ONE IN FOUR BROMLEY ADULTS DRINKING LEVELS MAY BE HARMFUL TO THEIR HEALTH WARNS SHOCK REPORT / NEW ‘ONE-STOP SHOP’ FOR PARENTS OF UNDER-FIVES IN CROYDON / NOISY NEIGHBOUR’S SEIZED MUSIC EQUIPMENT COULD GO TO CHARITY / FINDING JOBS FOR CROYDON RESIDENTS / NEW RESEARCH SHOWS TRUE SCALE OF LONDON’S SILENT KILLER, SAY LABOUR / BISHOP OF CROYDON APPOINTED CHAIRMAN OF OPPORTUNITY AND FAIRNESS COMMISSION / COUNCIL TO TEAM UP WITH OTHER BOROUGHS TO DRIVE GROWTH
“This level of consumption is not thought to be any different to the rest of London and England.”
Around one in four adults who drink alcohol in Bromley may be drinking at levels that are hazardous or harmful to their health, says a shock report.
This is one of the findings from the director of public health’s annual report on alcohol.
“Alcohol has become ever present in our lives and the report looks at the impact this is having on the health of the population and attitudes of young people to alcohol” said a Bromley council spokeswoman.
“National estimates suggest that 26.4 per cent of adults in Bromley who drink alcohol, may be doing so at increasing risk or high risk levels.
“This level of consumption is not thought to be any different to the rest of London and England.
“Drinking at increasing and high risk levels contributes to the burden on healthcare services and alcohol related mortality.
“Bromley has seen increasing rates of alcohol-related hospital admissions since 2010/11, and the rate of alcohol related hospital admissions in young people is higher than the regional average.
“Whilst there is a perception amongst young people that all their friends are drinking, a recent survey included in the report found that three in five secondary school pupils in Bromley never drink alcohol.”
Dr Nada Lemic, director of public health in Bromley said: “This is about raising awareness of the health risks associated with even moderate levels of drinking.
“In raising awareness, we also want to look at how we give residents the tools to understand when they are drinking too much and what they can do to cut down.
“This is about creating a culture that prevents problem drinking from starting and provides help for people should they be struggling.”
The report also suggests ways in which people can cut down on their alcohol consumption including the use of mobile phone Apps. People who may be concerned about their own drinking are encouraged to seek help though their GP. Organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Al Anon are also available locally to support affected people.
The next step for Bromley will be to look at developing approaches to help the wider population in Bromley keep their drinking to safe levels and help children and young people delay the age at which they start drinking.
Every year Directors of Public Health across England have a statutory responsibility to produce an Annual Public Health Report. The aim is to raise awareness about a particular health issue or inequality.
The report estimates the levels of drinking in Bromley and summarises the scientific literature on the health harms of alcohol. It also points out the huge costs of drinking to the UK economy – with alcohol named as the most dangerous drug in the UK in 2009.
The annual Bromley report, entitled ‘Alcohol?’ was launched on 19 November. Bromley health professionals, healthcare providers, voluntary groups, councillors and senior staff heard Dr Lemic talk about the focus for this year – why drinking over the limit is bad for you in terms of health and social harm.
For the full report please go to: http://bromley.mylifeportal.co.uk/annual-public-health-report.aspx
(Source: Bromley council press release.)
NEW ‘ONE-STOP SHOP’ FOR PARENTS OF UNDER-FIVES IN CROYDON
Croydon will become one of the UK’s first councils to combine support services for young families after it successfully bid for more than £1m from the government.
Thanks to almost £1.5m from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the council is planning a one-stop shop for parents of under-fives called Croydon Best Start.
The proposals will bring together key services including health visiting, children’s centres, early years and the voluntary sector, and will cut the number of referrals and give faster help, said a Croydon council spokeswoman.
The new service, which is being developed with the help of local parents, will provide:
• a comprehensive map of local support groups and services for parents
• a drive to improve teaching standards in pre-school nurseries and childcare
• longer home visits to check families’ mental and physical health and relationships
• a central pool of advisers to work with families at risk of domestic violence
• relationship advice for parents
• more access for parents to employment training
Cllr Alisa Flemming, the council’s cabinet member for children, families and learning, said: “Our new wraparound support will give the best possible start in life to the 600 children born each month in the borough by identifying and responding to issues even earlier.
“Only a handful of other councils nationwide are taking as radical an approach as Croydon Best Start, and this funding helps us give an even better service to families needing crucial support.“
The grant was made under the DCLG’s Public Sector Transformation Network, which aims to pool the resources of councils and 999 services so they become more efficient and value for money.
(Source: Croydon council press release.)
NOISY NEIGHBOUR’S SEIZED MUSIC EQUIPMENT COULD GO TO CHARITY
Loud music, often played late into the night, was the cause of 27 complaints over the course of a year that resulted in the forfeiture of a Thornton Heath man’s equipment.
Appearing before Croydon magistrates the man admitted causing a noise nuisance to his neighbours and was fined £200, and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £200 and a victim surcharge of £20.
The bench was told that, between 14 April 2013 and 7 April 2014, Croydon council’s pollution team received 27 complaints from six of his neighbours.
Their complaints concerned the levels of noise coming from his flat, and resulted in a statutory abatement notice being served against him.
The noise was so frequent and intrusive that officers armed with a court warrant seized his equipment.
In May, and in relation to the same problems, the man was given a three-year anti-social behaviour order.
Cllr Mark Watson, cabinet member for safety and justice, said: “People have the right to a good night’s sleep without suffering the type of inconsiderate and selfish behaviour exhibited by this man.
“If any good has come of this prosecution, it is that his neighbours, one of whom is an NHS nurse, will no longer have to put up with noise through the night.
“Officers are looking into the possibility of giving the confiscated equipment a new lease of life by offering it, if checks to the electrics reveal it to be safe, for community use – to a charity, community centre or similar.
“Interestingly, a previously confiscated piece of kit was used by a charity to play the sound of birdsong to attract birds back to a nesting habitat.” (Source: Croydon council press release.)
FINDING JOBS FOR CROYDON RESIDENTS
Croydon council say they are working to ensure that jobs created from major commercial developments in and around the borough, such as the Whitgift Centre and expansion of Gatwick, go to Croydon residents.
It is proposing to launch a job brokerage service where the council will work alongside Jobcentre Plus, Croydon and John Ruskin colleges and training providers, to provide employers with three job-ready applicants for every vacancy.
“The service will work with employers to come up with a clear pipeline of job opportunities which need to be filled” said a council spokesman.
“It will help applicants prepare for these roles through providing training, CV development and mock interviews, via a single service to make it easier for job seekers and ensure better chance of success.
“It will support the council’s existing Pathways to Employment programme, which was set up last year to help local people access the 16,000 jobs to be created over the next five years.
“There are three major opportunities that will generate jobs in Croydon – the Whitgift redevelopment, expansion of Gatwick Airport and work opportunities from growth sectors such as in construction, retail and information technology.”
Cllr Toni Letts, cabinet member for economic development, said: “We have huge potential to generate jobs in Croydon, thanks to the opportunities presented by the Whitgift redevelopment, the expansion of Gatwick and the commercial developments in the town centre.
“We want as many of these jobs as possible to go to Croydon residents, which is why we are intervening through the launch of a jobs brokerage service, to see that people who live in our borough gain the immediate benefits of Croydon’s growth.
“It will ensure our local small to medium-sized businesses will be able to save recruitment costs by accessing a job-ready and reliable resident workforce.” (Source: Croydon council press release.)
NEW RESEARCH SHOWS TRUE SCALE OF LONDON’S SILENT KILLER, SAY LABOUR
New research from Clean Air London has estimated that by 2020 the number of Londoners dying prematurely as a result air pollution will rise to 6,851 per year.
Clean Air London also suggested that the number of people currently dying as a result of air pollution could be as high as 7,500 a year in London.
Commenting on the research Labour London Assembly environment spokesperson, Murad Qureshi AM described the figures as ‘catastrophic’ saying they revealed just how bad air pollution had got.
“The data released today by Clean Air London is drawn from a study commissioned by the Mayor as part of the health impact assessment for the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone and states that current estimates suggest 6,851 Londoners could die each year by 2020 as a consequence of the capital’s air pollution” said a GLA labour group spokesperson..
“Prior to this study, it was believed that 4,300 lives were prematurely lost in the capital each year as a result of air pollution. “The new figures include analysis of the impact of additional categories of pollutants which are known to be detrimental to public health.”
Murad Qureshi said: “For years we have known air pollution is the capital’s silent killer, now we know just how bad the situation has got. “For 4,300 Londoners to prematurely die as a consequence of air pollution was shocking enough. “The fact that the real figure is nearer 7,000 it is truly catastrophic.
“It has taken six years for Boris Johnson to wake up to the scale of the capital’s air pollution crisis. His proposals for an Ultra-Low Emission Zone are not only unambitious but are designed to leave the problem for his successor to grapple with.
“Londoners want to see the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone made bigger, stronger and more effective. Quite frankly, if these new figures don’t cause the Mayor to wake up and take action, nothing will”.
– The latest Clean Air London research, published today, is available at :http://cleanair.london/sources/mayor-publishes-health-study-revealing-deaths-attributable-to-no2/
In a separate statement commenting on the Environmental Audit Committee’s report ‘Action on Air Quality’, Murad Qureshi said: “This report is a devastating indictment of a Mayor and Government who have failed to tackle one of London’s biggest environmental and public health challenges.
“Having just learnt that as many as 7,500 Londoners a year are dying prematurely as a result of air pollution, and reading this report, it is not difficult to see why.
“Having ignored this problem and blustered his way through for six years, this report finally debunks the Mayor’s claims to have cut air pollution.
“As a first step, the Mayor should invite boroughs to join an expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) instead of leaving outer London to suffer from his toxic legacy.
“Sticking to plans to exclude over half of London from the ULEZ would leave Boris’ record on air pollution even more discredited than it currently is.
“There can be no more hiding, spinning and veiled threats to scientists. “This is Boris Johnson’s final opportunity to deliver a better air quality legacy before he heads off to Westminster.”
(Source: GLA Labour party press releases).
BISHOP OF CROYDON APPOINTED CHAIRMAN OF OPPORTUNITY AND FAIRNESS COMMISSION
The Bishop of Croydon, the Rt Revd Jonathan Clark, has been appointed as chairman of Croydon’s Opportunity and Fairness Commission.
The announcement was made at a Croydon Congress meeting by council leader Cllr Tony Newman.
The Opportunity and Fairness Commission has been set up to address inequality in the borough and tackle deprivation.
He will be supported by a vice-chair and team of commissioners drawn from the public, and private and voluntary sector organisations in the borough.
Cllr Newman said: “I’m delighted to announce that the Bishop of Croydon, the Rt Revd Jonathan Clark, will be the chairman of the Opportunity and Fairness Commission.
“The commission will be taking action to target those areas in the borough that suffer inequalities and deprivation.
“We are committed to improving the quality of life for Croydon residents and ensuring fairness and equality for everyone.”
The Rt Revd Jonathan Clark said: “This is a challenge I will relish, and an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of the people of Croydon.
“We want to represent the diversity of the borough and as chairman my role is to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard and everyone’s contribution is recognised.” (Source: Croydon council press release.)
COUNCIL TO TEAM UP WITH OTHER BOROUGHS TO DRIVE GROWTH
The existing South London Partnership of Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Sutton boroughs is proposing to form a joint committee to ensure the region is able to compete as a place and respond to any growth opportunities from government.
The boroughs will work together over issues affecting economic growth, regeneration and competitiveness.
The committee will take decisions such as having a clear growth strategy for the region; the delegation of funds from the Mayor of London, and greater control over local investment.
It aims to work directly with government and persuade it to devolve powers and responsibilities such as in relation to getting people back into work, boosting skills and ensuring economic growth.
Council leader Cllr Tony Newman said: “To respond to the government’s growth agenda, it is vital that we work together with our neighbouring boroughs to ensure that we are in a strong collective position to benefit from any devolution of power and to enable us to compete with other areas of London.
“There is a strong case for working together while there is a need to improve public services in an increasingly difficult financial climate.
“This committee will help us to achieve that shared goal.” (Source: Croydon council press release.)