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1st Jul, 2022

LETTERS: Your discussion from around the borough in this week's Observer

I am sure that we local tax payers will be surprised by the ‘eye-watering’ 18 per cent average rise in the portion of our bills going to the police (Letters, February 7, 2019). Having said that, please put the blame where it belongs. Following a question in the House of Commons in November 2018, Louise Haigh, Shadow Minister (Policing) pointed out that, ‘…in September, the Government thought it reasonable to try to sneak out the proposed changes to public sector pensions. The National Association of Police and Crime Commissioners has said that this liability, dropped on police chiefs at the last minute, will cost £165 million in the next financial year, rising to £420 million in 2020-21. This could amount to the loss of a further 10,000 police officers’.

It is central government dropping a large liability onto an already stretched budget which has caused the problem. It is not fair to blame the Police and Crime Commissioner as P.J. Donlon (Letters, February 7, 2019) seems to want to do.

Perhaps we should ask our local MP Julian Knight to speak up on this rather than wittering on about car parking in Shirley and his, ‘Best Local Shop’ competition?

Stephen Batchelor

Hockley Heath

Diabetes UK is looking for people from the West Midlands to take on the swimming challenge of the year, Swim22, between now and May 22.

As a Swim22 challenger you’ll swim an incredible 22 miles – the equivalent of crossing the English Channel – in your local pool, while making a difference with each and every splash. You can take on the swim challenge alone or, better still, get your family, friends and colleagues involved. You can even split the distance between a team to make it easier for everyone.

Swimming is a fantastic way to help you get fit and healthy, have fun and set yourself a challenge. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a seasoned swimmer, our team will be on hand to offer swimming tips and fundraising advice.

Someone is diagnosed with diabetes every two minutes. It is a serious condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications, including sight loss, amputation, kidney failure and stroke.

Every length you complete and every pound you raise will get us closer to our vision of a world where diabetes can do no harm.

To sign up, just visit www.diabetes.org.uk/swim22. There is no registration fee and no minimum sponsorship.

Siobhan Clifford

West Midlands Regional Fundraiser at Diabetes UK

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