MENINGITIS TRUST ISSUES WINTER WARNING...
THE Meningitis Trust, the UK's leading meningitis charity, is
urging the people from the North West to learn the signs and
symptoms of meningitis as the predicted cold-spell this winter is
expected to bring with it a rise in cases.
The early symptoms of meningitis can easily be mistaken for those of
flu, they include; fever, headache, stiff neck, dislike of bright
light, drowsiness, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, confusion and in
some cases a rash. Symptoms can appear in any order and may not all
appear at once. The disease affects people of all ages.
Chief Executive Philip Kirby says:- "During the winter months
we will see more cases of meningitis and septicaemia. Worryingly,
the symptoms can easily look like other, less harmful conditions.
The Met Office has predicted a 'colder than average winter' so it is
all the more important to err on the side of caution, to look out
for the signs and symptoms of meningitis and to seek medical
attention immediately if you suspect the disease."
The Meningitis Trust produces a life-saving card designed to fit
inside your wallet, it displays the signs and symptoms of meningitis
in both babies and adults - it's available free of charge - to
receive one, call the Meningitis Trust's 24-hour nurse led help line
on 0845 6000 800.
Property price crash expected
IT is estimated that thousands of homes across England and Wales
currently accessed by a minor public roads, will suffer substantial
loss of value following the introduction of the Natural Environment
and Rural Communities (NERC) bill.
Section 62 of NERC is well intentioned, setting out to remove
illegal “nuisance” use of motor propelled vehicles from sensitive
rural areas. However this poorly drafted and ill-conceived piece of
legislation will leave thousands of properties with no legal
vehicular access rights.
The bill, in its current form, removes public rights to drive motor
vehicles on Minor public roads such as RUPPs (roads used as public
paths) and UCRs (unclassified roads). In itself NERC is a landmark
piece of legislation, never before has any Government sought to
remove any our public rights of way, this in itself sets an
unsettling precedent, however its impact on thousands of properties
across the country will be enormous. NERC has already brought many
transactions to a standstill, as blighted properties have become
unsaleable during the transit of the bill.
The fix drafted by government, is to provide access for property
owners via a yet to be defined, and understandably unproven, form of
private right, this is a legalisation of access, which in law is
substantially inferior to a public right. Legalising the use of the
road does nothing to ensure landowners provide an unobstructed,
suitably maintained route, as the current right of does, thereby
accessing the property may be lawful, but could easily be made
It is unlikely, being a new procedure, that obtaining this as yet
undefined new right will prove easy and more importantly quick, it
also puts the onus on the property owner to claim and prove it. This
situation is compounded by the legislation being backdated to May
2005. If the bill goes through as is, access rights have already
Estimated by the House of Lords to impact on billions of pounds
worth of property, the proposed law will undoubtedly have little or
no impact on its principle target, illegal drivers of quad bikes
and off-roaders, a change in the law will not change the habits of
those that choose to break the law.
THE COLD THIS WINTER, HELP THE AGED
BRITISH Gas and Help the
Aged hold special event in Crosby, Liverpool to give older people
practical advice on how to beat the cold this winter. Tips on
how to keep a home warm and how to maintain good health will be
amongst some of the advice offered to the older people at a special
event organised by British Gas and Help the Aged at the Help the
Aged store at 3 Moor Lane , Crosby, Liverpool on the 22 November,
starting at 10.15 a.m.
Recently published Government statistics show that 3,900 people over
the age of 65 in the North West died last winter from cold related
illnesses including bronchitis and pneumonia – the highest figures
in 5 years. In response the British Gas Help the Aged Partnership
has organised a roadshow that will provide practical information to
older people about how they can prepare for the coldest winter
predicted for 10 years.
Steve Jones, spokesperson for the British Gas Help the Aged
Partnership:- “Many older people are still dying needlessly
each winter from cold-related illnesses. Since 1999, Help the Aged
and British Gas in partnership have been urging the Government to
take appropriate action to end this suffering. In the meantime we
want to give older people the best chance to beat the cold and we
have organised this roadshow to help them do that by providing them
with useable practical information.”
The roadshow will see mass distribution of the Partnership’s ‘Cold
can kill’ packs. This simple guide endorsed by both TV
presenter, Carole Smillie and practicing GP and media doctor, Dr
Hilary Jones gives older people the facts about how the cold effects
their health and suggestions to keep warm during the winter months.
It also includes details of useful telephone numbers, benefit
entitlement and a user-friendly thermometer that can be used to
monitor room temperature.
“The Cold can kill’ pack is an excellent way to make sure you
have at your finger-tips simple measures to keep warm during the
winter,” says, House Expert and TV presenter, Carole Smillie,
“It’s a scandal that so many people die each year in the
world’s fourth largest economy from the cold but this booklet
produced by British Gas and Help the Aged helps older people help
themselves and could prevent someone suffering a poor quality of
life this winter. It is important that older people come down to an
event and collect a pack.”
British Gas Help the Aged Partnership launched a hard-hitting
campaign in October to combat fuel poverty among older people by
publishing disturbing new research on the extent of the problem.
The research reveals that over 25% of households in the North West,
(211,000 which is comparable to the population of Oldham),
containing 1 or more individuals over 65, fail to meet minimum
national standards for home decency.
In response, the British Gas Help the Aged Partnership is urging
Government to adopt a 5 Point Plan to:-
(1) Increase investment
in its Warm Front fuel poverty programme by a minimum of £100million
per annum to ensure the 2010 elimination of fuel poverty target for
older people is reached.
(2) End the means testing of Warm Front so that all pensioners
receive free central heating.
(3) Target the delivery of Government programmes including Warm
Front at deprived and rural areas where many fuel poor live.
(4) Extend the gas main and where this is not possible consider
increasing the range of measures e.g. grants to include more
expensive installations such as heat pumps and other renewable
sources of energy.
(5) Provide more face to face support and practical help for older
people. For instance, whilst a grant for loft insulation is helpful,
clearing a loft to allow this insulation to be put in can be an
impossible task for someone who is very frail. Much more hands on
assistance need's to be provided in these cases.