Hinckley and Bosworth Councillor writes to Health Secretary calling for more action to reduce cancer deaths

6 Feb 2023

A Hinckley and Bosworth Liberal Democrat Councillor has joined Councillors from across the country in writing a letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care calling for more action to reduce cancer deaths. Councillor Michael Mullaney, who is the Cancer Research UK Councillor Cancer Champion for Leicestershire was a signatory to the letter to Health Secretary Steve Barclay.

In the letter, coordinated by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and Cancer Research UK Michael Mullaney, alongside 47 other local councillors from across England, urge the Government to bring forward a new Tobacco Control Plan for England and to introduce a 'polluter pays' levy on tobacco manufacturers.

In Leicestershire alone, smoking is responsible for hundreds of premature deaths each year. Smoking also puts a significant strain on the NHS, with an estimated £3.6 billion spent on smoking-related health and social care in England every year. This is in addition to £13.2 billion each year in lost economic productivity resulting from premature death and disability caused by smoking. But this is not inevitable, and the Government has the power to change this.

Signing the letter to the Secretary of State for Health Councillor Michael Mullaney said "Almost everyone has been affected by deaths of loved ones from cancer. Sadly, despite a fall in the number of people smoking, far too many people are still dying too soon from the affects of smoking. I hope the Secretary of State for Health will listen to all of us who have written to him and help stem the deaths from smoking by taking real action. One of our key calls is for a "polluter pays" levy on the tobacco companies.

"The funds from this levy on the tobacco companies can be put into helping existing smokers quit and helping to prevent future generations of people from smoking. The tobacco industry has caused untold damage to many people's health, the least they can do is fund measures to try and limit the amount of people who still tragically die from their products."

A copy of the letter and signatories can be read at Joint-Cllr-letter-to-Steve-Barclay-Final.pdf (ash.org.uk)

A Hinckley County Councillor has renewed calls for a safe road crossing to be installed near a Hinckley School.

Lib Dem Councillor for Hinckley De Montfort Michael Mullaney has campaigned with local parents, residents and fellow Hinckley Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray to get a safe crossing near St Peter’s School on London Road, Hinckley.

This follows news that Leicestershire County Council have again decided against putting a crossing there.

In a written submission to the County Council’s Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee Michael Mullaney set out why a crossing was still needed there

“A huge number of residents in the area I represent on the County Council and the area my two fellow Hinckley County Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray represent support a safe crossing at St Peter’s School on London Road in Hinckley. 8,850 residents signed a petition supporting the campaign.

“There are safety concerns, there have been a number of near misses involving pupils and parents going to the school. Although not recorded it is believed that there was an accident leading to a fatality some years ago along this part of London Road when a pedestrian was knocked over.

“Whilst I appreciate the extra road safety measures that are proposed for London Road near St Peter’s School I am extremely disappointed that the request for a safe road crossing has not been supported in the report.

“There is widespread support for it and Cllrs Bill, Bray and myself identified funding for putting a crossing in at the site through the Members Highway Fund, a fund which was developed with the apparent intention of supporting Highways causes that were important in Councillor’s local areas.

“Whilst it’s welcome that a crossing person has been recruited for St Peter’s School there is always the risk that the person may step down from the job and it may be difficult to find a new person (as it took some years to recruit a crossing person there, with no school crossing patrol between 2017 and 2022 despite attempts to recruit to the post).  A safe pedestrian crossing at the site however would be a permanent safety measure that would benefit pupils and parents and residents more generally crossing the road there.

“Whilst I welcome the fact there will be some safety improvements at the site I and many residents believe there still needs to be a safe permanent crossing at St Peter’s School. I therefore urge the County Council to rethink and agree to installing a crossing near St Peter’s School”

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