Listen to Our Shows on Mixcloud
We broadcast music, news and discussion from 10am to 10pm and repeat overnight, 7 days a week. We also Mixcloud our shows so that you can listen whenever and wherever suits you.
We cover a wide range of topics by all ages for all ages:
- Eco issues, human rights and in-depth news (both local and global)
- Science, history, arts and poetry
- Stories, weekend live performances by Brighton musicians.
For more information, please see the About Us page.
20–23, 24 December — 40th Anniversary Santa Specials
Kent and East Sussex Railway
Families will meet Santa Claus onboard the festively decorated trains during the return journey to Northiam Station. Children should also look out for the elves, whose sacks are full of lovely presents.
For more information and bookings tel: 01580 765155 or visit www.kesr.org.uk
21–22 December — Robin’s Winter Adventure
A young boy’s incredible journey with a feathered friend. But will facing his fears turn out to be the greatest adventure of all? An uplifting tale of change, bravery and friendship told with puppetry, poetry, music and magical design. Tickets: £7.50. Family: £26.
The Hawth, Crawley: 01293 553636
23 December — Silver Strings — its never too late to learn!
8:30AM — 10:30AM at the Brighthelm Centre. Silver Strings is a music session for older people who’ve always wanted to play a stringed instrument. At Silver Strings, we warm up gently and play in pairs as part of a larger group to make music together. Everyone over 50 is welcome, regardless of previous experience — no music reading is necessary, and everyone can choose the material we play. Learning an instrument in a group keeps our minds active and our fingers supple — and it’s a lot of fun! Participants say: I get such a sense of achievement (SW), My hands are now more agile (DP), Every week is a highlight! (RW). We even provide the instruments: choose violin, viola or cello — or try all three! The sessions are run by Open Strings Music and facilitated by Goldsmiths-trained music leader and professional cellist Isabel Emerson. Where: The Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YD When: weekly Tuesdays, 9:30–11:30am Cost: first session free — come and try us out! £11/wk (payable monthly) thereafter, inclusive of instrument use.
Contact: email Isabel: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more details see http://www.openstrings.co.uk.
23–31 December — Jack and the Beanstalk
This classic fairytale gets the Lyngo treatment, so expect lots of surprises, a gripping story and beautiful images as Jack sells his cow for five magic beans and finds himself in the land above the clouds. It’s a show for the over threes (and their giants) with something for everyone – enormous shoes, tiny houses, showers of silver and gold and a big, leafy explosion. Tickets £10.
The Capitol, Horsham: 01403 750220
27–28 December — A Christmas Carol
Ballet Theatre UK
2.30pm and 7.30pm. Come on a magical journey down the dark and twisting streets of Dickensian London. Along the way there will be joy, laughter and a little heartbreak in this enchanting blend of traditional ballet and captivating theatre.
Ballet Theatre UK’s retelling of the classic novel brings a cavalcade of colourful characters vividly to life, from Ebenezer Scrooge, the miser immune to festive cheer, to the three ghosts who help him understand the true meaning of Christmas. Tickets: £10-£18.50 (under 16s half price). Recommended for ages eight years and up.
The Dome, Brighton: 01273 709709
7 January — Art for All
1:15AM — 3:15AM at south portslade community centre. my art class is for anyone who would like to try out painting,drawing, ink and wash etc. even if you haven’t done any art since school come along and try. beginner or experienced you are welcome pay as you go £6.00 a session. come and give it a try.
9 January — Brighton Sewing Bee Monthly SEWICAL
7pm-9pm. 1st sewcial of the year YAY! New year.. new venue.. same fantastic event. 2 hours of sewing fun, cake and tea for just £5… what a way to celebrate the start of 2015. Looking forward to seeing everyone! Newcomers welcome to our fabulous community group. We have Julia Hincks as our special guest.. YAY! See you all there.. spread the word! Lots of love. Stacie xx
I’m Dr Louisa Baxter and I’ve just come back from Sierra Leone where the Ebola epidemic is fast spiralling out of control.The virus is killing up to 70% of those who catch it and the numbers of people infected is doubling every 20 days.Children and families there, and across West Africa, desperately need the international community to do more to defeat Ebola. And they need them to do it fast.
Next month, leaders of the 20 most powerful and richest countries meet at the G20 Summit in Australia.
It’s critical they agree to make enough money, equipment and people available to stop this killer virus.
Your voice will be joining with thousands of others across the globe as people from Sydney to San Francisco, unite to demand action.
This is the largest Ebola outbreak we’ve ever seen and there is only a matter of weeks to contain it.
We must stop Ebola. With your help we can.
My journey back to Ebola ground zero
By Peter Piot Nearly 40 years after he was first dispatched to investigate a mysterious new virus, Peter Piot returns to a village – and a people – changed for ever by the advent of Ebola
“Get on that plane now! You know, they are crazy here!” shouts the manager of Kin Avia, a rare charter airline in the Democratic Republic of Congo with a decent safety track record. It is nearly 10am and for the past few hours we have been trying to get through all the formalities required to travel from the dilapidated domestic airport of Ndolo in the heart of Kinshasa to Bumba – in other words, to get through immigration for a domestic flight. Bumba is the nearest airport in northwestern Congo to our final destination, Yambuku, a village in Equateur province about 1,000km from the capital. I am spending two weeks in the country to celebrate my 65th birthday and to thank the people who played such an important role in two defining experiences of my life: investigating the first known outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever in 1976 and uncovering a significant heterosexual epidemic of HIV/Aids in 1983. I am here with an American film crew making a documentary on epidemics, along with my wife Heidi, an anthropologist, and my friends Jean-Jacques Muyembe, director of the DRC’s National Institute for Biomedical Research, Eugene Nzila, a pioneer of Projet Sida (Africa’s first big Aids research project, founded in 1984) and Annie Rimoin, an epidemiologist from UCLA.
When I was 27 and still in training, I had one of the greatest opportunities an aspiring microbiologist could dream of: the chance to discover a new virus, investigate its mode of transmission and stop the outbreak. It all started when my laboratory at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp received a thermos from what was then called Zaïre. It contained the blood of a Flemish nun who had died of what was thought to be yellow fever. From that sample, however, our lab isolated a new virus, confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and subsequently called Ebola, after a river about 100km north of Yambuku, the centre of the epidemic. It turned out to be one of the most deadly viruses known. In early September 1976, Mabalo Lokela, the headmaster of the local school, had died with a high fever, intractable diarrhoea and bleeding. His death sent a shockwave through the small mission community. Soon the hospital was full of patients with a similar illness and nearly all died within a week.
This was the beginning of the first known outbreak of Ebola, a virus that is believed to circulate in bats, which accidentally infects people through contact with blood or infected droplets. There are four known subtypes affecting humans, including the “Zaïre” type, the most deadly strain, with more than 90 per cent mortality. Transmission between people is through contaminated injections, contact with blood and body fluids, sex, and it probably passes from mother to child. Approximately one week after infection, patients develop severe fever, diarrhoea and vomiting. They then start bleeding and are affected by “disseminated intravascular coagulation”, whereby small blood clots develop in the body’s blood vessels, ultimately resulting in generalised organ failure, shock and death one week after the onset of symptoms. Close to 90 per cent of the 318 people diagnosed with the disease would eventually die during the Yambuku outbreak. So would more than half of the hospital staff and 39 people from among the 60 families living at the mission. The entire region was devastated, with some villages losing one in every 11 inhabitants to Ebola.
Getting on a military C130 to Bumba in 1976 for the three-hour flight over the world’s second-largest equatorial forest was less complicated than catching a passenger flight in 2014, even though back then we had to load a Land Rover, medical equipment and barrels of fuel on to the cargo plane. We were a Zairean, an American, a Frenchman and two Belgians in a plane – like one of those jokes. But the pilots were in a foul mood. They resented having to fly to the epidemic zone. Hadn’t fellow pilots told them that birds were falling from the sky over the forest around Yambuku and that dead bodies were lining the roads? When we landed, the plane came abruptly to a halt but the pilots never came out of the cabin. They didn’t even stop the engines. They wanted to take off again as soon as possible and avoid any contact with locals. When I walked through the open loading dock at the back of the plane, I saw hundreds of people, staring at us in silence, followed by shouts of “Oyé! Oyé!” when we drove out the Land Rover. Ours was the first aircraft to break the quarantine that the whole region had been put under because of the epidemic and expectations were high that we would stop the disease, and bring food and medicines. As soon as the plane was unloaded, the pilots shouted “Bonne chance!” and off they went.…
This time there is a slight sense of déjà vu when we finally land on the red-earth airstrip of Bumba. The Congolese pilot recognises me from his time in the Zairian air force in the 1970s. “Has Ebola started again?” he asks anxiously. Only a few people are at the airstrip, apart from the unavoidable immigration and security officers. One man is waiting for us just as he was in 1976: Father Carlos Rommel, the Flemish Catholic parish priest of Notre Dame, who has been working in the Congo for 51 years, mostly in Bumba. He had arranged all our logistics to perfection, just as he unflappably manages a hospital, a parish and four schools in a country where nothing can be taken for granted. Our convoy of jeeps makes its way to the Bumba mission, where we will stay for the next few days, just as we did nearly four decades ago. Not much has changed – there is not a single paved road in this town of about 150,000 people and very few houses are made of brick or cement. This used to be a major port on the Congo River but years of war, looting and corruption have taken their toll. River boats are gradually returning – the 1,000km journey to Kinshasa can take up to six weeks in the dry season – always overloaded with people, cars and goods. Despite being located on the mighty Congo, there is no running water in Bumba. Girls and women fetch water from the river, except in the neighbourhoods where Father Carlos has drilled wells. He seems to be the only real investor in infrastructure and social services in the city, sometimes using his own money. There is no electricity, besides what is produced by a lonely and noisy generator. The first thing I see when visiting the public hospital is a large black truck near the entrance with “Morgue” painted across it. Not encouraging. Cattle graze between the pavilions. The hospital is largely empty as patients have to pay for everything and there are hardly any medicines, including anti‑HIV drugs and tests. For years, the state has not provided any support.
Together with Muyembe and Rimoin, two of the world’s leading experts on monkeypox, I see a nine-year-old girl who has contracted the disease from her brother. DRC has the world’s largest number of cases of this disease, which resembles the now eradicated smallpox, and is acquired from contact with various wild animals, not just monkeys. It is another illustration of how animal viruses can cause infections and even epidemics in humans (both HIV and influenza come from animals). In contrast to the public hospital, the mission-run Notre Dame hospital is clean and full of patients but even here there is a shortage of medicines. Muyembe and I have lengthy conversations about the causes of this total neglect of people’s health and what we can do about it as academics. He repeatedly reminds us all of the motto of the University of Kinshasa, where he had been dean of medicine, and which was also the slogan of the Catholic high school of Bumba: “No science without conscience”.… Looking across the courtyard from our bedroom at the mission evokes one of the most dramatic moments of my stay in 1976. Early one afternoon, an Allouette helicopter (a gift from French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing to Zaïre’s president, Mobutu Sese Seko) arrived in Yambuku to take me to meet some high-ranking US officials in Bumba. As it was getting very dark, and I resented that these men did not want to come to where the action was, I decided not to fly. It saved my life – the helicopter crashed in the forest 15 minutes later and all three passengers died, including a worker from the mission who had taken my place in order to visit his family in Bumba. I always felt that poor man died for me.
Three days later I had to recover the bloated corpses after a hunter found them, two hours’ walk from the nearest village through almost impenetrable forest. As there were no coffins, I had to make them myself at the mission workshop back in Bumba, which was the only place that had wooden planks. For years I could not talk about it and even now seeing a pile of planks at that workshop is extremely emotional. Bumba, this morning, offers many distractions as well as memories but I am impatient to see Yambuku. Road R337 is a red soil track through the green foliage of the dense equatorial forest. It is dry season and during a four-and-a-half-hour drive of more than 100km, we see two trucks full of goods and people, four motorcycles and many more people on or pushing bicycles, loaded with rice, peanuts, dried fish and bush meat, manioc, palm oil and bananas. As we wend our way down the bumpy road from Bumba to Yambuku, I’m firmly holding on to a handle so as not to be ejected from the front seat and my head is spinning with memories of my first visit. The forest is a bit further away from the villages now, with trees having been cut down for fuel over the years, and there are far more children than I remember. There are also some new cement buildings in several of the villages we pass – often only one among the mud huts and Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses. There used to be palm oil plantations here, owned by Unilever, but these have been abandoned along with the paddy fields because of the wars and a deterioration in infrastructure and transport. With them went the last jobs, and many people are now living in a state of autarchy – fleeing into the forest for weeks at a time when various armed groups have invaded the area.
As we get closer to Yambuku the driver points to an overgrown area which was part of a village whose inhabitants had fled during the Ebola epidemic and never returned. Suddenly, the forest opens up and the road meanders through neglected coffee plants and bamboo before we finally see Yambuku. We are welcomed by sector chief Christophe Nzangolo, two doctors and four Congolese nuns, who have been waiting for us since noon on the terrace of the mission. Warm beer is served, formalities are exchanged and we are directed to our rooms. They are in dire condition, as is the rest of the building. The Catholic mission in Yambuku was founded by the Order of Scheut in the 1930s with the support of a colonial cotton company in the then Belgian Congo. It was later joined by Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary. For many years, the village was a flourishing centre for education, healthcare and agriculture, and in some ways was a picture-postcard location. But the 1976 Ebola epidemic, combined with a sharp economic downturn and serial wars, has led to a decline on all fronts. The mission was looted first by Mobutu’s soldiers and most recently by Bemba rebels, who were fighting the current government of Joseph Kabila and stole the ambulance and sideband radio, the villagers’ only means of communication with the outside world. (It took me a while to realise that the numerous small holes in the pillars of the convent’s terrace were actually bullet holes.) Since the departure of the Flemish nuns about 10 years ago, leaving some Congolese sisters, there has been no money available to replace or to maintain the vast convent buildings. The austere guest house where we stayed was slowly imploding, children at the primary school were sitting and writing on the dirt floor, and the hospital was without drugs and had only a few mattresses. The powerful electricity generator we had left behind in 1976 was intact but lacked some essential parts, which together cost only a few hundred pounds. But the money was not there and, in any case, the sisters had no idea how to order the missing parts.
The jungle had invaded the once flourishing coffee plantations, which used to employ a significant part of the population. People now survive on what the fertile land, vegetation and wildlife can offer. In contrast to Kinshasa, there is no obesity in Yambuku and, according to the local doctors and as far as we can see, not much serious malnutrition either, in spite of a monotonous diet based on manioc, fried plantain and bananas, with occasional fish or bush meat. Despite all the difficulties and lack of regular work, however, it is interesting to note how impeccably dressed the children and adults are. When we go for an early morning walk to enjoy some cool air before the steaming heat envelopes the village, we can see women sweeping the courtyards in front of their thatched-roofed mud huts, going to collect water and washing their children. These are among the world’s bottom billion, struggling to survive with what nature has to offer. They have just enough, but no spare capacity for an emergency.… When we arrived in Yambuku on October 20 1976, we went straight to the guest house, which sat between the nuns’ and fathers’ convents. Three European sisters and a priest were standing outside, with a cord between them and us. They had read that in case of an epidemic it was necessary to establish a cordon sanitaire, which they had interpreted literally. A message hung from a tree, saying in the Lingala language that people should stay away as anybody coming any closer would die, and to leave messages on a piece of paper. When the sisters shouted in French, “Don’t come any nearer! Stay outside the barrier or you will die!” I immediately understood from their accent that they were from near my part of Flanders. I jumped over the barrier, saying in Dutch, “We are here to help you and to stop the epidemic. You’ll be all right.” They broke down, holding each other and clinging to my arms, crying. We could see the terror in their faces as they were convinced they too would soon die, just like four of their colleagues and a priest who had all succumbed to the Ebola virus in the course of a few weeks. Once we had all settled down, the sisters prepared a solid dinner of Flemish beef stew and started to tell the story of the epidemic. They explained in great detail how their colleagues had died, who the first victims were at the mission and then in other villages, and that nothing seemed to work as treatment. One sister had kept careful notes on each patient. They decided that we should sleep on the floor in the school classroom as we did not know whether the bedrooms in the convent were contaminated. But I didn’t sleep much that first night in Yambuku, with a thousand questions going through my head and the sounds of the rainforest outside.
It quickly became clear that something was wrong at the hospital. Epidemiological detective work by our team confirmed the suspicions: people were being infected at the hospital through injections made using contaminated needles and syringes (only five syringes and needles were issued to the nurses each morning), and hospital staff and attendees at funerals were falling victim through exposure to body fluids infected with the virus. In addition there seemed to be transmission from mothers to babies. Closing the hospital (which, in any case, had been abandoned by frightened patients) was the decisive action that stopped the Ebola epidemic, and the last victim died on November 5. In simple terms, poor medical practice had killed hundreds of people. The missionaries were undoubtedly doing highly valuable work in education and community development but managing a hospital (without a physician, since they could not find one who would work in such a remote place) was beyond their expertise. On December 16 1976, the quarantine was officially lifted after four long months. The military transport plane that came to pick us up with our precious samples, lab equipment and Land Rover was the first contact with the outside world since we had arrived three months earlier. It was nearly stormed by people who wanted to leave the area.
I had a heated argument with the pilots, who were filling the plane with rattan furniture that belonged to General Bumba, their big boss, and allowing other people who had bribed them on to the plane. There was hardly any space left for us and our goods. Nothing could be taken for granted in Zaïre! I argued and swore and joked, and in the end we all got on the aircraft. I suddenly realised I had become assertive. That was not the end of the story. The Buffalo plane was overloaded, as well as badly loaded, and the pilots took off straight into a formidable tropical storm. We touched the top of some trees and before reaching cruising altitude the plane dived for what felt like a few hundred metres. There were no seat belts and we were hit by heavy flying boxes. Eventually we made it safely to Kinshasa but my legs were trembling when we got out of the plane. For me, flying had been more dangerous than caring for patients or handling virus samples.… Decades later, it is a great joy to see Sukato Mandzomba slowly walking towards me. “How are you?” he asks simply. “How is the family? My wife and I are so happy you came back.” He is smiling shyly and as if we had seen each other just a few days ago. Sukato is one of the few survivors from the 1976 Ebola epidemic. As a 24-year-old nurse, he was infected while caring for dying patients with haemorrhagic fever but never developed the severe, fatal form of the infection which causes massive bleeding and shock. Sukato was among the first people we saw on our arrival in Yambuku in 1976, and after he had recovered from his illness he volunteered to look after patients and helped us with our clinical and epidemiological work.
He now runs the rudimentary hospital laboratory, with a microscope and a hand centrifuge as his only equipment. Typically for Sukato, the laboratory logbook has impeccable records, and he shows me the characteristic bacilli in the sputum smears of numerous tuberculosis patients. The hospital looks the same as I remember it but with far fewer patients, even if there is now a competent doctor. The main reasons for people staying away are the lack of affordable drugs (the government has not sent any for more than two years) and extreme poverty prevents them from paying the various fees that are charged in the absence of any health insurance scheme. Medicines are bought at the weekly market in nearby Yandongi and then sold at a profit to subsidise the hospital. In the tiny hospital pharmacy we see six bicycles, palm oil and a few bags of rice, left as security by patients who could not pay for their drugs. The Yambuku “health zone” covers 14,000 sq km and 260,000 inhabitants but has no ambulance, no means of communication, hardly any medicines and just one fridge for vaccines. The two doctors and the nurses are trying to find solutions without any support from their government or the international community. Many would have given up but they are beacons of professional commitment and dignity amid abject poverty, the state having abdicated all responsibility.
Since that first visit, there have been more than 20 outbreaks of human Ebola haemorrhagic fever, all in Africa, except for a few laboratory-acquired cases. This year, and for the first time, Ebola virus caused a multi-country epidemic in west Africa that originated in Guinea-Conakry. Humans are an accidental host, as a virus that kills its host in a couple of weeks could not survive in nature. It is not clear how the virus reached this part of the continent though its genome has been found in a fruit-eating bat in Gabon. In general, Ebola is a disease of close contact with wildlife, of poverty and particularly of dysfunctional hospitals, which can become deadly centres of viral spread through unsafe injections and lack of basic hygiene. Healthcare workers are usually the first and most affected population. In principle it is very easy to contain an Ebola outbreak: with gloves, hand-washing, safe injection practices, isolation of patients, safe and rapid discarding of the corpses of those killed by Ebola, and tracing of contacts and subsequent observation for a few weeks. In reality, the health infrastructure where Ebola strikes is usually very poor and panic often leads to dissemination of the infection, with people fleeing affected areas, as is the case now in west Africa. As long as health services are inadequate, there will be occasional outbreaks of Ebola in parts of Africa where the virus is hiding in some animal. In theory, there is no need to send in numerous outside experts as control measures are very simple and inexpensive and can be implemented by local professionals and volunteers. However, the reality is that because of their high mortality rate and contagious character, as well as today’s mobility of people across borders, outbreaks due to Ebola and other dangerous viruses must always be considered as a global threat, amply justifying international support and research. The cost of public panic and societal disruption can be enormous, with healthcare workers disproportionately affected – going far beyond the actual impact in terms of deaths due to Ebola.… My last visit to Yambuku had been in 1986, 10 years after the first Ebola epidemic. Along with colleagues from the US Centers for Disease Control, we tested the blood samples we had collected in 1976 for HIV antibodies and found that 0.8 per cent were infected – five years before the first reports on Aids were published in the US. I had gone back to find out what had happened to the individuals who were HIV positive and also to explore whether that other virus in my life had spread further in the region. We found that three had died but also that two men and women had been living with HIV for at least a decade and appeared fairly healthy. The level of HIV infection in the population at large was still 0.8 per cent though it was as high as 11 per cent among prostitutes in the region. Around the same time, HIV prevalence among adults in Kinshasa was as high as 6 per cent (today HIV prevalence in the capital has declined to 3 per cent).
Our research showed not only that people can live for at least 10 years with HIV but also that the virus had existed at low levels for many years in central Africa. Together with later genetic studies of HIV isolates from all over the world, and the discovery that chimpanzees can be infected with a virus very closely related to the human immunodeficiency virus, these findings helped elucidate the origins of HIV.… On our last day in Yambuku, the film crew wants to interview me on the front porch of the convent. It is now barricaded for security reasons but when I was here during the outbreak, this was my favourite place to work and reflect while I watched people strolling by. It is with mixed feelings that I have to leave this beautiful place and people. A dream I wrote about in my memoir has come true: I have come back to Yambuku, to “Ebola ground zero”, a place and experience which changed my life. But I am left with many unanswered questions: how do people live, survive and die here? And what are their aspirations for their children? It is upsetting to see the deterioration in living conditions and infrastructure, reducing people to their most basic condition humaine.
As I sit next to Father Carlos on the return trip to Bumba, I ask what drives him. He says his real religion is fighting poverty and injustice. Then suddenly he turns to me and says: “You challenged me in 1976: why did I not do more for the daily life of the people of Bumba, besides all the religious activities? That is when I decided to start a hospital. You really turned around my life.” It is stunning that I had had any influence on a priest but it is also a profoundly happy moment. Two days later, back in Kinshasa, we take our first real shower in a week before going to a concert by superstar Papa Wemba, together with more than 20 former colleagues with whom I had worked on Aids in the 1980s and 1990s in Projet Sida. As always, I find the rumba and soukous liberating. The vitality expressed in Congolese music reflects the creativity and love for life of the Congolese people. They deserve better than their daily struggle for survival. New viruses will unavoidably continue to emerge, particularly where people and animals live in proximity but war, greed and corrupt governance are man-made disasters, and they can be prevented. Peter Piot is a microbiologist and physician, and director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. His book, ‘No Time to Lose: A Life in Pursuit of Deadly Viruses’, is published by Norton. To comment on this article please post below, or email email@example.com
Healthwatch Brighton and Hove and Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group have produced some information about where to go if you don’t feel well during a festive time.
They could be accessed by clicking:
Healthwatch guide to Health and support services over Christmas and the New Year: http://bit.ly/13Dm0Y2
Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group a guide to Urgent care services open during Christmas 2014/15:http://bit.ly/1uWDkNa
Could you help us to distribute this information as widely as possible (including all your friends and families), so everyone in need can easily access help during the festive time.
We also would like to encourage people to choose the best service for their needs, and so help to keep A&E formedical emergencies!
You can do so also by sharing posted by us information Twitter and Facebook:
Healthwatch Twitter: HealthwatchBH
Healthwatch Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/healthwatchbrightonandhove?ref=hl
Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group Twitter:NHSBrightonHove
Here is a small group of our 4pm Monday class enjoying Christmas music.
Hope you all have a wonderful rest over Christmas. Our baby toddler classes will continue 11am and 2pm Dec 22nd, 23rd and 24th (older toddlers at 1pm Mon 22nd and 4-7yrs at 4pm on Mon 22nd) We reopen on January 5th with normal schedule — first class being baby/toddler music at 11am.
More info @ brightonmusicforkids.org
Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England has welcomed a report released today by the Environmental Audit Committee which calls on the Government to take action on air pollution. Included in the recommendations were measures to protect children in schools.
Earlier this year Keith launched his own report titled “Polluted Playgrounds” which found that thousands of children across South East England go to school in close proximity to major roads.
His report showed that approximately 27,920 children of primary school age in South East England are attending schools within a 150m radius of heavy traffic points and that many thousands more go to school within 450m of the region’s busiest roads.
Air pollution is a serious health threat in the UK and is second only to smoking as the biggest killer.
Keith Taylor Green MEP for South East England said:
“Continuing to allow unchecked air pollution means sentencing children to poor respiratory health and earlier death. I’m glad the environmental audit committee are urging the Government to increase their efforts to protect children in polluted playgrounds as up until now they have completely failed to act.
“Air pollution is second only to smoking as a killer. The government must stop pretending the problem doesn’t exist and make air pollution an immediate priority with adequate funding to make a real impact”.
Notes to Editors
- Polluted Playgrounds Report: http://issuu.com/greenkeithmep/docs/air_pollution_web
- Environmental Audit Committee Report: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environmental-audit-committee/news/report-air-quality/
For more information or to request an interview please contact:
Media OfficerOffice of Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England
49–51 East Road
UKOffice: 0207 250 8418
Mobile: 07940 500633Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Campaigners in Sussex are celebrating having reached an important milestone in efforts to halt an international trade agreement. Groups from across East and West Sussex have helped sign-up one million names to a European-wide petition aiming to stop the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – TTIP. TTIP is a comprehensive free trade agreement currently being negotiated between the United States and Europe.
“No other similar European petition has gained support so quickly as this one”, said Val Knight an organiser of 38 Degrees supporters in Brighton. “This highlights the depth of concern about a deal that clearly puts the interests of big business before people and the planet. TTIP is a major threat to our democracy as it could allow corporations to over-rule government policies by suing them if regulations interfere with existing or future profits.
This is why we need to stop TTIP and thousands of people in Sussex have already signed up to help to do that. One million signatories is great but it’s far from the end, we need many more to highlight the opposition to this deal.”
One million signatures for a European Citizens Initiative (ECI) petition normally allows for a hearing at the European Parliament providing a valuable chance to raise concerns and awareness. However, the European Commission have so far refused to register an ECI petition against TTIP. This has prompted opponents to proceed with a ‘self-organised’ version of the petition and to challenge the Commission’s decision in the European Court of Justice. The Stop TTIP coalition is supported by more than 320 civil society organisations, trade unions and consumer watchdogs from 24 EU Member States.
Campaigners against the trade agreement still under negotiation, say that Sussex is likely to be impacted in many ways, some specific to our region. Susanne Schuster of Brighton & Hove World Development Movement says, “Sussex’s potential for fracking is already well known. Large scale deregulation expected under TTIP could allow American companies to challenge fracking bans in Europe and strengthen their ability to instigate drilling locally. East and West Sussex County Council’s commitments to sustainable procurement and development could be undermined and public services are likely to see further privatisation of health and education services.
Madeleine Dickens of Sussex Defend the NHS says: “US-based health and insurance corporations have been making private inroads into NHS services for some time. They have also been grabbing more of a media foothold, to build their business in the UK. If TTIP were to be ratified there would be a deluge of such privateering corporate interests from Europe as well as the US intent on buying up the NHS and other public services. Whatever the complexion of the government in power from next May there would be little or nothing they could do to stop it. The nightmare prospect of a US-style health and insurance system would become a reality.”
Contact: Matthew Chambers of Lewes STOP TTIP; Email: email@example.com; Mobile: 07905 949457
1) TTIP is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. It is a proposed free trade agreement between the United States of America and Europe. If TTIP comes into being it would represent the birth of potentially the largest free trade area in history covering nearly half of the world’s GDP.
2) Celebration events — Members of groups across Sussex will hold different celebration events to mark the 1m milestone. Locations for the gatherings will include Brighton and Lewes. Dates and times can be confirmed on request.
3) European Citizens Initiative Petition — On 10 November 2014, the Stop TTIP coalition has filed a lawsuit against the European Commission at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg. The lawsuit relates to a decision that was made by the Commission to block a ‘European Citizen’s Initiative’ (ECI) on the controversial EU-USA trade deal known as TTIP and a similar deal with Canada (CETA). The Initiative, if successful would have forced the Commission to review its policy on the deals and to hold a hearing in the European parliament.
Stop TTIP applied for registration of the European Citizens’ Initiative on 15 July. On 11 September, the Commission rejected this application, using two main arguments: Firstly, the Commission claims that the negotiating mandates on TTIP and CETA are not legal acts but internal preparatory acts between EU institutions and therefore not contestable via an ECI. Secondly, the Commission claims that it cannot make negative ratification proposals and therefore cannot comply with the ECI demand not to conclude the CETA and TTIP negotiations. (Taken from www.stop-ttip.org)
4) Sussex Against TTIP – is a loose grouping of members of various organisations from across East and West Sussex campaigning against TTIP. It includes representation of the following: World Development Movement, 38 Degrees, War on Want, Sussex Defend the NHS and various local unions and political parties.
5) Photos — Free photos from Stop TTIP protests can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eci_ttip/ Additional photos of protests held so far in Sussex are attached with this news release and are available on request.
- Expand the amount of information that companies are forced to keep about you, especially targeting mobile companies.
- Continue a dangerous pattern of placing innocent citizens under surveillance, violating the right to privacy.
- Require public institutions, including NHS trusts and nursery schools, to keep tabs on people they think may be extremists, opening the door to politicised workplace surveillance of emails and web use.
- Include other human rights threats: measures such as temporary exclusion from the UK are also included, which Liberty and other groups will be fighting.
You can read our initial response to the Bill here: https://www.openrightsgroup.org/press/releases/open-rights-group-response-to-the-counter-terrorism-and-security-bill
Who is Davy Jones? Davy Jones, Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Kemptown, and regular host of the Politics Show, answers questions posed by Jackie Chase of Radio Free Brighton and other volunteers from the radio station . LISTEN HERE
Saltdean Countryside Alliance LISTEN HERE
This week Davy Jones talks to Lisa Forrest from the Saltdean Countryside Alliance. A Planning application has been received by Brighton and Hove City Council for 36 houses on the edge of the downs in Rottingdean, at the northern end of Westmeston Avenue, to the rear of Bishopstone Drive and Falmer Avenue, Saltdean and can be clearly seen from Dean Court Road. To find out more and raise objections go to
City of Sanctuary LISTEN HERE
This week Davy Jones meets Jenny Lansdell from City of Sanctuary.City of Sanctuary is a national network, a movement of local groups made up by businesses, community organisations and individuals, all with one thing in common; their belief that sanctuary seekers should be welcomed, and that their contribution to society should be celebrated.
City of Sanctuary Brighton http://www.cityofsanctuary.org/bright…
Discussion of the Drugs Issue LISTEN HERE
This week Davy and Steve Peake discuss the issue of drugs and effective ways to approach the subject through our community and government policy and alternative approaches being taken in other countries
City Council win prestigious conservation award
Work to create 15 new butterfly havens in Brighton & Hove has been recognised with a national award.
Brighton & Hove City Council has won the prestigious ‘Promotion of Lepidoptera Conservation Award’. The award recognises an outstanding, unprecedented or major contribution to the conservation of butterflies and moths. The award was presented by Peter Titley, Trustee of the Marsh Christian Trust, the charity that supports organisations across the fields of conservation and education, at the recent Annual General Meeting of Butterfly Conservation.
Over the past seven years, council staff and conservationists have been working to create new Butterfly Havens, across the city from East Brighton Park and Carden Avenue to Hove Lagoon, Greenleas and Mile Oak recreation ground.
‘”These havens have effectively brought the delights of the chalk downs within the reach of city dwellers,” said Dr Dan Danahar, Habitat Restoration Officer for Butterfly Conservation’s Sussex Branch. ”They have allowed precious downland wildlife to flourish on poor quality grassland sites. Careful grazing in a plan designed to benefit wildlife has further enhancedthis green network of biodiversity hubs and corridors.”
The city’s first Butterfly Haven was created at Dorothy Stringer School in 2007. Work involved landscaping a chalk slope, sowing a carefully selected wildflower seed mix and planting 5,500 locally sourced wildflower plugs. Since then, 27 different butterflies have been seen on this site, a staggering three quarters of all the different species found in the city!
Inspired by this success Brighton & Hove City Council submitted an application in conjunction with the South Downs National Park in 2012 to become part of a Nature Improvement Area. The application was successful and the Council secured £91,000 funding for its part of the “South Downs Way Ahead” project.
John Gapper, who works at the council’s Stanmer Nursery, worked with staff at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, who provided advice on how to collect single species of seeds. These were planted and grown into small plant plugs by volunteers. During the winter, council rangers worked with more volunteers to plant 200,000 wildflower plugs.
This work has already benefited many butterfly species, including the Dingy & Grizzled Skippers, Small and Chalkhill Blues and, in one case, bringing a colony of the spectacularly beautiful Adonis Blue directly into the city centre.
Councillor Pete West, Chair of the council’s Environment, Sustainability and Transport Committee said: “I’m extremely proud that we have been able to create these magnificent havens which are already attracting many butterfly species back to the city.
All credit must go to John and Mark Gapper and their hardworking team of volunteers whose knowledge, inspiration and expertise has made this project such a huge success.”
In 2014, Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere was internationally recognised by UNESCO as a new World Biosphere area. This was the first completely new Biosphere site in the UK established for almost forty years.
Picture shows (left to right) Peter Titley of Marsh Christian Trust, John Gapper and his son Mark Gapper of Brighton & Hove City Council, Dr Dan Danahar of the Sussex Branch of Butterfly Conservation at the award presentation.
For further information contact:
Dr Dan Danahar
Butterfly Conservation is the UK charity dedicated to halting the rapid decline of butterflies and moths and protecting our environment. We run conservation programmes for more than 100 threatened species and manage over 30 nature reserves. www.butterfly-conservation.org
Every University carrying out animal experiments in the UK is legally obliged to provide the Home Office with figures each year of the numbers of animals they have used in their laboratories.
However, the University of Sussex has today been criticised heavily by the BUAV for being deliberately obstructive and preventing this information being in the public domain.
Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) the BUAV has requested the University provide details of the numbers of animals used in 2013, the species and for what purpose.
Although the institution is obliged to provide this information, and has confirmed it does indeed possess it, it is refusing to do so. The University has claimed the reason for refusing the information is that, under Section 38 of the FOIA, it has concerns over the health and safety of the staff and students on its campus.
The BUAV has responded that Section 38 FOIA cannot conceivably apply to the information requested. The section provides that information is exempt if its disclosure under the Act would, or would be likely to, endanger the physical or mental health of any individual, or endanger the safety of any individual. There has to be a causative link between release of the information in question and the creation of, or increase to, a risk to safety. None is possible here.
The disclosure of the number, type of species and purpose of research could not possibly endanger the safety of the university’s staff and/or students. By disclosing this basic information, appropriately anonymised, there is simply no risk which can justify university’s reliance on section 38.
Michelle Thew, CEO of the BUAV said: “There is widespread concern over the use of animals in research but an informed debate cannot take place under a veil of secrecy. The research industry has made claims of late over its commitment to transparency and openness and yet we have encountered closed doors at Sussex University under a clause which simply does not stand up. The public has a right to know what animals are being used in research and why.”
Out of the 73 other universities approached by the BUAV under the FOIA, only the University of Sussex has refused under Section 38 stating health and safety concerns.
(1) In September 2014, a Government announcement showed a continuing decline in support for animal experiments shown by two polls conducted by IPSOS-MORI for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. Highlights:
· The most common description of animal research organisations is “secretive”, at 44%, whereas only 22% think of them as “well-regulated”
· Only 8% of respondents support continuing to allow animal testing for cleaning products
· Research on cats for possible benefit to humans is endorsed by only 15%, with only 14% supporting the use of dogs.
· There has been a 7-point drop in support since 2010 for animal experimentation generally, and this is now a minority view, at 47%.
For over 100 years the BUAV has been campaigning to create a world where nobody wants or believes we need to experiment on animals.
The BUAV is widely respected as an authority on animal testing issues and is frequently called upon by governments, media, corporations and official bodies for its advice or expert opinion.
We work to build relationships with MPs, MEPs, business leaders and other decision-makers. We also analyse legislation and sit on decision-making panels around the globe to act as the voice for animals in laboratories.
Our dedicated London-based team coordinates an international network of scientists, lawyers, campaigners, investigators, researchers, political lobbyists and supporters. www.thebuav.org
|Sarah DickinsonMedia and Celebrity Liaison Officer
British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV)
16a Crane Grove
London N7 8NN
|Direct: +44 (0) 20 7619 6978
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7700 4888
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7700 0252www.buav.org
| The BUAV Vision is: To create a world where nobody wants or believes we need to experiment on animals.Half the battle to bring an end to animal suffering is funded by gifts in our supporters’ wills.
If the time is right for you to put a good cause in your will please remember ours.
In this film Emmy award director, Tor Ben Mayor follows a group of 27 Palestinian and Israelis who meet under the frame of a unique project called “‘History through the Human Eye” led by Parents Circle — Families Forum — bereaved Palestinian and Israelis for Peace and Reconciliation. The project’s goal is to acknowledge the narrative of the other through encounters between bereaved families, both Palestinian and Israeli in their homes and neighbourhoods.
Will their differences remain irreconcilable, or will they, can they, begin to accept the reality that their colleagues express?
The event is at Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton on Thursday, December 4 at 7.30 p.m.
The Quaker Open House for Palestine and Israel
The Open House project has been launched by local Quakers to find practical ways of respecting the common humanity in all people, whatever their religious or non-religious backgrounds. We wish to offer a place of encounter for those of good will in our community who see no worthwhile future in the politics of violence and retaliation.
This is the first of what we hope will be a series of thought-provoking events on Israel and Palestine. Entrance is free. There will be a collection at the end.
For further information,
firstname.lastname@example.org (Harvey Gillman) (away November 23 – December 1st)
email@example.com (Patricia Cockrell)
On December 3, 1984, nearly 30 years ago, Rampyari Bai’s daughter-in-law was seven months pregnant.
Neither her grandchild nor her daughter-in-law would survive the labor.
That night, a toxic gas wrought with deadly chemicals leaked from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. It was one of the world’s most devastating industrial disasters.
Rampyari Bai’s daughter-in-law went into sudden labor. She and her baby died in the hospital soon afterwards. Between 7,000 and 10,000 people died within three days of the leak.
Though it’s been almost 30 years, this remains a pressing issue. To date, more than 20,000 people are estimated to have died as a result of the leak; hundreds of thousands suffer from ongoing health problems. Rampyari herself has struggled with cancer.
Survivors of the gas leak have never received adequate compensation to cover the full extent of their injuries.
Many have been driven deeper into poverty, yet the companies involved have never been held fully accountable. Together, we can work to change this.
Let’s force an end to the suffering and seek justice in Bhopal.
30 years is too long.
13 November 2014
Book Launch at Photofusion, Brixton, 18:30 – 20:30, with an artists talk at 19:30.
17 November 2014
Exhibition Launch at Amnesty International UK, New Inn Yard, Shoreditch, 18:30 – 21:00, with a short talk at 19:30 (Further information coming soon)
19 November 2014
Talk at Housmans Bookshop, Kings Cross, joined by Colin Toogood, Campaigns Manager of the Bhopal Medical Appeal, 19:00. See: http://www.housmans.com/events.php
21 November 2014
Public exhibition opens at City Hall, 21 – 28 November, located on the Second Floor Chamber Lobby.(Further information coming soon)
28 November 2014
Talk at Tetley Gallery, Leeds, as part of the Post Colonial Disaster Conference. See:http://postcolonialdisaster.com/conference/
A recording of Dave Jones Brighton, Kemptown Election Campaign, held at The Sidewinder Pub on 6th November 2014.