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Articles about ‘Culture, media and sport’

Support Sport this National Obesity Awareness Week

It’s two weeks into the New Year and we’re at the point where many of us forget about our resolution of shedding a couple of pounds. With that in mind, this week is National Obesity Awareness Week.

Almost a quarter of children in Birmingham (23.4%) are classified as obese, compared with 10.1% nationally. Meanwhile the number of recorded cases of diabetes is double the UK average, affecting almost 8% of Brummies compared to a 3.5% national average.

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Latest on Northfield Leisure Facilities

Lots of local people continue to contact me about the future of Northfield’s leisure facilities. For the latest update please read this article on B31 Voices about the City Council’s Cabinet Meeting on the 15 September 2014 – at which the future of the pool and leisure centre was discussed.

After the recent local consultation and residents meeting chaired by Labour Councillor and Northfield District Chair Brett O’Reilly, the City Council have now decided to further consider three sites for the future location of the Northfield Pool and Leisure Centre.

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Leisure Facilities in our Area: Northfield Deserves Better than Second Best

Northfield deserves a quality leisure centre in which local people, young and old can swim, take part in sports and keep fit. People have been telling me this for years. The issue has always been where such a leisure centre should be, how accessible it is and how it can be funded.

Unfortunately the story for the past decade has been of short term thinking by Birmingham Council, following by no thinking at all for eight years, followed by attempts to face up to issues that have become urgent because they were not faced up to before.

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The World Cup in Northfield, school sports funding and how I managed to upset a Government minister…

The World Cup has started and, to celebrate, it was good to visit St Brigid’s School in Northfield on Thursday. They were holding their own World Cup match. It was St Brigid’s England team against St Brigid’s Rest of the World team. It was a close match and England won 3-2.  A good omen? I hope so.

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National Audit Office report is a big step forward in tackling rip-off phone rates

A National Audit Office report concluded today that the use of high cost phone lines across government is complex, ineffective, and leaving vulnerable individuals with the highest charges.

After I held a debate on this issue, calling on the Cabinet Office to urgently improve the government’s performance in this area, the NAO has now concluded that government departments should eliminate the use of higher rate (084) numbers for services supporting vulnerable individuals, and make major improvements in the overall telephone services system. The report reveals that 084 numbers are estimated to have cost the public a staggering £56 million in 2012-2013 alone, and that switching to lower rate numbers will save the public millions of pounds a year.

The report is a big step forward in this issue, and I hope the Government will act now to end the scandal of rip-off rates.

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