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Peter Lamb: Enough is Enough!

In his article this week the leader of Crawley Borough Council says police cuts have gone too far.

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Enough is enough. The police cuts have gone too far.

We need our officers and PCSOs back on Crawley’s streets. Whatever the Government likes to claim, violent crime has risen in-line with police cuts and to assume that is just a coincidence is gambling with people’s safety.

Even with the money Sussex Police do get, which increasingly has to be paid from your council tax while the Government cuts their grant, the Police and Crime Commissioner is making the wrong decisions. For four years, Crawley’s Labour representatives on the Sussex Police and Crime Panel, including myself, have dissected the Sussex Police budget and highlighted that millions of pounds of cuts to neighbourhood policing could have been avoided. Unfortunately, no one listened.

The result is where we are now, with violent crime on the rise and residents complaining that when they are attacked with fireworks in the street, when people are breaking into their cars and when there is violence on the High Street, there simply aren’t the police available to respond anymore. At the end of the day, that comes down to a political choice about their funding and no amount of spin can hide it.

Without the police to enforce the law, laws become pointless and without laws we’re forced to live in a state of chaos.

As the Leader of Crawley Borough Council, I’m tired of being asked to bite my tongue and rely upon a quiet word with the right people to turn things around.

Well, the subtle approach doesn’t seem to be working, so let’s just make the reality clear for people: the Government and the Police and Crime Commissioner have the power in their hands to turn this all around, if they decide not to then we’ll know what our safety is worth to them.

Peter Lamb

Leader of Crawley Borough Council

Health & Wellbeing

Crawley vegan loses over 4 stone after joining Broadfield Weight Watchers

After deciding enough is enough, Geri joined Weight Watchers as a vegan and lost 64 and a half pounds.

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Geri Maloney from Broadfield lost 64 and a half pounds after joining Weight Watchers and going vegan.

This month, Broadfield resident Geri Maloney celebrated losing 4½ stone after joining  her local Weight Watchers group.

Geri had always battled with her weight but decided to join Weight Watchers after seeing a photograph of herself on a family holiday.

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Geri explains, “I’ve been overweight my whole adult life. My clothes size kept creeping up and although I was never happy with my size, I just accepted it. Every now and again I would attempt to lose weight; I would lose a stone, feel great and then put it all back on again.”

Following from pregnancy, Geri had gained more weight and decided to transition from vegetarian to vegan, in the hope that the plant-based diet may aid her weight-loss, however Geri still found that she struggled.

She said:

“As veganism is more mainstream now there are so many unhealthy options available that it is very easy to still eat junk food, which I did, and therefore didn’t lose weight. I would very rarely look in a full-length mirror and always tried to avoid having full-length photos taken because I would hate seeing myself.

“I gave up on wearing nice clothes and adopted a uniform of leggings and baggy tops which I thought disguised my weight, but when I saw a photo of me holding my daughter, I thought about what she would think of it when she is older. I didn’t want her to look at it and see the Mum who was too unfit to run around after her once she learnt to walk, or never wanted to go clothes shopping.”

Geri knew that she had to make a change, and after seeing a banner advertising her local Broadfield Weight Watchers meeting, she plucked up the courage to sign up.

“It was one of the best decisions I have ever made; walking in was a little daunting but the welcome that I received from my coach, Sharon and the rest of the members, made me relax in no time. I walked out feeling totally inspired and like I could take on the world!”

Since joining Weight Watchers Geri has learnt new healthy eating habits whilst still enjoying her vegan-friendly food. She says:

“In my first week I learnt how to use the Weight Watchers mobile phone app, and I had great fun walking round the supermarkets scanning all my favourite foods, and was surprised by how many of the foods I loved were not off limits. The Flex plan has encouraged me to start cooking more using some of the zero-point foods like tofu, lentils, chickpeas and beans – they’re so versatile and really good for padding out meals to make me feel full and satisfied for longer.”

Now Geri has reached her goal weight and became a Weight Watchers Gold member, she says it’s not just about the weight she has lost, but everything else that she has gained!

“Losing weight has increased my confidence and made me feel fitter. I can go out for a walk with my daughter and chase her around without needing to sit down and rest afterwards.”

A Gold membership is awarded to members once they have achieved their goal weight. As well as receiving a certificate for their achievement, Gold members can attend meetings free of charge and as often as they like, if they stay within 5lbs of their target weight.

Coach Sharon Ashborn says:

“I love Geri because she’s so funky and hip! She brings sparkle to the room, encourages and supports our other members and always contributes to the meeting talks. The best part is she inspires and amazes me with her vegan diet, and how she has continued to follow it alongside the Flex plan.

“As Geri continues to attend the meetings, I will continue to support and encourage her to continue with the fantastic work she has done so far to ensure she will stay on track and take control of her goals for good.”

When asked if she had one piece of advice for people considering joining Weight Watchers, she said, “stop thinking about it and do it, just join! Embrace it and you will achieve your goal!”

Sharon Ashborn runs six meetings a week across West Sussex:

Monday at 5.30pm – Broadfield Youth and Community Centre
Tuesday at 6.30pm – Southwater Leisure Centre
Thursday at 8.45 & 10am – Southwater Leisure Centre
Friday at 9.30am – Haywards Heath St Wilfrids Church Hall
Saturday at 9.45am – Broadfield Youth and Community Centre

To find out more about Sharon’s Weight Watchers meetings email sashborn@weight-watchers.co.uk or visit www.weightwatchers.com/uk to find out about other meetings.

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