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Shock as sinkhole the ‘size of a small room’ appears in street

MONTHS of traffic disruption could take place after a large sinkhole appeared in a pavement on a busy main road.

The hole is on a pedestrian crossing in Brow Gate, Baildon, and though from the road surface looks quite small, the area it extends to underground is much larger.

A Belisha Beacon at the side of the pedestrian crossing has fallen into the hole where the ground has given way beneath it.

Mark Scrimshaw, environmental warden with Baildon Town Council, said: “This sinkhole suddenly appeared at around 11am today. A pedestrian had walked past and everything was normal. When they walked back a few minutes later the hole had appeared. They immediately contacted Bradford Council highways.

“The hole doesn’t look very dramatic from the pavement, but underneath the space it has left is the size of a small room. No one knows yet what has caused it to happen. It may be erosion from an underground beck that runs near here from the moors.

“Because of this it is important that no one goes beyond the barriers for a closer look because more of the ground could give way. It is around three metres deep at the moment and no one knows yet what is underneath. These types of work can take a long time to complete, sometimes months, depending on what is involved,” he said.

A spokesman for Highways who was at the scene this afternoon said there was an added complication in that the subsidence had exposed a gas main.

“We have to wait until the gas engineers from Northern Gas Networks have assessed the damage and whether the gas pipes are safe before we can put proper barriers round,” he said.

He added: “Without being able to get into the sink hole it’s difficult to saw what has happened. We will be getting out old maps to see what buildings used to be in this spot to suggest this may be an old cellar which has collapsed and also where the services run, such as mains water pipes.

“There are electrical cables exposed and two gas pipes. One could possibly feed the buildings in the locality while the other may be a main supply to Bradford. It is all speculation at the moment but we are being cautious because the Council has a duty of care.

A spokesman for Bradford Council added: “This is a considerable hole and we are working across Council services and with affected utilities to assess the situation. It is too early at this stage to say how long it will take to repair.”

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Diabulimia

Just over a year ago Lesley and Neal Davison received a phone call telling them their daughter was about to be sectioned.

She’d tried to kill herself.

For years Megan had been keeping a secret. She had an eating disorder. But she hid it so well, nobody in her family ever realised.

On 4 August, aged 27, she hanged herself and left a six-page suicide note.

Megan had diabulimia.

The term refers to the combined impact of type 1 diabetes with an eating disorder.

The condition is not yet medically recognised.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSLjM6cZaTo

“She left us a very detailed note and she felt there was no hope for her, that there was nothing in place to help people with her condition,” her mum Lesley tells Newsbeat.

“In the absence of the help she needed, she couldn’t see any way of carrying on.”

Type 1 diabetes is an irreversible autoimmune disease which requires constant care.

Megan Davison suicide note

Every time a patient eats carbohydrates they must also inject insulin.

They must check their blood sugar levels frequently. People with type 1 diabetes need insulin to stay alive.

Diabulimia refers to diabetic people who deliberately take too little insulin in order to lose weight.

Doing this can be incredibly dangerous.

Megan Davison

Image caption “That’s Megan,” says her mum Lesley. “That’s how I’ll remember her”

“The one thing that not taking your insulin does, is you lose weight – you have an ideal tool,” explains Lesley.

She says that “Megan sometimes looked a bit thin but there was never anything that would indicate anything extreme”.

Experts say there are potentially thousands like Megan who are seemingly living a “normal” life but hiding their illness.

The leading type 1 diabetes charity JDRF estimates 60,000 15 to 30-year-olds are living with T1 in the UK.

Lesley and Neal Davison

Image caption Lesley, Megan’s mum, says “she hid a great deal from us, we had no idea she was not taking her insulin”

Professor Khalida Ismail is lead psychiatrist for diabetes at King’s Health Partners, London.

She runs the only outpatient clinic in the UK specifically for people with diabulimia.

“You can look quite well and have a normal body size,” she tells Newsbeat.

“And yet because you’re restricting insulin, you are running very high blood sugars and you are increasing your risk of diabetes complications.”

She explains that this can include damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerve endings.

After Megan’s death her family found there was an “inner circle” who knew more about her illness, including three friends and her boyfriend of six years.

“Like the loyal boyfriend, I was sworn to secrecy,” Andy tells Newsbeat.

Megan Davison and boyfriend Andy

Image caption In her suicide note Megan asked Andy to become an “honorary Davison”

Megan and Olivia Davison

Image caption Olivia Davison says her older sister was, “immense, because she was just Megan”

In her note Megan talks of her treatment in an eating disorder inpatient unit.

She describes managing her own insulin because “not one member of staff on the ward was even trained to administer insulin let alone understand it”.

“They gave me back my insulin because they couldn’t figure out the doses.

“It’s the equivalent of giving an alcoholic vodka or giving a bulimic a bottle of laxatives.”

Megan Davison

Image caption This picture appeared on Megan’s funeral order of service – she loved elephants

Her parents want Megan’s story to be known to help other families.

“The information they’re getting is just wrong for them,” says Lesley.

“It might be the best that’s available for the moment but it isn’t anywhere near good enough.”

She adds that Megan “needed something that was specific” to the condition and “not a sort of ad hoc of pieces that didn’t really do the job”.

DWED (Diabetics With Eating Disorders) campaigns for the omission of insulin for weight loss to be recognised as a mental illness.

Founder Jacqueline Allan says diabulimia is still not viewed in the right way.

“The second you stop taking your insulin you’re in the same amount of danger, regardless of your weight.”

Prof Khalida Ismail

Prof Ismail agrees and says psychiatrists need to “wake up” to diabulimia.

“The condition is very hidden,” she says. “Diabetes teams don’t know how to talk to patients about it.

“Eating disorder teams only see the extreme cases.”

She wants diabulimia to be recognised formally.

“Once psychiatrists start talking about it, debating it, awareness will grow.”

Megan’s dad Neal says they knew so little they would have been in “no-man’s land” without the letter.

“I honestly don’t know how we would have coped with it.”

“She didn’t want us upset,” adds Lesley. “Ad yet you end up devastated because nobody has been able to help her.”

Tim Kendall, NHS England’s national clinical director for mental health, tells Newsbeat that “people are waking up to it”.

“I was involved in producing the NICE guidelines on eating disorders and we devoted a whole section on how you manage people who’ve got diabetes and an eating disorder.

“We’re now disseminating that around the country.

“NHS England is integrating psychological services with physical health, including placing 3,000 new mental health therapists in GP practices.

“We have been asleep, no doubt, but we are waking up.”

For more information on diabulimia you can look at these information and support pages.

Find us on Instagram at BBCNewsbeat and follow us on Snapchat, search for bbc_newsbeat

‘Disappointing’ number of GPs referring young carers to vital service

THE number of GPs helping to identify Bradford’s young carers is “disappointing”, says a new report.

It reveals that just 1 per cent of the referrals made to the Young Carers Service, provided by Barnardos, came from GPs, and that children’s services will continue to work with doctors to “enlighten” them on the benefits of the service.

Doctors, as well as schools and other groups that work with children, are encouraged to let the service know when it seems that a person under the age of 18 is acting as a carer for a family member.

These children are then given the support they need.

A report being presented to Bradford Council’s Children’s Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday gives members an update on the service, which is commissioned by the Council.

The report, by service manager Cath Dew, says: “A Young Carer becomes vulnerable when the level of care-giving and responsibility to the person in need of care becomes excessive or inappropriate for the child.

“The Vision’s overriding priority is prevention, ensuring Young Carers are actively protected from excessive or inappropriate caring and parenting roles are supported.

“Training on Young Carers has been delivered at GP events and information has been distributed across GP practices. Referrals directly from GPs still only account for less than 1 per cent of referrals to the service. This is disappointing as GPs will have the information about the adults who need caring for and will know whether that household has a child/young person.

“The Service for Young Carers hoped that GPs would be able to flag families on their database System One, so that we can ensure that the right young people are getting support at the right time. The service will continue to work with CCGs and school nurses to enlighten GPs to the benefits of the Young Carers Service.”

However, the report says schools are much more proactive in referring children who they think are acting as carers.

The report adds: “Work with primary schools is under way with good results. In the first phase 109 primary schools now have a named member of staff for Young Carers and 40 primary schools have received training.

“Plans are in place to seek to ensure 100 per cent of primary schools have a Young Carers lead and have received training.”

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It goes on to say that due to ongoing central government cuts, the service has been hit by a 10 per cent reduction in budget this year, but that it “continues to perform well against targets”.

JAILED: Pervert photographed himself sexually abusing boy

A PERVERT who photographed himself sexually abusing a boy has been jailed for five and a half years.

Paul Malone, 63, sat in the dock at Bradford Crown Court with his head in his hands when he was brought from the cells to be sentenced.

Malone, of Lilythorne Avenue, Idle, Bradford, was arrested on June 15 when the police, acting on intelligence, searched his home and found hundreds of indecent photos, many at category A, the most serious examples of abuse.

Prosecutor Nick Askins said that Malone had taken a photo of himself sexually abusing a boy. Two other pictures showed the child’s exposed private parts with an adult hand holding down his clothing.

Also found at Malone’s address were 185 Category A indecent photos of children, 120 at Category B and 356 at Category C.

The images included 13 film clips.

Malone made no comment to the police but pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the boy, making three indecent photos of the child and three offences of possession of indecent photos of children.

The judge, Recorder Tahir Khan QC, agreed to the forfeiture of Malone’s phone and laptop computer.

He made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and told Malone to sign on the sex offender register.

Both orders were without limit of time.

Malone’s barrister, Andrea Parnham, said he was of previous good character.

He was a married man who suffered from diabetes and had failing eyesight, and his mother needed daily care.

Malone was regretful and remorseful about what he had done.

Recorder Khan said that Malone pleaded guilty to the offences at the first opportunity and was a man of good character.

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But he had been “less than honest” with his probation officer, not accepting that the offences showed “an improper and unhealthy interest in children.”

Malone was locked up for four years for sexually abusing the boy and for 18 months, to run consecutively, for hoarding the indecent images of children.

GALLERY: Hundreds join colour rush fun run

HUNDREDS of people turned out for a colour rush to help keep up the work of a local hospice.

The family-friendly event at Oakwell Hall Country Park on Sunday, September 24, saw entrants in the 5k event get covered head to toe in brightly coloured powdered paint.

People could choose whether they walked, ran or even danced their way round the course.

Once everyone had crossed the finishing line a giant party was held to end the day.

Money raised from the annual event will be used to support Kirkwood Hospice in Albany Road, Huddersfield, which provides specialist palliative care for the terminally ill in Kirklees.

Many people taking part were there for poignant reasons of their own in memory of loved ones or for those who are being cared for at the hospice.

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Others, including a group of solicitors, were there from local businesses and companies just to support a good cause.

To find out how you can give support, go to kirkwoodhospice.co.uk

Christchurch woman appeals after love letter stolen

Cathy and Nigel on their wedding day in 2003Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption The couple married in 2003 after being together for many years

An 84-year-old woman has appealed for help to find her stolen handbag which contained a 30-year-old love letter from her late husband.

The bag was taken while the woman, who wanted to be known only as Cathy, was shopping in Waitrose in Christchurch.

It also contained her husband Nigel’s birth certificate and passport, his photo and their marriage certificate. He died of cancer in 2014, aged 74.

“That letter means everything to me,” Cathy said.

The couple were together for many years before they finally married in June 2003, police said.

‘Deeply upset’

“He’s been dead three and a half years now and I still talk to him and very often used to read my letter, but I haven’t got that now,” Cathy said.

“It is something that I cannot replace.”

She said she did not care about the £200 that was also also taken, “but I desperately want that letter back. If anyone has it, please hand it in”.

The handbag is described as a square, black leather bag with two pockets on the outside and two handles.

It also contained a pink purse and a set of keys with a blue fob and a silver cat charm attached.

PC Jackie Kearle, of Dorset Police, said: “This was a devastating incident which has left Cathy deeply upset.”

UK’s credit rating downgraded by Moody’s

The Union Jack and European Union flags fly near Big BenImage copyright Reuters

The UK‘s credit rating has been cut over concerns about the UK‘s public finances and fears Brexit could damage the country’s economic growth.

Moody’s, one of the major ratings agencies, downgraded the UK to an Aa2 rating from Aa1.

It said leaving the European Union was creating economic uncertainty at a time when the UK’s debt reduction plans were already off course.

Downing Street said the firm’s Brexit assessments were “outdated”.

The other major agencies, Fitch and S&P, changed their ratings in 2016, with S&P cutting it two notches from AAA to AA, and Fitch lowering it from AA+ to AA.

Moody’s said the government had “yielded to pressure and raised spending in several areas” including health and social care.

It says revenues were unlikely to compensate for the higher spending.

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Media captionAlastair Wilson, head of sovereign ratings at Moody’s, gave two reasons for cutting the credit rating, but there was some good news

The agency said because the government had not secured a majority in the snap election it “further obscures the future direction of economic policy”.

It also said Brexit would dominate legislative priorities, so there could be limited capacity to address “substantial” challenges.

It added “any free trade agreement will likely take years to negotiate, prolonging the current uncertainty for business”.

Moody’s has also changed the UK’s long-term issuer and debt ratings to “stable” from “negative”.

Moody’s stripped Britain of its top-notch AAA rating in 2013.

The government said the latest downgrade followed a meeting on 19 September, and did not consider the prime minister’s speech on Friday, in which she outlined her vision for Brexit.

“The prime minister has just set out an ambitious vision for the UK’s future relationship with the EU, making clear that both sides will benefit from a new and unique partnership,” it said.

“The foundations on which we build this partnership are strong.”

It said it had a robust economic record and had made substantial progress in reducing the deficit.

“We are not complacent about the challenges ahead, but we are optimistic about our bright future.”

Consequences for borrowing

But Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Peter Dowd, called the downgrade a “hammer blow” to the economic credibility of the Conservatives and Chancellor Philip Hammond.

He pointed out that it was the second time the credit rating had shifted downwards under their government.

Credit rating agencies, in essence, rate a country on the strength of its economy – scoring governments or large companies on how likely they are to pay back their debt.

A rating downgrade can affect how much it costs governments to borrow money in the international financial markets.

In theory, a high credit rating means a lower interest rate, and vice versa.

Bradford College sports lecturer wins national honour

A BRADFORD sports coaching lecturer has spoken of his “great sense of pride” at being honoured with a national award for his excellence in teaching, scholarship and research.

Sam Messam, who lectures at Bradford College University Centre, has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) by the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Mr Messam, a former professional basketball player and coach at Bradford Dragons and Basketball England, is the first academic from Bradford College to earn the accolade.

He is also one of only a handful of academics from the college sector to receive the coveted award.

“The award is a tremendous achievement, personally” said Mr Messam, who was among 55 professionals to be made a fellow this year, but the only one not from a university or specialist college.

“I am immensely proud of the achievement. To be given this kind of recognition, alongside such an illustrious group of HE professionals, from some of the largest universities in the UK, gives me a great sense of pride.”

He said the NTF award added “further credibility and weight” to his teaching practice. “My approach to teaching and pastoral care has always been student-centred and, along with many other colleagues, I seek to enable student growth through exploration and reflection.

“The subject of sports coaching affords students the opportunity to develop their coaching identity, to express themselves, often through technology, and within a safe and motivational climate of learning.

“Students not only obtain graduate qualifications, but also improve their inter-personal, personal and occupational skills in readiness for a career in coaching and teaching.

“The award and many of the opportunities that have been open to me at Bradford College, as well as the broader recognition associated with the NTF, are all a result of the support, friendship and direction of the Dean of Scholarship and Research, Dr Graham Stevens, whose academic leadership continues to encourage not just myself, but all staff from across the institution.”

Richard Thomas, Provost of Bradford College University Centre, said: “We are delighted by the award of the NTF, which justly recognises Sam’s excellent practice as a teacher in higher education.”

More families step forward to foster children after Council marketing campaign

THERE has been a “surge” in interest in fostering in Bradford since a major scheme to market fostering to new families.

Bradford Council has recently increased the money it spends on marketing fostering in a bid to boost the falling numbers of families putting themselves forward to care for a child.

A recent review of the service warned it could start to collapse within two years, unless urgent action is taken, with the recruitment of carers was “declining at an excessive rate.”

The review was ordered after a cut to foster carers’ allowances earlier this year sparked widespread anger.

It said that while the cuts had created anger among carers, “it is still the case that Bradford pays significantly more in combined fees and allowances than adjacent local authorities.”

The review suggested that more foster carers were needed and marketing for the service needed to be “reinvigorated.”

On Wednesday the Council’s Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee will hear that the increased marketing has had a major impact on numbers of potential foster families.

A report into the Fostering service by Jim Hopkinson Deputy Director (Children’s Social Care) says: “Since the fostering Review, a £100,000 transformation fund has been provided to the fostering service to reinvigorate the marketing of the service. Prior to this, the service had a budget of £10,000 per year.

“A full time Recruitment and Marketing Officer is now working within the service and has taken full responsibility for stage one of the fostering processes up to a fostering assessment commencing. This change and published information about fostering rates has seen a surge of interest in Fostering in Bradford.”

The council recently installed advertising boards across the district calling for people to “do something incredible” and become foster carers.

A council spokesman said: “The annual target for this year is 100 new fostering households including a mainstream target of 25 . This mainstream target is four times the services’ performance in 2016/17.

“In 2015-16, the fostering service received 158 initial enquiries in the first 6 months. In the first six months of the current financial year, it has received 202 – an increase of 28 per cent on the number of initial enquiries.

“In terms of recruiting mainstream foster carers we have already exceeded our 2016/17 performance less than six months into 2017/18.”

Councillor Val Slater, portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, said: “Fostering can be an immensely rewarding step for carers to take and we’re keen to make our Fostering Service in Bradford as good as it can be. The review has given us a clear focus on how we can achieve this and we’re well underway with the improvements we want to make.”

However, the report it says the service faces upcoming financial strains, adding: “Budget pressures continue to present challenges as the service is expected to achieve a reduction of £50k in 2018-19.”

The committee will meet in City Hall at 4.30pm.

Conference hears moving accounts of care system, from people who experience it firsthand

MOVING accounts of the care system, from the people who experience it firsthand, were given at a major conference in central Bradford.

Age UK Bradford and District hosted the event at the Bradford Hotel, with prominent speakers coming from all over the country to take part.

The main theme was the importance of tailoring care for the elderly, to allow each person to live his or her life to the fullest.

The challenge of getting different organisations to work better together was discussed, as was the importance of building systems which reflected the fact that each elderly person was an individual with a range of skills, interests and preferences.

Mark Rounding, chief executive of Age UK Bradford and District, said: “We so often see the problem, the label, the stereotype. Working at Age UK, like many of you, we see on a daily basis the vast experiences, skills and knowledge that people who come to us have. These don’t stop at some arbitrary birthday.”

One of the projects being featured was the Complex Care Team, which began in the Bradford district in April last year and helps co-ordinate the medical and emotional support for adults living with multiple conditions, many of them elderly.

The project brings together medical and care experts from Age UK Bradford and District, Carers Resource, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford District Care Trust, Yordales Health and Bradford Council and puts together individual packages of support for each person.

Each member of the cohort is assigned their own ‘navigator’ to co-ordinate their care.

In one video played to the audience, service user Janice Bond described how the team had lifted her spirits, given her a voice and helped her to once again ride a horse – something she hadn’t been able to do for four years.

She called one member of staff, who had been her main point of contact, her “angel”.

She said: “They’ve just brought back life into me. I was a dry husk before the Complex Care Team came along and they’ve just brought back into me all the things I thought I would never see or do again.

“My angel has done so much for me.”

Waine Pybus, of Age UK, is a personal support navigator with the team.

He said of their cohort of more than 200 people, only five had ended up in long-term care.

He said: “The vast majority could be in long-term care now, but they have managed to stay in their own homes, which is what we are all about.”

They had saved the NHS more than £2,500 per person by avoiding hospital admissions, but he said cost-savings had been a side-effect rather than the main driver.

The project is now hoping to expand and is in the process of taking on an occupational therapist, psychology assistant and therapy assistant to add to the team, which already includes psychologists, physiotherapists and GPs.

Annette Jackson, a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Society in East Yorkshire, also gave a moving account of her work with John Jones, a golf lover who has dementia.

As a fellow fan of the sport, she arranged to take him on regular golfing trips – an arrangement which has even seen her handicap improve.

Pan Creaven, national director of services for Age UK, said care centred on individual people was “not rocket science”, describing it as a basic human right.

Bev Maybury, strategic director of health and wellbeing at Bradford Council, spoke about the authority’s aim of looking beyond the five traditional services, of daycare, homecare, residential care, respite care and nursing care, to see how people might else be supported.

She said: “I can’t support 8,500 people in Bradford with five things. It’s got to be personalised.”

The event was open to the public and in a question-and-answer segment, people raised a host of issues, from Government cuts to the difficulties faced by people who wanted to book single rooms for holidays.