YP Comment: No extra funds for abuse victims - No extra funds for abuse victims

WHEN the Jay Report was published in 2014 it lifted the lid on the shocking scale of the sex grooming scandal in Rotherham.
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion has criticised the Government for not providing extra funds to help tackle child sexual exploitation in South Yorkshire.Rotherham MP Sarah Champion has criticised the Government for not providing extra funds to help tackle child sexual exploitation in South Yorkshire.
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion has criticised the Government for not providing extra funds to help tackle child sexual exploitation in South Yorkshire.

The bombshell report revealed that at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited in the borough by gangs of men between 1997 and 2013. This not only revulsed the country but it left a whole community struggling to come to terms with what had happened.

The abuse scandal was a stain on the nation’s conscience and this is why Sarah Champion is right to criticise the Government for not providing more resources to help tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE) in South Yorkshire.

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The Rotherham MP fired her broadside after the Home Secretary Theresa May rejected a National Crime Agency bid for extra support for the victims of the sex grooming scandal.

This coincided with South Yorkshire Police announcing that it was cutting 825 staff over the next four years.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday Ms Champion asked: “How are we meant to bring down child sexual exploitation when the Government are cutting police resources?” Not only is it a valid question, but what sort of message does it send out to the perpetrators and victims?

The National Crime Agency requested extra money from the Home Office to fund specialist support for victims after revealing it had hundreds of potential suspects still to investigate and 9,000 lines of enquiry as part of Operation Stovewood – its probe into abuse in Rotherham. Now they have been told these extra funds are not available.

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The Home Secretary says the Agency is well resourced and that Rotherham remains a priority. This must be the case, for while accepting that there is not a bottomless pit of money, we owe it to the victims to ensure that everything is done to bring all those responsible for abusing children to justice.

Obesity link to womb cancer rise

The link between obesity and cancer does not come as a startling new revelation, but news that rising obesity levels have helped fuel a 21 per cent increase in womb cancer in Yorkshire over the past decade certainly does, and should alarm us all.

The national picture is no less shocking, with the number of women diagnosed with the disease almost doubling in 20 years, according to Cancer Research. Obesity has 
been linked to 10 different types of cancer, as well as type 2 diabetes, strokes and heart disease, and is the single biggest preventable cause of the disease after smoking.

While there are various causes of cancer, the growing link between people who are overweight and an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer must concentrate the minds not only of Government Ministers and health professionals but the public, too.

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Despite repeated warnings from health experts about the dangers associated with obesity, which has been described both as an epidemic and a ticking time bomb in recent years, the UK still has the highest level of obesity in Western Europe.

A new sugar tax on soft drinks introduced by the Chancellor George Osborne in last month’s budget was widely applauded and is a step in the right direction, but more must be done.

None of us want to live in a nanny state, but the long term cost of tackling obesity for the NHS, which already faces unprecedented pressure on its services and staff, is potentially catastrophic.

The message is loud and clear. We must tackle this problem now if we no longer wish to be viewed as “the fat man of Europe.”

Hannah Hauxwell’s farm up for sale

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She is the world’s most famous Daleswoman and now Hannah Hauxwell’s former home has been put up for sale.

The humble, softy-spoken farmer became a household name during the 1970s when a series of YTV documentaries followed her spartan life at High Birk Hatt, a ramshackle farm in Baldersdale, part of Yorkshire’s old North Riding. The programmes attracted millions of viewers and captivated a nation.

Back then she lived alone on her remote farm with no running water, electricity, heating or telephone. She eventually sold her much-loved home in 1988 to Robin and Ann Dant, who set about renovating it.

This they did and now it is their turn to leave which are doing with a heavy heart for they, like Hannah, found themselves beguiled by the beauty of the Pennines.

The smallholding, which comes with the house, two stone barns, outbuildings and 15 acres has a guide price of £590,000. But, as a piece of Dales history it’s priceless.