in line with more than three quarters of English councils who meet substantial and critical, or critical needs only, including our neighbouring authorities.

“We estimate that around 4,500 of our current clients have at least one moderate need. However, the vast majority of those will also have some substantial or critical need and it is only the moderate needs that will be affected.”

The County Council is facing severe budget pressures like many other local authorities, and is having to save £79 million over the next three years.

The proposals aim to save £4.3 million. There will be additional investment in the voluntary sector, to help fund community development and services that deliver health and wellbeing activities, such as luncheon clubs and gentle exercise or craft classes. A total of £750,000 will be earmarked, with more funding after that.

Peter explained: “We are also developing a short term support model to promote independence, to help support those with moderate to substantial needs.

“I would like to reassure residents that if the proposals went ahead, no services would be removed until a full reassessment has taken place, and alternative arrangements considered.”

To get involved, visit the West Sussex County Council website at www.westsussex.gov.uk/haveyoursay and complete the online questionnaire.

The questionnaire and accompanying booklet explaining the proposals can also be sent through the post – contact 01243 642555 or email socialcare@westsussex.gov.uk.

Schools urged to showcase life saving skills

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Schools urged to showcase life saving skills

Schools in Sussex are being urged to come forward to take part in a national schools first aid competition – and help equip the next generation with invaluable skills.

The St John Ambulance National Schools’ First Aid Competition encourages school teams to battle it out for the title by carrying out first aid in a variety of real life settings.

The contest – held in regional rounds followed by a national competition in London in June 2011 – tests youngsters’ first aid knowledge, treatment and teamwork.

The search is now on for more schools first aid teams to take part. Teams of four plus a reserve can enter junior and senior categories and take part in regional heats to be held in Horsham on 5 and 6 May 2011. If successful in the regional round they then go through to the national final, which takes place at the Natural History Museum in London on 29 June. Teams must have completed levels from the St John Ambulance Young First Aider course and need to have entered by 28 February.

Elaine Howlings, responsible for schools training at St John Ambulance, said: ‘First aid improves self-esteem, develops confidence and fosters a sense of belonging and service. Nearly 7 out of 10 pupils said they wouldn’t know what to do if someone they knew was hurt, yet 72% of these children would like to learn first aid and 83% said they would feel more confident helping those around them if they were taught first aid. We would urge as many schools as possible to take part in our young first aider training and compete in our national schools competitions, so that they can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.’

Pam Leadbeater of Tanbridge House School in Horsham, where the competition is to be held said: ‘Tanbridge has great pride in hosting this competition and supporting St John Ambulance. The knowledge that our students gain through St John, both through the school clubs and in lessons, could one day help them save lives therefore the competition is a fantastic thing to be a part of.’

St John Ambulance teaches valuable life skills to young people by training them in first aid, in schools and through its youth schemes. More than 600,000 pupils are trained each year in schools across the country.

All participants need to have learnt first aid skills through the Young First Aider Course – St John Ambulance’s interactive training pack which is easy for teachers and pupils to use. There is still time for schools to sign up for the Young First Aider Course and take part in the competitions.

For more information and to enter the competitions or to contact your county schools liaison officer, telephone 08700 10 49 50 or visit www.sja.org.uk or www.teachthedifference.org.uk