Community partnership aims to encourage residents to walk around the world in 80 days this summer.

    by MEHREEN KHAN

    Healthy Heaton partnership is working together to encourage and inspire the community to walk around the world in 80 days this summer.

    On Sunday, the partnership launched the Healthy Heaton challenge with a community day with a difference. This has motivated many, including a volunteer from Upper Heaton Working Together group who explained: “We need to do this for our children and change the way we live our lives and build activity into our every day routine. Health is wealth these days and with obesity and diabetes on the rise in our community we have to do our bit to reverse this trend.”

    Local residents could enjoy the free event if they joined in the challenge doing laps of the 500m track around Haworth Road Park. Residents also took part in touch rugby sessions, children’s wacky races, scavenger crafts, face painting and had a go on four giant inflatables. There were different bikes to try including a penny-farthing, 4-seater, and mountain bikes from the youth service.

    It’s free, good for your health, brings the community together and is also very enjoyable, as Cllr Mohammed Amran, chair of Bradford West Area Committee said: “Sunday was a fantastic community day promoting healthy lifestyles and community spirit. It was a great effort by volunteers. We now need residents to take up the challenge and walk with us to meet our 29,000 miles – the equivalent of walking around the world.”

    Children brought their broken bikes to be mended for free which proved to be very popular, and Bradford Bikery is going to hold follow-on sessions to meet the demand as it was very popular. Local people also signed up to adult cycling lessons, yoga and the re-launch of the ladies only walking club on Monday evenings which further promotes healthier lifestyles for the community.

    Staff from local organisations such as HALE, BYDP and Sharing Voices were on hand to give free health advice as well as a stall on Healthy eating and growing your own food was supported by volunteers. The event is followed by 80 days of community activities and residents of Heaton are invited to join the challenge

    Beckfoot Heaton Primary are leading the way by promoting their 1km day, Salem Rugby have free touch rugby sessions, Bradford Youth service will have bike taster sessions throughout the holidays with plenty more. For more information or to get involved visit https://healthyheaton.org/

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    Everything parents need to know on what the law says on school uniform rules when temperatures are rising

    by MEHREEN KHAN

    Here in the UK we are currently undergoing a heat wave, which we don’t often get to experience! However, while many of us are enjoying the sunshine in our summer clothes and being able to change whenever we want, some school children who don’t finish for the six-week holidays until late July are not allowed to wear cooler clothes and must stick to school uniform rules. For instance, a schoolboy from Wales was sent home for wearing shorts and later returned wearing a skirt, and a child from Leek was put into isolation for wearing shorts.

    Naturally, this has angered many parents across the country who believe their children should be allowed to wear cooler clothes during periods of hot weather. Hannah Parsons, Principle Associate Solicitor at DAS Law told Asian Sunday what the law says on this matter.

    Obviously, schools are totally entitled to have rules which require pupils to wear a school uniform.  This is the case across the entire country. The school therefore, has the right to then discipline pupils for not complying with the school uniform rules. However, they are expected to consider a reasonable request to vary the uniform policy, and must take care to ensure that any policy does not lead to discrimination.

    The Department of Education guidance strongly encourages schools to have a uniform. However, it also recommends that governing bodies should take into consideration the views of parents and pupils when making decisions. This is useful to know when we are faced with a heat wave, as children can often become uncomfortable, lethargic and restless staying in their usual school uniforms throughout the duration of the school day.

    So, can the school really send children home for not sticking to strict uniform rules?

    Hannah tells us that where there is a breach of the school uniform policy, either a Head Teacher or someone authorised, can suggest that a pupil goes home. The school is expected to consider carefully whether this would be appropriate though, as they must consider the child’s age, vulnerability, and the time and ease it will take the pupil, also keeping in mind the availability of the child’s parents. School uniform breaches are usually considered minor disciplinary matters; however, in some cases of repeated and persistent failures, exclusion may be necessary.

    So what rights do parents have who want to appeal a school’s decision on school uniform?

    Hannah says that whenever a school uniform policy is in place, a school is expected to consider reasonable requests to vary the policy and in particular when the request is made to meet the needs of individual pupils to accommodate their religion, ethnicity, disability or other special consideration. Hannah further advises that disputes about school uniform should be resolved locally and in accordance with the school’s complaints policy.  School governing bodies must have a complaints procedure to deal with issues about school uniform.

    Often school procedures for dealing with complaints provide for the complaint to be addressed to firstly, the member of staff responsible, then the Head of department and then Head teacher.  The next step would be to put the complaint in writing to the chair of governors.  Once the internal complaints and appeal process has been exhausted, the Department of Education can deal with complaints about schools.

    Hannah also advises that it’s not just school uniforms where rules have to be followed, but this can also be the case with appearance, where schools may also have rules. So, there could be legal implications on when a child has changed their appearance during school holidays such as a new hairstyle. Hannah advises that provided the rules are reasonable and don’t infringe equality legislation or suggest discrimination, the school is entitled to enforce the rules in accordance with its disciplinary policy.

    Where pupils change their appearance in the school holidays, both they and their parents need to be aware that on returning to school they will be expected to adhere to the school’s appearance policy.

    Other appearance issues such as new ear piercings, where a child can’t remove the earrings for 4-6 weeks can also impact on the school rules, especially if the child can’t remove their earrings for PE.

    Rules for the removal of jewellery during PE are quite common in school and are likely to be considered reasonable, as it is only set for health and safety purposes in case of injury.

    Many schools set out a specific policy for dealing with the situation where recently pierced earrings cannot be removed for PE lessons and therefore make way for children to be given another associated task. The school’s policy will often draw attention to the requirement regarding earrings, suggesting that any ear piercing takes into account the school policy.

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    Landmark Forced Marriage Case, Where Mother Forced Teen Daughter to Marry Man in Pakistan 16 Years her Senior Ends in Successful Conviction

    By GRAHAME ANDERSON

    Mother

    In a landmark conviction a Birmingham mother who cannot be named has been found guilty on two counts of forced marriage. It's the first time this type of case has been successfully prosecuted in a criminal court in England. Forcing anyone to marry against their will is a serious criminal offence carrying a maximum prison sentence of seven years. It's legally defined as a forced union when one or both spouses haven't given their consent, and there has been some form of coercion, violence and threatening involved.

    Damning Evidence

    Birmingham Crown Court heard how the mother duped her teenage daughter into travelling to Pakistan to wed a man-16-years her senior, and a relative. She tricked the 17-year-old by telling her she was going on a family holiday. It was also revealed how the girl became pregnant after first having sex with the man when she was just 13. On her return to the UK she underwent an abortion before her GP alerted social services. The case for the prosecution said her mother 'made all the right noises', to suggest her daughter and the man were just 'two teenagers who sneakily had sex after she was referred to social services. Jurors were told of how the deeply troubled teenager had cried to her mother after signing a certificate to prove the marriage. In court, she said: "I didn't want to get married to him".

    In a letter presented to a judge the teenager wrote: 'I think my mother sold me for a British passport. I’m scared to go back to Pakistan. I hate it there.'

    No Relevant Case Law

    Judge Patrick Thomas QC told the jury the adjournment was appropriate as the case was “entirely novel”, with no other relevant case law to rely upon.

    The 45-year-old mother of four looked stunned on hearing her convictions of deceiving the victim to go to Pakistan, in order to enter into a false marriage, forced marriage and perjury, after she later lied about the incident in the High Court. She was found not guilty of a fourth charge of perverting the course of justice and will be sentenced on Wednesday.

    Elaine Radway, from the Crown Prosecution Service, applauded the "brave testimony" of the victim, saying: Forced marriage is a breach of human rights

    Forced Marriage Investigation

    The UK's Forced Marriage Unit has identified more than 8,000 cases in the past eight years but only one has resulted in a prosecution. Still a blight on 21st century life, nearly 1,200 possible cases were flagged up last year alone. Worryingly, more than a quarter involved victims under the age of 18, with children as young as 13 also involved. Figures may have been down 19 per cent on the previous 12 months, but this may not reflect the true scale of the abuse suffered by those involved. A third of forced marriages either took place or were due to take place in Pakistan, with Bangladesh being another popular country for the practice.

    Though it's not specific to one particular nation, the FMU did deal with focus cases in 65 different countries. There was no overseas element in 120 potential unions, with the actual forced marriage taking place entirely within the UK. Established in 2005, the FMU is jointly run by the Home Office and the Foreign Office. In the past six years the unit has provided support in 1,200 to 1,400 cases a year.

    A recent report confirmed 78 per cent of cases logged in 2017 related to female victims, while 256, or 21 per cent, involved male victims. It cited this was proof, men could also be forced into marriage.

    The Suffering of Victims

    Karma Nirvana, an organisation supporting victims of honour related abuse, disclosed they receive 300 calls a month about forced marriage and honour-based abuse. Many of these victims feel unable to report their suffering to the authorities.

    A spokesperson for the children’s charity NSPCC has said: “Children as young as 13 have contacted us worried about being forced into marriage yet fearing they will be cut out off their community if they refuse. “We would urge anyone worried about a child to speak up before it is too late, so that we can get help and prevent them being bound into something they would never ask for.”

    It's reported the charity Childline supervised 205 counselling sessions on the issue in 2016-17, a 12 per cent increase from the previous year. There were 6,099 visits to the Childline forced marriage page in the same 12-month period. The anxiety and fears children deal with in these cases can also lead to serious self-harm. Some resort to running away from home, and this in turn leaves them open to further abuse, or even to contemplate taking their own lives.

    Hard Truths

    Forced marriage is a form of child abuse and its secretive nature has made it difficult to grasp the true scale of the problem. Those aged 18 years or younger seem greater at risk. Legal experts will now be looking closely at this ruling regarding more possible prosecutions in the years to come.

     

     

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    Leeds Bradford Airport re-brands as Yorkshire Airport

    Leeds Bradford Airport as gone for a brand makeover.

    Following the appointment of a new Chief Executive, new ownership and a number of exciting changes to the terminal all now well underway, the airport has taken the decision to rebrand.

    With an ambition to create an airport that matches the needs and requirements of the region it serves and the surrounding area, Leeds Bradford: Yorkshire’s Airport will now be displayed throughout the terminal.

    Five-year-old Toby Nye, the little boy who has captured the hearts of Yorkshire following his battle with neuroblastoma, did the honours to officially switch on the new signage emblazoned on the front of the terminal roof.

    As part of the celebrations, the region’s largest airport also showcased the first part of its terminal redevelopments, including brand new purpose-built lounges. Featuring stunning floor to ceiling runway views, The Yorkshire Lounge, The White Rose Suite and 1432 Club will replace the current Yorkshire Premier Lounge.

    Designed to offer a leisure, business or first-class experience, passengers have a number of entry methods, including pre-book, airline access, loyalty card schemes and on the day access.

    The Yorkshire Lounge is the perfect place for families to relax and enjoy refreshments pre-flight, while The White Rose Suite offers the ideal environment for business passengers and couples looking for some pre-flight relaxation, in a lounge that serves barista-style coffee and a fully-serviced bar.

    The 1432 Club, named after the runway, is the most exclusive of the new lounges, featuring a specially selected menu, self-service premium bar and a prime view of the airfield.

    The unveiling of the new lounges follows the opening of a brand new Cabin Bar and Beer House while the Saltaire restaurant has been completely overhauled. Works on a brand new Starbucks coffee shop and additional retails outlets are set to commence in the coming weeks.

    Designed to provide a more straightforward journey for customers with a modern and vibrant feel, as well as developing our food and beverage offering, the airport has also invested in free non-commercial seating within the departure lounge. Work is also currently underway on the terminal front to improve passengers’ arrival at the airport, with a new Meet & Greet car-park facility.

    In March, the airport celebrated the opening of its first off-site car park. Viking Airport Parking, situated just off the airport roundabout located on Warren House Lane, ensures passengers have the smoothest possible start to their holiday. With members of staff on hand to park customers’ cars 24/7, shuttle buses transport passengers from the car park to the terminal in less than five minutes.

    Chief Executive David Laws said: “We want the people of our thriving region to get behind their airport and help us move forward.

    “We are delighted to offer our passengers even more choice in our departure lounge, as well as improved facilities for business travellers. We hope people will see this as the start of things to come for this airport. Our brand refresh embodies our vision to become Yorkshire’s airport of choice and to provide an airport our passengers can be proud of. As the development of LBA continues we hope to continually keep improving the customer experience and ensure our passengers feel welcome.

    “We are investing in staff training to ensure we offer a warm ‘Yorkshire welcome’ to all of our passengers, as well as continually improving our Special Assistance offering to help passengers with reduced mobility and hidden disabilities.

    “The more people use this airport the more successful we can be. Work continues to improve our route offering for both business and leisure services and we hope to have more exciting announcements in the near future.

    “It was great to welcome Toby and his family to switch on our new sign and experience our exclusive lounges. We also look forward to welcoming them back in the near future for a VIP tour. Our Fire Team are especially excited to welcome Toby to the Fire Station, as we hear from a reliable source (his Mum) he is a lover of ‘Transformers’ and our new fire vehicles are the same as those used in the films!”

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    Sugar Tax Set to Sweeten UK Economy

    By GRAHAME ANDERSON

    The sugar tax will come into effect in the UK on 6 April to target population obesity. It's hoped younger adults will fully benefit, though the often controversial, measure is aimed at people of all ages to help reduce the adverse health and cost burdens of diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

    The Tax Broken Down

    There will be two bands to the Sugar-sweetened beverages tax or SSBs - one for soft drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml, and a higher one for drinks with more than 8g per 100ml. The measure will not apply to all other high-sugar content drinks, like juices, or drinks made up of 75 per cent milk, though all are regarded as potentially dangerous to health.

    Sugary Truths

    Sugar has been found to carry low satiety, with the result of stimulating the appetite and assisting the promotion of weight gain. Intake of SSBs has been shown to result in dramatic increases in blood glucose and insulin concentrations. This contributes to glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, independently of obesity. In fact, based on scientific evidence The World Health Organisation has recommended a reduction of free sugars consumption from less than 10 per cent, to less than five per cent of total daily energy intake.

    Dr Max Davie, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: "The sugary drinks affected by this tax have no nutritional benefit, often containing levels of sugar well above a child's daily recommended limit. These drinks are a major contributor to the high sugar intakes of children, particularly teenagers, and we are in no doubt that they are, in part, contributing to this country's obesity crisis."

    Gavin Partington, of the British Soft Drinks Association, disagrees saying: "There is no evidence worldwide taxes of this sort reduce obesity, and it is ironic soft drinks are being singled out for tax, when we've led the way in reducing sugar intake, down over 17 per cent since 2012.”

    International Comparison

    Such a tax in Mexico, France and Hungary has been hugely successful with purchases of sugary drinks decreasing between six to 27 per cent after the tax was applied. In the case of France and Hungary however, apart from all types of sugar sweetened drinks, both biscuits and confectionery products are all subject to extra taxation. The Organics council claims we will only be pretending to emulate success abroad as the UK legislation stands. In terms of reaching the daily limit - one 250ml drink of apple juice or the equivalent of six teaspoons of sugar will suffice. But of course, many people go well over this without even realising.

    Scientific Evidence

    Organics Council’s science committee member Dr Gonzalo Delgado says: “When it comes to public health policy decisions, it's essential these are based in solid scientific evidence. Sugar taxes can be useful to decrease sugar consumption, but they need to target all high sugar content and artificial sweetened foods, not only soft drinks as in the UK case. Consumers, and people in general, need to be well informed about current scientific knowledge, so they can make the correct choices in regard of their nutrition and health.”

    Malcolm Clark, a coordinator for the Children’s Food Campaign certainly agrees with the sentiments of the council stating: “The sugary drinks tax in its present form will not solve the UK’s childhood obesity crisis. We need other policy interventions including restrictions on marketing.”

    And for those looking to artificial sweeteners, experts say they are certainly not free of calories and also linked to glucose intolerance, weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.

    The Outcome

    The Office for Budget Responsibility estimates the levy could add 18p to 24p to the price of a litre of fizzy drink, if the full cost is passed on to the consumer.

    For further information around how The Organics Council work to protect the public through organic practice, research and campaigning, please visit the official website at www.organicscouncil.org

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