LETTERS: your discussion across the borough from this week's Observer - The Solihull Observer

LETTERS: your discussion across the borough from this week's Observer

It feels like the loss of Our Lady of the Wayside’s school crossing patrol at Stratford Road –Blackford Road requires a relabelling of the junction to “An Accident Waiting to Happen”. The council’s report, referred to in Sarah Mason’s article of the 15th March, states that “children are better trained to coupe with today’s traffic conditions.” which does not inspire confidence. Risk is mentioned once. The report’s Appendix A shows this junction saw almost double the traffic volumes of the next highest patrol, for the given period. It’s a different beast altogether. Consider also factors such as vehicle speed, ramping up or down from dual carriageways, that roundabout, the “lifeboat” island and the “School’s Out!” afternoon surge. Even with a crossing facility, an experienced patrol person of 24 years, in a high visibility jacket, is a necessity and not a luxury.

Mervin O’Malley

While far from perfect, many forms of transport are now wheelcair accessible, save, perhaps for one. Aircraft remain the final frontier. While those of us with disabilities are allowed on flights, those who cannot leave a custom chair remain precluded, as standard aircraft seats do not always provide the right level of support.

I was heartened therefore to hear of the campaign by Michelle Erwin to change this. Michelle’s son, Greyson must always be in his own special wheelchair, so Michelle’s suggestion, to have a space for a wheelchair on a plane, is a simple one and now receiving serious airline industry interest. Members of The British Polio Fellowship with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) can often move from a wheelchair for the duration of a flight, but not all living with disability are so lucky. For them, no chair equals no travel.

Aircraft manufacturers permit internal layouts to be decided by the opeator and a removable chair that accomodates a ‘wheelchair approved for flight’ should not see a loss of revenue – if the concept is factored into aircraft design and refits of existing planes. Aircraft seats must pass rigorous safety tests, so any wheelchair allowed on board would have to meet airline regulatior standards to ensure safety levels are maintained. There is no reason why this cannot be the case. If the will exists among airlane and wheelchair manufactuers to make it happen, we can literally, get this project off the ground.

Anyone who needs The British Polio Fellowship’s help can visit www.britishpolio.org.uk or call 0800 043 1935.

David Mitchell

National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship

There is no one-size-fits all approach when it comes to making food choices, but it is important that people with diabetes, and those at risk of Type 2, are supported to choose the right foods for them to improve their health and quality of life.

That’s why we have issued new Diabetes UK nutrition guidelines for healthcare professionals.

For the first time, the guidelines show how people with Type 2 diabetes might be able to achieve remission. Eating certain foods such as vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, fish, nuts and pulses can also help manage blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, as well as reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

These foods are usually associated with the Mediterranean-style diet, but can be adapted to cultural and personal preferences.

Eating less red and processed meat, refined carbohydrates − such as white bread and rice − and drinking fewer sugar sweetened drinks, is also recommended.

Being active daily and achieving at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week through a variety of exercise can help people with diabetes lead healthy lives, and prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes for those at risk.

We hope that the new guidelines will help people enjoy food, while making healthy choices and being more active. The nutrition guidelines are available at www.diabetes.org.uk/nutrition-guidelines.

Peter Shorrick, Midlands Regional Head

Diabetes UK

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