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RECORD NUMBER OF SALFORD PEOPLE DYING FROM DRUGS
 

Star date: 3rd August 2017

SALFORD DRUG DEATH RATE SOARS

New figures from the Government show that record numbers of people in Salford are dying from drugs since recent records began, with the rate for women almost doubling over the last 15 years.

"This unacceptably high level of deaths is a direct result of the Home Office's scandalous approach to drugs" says Martin Powell of Transform Drug Policy Foundation.

Full details here...


There are record numbers of people dying from drugs in Salford, according to new figures released by the Government.

During the period 2001-2003, when recent records began, there were 29 Salford deaths associated with drug poisoning - defined as having a controlled drug mentioned on the death certificate. This was an official rate of 4.1. By 2013-2015 this had risen to 32 deaths, a rate of 4.6. But latest figures for 2014-16 show a rise to 41 deaths, a rate of 5.9.

For Salford women the rise is alarming, with 'only' seven deaths in 2001-2003, a rate of 2.3. Latest figures for 2014-2016 show this has almost doubled to 13 deaths, a rate of 4.0.

Drug-related death rates for men in Salford have also increased, from 21 deaths in the period 2001-2003, a rate of 5.8, to 28 deaths during 2014-2016, a rate of 7.6.

Overall, Greater Manchester recorded 479 people dying from illegal drugs during 2014-2016, the highest in the North West, and in record numbers.

Both the Government and the Local Government Association are attributing the figures to drug users getting older but this is hotly disputed by the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, which calls the figures a direct result of the Home Office's "scandalous approach to drugs".

Councillor Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Board, says..."The record-high number of drug-related deaths is a major concern to councils and a worrying public health challenge...

"The biggest challenge we all face is an ageing cohort of drug users, who have not previously sought or had any treatment" he adds "As a result, they are prone to an accumulation of chronic physical and mental health conditions that make them more susceptible to dying through overdose."

The Transform Drug Policy Foundation trashes this, arguing that countries like Portugal and Switzerland, which have the same age range of drug users record a fraction of the death rate that Britain has...

"The Government must accept responsibility for record numbers of people dying from overdoses year after year" says Transform's Martin Powell "This unacceptably high level of deaths is a direct result of the Home Office's scandalous approach to drugs.

"Other countries value the lives of vulnerable people who use drugs enough to implement and fund many measures proven to save lives, like decriminalising drug users, safer drug consumption rooms and prescribing heroin" he adds "All recommended by the Government's own expert body, the ACMD. None delivered by the Government."

At the local level, Salford City Council is this year making 135,000 cuts to public health funding...and last week 'deleted' 8.5 full time equivalent posts in its Health Improvement Team.

Things, as they say, can only get worse...


Main graphic shows detail from a painting by Salford artist Joe Coffey

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SALFORD BENEFIT ARMY TO TAKE ON DWP OVER UNFAIR DISABILITY ASSESSMENTS

Star date: 17th August 2017

VOLUNTEER ARMY TRAIN TO HELP DISABLED FIGHT UNFAIR ASSESSMENTS

A new army of volunteers has been trained this week to accompany people going to DWP disability assessments to ensure they are treated fairly and gets their rights to state help.

"I think it's very important that people are there to stand up for those who are not necessarily best able to defend themselves in a benefit system that is set up basically to catch people out; force them off benefits" explained Ben Clay, who was one of the volunteers at the training course organised by Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre.

Full details here...

SALFORD COUNCIL SET TO BORROW 25MILLION TO MAKE TOWER BLOCKS FIRE SAFE

Star date: 16th August 2017

25MILLION FOR NINE PENDLETON BLOCKS AS PUBLIC MEETING CALLED ON FIRE SAFETY

Salford City Council is set to borrow 25million in order to sort its nine Pendleton high rises, after they failed consecutive Government fire safety tests. Who ultimately pays for the work, a Council report states, is "likely to be the subject of dispute", although it believes that Pendleton Together is liable.

Meanwhile a public meeting for residents will take place next Tuesday, 22nd August at Salford Arts Theatre, with speakers from the Justice4Grenfell Campaign, Salford City UNISON and the Fire Brigades Union.

Full details here...

UNISON ACCUSES SALFORD COUNCIL OF LYING TO JUSTIFY SHUTTING DISABLED KIDS HOME

Star date: 15th August 2017

'INACCURACIES' AND 'LIES' IN COUNCIL ATTEMPT TO SHUT THE GRANGE AS STRIKE BALLOT LOOMS

Next week, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, will make a decision on whether or not to shut The Grange, Salford's only residential care home for disabled children.

The Council report recommending the closure has been slated in new counter reports from both the families of children at The Grange and Salford UNISON, which accuses the Council of 'inaccuracies', including over unfilled places... "The so-called lack of demand for The Grange is a lie to justify a cut" it states. The report adds that UNISON members "are willing to consider industrial action in defence of their jobs".

Full details here...

NEW SALFORD COUNCIL STADIUM LOAN WILL TAKE TOTAL TO ALMOST 25MILLION

Star date: 14th August 2017

SALFORD COUNCIL TO HAND ANOTHER 632,000 LOAN TO AJ BELL STADIUM

This week, cash-strapped Salford City Council is set to agree another loan of 'up to' 632,500 for its City of Salford Community Stadium, branded the AJ Bell Stadium.

This will take the current total amount of Council loans for the Stadium - which made another huge loss last year and has net liabilities of over 7million - to almost 25million.

Full details here...

YOUNG SALFORD PEOPLE MAKE NUJ FILM ON REPORTING POVERTY

Star date: 13th August 2017

POVERTY REPORTING NEEDS THE WHOLE PICTURE

Young film makers from the Reporters' Academy in Salford have made a short film about reporting poverty, aimed at journalists who jump on the poverty porn bandwagon.

A variety of people are interviewed in the film about their experiences, urging journalists to have the whole picture on poverty before reporting crap.

Full details here...

 



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