Fitness and foxes

I sit on the board of Active Southend, being appointed after my election as councillor last year. This is chaired by Cllr Derek Jarvis and brings together various sports, fitness and health groups. I am on this body as a councillor, but do have a sporting interest as I have been involved in local football for almost twenty-nine years. Although now retired as a referee I still sit on the executive of the Southend Borough and District Football Combination.

At yesterday’s meeting I sat next to someone from Active Life and had a brief chat about that organisation before the meeting formally commenced. A number of topics were covered and when the discussion on obesity unfolded I confess to feeling somewhat sheepish. My lack of exercise and fondness for food has left me overweight, bordering on obese, and I have been making resolutions for many years to do something about it. Crisis is an overused word, but it is appropriate when considering the weight of the collective British. Many of us are fat, and we are getting fatter. Active Southend hopes to play a role in reversing this disturbing trend.

In the evening I caught the train to Westminster to attend a Fox in Parliament meeting. Here I met the ‘other’ Angela Smith. Prior to the 2010 General Electi0on there were two Angela Smiths in the House of Commons. The former MP (and now Baroness) for South Basildon and East Thurrock is well known to me; meeting the MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge was a first. Discussion covered the impending badger cull, as well as the likely vote to repeal the hunting ban next year.

The badger cull is a tragedy, best explained by Team Badger. The repeal of the hunting ban is a step towards barbarism. This government is not animal friendly.

Pick it up!

I would hope that all dog owners would also love their neighbours and their community as well. Alas, some are somewhat neglectful – allowing their beloved pets to foul the pavements.

Good dogs owners clear up after their doggies have done their business. It is unsightly and unhealthy to not do so.

I am getting quite a number of complaints about dog’s mess. It is no exaggeration to describe this as a most vexatious issue for many Milton residents.

Dog ownership comes with a number of responsibilities. Looking after their health with good food and regular exercise comes with a by-product. Food in must inevitably result in excrement out. Owners must pick up after their pets, and dispose of responsibly. This does not mean throwing the bag of excrement into someone’s garden or onto railway embankments, etc. This means putting in dog bins or a dustbin.

When dog owners do not behave as society expects then all of us bear the cost. Council tax bills include an element of clear-up costs. Dog owners who want to see ever rising bills will doubtless feel vindicated in allowing doggie to do his do-do on our pavements; those who wish for lower bills may take this as an incentive to be more civic minded. Whatever, it is against the law, and I am encouraging our police to prosecute the irresponsible, the stupid, and the lazy.

Please be a good neighbour – pick up after your dog.

I am two ahead of Sir Paul McCartney

The European Union was due to be free of all new animal tested cosmetics by 2013. However officials are now considering exceptions for certain types of animal tests. This would mean that animal tested cosmetics could still be imported and sold in the EU. That’s despite massive public opposition to animal tested cosmetics and an existing ban on animal testing for cosmetics inside the EU. Join me in saying NO to cruel cosmetics in Europe.

Say NO to cruel cosmetics in Europe by signing the petition here.

I am signatory number 125,400. Sir Paul McCartney is signatory 125,402 – I guess he saw me signing there.

For those whose wish to buy cruelty free the Go Cruelty Free website is a useful resource.

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