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Tilgate councillor pens public letter about high-caffeine energy drinks in supermarkets

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A Tilgate councillor has written a public letter giving credit to a supermarket chain for banning high-caffeine energy drinks to under 16s and calling for other supermarkets to follow.

Tilgate councillor Francis Guidera was encouraged by a stand taken by Waitrose but wants other supermarkets to do the same.  He wrote the following letter:

Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera penned a public letter.

“Credit to Waitrose for taking the decision to ban the sale of high-caffeine energy drinks to under 16s. Regulation is needed.

Research shows drinking just two cans raises risk of cardiac arrest by 20 percent in children with an undiagnosed arrhythmia.

Let me re-emphasise that point… just two cans of this stuff can trigger a heart attack!

As someone who suffered with episodes of cardiac arrhythmia throughout my childhood, only to be diagnosed in 2012 with Wolf Parkinson White syndrome or “supraventricular tachycardia”, and knowing what it’s like to lie in a bed wired up to an ecg in Crawley walk-in centre with my heart racing at 187bpm, my legs and arms going cold, family watching helplessly as we were told by a very stern faced doctor that my situation was “not good” and that they’d called an ambulance, I can only say thank God there was no such thing as ‘energy drinks’ when I was a kid or I literally might not be alive today.

The sale of so-called energy drinks should be banned to anybody under the age of 16 and ID should be required. There is no question that they are dangerous to people who don’t even know they are in danger.

I urge Asda, Sainsbury’s Tesco’s, Co-Op and Morrison’s to follow suit. The retailers have the power to force energy drink providers to change their caffeine content and most big retailers sell their own brand of energy drinks which they have control over too.

Enough is enough.

I’ve witnessed children who look no older than 12 years old buying them in shops on their way to school and older teens on their lunch breaks, in Tilgate. When teachers are begging retailers to stop selling children these drinks because they cause behavioural issues in the classroom you know there is a problem.

I will be writing to our Member of Parliament, Henry Smith, asking him to urge our government to introduce regulation. Other countries have already done so. It’s time we did too.”

Cllr Francis Guidera Councillor for Tilgate

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Council have plans in place for ‘Beast from the East’

Salting operations are to continue throughout the period; snow ploughs will be fitted when required to ensure main roads are kept open.

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Yellow warnings for snow in Crawley have been issued by the Met Office until Wednesday. Photo: MetOffice

Snowfall will be effecting most of the country over the forthcoming week and the Met Office have issued yellow weather warnings for snow as well as amber warnings for some areas.

Following these warnings, West Sussex County Council have said they have plans in place to keep main roads open.

A West Sussex Highways spokesman said:

“Precautionary salting operations will continue throughout the period and snow ploughs will be fitted when required to ensure main roads are kept open.

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“We are therefore advising Town and Parish Councils to be prepared to enact their Winter Management Plans IF and when we issue an instruction to do so.”

A further update will be issued later today.

The County Council’s winter campaign website page has several sections giving advice on ‘staying warm’ please click here.

If you know or look after someone who may be susceptible to the effects of this cold weather period, please help ensure they stay warm and well and check in advance that they are prepared for this cold spell.

WSCC have offered some general advice including:

• Stay tuned in to weather forecasts.
• Check and maintain daytime room temperatures of 21°C.
• Check bedroom night-time temperatures and maintain it at 18°C or warmer.
• Keep warm and active and, if you have to go out, dress warmly and wear non-slip shoes.
• If you are concerned about your own health or welfare, or that of others, please alert the emergency services – details: emergency services.

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