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ISLAMABAD SHOULD BE NEXT

PAKISTAN DAY

Cllr Shaffaq Mohammed

If your family is like mine, you may have asked yourself a simple question when preparing to make the stressful journey to visit relatives in Pakistan - Wouldn’t life be much easier if we didn’t have to travel halfway across England to access flights to Islamabad? That was the thought that went through the mind of Nether Edge campaigner Javid Khan when he launched his petition for flights from Islamabad to Robin Hood airport in Doncaster. When Javid came to me with his idea, I was more than happy to back his plan. Together with Ch Muhammad Zahur, Iftikhar Shah, Haji Mahboob Hussain and Solicitor Mohammed Nazir we’ve helped to collect more than 800 signatures calling for the change. The South Asian community boasts 32,000 people in Sheffield alone not to mention the rest of South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and West Yorkshire. Javid’s petition has demonstrated that demand exists across the region to justify flights from Doncaster. We know that the large runway at Doncaster makes it the best choice in our region for flights to Pakistan.

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SHEFFIELD HAPPIEST CITY IN THE UK Smile, Sheffield: we’ve been named the happiest city in the UK. The city has come out top in a nationwide survey to find the most cheerful residents in the country. It found we have the happiest locals, with folk being more satisfied than average with their family life, where

they live, their shape and weight and their appearance. The reason Sheffielders are so happy is likely to be down to them getting the right amount of sleep. Forty per cent of those surveyed said they get a healthy average of seven hours sleep per night, compared to the national average of 34 per cent. That might be why one in 10 said they never feel stressed or anxious. And on the streets of Sheffield, locals didn’t seem too surprised that their home town had been given the accolade. One Sheffielder said: “It’s just a very approachable place. You hear more chit chat on the buses

than you do in quite a few other places. The traffic is more polite too – you’re more likely to get let out here from a secondary street. Everybody is just friendly and helpful.” Another Sheffielder thought the secret to Sheffield’s happiness was that it is such a homely place. Some liked the green spaces and said there is a lot to do and its very cheap, outgoing, and friendly. Many also put Sheffield’s happiness success down to its people being such a friendly bunch. Other comments were: “I think as a people we are happy because we say hey up to each other with a nod or smile,”; “It makes the day pass easier.”; “Sheffield is a lovely city, Sheffielders are friendly and helpful.”; “Sheffielders are always friendly and always care about how you are and always want to help.”

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SHEFFIELDS £65M RING ROAD TOO SLOW It cost £65 million and was supposed to reduce congestion in Sheffield’s traffic-choked city centre. But some journeys on the new section of inner relief road from Shalesmoor to the Parkway are taking twice as long as the old route. Just over six years after the new road was completed, business leaders say it is not good enough and will need extra investment to relieve bottlenecks. They are also concerned about the number of traffic lights - which has substantially more sets than the former route via West Bar. Sheffield Council’s own figures show morning peak time journeys between 8am and 9am

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Local residents have been left outraged as Labour politicians on Sheffield City Council shelved plans for a 20 mph zone in Greystones. Greystones were promised the road safety measures in a report released last month; however, the Council have since rescinded their promise and shelved the plans. Instead a new zone will be progressed within the Sheffield Labour Party’s ‘favoured areas’. The decision follows complaints that the original strategy was skewed towards certain favoured

areas in the east and north east of the city. Council officers claim the programme has been aligned with the Streets Ahead project but the Dore area, which recorded the highest number of casualties in the south-west and fell within the Streets Ahead timetable, was ignored. The removal of Greystones means that not a single zone will be progressed in the south-west of the city during the two year strategy.

HAVE YOUR SAY ON BROOMHILL PARKING PAYBACK SCHEME Tell us if it’s working for you! That’s the message from Sheffield City Council who have been working with traders on a new scheme to attract shoppers into a local shopping centre. The Council has been working with the Broomhill traders on a trial ‘Parking Payback’ scheme for the last three months. It gives shoppers access to offers and promotions at participating businesses with their pay and display parking tickets. The parking tickets are in two parts – one is the parking ticket for displaying in the vehicle as usual and the other a Parking

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Payback voucher. The voucher can be presented at participating shops that display the distinctive window stickers and they will ‘pay back’ the parking costs in the form of discounts and special offers. The Council now want to review the scheme to see if it has been successful in improving business for traders and whether it could be improved. For more details on the scheme and to post your comments visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/parkingpayback, but if you do not have access to the internet phone 0114 273 4192. The deadline for responses is Friday 21 March.

Fraud teams are joining forces with local authorities and social landlords across the Yorkshire & Humber region encouraging residents to come forward and report housing fraud cheats. Housing fraud which is also known as tenancy fraud is when someone with a housing association home rents it out to someone else without permission, if they get a tenancy on a home by giving false information or if someone stops living at the property but doesn’t end their tenancy. Housing fraud takes up valuable housing spaces which deprive other families and individuals of

the home that they need. National statistics show that across the UK, there are an estimated 98,000 housing association and council homes occupied by someone who should not live there. Councils are urging people to help stamp it out by coming forward and reporting their suspicions to their prospective councils. If you suspect someone of committing tenancy fraud, you can report them in confidence by calling Sheffield 0800 083 7060; Rotherham 0800 028 2080; Bradford 01274 437511.

A Word From Cllr Mahroof.......

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Greystones 20Mph Zone Shelved

along the new inner ring road took seven minutes and four seconds - almost four minutes longer than the three minutes and 20 seconds on the old route. So many traffic lights do not appear to let traffic flow and would cause more problems if the economy picked up as more people would be trying to get into the city centre. The high speed rail station at Victoria would also increase congestion and travel times. The Government predicts a 44 per cent increase in traffic in the next 25 years as the economy recovers and population grows. Sheffield’s population is due to increase 10 per cent by the end of the decade.

Councils Join Other Authorities To Investigate Housing Fraud

It's more than a year since the City Council voted in favour of introducing the Living Wage. I was proud to support the council vote on this back in November 2012. We believe that adopting the Living Wage for council staff will help to reduce poverty in our city and with the current cost of living crisis facing

so many people, that's more im- them. portant than ever. For me, there's really no debate But the recent stories in the me- to be had - poverty pay is moraldia about Sheffield University's ly unacceptable. People deserve decision not to adopt the Living a fair rate of pay for the work Wage are a reminder that we they do and one that allows need to keep encouraging oth- them to provide for themselves ers to follow our lead. It's having and their families. a direct impact on the lives of many people living in Sharrow. But paying a Living Wage also makes practical sense for emAdopting a Living Wage means ployers, too. There's plenty of nobody is paid less than £7.65 evidence that businesses paying an hour, a figure which is inde- a Living Wage report better propendently set and rises each ductivity, their staff are absent year in line with the basic cost less and staff turnover is lower. of living in the UK. It's also more than £1.30 an hour above the There's also a wider benefit. Low wages that people can't realistilegal minimum wage. cally live on have to be subsiAll staff employed directly by dised, so they cost us all money the council are now being paid by pushing up the amount spent at least the Living Wage. And on benefits and working tax we're working to make sure that credits. That money could sureeverybody delivering services ly be better spent elsewhere, on on behalf of the council is paid hospitals, schools and our other at least the Living Wage, regard- vital public services. less of who actually employes

Very simply, it's the right thing to do. That's why I support the campaign for Sheffield University to make sure all its staff are paid the Living Wage. Public sector and educational institutions ought to be leading the way on this, and I'm proud that our City Council is doing exactly that. So come on Sheffield University - you're not just a university but a core part of our community and with that comes a huge power to influence. Do the right thing, follow the council's lead and make sure all your staff are paid a Living Wage. Mohammad Maroof is Labour Councillor for Central Ward. You can contact him atmohammad. maroof@sheffield.gov.uk or on Twitter at @CllrMaroof. Tel. 0114-2735588. Mobile. 07790017298

Abbeydale Road Air Quality monitoring tubes funded by Labour Councillors A funding application by The East End Quality of Life Initiative to buy air quality monitoring tubes has been approved by Nether Edge Labour Councillors Qurban Hussain and Nikki Bond. £300 has been allocated from the Nether Edge ward pot to help fulfil the ward priority of tackling poor air quality. Both Councillors and local activist Nasima Akther met with East End Quality of Life Initiative campaigner Neil Parry to learn about how the tubes work and the impact of poor air quality on local residents. Councillor Nikki Bond said: “The high level of traffic on Abbeydale Road means that the air quality is poor, which is why we were happy to agree the funding application from the East End Quality of Life Initiative so that they could monitor the levels.” Councillor Nikki Bond and Councillor Qurban Hussain are considering a public awareness campaign to help bring attention to the issue. The Councillors met with the Head Teacher of Nether Edge Primary school to discuss teaching the children about the problem and what measures could be put in place deal with it.

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International Women’s Day 2014 Theme: INSPIRING CHANGE Women's equality has made positive gains but the world is still unequal. International Women's Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action. Inspiring Change is the 2014 theme for our internationalwomensday.com global hub and encourages advocacy for women's advancement everywhere in every way. It calls for challenging the status quo for women's equality and vigilance inspiring positive change. The vast array of communication channels, supportive spokespeople, equality research, campaigns and corporate responsibility initiatives means everyone can be an advocate inspiring change for women's advancement. Each year International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. The first International Women's Day was held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women's groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day. Some groups select their own International Women's Day theme, specific to their local context. For example, the European Parliament's 2013 theme was "Women's response to the crisis" and their 2012 theme "Equal pay for work of equal value". The United Nations declares an annual theme: - 2013: A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women - 2012: Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty - 2011: Equal access to education, training and science and technology - 2010: Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all - 2009: Women and men united to end violence against women

and girls - 2008: Investing in Women and Girls - 2007: Ending Impunity for Violence against Women and Girls - 2006: Women in decision-making - 2005: Gender Equality Beyond 2005: Building a More Secure Future - 2004: Women and HIV/AIDS - 2003: Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals - 2002: Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities - 2001: Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts - 2000: Women Uniting for Peace - 1999: World Free of Violence against Women - 1998: Women and Human Rights - 1997: Women at the Peace Table - 1996: Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future - 1975: United Nations recognizes International Women's Day

and challenges they face, including the gender pay gap. 7 March 2014 12.00 to 16.00 – Hallam Hall, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield YORKSHIRE IOD INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY We celebrate International Womens Day with women speakers from across the region sharing stories on inspiring change to empower us all to strive to make these positive changes. 7 March 2014 9.30 to 17.00 - DLA Piper UK LLP, Sheffield, S1 2JX SHEFFIELD CITY COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY EVENT Inspiring Change: challenging stereotyping and empowering girls and women. Interactive workshops, talks and stands celebrating International Womens Day. 8 March 2014 10.00 to 13.00 – Sheffield Town Hall, Sheffield

Impact Of Stop And Search On Ethnic Monorities ‘Shameful’ The impact of stop and search powers on ethnic minority communities is "shameful" and reform is urgently needed, the shadow home secretary has said. Labour's Yvette Cooper has called for an overhaul of stop and search powers, including a ban on targets for stop and searches being given to officers. She also wants current guidance on avoiding race discrimination replaced with legislation. Her intervention comes after claims David Cameron blocked plans drawn up by Home Secretary Theresa May to significantly curb the use of the controversial power. The issue is detrimental to peoples trust in the police and the

misuse of stop-search has the potential to undermine effective community policing. Everyone agrees that the police need to have powers to stop and search individuals suspected of crime or to prevent a serious threat. Intelligence-led targeting of suspected criminals helps to cut knife crime and youth killings. However, while targeted action helps cut crime, the reality is too many searches are not targeted at all. Only a small proportion of searches lead to arrest and hundreds of thousands of searches each year currently lead to nothing but resentment. That resentment is creating barriers between communities and the

police, particularly in the ethnic minority communities that are most affected - that's bad for innocent people regularly and unfairly stopped, bad for the police because it's an expensive waste of time, and bad for community safety because it undermines the relationships we all rely on. 27% of the 8,783 stop and search records reviewed by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary between October 2012 and April 2013 did not include sufficient grounds to justify the lawful use of the power. And young people in ethnic minority communities are seven times more likely to be stopped, likely to feed back into negative perceptions of policing.

WOMEN IN STEM BUSINESS What's your International Wom- BREAKFAST WITH MEG MUNN MP en's Day 2014 theme? To encourage employers to inEventS focusing on International spire more women into STEM caWomen’s Day 2014 in Sheffield. reers, and join us over coffee and pastries in helping to make South Yorkshire the place of choice for IT’S DIFFERENT FOR GIRLS A presentation on why girls don’t women in STEM. choose to study Physics as A Lev- 14 March 2014 9.00 to 10.30 – Sheffield Hallam University: el or in Higher Education. 3 March 2014 19.00 to 21.00 - Organised by the Women in Science, Engineering, Technology Showroom Cinema, Sheffield (WiSET) team at Sheffield Hallam. TECHNOLOGY NEEDS WOMEN For women and men with experience and qualifications in sci- NOT A STRAIGHT LINE: A SCIENence/technology who would like TIFIC LIFE WITH DAME ATHENE to use their skills and talent to DONALD A lecture by Athena Donald, probetter effect. 6 March 2014 10.30 to 12pm – fessor of experimental physics Sheffield Hallam University, Shef- at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge University to mark field the beginning of the 2014 ShefWOMENS CAREER DEVELOP- field Festival of Science and EngiMENT – HIGHWAYS OR WINDING neering. 14 March 2014 11.00 to 12.00 – ROADS Meg Munn MP will deliver a talk Adsetts 6619, City Campus, Shefto University staff about women field Hallam University, Sheffield. in the workplace and the barriers

Selective Licensing Consultation There is still time for people to have their say in a consultation about proposals to introduce selective licensing of private rented properties in certain areas of Rotherham. Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council is running the consultation until 24 March, after which a report will be presented to the Council’s Cabinet for a decision on whether or not the scheme should be introduced. The proposals are to introduce a scheme whereby landlords who rent out houses in the centre of Rotherham, Eastwood, Masbrough, Dinnington and parts of Maltby wil be required to get a licence for each house and meet additional conditions. The aim of the scheme is to tackle low housing demand which is a problem in the areas, caused by

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high rates of householders leaving the area, high rates of empty property, high rates of environmental Anti-Social behaviour. A further effect is lower than average house prices and much lower when compared with neighbouring areas. The consultation process will still

run until 24 March and anyone with a view on this issue is asked to visit the website and send the council their views by filing in a questionnaire. For more information and to respond to the consultation you can visit our website atwww.rotherham.gov. uk/landlordlicensing

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Islamic Bank Welcomes Sharia Compliant H2B Scheme

Islamic Bank of Britain, the UK’s only wholly Sharia compliant retail bank, has been working with the UK Government on the development of a Help to Buy: Home Purchase Plan guarantee scheme. The scheme was launched last month and enables Sharia compliant banks, such as IBB, to offer UK Muslims affordable home finance. IBB’s support to the Government for the scheme was headed by Samir Alamad, head of Sharia compliance and product development. He said: “The launch of the Help to Buy: HPP guarantee scheme represents an important step for the UK Islamic finance industry. By adapting the original mortgage guarantee scheme, HPP providers and customers can benefit from the same Government support that mortgage

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ship (Diminishing Musharaka) with leasing (Ijara), where the Islamic bank and the customer buy the property as partners and the customer pays rent on bank’s share in the property. At the end of the term, when all acquisition payments have been made and the finance has been settled, The financial secretary to the ownership of the property transtreasury, Sajid Javid, added: “I fers fully to the customer. am delighted Home Purchase Plans will now be available un- The Help to Buy: HPP guarantee der the Help to Buy scheme. This scheme works in a similar way to gives even more choice to hard- the Help to Buy: mortgage guarworking families across the UK antee scheme, but takes into trying to fulfil their home owning account the different way that a HPP is structured. It will enable aspirations.” banks to purchase a guarantee HPPs are Sharia compliant, ethi- for their Home Purchase Plans cal mortgage alternatives, avail- where the consumer has a deable to consumers of all faiths posit of between 5% and 20%. and beliefs. They differ from a The guarantee will compensate mortgage where the customer the bank for a portion of net borrows money from a lender losses suffered in the event of which is then repaid with in- default. This will reduce their risk terest. A HPP uses the Islamic of offering home finance to confinance principles of co-owner- sumers with a low deposit. The lenders and borrowers have enjoyed. It has introduced a level playing field for Islamic banks and consumers alike and IBB is delighted to have been working closely with the Government to pioneer this exciting development.”

original scheme was launched in October 2013 in order to increase the availability of low-deposit finance for UK households. IBB estimates that there are about a million UK Muslims adults with a need for its savings and home finance products, who are also inclined towards Sharia compliant finance. Recent, independent research conducted by 2Europe for the Bank also reveals that 81% of Muslims either currently use or would consider using Islamic finance. This is backed by figures from the 2011 Census of England & Wales which identified that the UK is now home to 2.7m Muslims, up from 1.5m in 2001. It is the UK’s second highest religion behind Christianity and ‘no religion’.

Britain To Invest Heavily In Road Network The British government has decided to triple its funding on the country's major road network in next eight years, calling on road building firms to get ready for a massive increase in work ahead of the biggest investment in the road network since the 1970s. Roads Minister Robert Goodwill announced Monday that the country would invest more than 24 billion pounds (about $39 billion) in upgrading and improving the road network until 2021. By the end of the next parliament, the government will be spending 3 billion pounds each year on improvements and maintenance for the strategic network

alone, the transport department said. It is estimated that the investment commitment made by the government would support nearly 30,000 new jobs across the construction sector. Along with investing 10.7 billion pounds in major improvements for the country's strategic roads from 2015 to 2020/21, the government is also investing 6.1 billion pounds in resurfacing 80 percent of the major roads network. It also plans to invest another 6 billion pounds in tackling potholes on local authority roads, the transport department said.

Islamic finance offers consumers a different approach to banking. It operates entirely without the main instruments of the conventional finance sector, including interest and speculative products. The whole premise of Islamic finance is to provide a way for society to conduct its finances in a fair, ethical and socially responsible manner. IBB was formed in 2004 and has attracted over 50,000 customers

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ISLAMABAD SHOULD BE NEXT

COMMUNITY “EYES AND EARS” IN FIGHT AGAINST CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION

Continued from Page 1... And it’s not just local residents calling for this move but local businesses too, who want to improve their connections to South Asia in transporting goods into the UK. This was the case we took when we met with senior directors at the airport last month. They were keen to support our campaign and recognise that a genuine need exists. Fortunately, Javid’s petition couldn’t have come at a better time, as Robin Hood look to future of their services. It’s an exciting time for the airport, with the construction a new link road could reduce journey times from Sheffield to the airport to twenty-five minutes. The FARRRS project, which finally began work late last year, will provide a new link from Junction 3 of the M18. I’m pleased to say the project has been made possible by Liberal Democrat influence in Government’s through investment from the Regional Growth Fund. The completion of the link road will mean the airport will be roughly the same distance by car from Sheffield city centre, as Manchester airport is to its city-centre. This multi-million pound investment has given airlines the confidence to provide more flights through Robin Hood. Just last week the airport announced plans to provide new routes to Belfast and the Isle of Man.

TAXI drivers and hoteliers are being urged to be the eyes and ears of the community in the fight against child sexual exploitation in Sheffield. Sheffield Safeguarding Children’s Board, which includes Sheffield City Council, South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield Futures and other partners, have been leading the way nationally on training taxi drivers and hoteliers to be on the look-out for any suspicious behaviour. Since 2008 the award winning Sheffield’s Safeguarding Children’s Board has been leading the way in terms of the work done with the local licensed trade training over 700 people to be aware of child sexual exploitation and what the tell-tale signs are that they need to look out for. Now a partnership team is training hotel and taxi drivers urging them to say something if they see signs of a child being sexually exploited.

Cllr Shaffaq Mohammed is a local Liberal Democrat councillor for Broomhill and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Sheffield City Council.

Sheffield College Fights Funding Cuts 18-year-olds who need to complete further study programmes before progressing to work, apprenticeships or higher education will be vulnerable students who left school with few qualifications. Wala and Wafa, who came from

Yemen to live in the UK four years ago, enrolled at Longley Park initially to improve their English. Both students have progressed

well and are excited about their futures. Wala said: “It was really challenging when we came to the UK as we couldn’t speak any English. Both my sister and I came to Longley Park to learn English. I never thought I would now be planning my progression to university.” Wafa has applied to study early childhood studies at university next year. She said: “I feel the support system that Longley Park has in place has helped me to achieve so much. “Without the college’s encouragement I wouldn’t be able to achieve my dreams and aspirations.”

Asian Women Urged To Recognise Symptoms Of Ovarian Cancer Asian women are being urged to recognise the signs of ovarian cancer The campaign has been specifically designed to increase awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and encourage South Asian women to see their doctor if they spot any signs. The possible symptoms include: unexplained bloating; feeling full quickly or loss of appetite; pelvic or stomach pain; needing to pee urgently or more frequently than normal; changes in bowel habit; feeling very tired or extreme fa-

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tigue; and unexplained weight loss. Although South Asian women have a lower incidence of ovarian cancer than white women in England, this campaign aims to overcome cultural and religious barriers that may prevent women from presenting to their doctors straightaway. Currently, women in the region have low awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms. New survey data shows that almost all (97 per cent) don’t link feeling bloat-

the fight against child sexual exploitation. “Greater recognition of this despicable form of abuse is fundamental to the fight against it which is why we are backing this awareness raising campaign launched today with colleagues from across South Yorkshire. We are committed to helping bring about an end to Child Sexual Exploitation and ensure all our children and young people live happy and healthy lives.” Hafeas Rehman, Chairman of the Sheffield Taxi Trade Association, also welcomed the move. He said: “We haven’t had any problems out of the ordinary in the past here but you can tell when a group of people looks like a family or not. “If we have any doubts then we would report this to the police.” People who think a child may be at risk of sexual exploitation are urged to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

BIG SHEFFIELD SWITCH Collective Energy Switching Scheme Now Open

We see no reason why Islamabad shouldn’t be next.

Two Sheffield sisters are backing their college’s online petition opposing education funding cuts for teenagers - which has already attracted nearly 6,500 signatures. Wala and Wafa Ali would both be affected by the Government’s proposals, which seek to reduce funding for 18-year-olds by 17.5 per cent from next September. They are both on courses at Longley Park Sixth Form College, where staff and students are opposing the plans. The petition says the proposed cuts will affect students from some of the city’s most disadvantaged areas, as well as black, minority and ethnic groups. It says the majority of

Hotel owners are being urged to notify the authorities if they see adults with children who do not appear to be family members. Similarly taxi drivers are being asked to keep an eye out if they see children in vulnerable situations. Already this work in Sheffield has won national recognition as part of the National Working Group’s Say Something If you See Something campaign, a charity tasked with looking at child sexual exploitation nationally by the Government. The South Yorkshire Police led campaign is urging local business people, teachers, politicians and officers, among others, to unite in the fight against this crime. Councillor Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families added: “We are working in partnership with local agencies and business people who can be of great help in

ed most days for three weeks or more with ovarian cancer. Finding ovarian cancer early makes it more treatable. More than 90 per cent of women diagnosed with the earliest stage of ovarian cancer survive for at least five years. This figure drops sharply to around five per cent for women diagnosed at the most advanced stage. Around 500 lives could be saved in England each year if women were diagnosed earlier.

Energy prices are a real concern for all of us. In March 2013 Sheffield City Council ran the first of it’s Big Sheffield Switch collective energy switching schemes which saw more than 10,000 register. The average saving from this was £120 with some people saving up to £352! Your new and improved Big Sheffield Switch will be running again in March and you can sign up now, with no obligation to switch. How does it work? Households in and around Sheffield sign up. Then Sheffield City Council’s energy partner runs an online energy auction with UK energy suppliers. The more households who sign up, the more buying power the scheme has. This means that together they can get even better energy deals for you. The energy suppliers bid for your custom by offering their cheapest and best tariff.

The best value providers will be chosen and those deals will be offered to all those who signed up. This year Sheffield City Council will be showing you the collective switching tariff and the 5 best tariffs for your home on the day of the auction, so you

Who is it for? Everyone can register and switch to the new energy deal, it does not matter whether you currently: •Pay for your energy bills by direct debit, cheque or cash •Use a pre-payment meter •Own your own home, rent from a private landlord, Sheffield Homes or another social landlord •Have never switched before •Live in Sheffield or not •Sign up now and let’s start saving together.

It only takes a few minutes to register; it really is that quick and easy. To register and find out more go know you are getting the best online at www.sheffield.gov.uk/ deal available. They will also be cheaperenergy or call during ofoffering green and environmen- fice hours on 0800 988 7035. tal tariffs. You will also be able to sign up to the collective switch- You will need a recent energy bill ing tariff up to 2 weeks after the to estimate your annual energy usage and spend, and work out auction has happened. just how much you could save.

RESTAURANT SUCCESS TAKES OWNERS BY SURPRISE Over 2,500 customers have visited the new El Paso restaurant since it started trading on New Year's Eve - just seven weeks ago. Management of the restaurant have been staggered by its popularity. The Mexican/Italian, situated on Cumberland Street on the bottom of The Moor, opened in the former Moorfoot Tavern premises. The restaurant's owners, buoyed up by regeneration plans for The Moor area, invested £250,000 in

the project which has created 20 new jobs. Sheffield Lord Mayor, Councillor Vickie Priestley, unveiled the restaurant at a busy launch night just a few weeks ago. El Paso spokesperson, Sergio Arenas, said: "We couldn't have wished for a better start and we have to thank the people of Sheffield for their support. "It has been sad to read about the closure of some high profile restau-

rants in recent weeks - I hope our story proves there is still a strong market for eating out in the city centre." El Paso had run for nearly 20 years in far smaller premises next door. The move into the former Moorfoot Tavern led to a four-fold increase in size. El Paso bookings can be made on 0114 273 9523 and more information can be found on www.elpasorestaurant.co.uk

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Football Unites Racism Divides Receives £500 To Help Fund Youth Club A funding application to the Nether Edge ward pot for £500 from Football Unites Racism Divides (FURD) has been approved by Nether Edge Labour Councillors. The money will help fund a youth club on Monday night at the UMix centre. FURD delivers a range of activities at the UMix centre,

which is open seven nights a week. Councillor Nikki Bond and Councillor Qurban Hussain approved the application because it fulfils the ward priority of promoting community cohesion and helps with reducing anti-social behaviour. Councillor Bond said: “Councillor Hussain and I were pleased to receive the funding application from Football Unites Racism Divides to help towards promoting community cohesion in our ward. By contributing to the funding of the youth club on a Monday night, this means there are plenty of activities for young people to do in the area, which should help in reducing anti-social behaviour.”

Pilgrims Get Lost In Grand Mosque Islam's holiest mosque has become so huge that pilgrims are getting lost inside, it seems. The Masjid al-Haram, or the Grand Mosque in the Saudi city of Mecca is going through a major expansion to cope with ever-growing numbers of worshippers, but it is now so vast yet poorly sign-posted that some people can't find the Kaaba or end up praying in the wrong direction. Amid the chaos, some women are charging pilgrims up to 200 rials (£32) per day to reserve them a spot to pray. The women use their

House Prices Surge To New High

Pupils In Asia Outperform Uk Counterparts In Maths The children of cleaners in Shanghai and Singapore outperform the sons and daughters of UK doctors and lawyers in global maths tests, research suggests. Analysis of international data shows that the UK is lagging far behind a number of Asian areas. It suggests that some areas - particularly in east Asia - are better than others in helping all youngsters succeed, regardless of their background. The report, by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), looked at the maths results and background of more than half a million 15-year-olds who took part in the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment

(Pisa) study. The OECD study assesses how students would be able to use their maths knowledge and skills in real life, rather than just repeating facts and figures. The latest analysis found that in the UK, the children of parents with a "professional" job - such as doctor or lawyer - scored 525.94 points on average in the Pisa maths test. In Shanghai, China, the sons and daughters of parents with "elementary" occupations - such as cleaners and catering assistants - scored 568.9 points on average. In Singapore, this group scored 533.58 points. In the UK children of "elementary" occupation workers fall far behind other groups, with an av-

erage score of 460.61, the findings show. In Shanghai, the sons and daughters of "professional" workers scored an average of 656.06, and in Singapore this group scored 609.45. The report concludes: In the United States and the United Kingdom, where professionals are among the highest-paid in the world, students whose parents work as professionals do not perform as well in mathematics as children of professionals in other countries - nor do they perform as we as the children in Shanghai, China, and Singapore whose parents work in manual occupations.

8,770 households in Sheffield Central are living in fuel poverty Paul Blomfield MP has described new fuel poverty figures as ‘a national scandal’ and called for the Government to take action to insulate homes and freeze energy bills. The figures, released during Cold Homes Week, show that 7 million people in England are in fuel poverty and cannot keep their homes warm at a reasonable price. This includes 2.2 million children growing up in cold homes. In Sheffield Central constituency 8,770 households are living in fuel poverty. Paul Blomfield MP met campaigners in Parliament and received a hand-knitted scarf to thank him for his support. The scarf was one of hundreds knitted by supporters of the

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Energy Bill Revolution campaign to mark Cold Homes Week – a series of events and activities to focus attention on the shocking state of many of the UK’s homes, and the terrible effect they have on the people left shivering inside them. Paul Blomfield MP said “It’s a national scandal that over 7 million people in the UK and 8770 in my constituency are living in fuel poverty, and often having to make the choice between heating and eating. The Government should listen to the 180 organisations backing Cold Homes Week and invest to insulate cold homes and make them more energy efficient. Insulating and

handbags, personal belongings or chairs to keep spaces for latecomers. One mosque guide said that such behaviour is not allowed inside the complex, and employees have been attacked for trying to stop the practice. Officials say a record 750,000 people performed the Umrah - the pilgrimage to Mecca - last month, and six million people are expected to visit this year. The expansion project, due to be completed by 2020, will reportedly allow the Masjid al-Haram to accommodate 2 million worshippers at a time.

House prices have surged to another record high and now stand at one quarter of a million pounds on average, official figures show. Property values rose by 5.5% across 2013 to reach £250,000 in December, with price growth "beginning to increase strongly across parts of the UK", the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Price rises in London are still responsible for a "large part" of the upswing in values, the ONS said. London saw a 12.3% increase in house prices in the year to December pushing prices to £450,000 typically, which is one fifth (20.3%) higher than their pre-financial crisis peak in the capital in 2008. The ONS data showed that in England, house prices rose by 5.7% over the year to reach £260,000 on average. In both Wales and Northern Ireland they are up by 4.8% annually. Mean-

while, Scotland has seen prices lift by 0.5% over 2013 to reach £182,000 on average. The figures also show that the average first-time buyer is paying 7.4% more for a home than they were a year ago. In December, the typical price paid by someone getting on the property ladder was £189,000. Home-movers are paying 4.7% more than they were in December 2012. The average price paid by an existing home-owner has risen to £286,000. House prices are spiralling out of control, due to the lack of enough homes being built to keep house prices stable. Schemes like Help to Buy are only making the problem worse by inflating house prices further. To give the next generation a fighting chance, the Government needs to get serious about building more affordable homes now The Government's flagship

Help to Buy scheme, which was launched last year, has significantly widened the availability of mortgages for people with deposits as low as 5% and has helped to pave the way for more loans to be handed out to firsttime buyers 2013 than in any other year since the economic downturn. But some experts argue that, while the scheme has helped to boost the supply of potential home-buyers, more should be done to increase the supply of properties on the market, which could help to calm house prices in some areas. Concerns have been raised that rising prices could be making some first-time buyers feel under pressure to jump on the property ladder, which could put them in danger of over-stretching their finances.

retro-fitting homes will not only bring bills down and reduce carbon emissions, but it could create a huge amount of jobs. “But at a time when families are facing record fuel bills and energy companies are enjoying huge profits, the Government also needs to step in and take action on bills. The Prime Minister should act to freeze gas and electricity bills which would save the average household £120.”

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EDUCATION AND HIGH STORRS High Storrs Alumni

Graduation Joy! Nasima Akther a Labour Party candidate in Nether Edge ward for 22nd May council elections graduated in Law Degree from University of Derby, she is with her son Nasim-Uz-Zaman who is also undergraduate student studying Business Marketing at Leeds metropolitan university. Nasima said "It must be an inspirational achievement for a working moth-

er, I am proud of my educational achievements and confident that as an elected Councillor I will be able to use my advocating skills to serve my constituents better" We congratulate Nasima and her family and wish her for every success in future. Cllr Mohammed Mahroof

High Storrs School has been around for a long time, originally the Central School in Leopold Square and then moving to its current site in 1933. During this time hundreds of students have passed through our doors and gone on to bigger and better things.

working for Warner Brothers We believe that it is very important for our current students to and even for NASA. have positive role models and Mr Akram, who has been at the that they have a lot to learn school for 22 years, has many from students who have been fond memories of students who through High Storrs school beworked hard while at school and fore them. have gone on to make positive contributions to their community in their own ways such as

High Storrs students have gone on to study at a wide variety of places; these include staying close to home at Sheffield University or Sheffield Hallam University, or travelling further away to go to places such as Wolverhampton, Northumbria, London and Portsmouth.

FOOD REVIEW

The jobs being done by our exstudents are also very varied. They include the more traditional professions such as teacher, solicitor, journalist and mechanic. However, there are also jobs such as CAD design engineer, Music App founder and Web designer. We have ex-students

doctors, teachers and in many other fields. He is always proud of all of them and is filled with delight when he hears of their success.

we want to hear from people who have achieved their own personal success; whether this is running their own business, getting their dream job, travelling to interesting places, contributing to their community, or anything else. If you have a story that you feel our students would learn from then we want to hear it. If you have a story to share, or know someone who does, please contact us. (Tel no: 0114 267 0000, email enquiries@highstorrs.sheffield.sch.uk) and we will send you a form. You can also register on our school’s Alumni page to receive High Storrs news and be kept informed of upcoming events. If you are interested please go to www.highstorrs.co.uk/ourschool/alumni. If you want to be kept really up to date you can follow our Alumni on twitter @ HStorrsAlumni.

We are looking for High Storrs Alumni, (people who attended High Storrs School as students) willing to share their experiences with our current students. We don’t just want to hear from Mr Akram and Mrs Heggs those who are rich and famous,

ANDY STOVELL Butlers Balti has been serving great food since 1997 and there’s an army of loyal curry loving customers to prove that Butlers is surely one of Sheffield’s best curry establishments. I was privileged last night to be at the official opening of their newly refurbished upstairs function room. A fantastic night. I think a lot of the credit must go to Sajid Qader. He’s quite a guy. Smart in both senses of the word but immensely warm and approachable. He was eager to please all his customers, not just his buddies and he certainly gave us a great evening. The surroundings were smart, c lean and contemporary- even chic. (I won’t get on my hobbyhorse again at this point about the modern, minimalist decor comprising of glass, blacks, greys and neon lighting that pervades in so many curry houses thanks to the influence of Aagrah and Akbars!). 10/10 for the gents and ladies facilities- always nice to experience! Some Asian background music would not have gone amiss and would have been less distracting

for me than the big (BIG!) screen TV showing Bollywood film clips! The bar was discretely separate from the main eating area and was well stocked. The staff were excellent. Each had a polite and nothing-is-too-much-for-the-customer attitude. Smiles too! The menu is amazingly extensive. (One day I am going to try them all!) But we were there for the one-off opening of the upper storey, so we were treated to a buffet. The starter was memorable. Shish kebab was meatier (in terms of quality) and truly better than most. The chicken tikka, great, but best of all -the onion bhaji. How can a bhaji be so memorable? I don’t know but I had to ask a couple of times what it was because it was flat and tastier than any bhaji I have ever had- honestly. I have got to get my spy in there to grab that secret! The two chicken dishes were generously sauced (some might think too much) and delicious. Roti was fresh and soft and buttered. The new dish on the menu- saag aloo- which is always my wife’s favourite, was blander than we normally like, but good. But the king of the curries was most definitely the lamb bruchi. Quite simply delectable. Tender lamb marinated in gentle but fascinating spices and covered with fried onions. It simply made the evening for me. If that had been Butlers’ only plus point, then Saj will have me coming back again and again. Lamb Bruchi, you get 11/10.

Butler’s Balti House 44-46 Broad Ln, Sheffield, Sheffeld, South Yorkshire S1 4BT 0114 276 8141

CUTS BLAMED ON COUNCIL’S £38 MILLION “SELF-INFLICTED” BLACK HOLE New figures have shown that just one third of council cuts in Sheffield are due to reductions in Government funding. The details outlined in the Council’s 2014/15 budget show that of the £58.4 million budget gap calculated by the Council, just 36% is due to less Government funding. The remaining £37.5 million has been attributed to pressures estimated by the Council and commitments made by the cur-

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rent administration. The biggest factor in these demands is the more than £20 million pressures in adult social care, as result of Council mismanagement. The last year has seen members of staff suspended as budgets were allowed to spiral out of control. Other factors in the pressures include promised perks for Council staff, contributions to the Council’s pension’s pot, and £1.5 million

for “contingency”. Cllr Andrew Sangar, Sheffield Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Finance, said: “It’s clear that Labour bosses simply cannot be trusted to look after the city’s finances. If they had a better control of council budgets – not to mention the £31 million in uncollected council tax – we know that they could protect more services, like saving threatened local libraries.

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Britain Marks Queen’s 62nd Year On Throne "This is always a proud moment; we always strive to give as good an account of ourselves as possible and I think the soldiers and horses have done incredibly well today," said Major Mark Edward, commanding officer of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery The start of the 62nd year on the which fired the salute in Hyde throne for British Queen Elizabeth II was marked with a 41- Park. gun salute by artillery in central A gun salute was also fired at London's Hyde Park last month. the Tower of London. While a Elizabeth II became Queen Feb- royal salute normally comprises ruary 6, 1952 on the day her fa- 21 guns, this is increased to 41 if fired from a royal park or resither, King George VI, died. The King's Troop Royal Horse dence. The Tower of London Artillery's six World War I era fires a unique salute of 62 guns 13-pounder guns were drawn by because it is a royal residence 36 horses, which galloped down and it also includes an additional the park, halted, unhooked and 21 guns for the citizens of the then each gun fired a blank car- city of London to show their loytridge at 10 second intervals alty. Gun salutes of 21 guns were also fired in York and Edinburgh. from the stroke of noon.

Rent Hike For Tenants Labour-controlled Sheffield City Council have come under renewed pressure to reduce their proposed inflation-busting 6.2% rent hike for local council tenants, after it emerged that a fellow Labour council elsewhere in the country have announced plans for a 1.5% increase. The decision by Sheffield Labour councillors will see tenants faced with an average increase of £216 a year. Sheffield councillors vot-

ed down a fully-costed Lib Dem plan to reduce the proposed rent increase from 6.2% to 3.1%. In previous years the council followed the government’s formula for setting rents in order to bring council rents in line with other social housing rents, to allow for inflation and to ensure we could afford to deliver our housing service. But now flexibility means councils can set rent increases as they wish.

BARACK OBAMA WINS FIRST PRIZE AT ‘ISLAMOPHOBIA AWARDS’ US president Barack Obama has won first prize at the tongue-in-cheek Islamophobia awards for his nations unrelenting drone attacks. Obama had been nominated by the public for "just about everything" - a charge that covers his continuation of drone strikes in the Muslim world as well as the failure to close the notorious Guantanamo Bay detention centre, and the introduction of the National Defense Authorisation Act that effectively 'Guantanamises' the whole USA. Obama came in streets ahead of a gallery of fellow rogues which included other prominent politicians including French President Francois Hollande - cited for his country's invasion of Mali - and the British Home Secretary Theresa May for a host of sins including extraditing Asperger's sufferer Talha Ahsan to the United States, stripping Muslims of their citizenship, and most recently thinking about applying “anti-terror” ASBO-style punishments for British Muslims who are merely "suspected" of so-called terrorist activities. As well as a chief Islamophobe award, an award is given to the worst Islamophobe in each of five geographical areas in line with the votes received from the participating public. In the Americas the winner this year was Pamela Geller. Geller was nominated for her rise to fame as the USA's Islamophobia Matriarch. She has made a name for herself for opposing anything Islamic and particularly her opposition to the planned construction of a mosque near the site of the Twin Towers destroyed in the Sept 11 attacks in the USA. First prize in the Europe and Central Asia category goes to the Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders. Wilders is the leader of the Netherlands' Freedom Party, which continues to campaign on its virulently antiMuslim platform and propagate fears of an

impending Islamic takeover of Europe. In Asia and Australasia, the top prize went to the unlikely figure of Burmese freedom and democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner was nominated for her continuing refusal to back citizenship calls by the country's oppressed Rohingya Muslim minority. The Burmese government's denial of statehood to the Rohingya is one of the main reasons they are described by the UN as one of the world's most persecuted peoples. Along with her National League for Democracy party, Aung San Suu Kyi has tiptoed around the issue and has even refused to condemn the state-supported attacks that ravaged Rohingya communities in 2012. The clear winner in The Middle East and Africa was Egypt's General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the army general who conducted a bloody campaign to remove and then ban the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood and put the Arab world's most populous nation firmly back on the road to military rule. Although the Islamophobia Awards are intended to be a tongue in cheek poke at public figures of all stripes, they do carry a serious message. Islamophobia is on the rise all over the world, particularly in the West, and the event serves to focus attention on the problem. Five genuine awards will also be given to people who have struggled against Islamophobia. Islamophobia can be described as stereotypes, bias or acts of hostility towards individual Muslims or followers of Islam in general. In addition to individual acts of intolerance and racial profiling, Islamophobia leads to viewing Muslims as a greater security threat on an institutional, systemic and societal level and perceiving their views to be intrinsically problematic, violent or unethical.

A ‘New Era’ For Local Government As Rotherham Borough Council Sets Budget Frontline services will be protected as ‘as far as possible,’ resources will be targeted to help those most in need and communities will be encouraged to do more for themselves – that’s the basis of a £23m savings package put together by Rotherham Borough Council in response to further massive reductions in Government funding.

and unprecedented cuts to funding mean that – regretfully - they can no longer be totally shielded. The authority – which has already cut £70m from its budget since 2010 – has had to make further savings of £23m for the 2014 / 15 financial year, and must find an additional £23m worth of savings by April 2015.

The Council’s Cabinet approved a range of measures to balance the authority’s books in the face of a ‘relentless’ reduction in the funding it receives to deliver vital services to local people. The package – which must go before Full Council for final approval on Wednesday, March 5 – also includes a recommendation to increase Council Tax by 1.9 per cent, the first rise for four years. Cllr Roger Stone, Leader of the Council, said Members had moved to safeguard frontline services for as a long as realistically possible, but now continued

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The proposals were drawn up following consultation with the public, and reflect many of the ideas put forward by local people. They include savings from each directorate as below, totalling £14.419m: Children and Young People’s Service - £3.008m

Neighbourhoods and Adult Services - £7.015m Environment and Development Services - £3.099m Resources (back office) - £1.297m Rotherham's £208.885m budget for 2014/15 will pay for services for those most in need, with the priorities being: - To work with partners to protect and support the most vulnerable young people, families and elderly citizens - To generate jobs and support people to get the skills they need to compete for them - To protect the most important libraries and community buildings and facilities - To buy time to try and find alternative ways of delivering some Children’s Centres services - To maintain spending on street cleansing and local community safety, the things people say are important to them - To devise different ways of working to support people earlier to save the need for more expensive interventions later.

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Lets Tax the Landlords...? After the fiasco in Sheffield, those intuitive minds of our time who reside behind the layers of bureaucracy which are a symptom of local government, have now decided it would be good for Rotherham to follow this path. But for who exactly is this beneficial? Well the local government acting in your best interests, who are subservient to the wishes of the elected members, again acting in your best interest, have decided to pursue (impose) a policy clearly not in the best interest of any tenants (owners will evict benefit reliant tenants and increase rents), not in the best interests of the tax payer (thousands being spent on worthless consultations, whilst clearly unworkable) and certainly not in the best interests of the Landlord, that group of people who have worked hard, saved and borrowed to buy a second home and now find that their efforts after the Tsunami of the financial crisis are being ravaged by their Local Authority. The line coming out of local government press releases is one of them attempting to address issues of poor management of tenants and properties in these

allocated areas, together with reducing anti-social behaviour, which has lead to areas becoming low-demand. And so quite logically they have concluded as every clear thinking person would, that taking up to £687 off a landlord per property, would solve these problems, together with increasing property values, educating cats & dogs not to pee on the streets and helping everybody sleep better at night. To say that taxation that most delicate of relations between the citizen and the state, is a suitable remedy, in an age of austerity, which has its heritage in record rates of property re-possessions and bankruptcy, is downright incompetent and an outrage. Essentially a stealth tax, which has had the sharp light of day shined on it, the landlord tax is a regressive move on the part of local authorities. There currently exists a whole raft of legislation available to environmental health to deal with poor standard properties. The problem is that these powers are not being exercised, by way of either budget restrictions or a culture of incompetence. The private rental sector is cur-

rently filling the vacuum which exists in local authority and social housing. Agencies representing private sector landlords regularly contribute to reducing local authorities like RMBCs’ excessive homeless waiting lists, by renting out properties in precisely the areas under the threat of taxation. Immigration, from Eastern Europe, with its propensity for low paid unskilled jobs, leads to certain neighbourhoods having to cater for a particular type of tenant. The failure of the executive and local government cannot be substituted to the landlords who if anything are themselves victims of changing social behaviour and bad policy, for they can only cater for the demand that exists in a given area. Proposals state that a failure to comply with the licence would result in fines of £5000 or a breach of the license would be a criminal offence, with fines of up to £20,000 for landlords. In extreme cases councils could be at liberty to take over the running of properties and collect rents for maintenance. The average landlord is probably at this point wondering how am I

Jaan M Khan jmkglory@yahoo.com going to meet this landlord tax, with the added burdens of void periods in occupancy with no rent, together with council tax payments, mortgage payments, aside from your own family life and bills. Well like all historical events where the unjust burden on taxation on the average citizen was met with revolt, so too must landlords be ready to take direct action. Evict on mass the people currently catered for and let the council find accommodation for them. Lobby and protest your local authority and make it clearly known that affected areas and elected representatives cannot continue to take their share of the vote for granted. Re-distribute the hundreds of pounds payable for the license to a collective pot of funding by landlords to legally challenge the local authorities’ policy. In essence fight fire with fire and challenge the powers that be with the power of the people. Jaan. M. Khan jmkglory@yahoo.com

TOP LAWYER, MOTHER AND LOCAL COUNCILLOR CALLS FOR IMMIGRATION REFORMS With the economy taking us on a roller-coaster ride, concerns about the immovability within the employment market, influx of migrants from the neighbouring Eastern Europe, talks of incompatibility between different cultures. Coupled with allegations of racially motivated sexual grooming, the country has never been faced with more challenging times. Yet a Panorama programme broadcasted in February 2014, (Immigration Undercover: The Student Visa Scandal) has exasperated those challenges and placed a shadow of doubt over the entire immigration process. An outstanding Solicitor from Yorkshire is now calling on all concerned parties to concentrate their efforts in creating an independent think tank that can autonomously and unbiasedly thrash out a respective and amicable solution to the current Immigration fiasco. Asama Javed, a Partner with over thirteen years’ experience at Reiss Solicitors (Bradford), whose work has been used as country guidance, has written an open letter to over twenty ministers, including the Home Secretary and The Right Honourable Prime Minister himself. Writing to ministers, the award winning solicitor has pointed out how the current rules, regulations and dissimilarity in decision making has offended and actually breached the British Citizens rights.

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Admittedly stating that the current immigration system does warrant rigorous controls, Mrs Javed has called for the discrepancies in decision making to be abolished. Explaining further that when an illegal person states they are in a mere relationship with an E.E.A. national they are permitted to start work immediately. Yet if that same illegal subject was to marry a British Citizen he/she would have to qualify under the Immigration Rules. Citing further examples Asama has highlighted the need for uniformity in rules in order to reduce the illegal migration and curb the number of employers recruiting and abusing illegal migrants. Asama’s is asking for any working group or committee responsible for advising the home office to be selected from grass root level: “we have to ask ourselves how many of these people making recommendations originate from grass root level. Live or have lived in council estates. Understand what the average realistic income level is. Such consultation should take place at a representative level, with and from the people it affects. The Home Offices leap from the income support yardstick to the current disproportionate £18,600 a year is a clear cut example of the current lack of understanding “. Asama Javed explains the Panorama investigation reveals how; “if people want to, they will al-

ways find the means to meet the income and documentation requirement. Increasing the threshold level does not safeguard against Sham or forced marriages”. Asama Javed comes from a family that prides itself with being upholders of civic rights. Her father a highly qualified Pakistani accountant came into England in 1960s, whilst her grandfather who fought for the British Army during the Second World War, was the president of the Pakistan People’s Party. Such was the influence of the family that when the former Prime Minister (now sadly demised) Benazir Bhutto was ousted from Pakistan she was sheltered by Asama’s family in Bradford. “Perhaps I was influenced from Benazir, because like the labour party the Pakistan People Party are a party that fight for people’s rights “. Asama was the first Solicitor to highlight and bring the concept of male domestic violence to the forefront. In 1990 despite being in office for a mere six months , the Leeds Law Society recognised Mrs Javed for her outstanding work in the family courts as she was acknowledged as “ The best newcomer solicitor “. In 2001 Asama was a strong contender in The Asian Women’s Achiever Awards.

A successful councillor who has umpteen achievements under her belt, a school governor of a school that was initially written off but last year was awarded the TES outstanding Primary School, Asama is a very passionate individual who aims to contribute towards the safeguarding and improvement of the current immigration system. Asama’s petition has been received by over hundred concerned parties both within the government and private sector, with a strong stream of support Asama is now looking at inviting the decision making bodies to Yorkshire with a view of hosting an open debate.

Haji Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob: In Tribute

In tribute to the founder of ARY news group, Haji Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob who passed away on 21st February 2014. Haji Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob, was a true patriotic who never compromised on the ideology of Pakistan in any circumstances. He always influenced through his personality to bring soft and positive image of Pakistan in front of the world. He spent his whole life for a cause to bring ease and betterment of Pakistanis through his character, news channels and charities. He was a man of vision who always strictly followed the adamant principles set by founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah through his two nation theory. Due to his commitment and per-

sonality, patriotism in the ARY news group is more close to Pakistani culture, ideology, rituals, and customs. Through his vision ARY group of television channels are the most popular in Pakistan and the world among Pakistanis. In this modern day and age, he led the way for progress, to build and rebrand a prosperous image of Pakistan. Indeed his death has deprived the Pakistani nation from a visionary and patriotic ambassador of Pakistan. May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace and give courage to his bereaved family to bear this great loss. We hope the ARY news group continue to keep us aware with the same spirit on the same lines set by Haji Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob.

Greens Campaign Against Unfair Parking Charges Sheffield Green Party are campaigning for a fair deal for inner city residents living in permit parking zones. They are petitioning the Labour Administration ahead of decisions on the Council budget for 2014/15. Greens say the price of permits is hitting vulnerable residents and businesses in parking scheme areas, who are now funding transport spending in wealthier parts of the city. Central ward resident Sarah Jane Smalley said “It's blatantly unfair that the people living closest to the city centre are being made to pay to deal with citywide problems. The Council was already making a surplus of over £500,000 on parking schemes before raising the prices. Even residents who don't own a car are hit by the huge increase in the cost of visitors’ permits. Why should we be penalised by the Council because of where we live? We want a return to the lower prices when the money made and spent on the schemes was equal.”

Central ward Green Cllr Rob Murphy commented “The Council is short of money but times are hard for everybody. Local residents and businesses already suffer some of the worst congestion, air pollution and accident rates in the city. Permit holders shouldn't have to subsidise the transport budget for the rest of the city on top.” The price of a permit for a car was raised by 100% in 2012 and another 80% in 2013. The Green Party online petition is at http://sheffieldgreenparty. org.uk/parking/. Most signatures have been collected on paper.The petition wording is : “We the undersigned believe the current prices for permits in Sheffield’s Parking Permit Zones are excessive and unfair. We also believe the increased surpluses from the parking zones should not be subsidising citywide transport schemes. We call on Sheffield City Council to lower Parking Permit prices to pre2011 levels, ie £10 for the first car.”

BY MUKHTAR TUFAIL © 2014

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SUGAR OR SWEET POISON? Dr Shafqat Mahmood Added sugar has proven to be the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. It provides calories with no added nutrients. On average men, women and children require a daily intake of 2500, 2000 and 1800 calories per day respectively. There is no consensus on the recommended daily intake of sugar but the world health organisation suggests that no more than 10% of recommended daily calorie intake consists of sugar. 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams = 16 calories. Thus, a regular Mars bar (27 grams of sugar) and a regular can of coke (35 grams of sugar) would account for 137% of the maximum recommended daily sugar intake for a child.

instead. Eating a good breakfast will prevent sugar cravings during the day. 4. Fizzy drinks/Juices. Instead of sugary fizzy drinks and juices, go for water or unsweetened fruit juice. If you still prefer fizzy drinks, try diluting fruit juice with sparkling water. 1. Eat regularly. Eat 3 meals +/- 2 snacks or 5 small meals a day. Skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar levels resulting in hunger and cravings for sugary snacks.

5. Snacks. Cut down on sweets and chocolates. Opt for fruit instead. Swap biscuits and cakes for currant buns or scones. Keep sugary snacks out of your home and work environment.

6. Cooking. Try halving 2. Eat whole foods. The the sugar you use in recipes. closer a food is to its original Artificial Sweeteners. form the less processed sugar it 7. These do little to alter your desire will contain. for sweet foods. However if you In the UK, most adults and chilmust use a sweetener the Stevia dren are consuming excess sugar. is one of the healthiest sweetenThis is leading to a number of ers I have come across. health concerns including:

Bradford’s Infant Mortality Figures Reduce For The Fifth Year In A Row The survival rate for babies has improved across the Bradford district for the fifth year in a row according to the latest government statistics. New figures show the infant mortality rate is now 7.0 per 1,000 live births in 2010-12. This is down from 7.5 in 2009-11 and 8.3 in 2005-07 (rate of death in babies before their first birthday per 1,000 live births over a three-year period). It’s also the lowest rate across the Bradford district over the last decade and the figures are ahead of projected targets for reducing infant mortality in the district. The district’s Every Baby Matters Action Plan was developed to tackle infant mortality following a report by the Bradford District Infant Mortality Commission published in 2006. The

Every Baby Matters Action Plan has already seen improved access to midwives before 13 weeks, higher child vaccination rates, increased take-up of healthy start vitamins and investment in the number of health visitors. Bradford is not working with partners to come up with innovative ways to further prevent infant mortality, particularly amongst pregnant women with risk factors which may cause poor infant health. These include those pregnant women who are at high risk of congenital anomalies, obesity, smoking, diabetes and excessive alcohol consumption. The programme is also working to reduce the risks associated with child poverty; improve education and housing; offer

early access to high-quality services from pre-conception, pregnancy through to infancy and to improve nutrition and breastfeeding for babies. The Every Baby Matters Action Plan has already seen: •Improved access to midwife before 13 weeks of pregnancy •Reduction in the teenage conception rate to below the national average •High vaccination rates for infants •Ongoing specialist genetic inheritance training available for health and social care staff •Investment in increased numbers of Health visitors •Increase take up of healthy start vitamins with over 40 trained vitamin-D Community Champions.

8. Exercise. This decreases the need for a sugar lift and as part of a healthy lifestyle can help with weight management and improving all round fitness.

1. Obesity. In England, 25% of adults are obese and 30% of children under the age of fifteen are obese or overweight. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.

9. Nutrition labels. These can help you pick foods with less sugar or direct you to low sugar versions. Sweeteners include corn syrup, corn sugar, high fructose, sucrose, dextrose, honey, cane sugar, cane crystals, treacle and fruit juice concentrates etc. Nutrition labels and sugar

3. Breakfast. Choose whole grain (see 2) but avoid anything coated in sugar or honey. Reduce the amount of sugar added to tea, coffee or cereal until you can cut it out altogether. If you spread jam, marmalade, syrup, or honey on your toast, try a low fat spread or a sliced banana You can learn more about nutritional recommendations at http://www.gdalabel.org.uk/ gda/gdalabel/nutrients.aspx There is evidence to support a http://www.nhs.uk/change4life connection between excessive sugar consumption and skin comIf you would like to learn more plaints such as acne, certain types about your personal sugar intake of cancers, nutrient deficiencies or other aspects of your diet then and Alzheimer’s disease. More keep a food diary for 2 weeks research is needed to identify the and then see your GP or practice exact nature of this connection. nurse. Some areas have specialist obesity / diet clinics. Tips to cut down sugar 2. Poor dental hygiene. Excessive sugar intake is bad for teeth and can lead to cavities, fillings and extractions. Both obesity and poor dental hygiene can result in psychosocial sequelae such as depression, low self esteem and bullying in children.

BUDGET BALANCED BUT CHANGES WILL BE FELT FOR YEARS The books are balanced to meet budget demands – but the costs will be felt for many years to come, say council leaders. Last autumn Sheffield City Council outlined its financial position highlighting deepening budget cuts for the next five years. Since then the council has been consulting with Sheffield people on its budget proposals for 2014/15 to meet the unprecedented financial challenge facing the council, including plans to freeze council tax. Sheffield has been hit with some of the hardest cuts nationally – losing half of its Government funding by 2015, with over £180m taken from the budget so far. This year the council has had to find a further £58m - pushing the

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total government cuts to Sheffield up to £238 million. The council is doing its best to protect people but the scale of the cuts mean that not everyone can be protected. Councillor Ben Curran, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet member for Finance and Resources said: “The Government is continuing with their unfair policy of targeting northern cities like Sheffield. Whilst forcing Sheffield to cut another £54 million, Wokingham is getting increases. At the end of the day having £234 million taken from Sheffield is going to take its toll. We must be clear - any organisation losing 50 per cent of its funding can’t afford to maintain the status quo. The council is no different. This year’s cuts will see changes

to the library service; changes to resident care settings; reviewing of home care services; restructuring of staff across services; sharing services where appropriate across portfolios; delivering value for money on external contracts; working with the voluntary sector where possible; increasing charges for certain services, reviewing other services to make them affordable, delivering more for less and seeking alternative funding where possible. As part of the budget process, the Council is estimating that there could be 600 posts affected during 2014/15, although the actual number is likely to be less due to voluntary severance or voluntary early retirement as well as any vacancies that have not been filled.

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PAKISTAN ZINDABAD *The man who made you a nuclear world power was a 'Muhajir' * The man who gave you the first cricket world cup was a Pathan * The Prime Minister who started Pakistan's Nuclear Program was a Sindhi * The singer who single handedly made Pakistan's music admired globally was a Punjabi * The Pilot who shot down 5 Indian fighter Jets within a minute was a Bengali * The person who serves humanity without any discrimination is a Memon * The Army general who defended Pakistan after the Indian attack in the Battle of Chawinda in 1965 was a Hazara * The only Nobel Prize winner of Pakistan was an Ahmedi * The Cricketer who took you to victory against India in India in 2005 test was a Hindu * The only Pakistani to reach the status of becoming an advisor of United Nation's Secretary General comes from an Ismaili Family * The Fighter Pilot who not just gave his life for Pakistan, but also went on to fight for Arabs against Israelis in 1967's war and shot down an Israeli Aircraft was a Christian * The founder of this Country was a Shia. Even today, Your Kebab is Behari, Your Biryani is Sindhi, Your Tea is Kashmiri, Your Naan is Afghani, Your Port is in Karachi, Your Industry is Punjabi, Your Music is Multani Sufi, and the Beauty of your country lies in Gilgit Baltistan Yet you have the nerve to say that only Your Religion, Your Sect, Your Province, Your Ethnic group is the best while rest should be thrown out of Pakistan!

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Yahoo’s Shock At ‘Webcam Spying Violation’ The alleged activities by intelligence agencies in Britain and the US are described as "creepy" by civil liberties campaigners. Internet giant Yahoo has expressed its shock at claims that spy agencies intercepted and stored webcam images of millions of users, describing it as a "whole new level of violation". The revelations were disclosed by The Guardian in its latest report on files leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden, in which the paper claims Britain's GCHQ and its US counterpart National Security Agency collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk. Codenamed Optic Nerve, the operation, which began as a prototype in 2008 and was still active in 2012, saved images to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were suspected of wrongdoing. GCHQ is responsible for the UK's security In one six-month period during 2008 and 2010, GCHQ collected webcam imagery - including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications - from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts around the world. A previously top-secret document, found among 58,000 files taken by Mr Snowden, the former NSA contractor who fled to Russia, via Hong Kong, after leaking the information to four locations

worldwide, said: "Unfortunately ... it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show parts of their body to the other person. This report, if true, represents a whole new level of violation of users' privacy that is completely unacceptable. The world's governments need to reform surveillance law consistent with the principles outlined last year. Big Brother secretly intercepting and taking photographs from millions of people's webcam chats is as creepy as it gets. We have CCTV on our streets and now we have GCHQ in our homes. This is an indiscriminate and intimate intrusion on people's privacy.

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EAST & WEST: A DIALOGUE By: Dr A Q Khan

email: dr.a.quadeer.khan@gmail.com In November last year I wrote a four-part column on morals, manners and ethics, which drew many reactions, both local and foreign. A very interesting one came from Bill Sellman of Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. Many of my friends have requested me to answer his observations in detail to highlight different approaches on the subject and enable readers to respond in a logical way should they encounter similar ones. In his initial letter Sellman wrote: “I can see that Islam is a fundamental part of your life. I think, at the heart of most religions, are some beautiful guidelines on life, morals, manners and ethics. But, as time passes, they seem to get lost ….. Islam has extremists that seem to regard non-Muslims as infidels, much as the Catholic Inquisition regarded non-Catholics as heretics.” Part of my reaction to Sellman’s letter read: “I do agree with many of your comments but still feel that our approach is different due to our backgrounds, upbringing and religious convictions. Yes, I do value the principles of Islam, but I am not orthodox or a fundamentalist. As a matter of fact, I studied in Berlin, Delft (Holland) and Leuven (Belgium) and spent 15 years in Europe. My wife is Dutch, our two daughters went to universities in England and now two of our granddaughters are studying in England and the US respectively.” Here follows a more detailed reaction. Bill Sellman (BS): You write: “…the main concern of western thinkers remains their deep passion for personal freedom. They are not prepared to give it the smallest degree of leeway.” I do agree that we westerners have a deep passion for personal freedom. However, we are willing to cede some of our personal freedom, when justified. Some examples of this are: Because of the risk of terrorist acts we allow the

monitoring of our email and communications by certain government entities, under specific situations. We do not allow any human to freely harm, kill or threaten another human being. Our freedom to choose a religion does not allow us to force another human to pick our religion, or to decide to give up our religion. We are free to marry whom we choose, or divorce when we choose. Husbands are not free to force their wives to remain with them, or obey them. Wives are not free to force their husbands to remain with them, or to obey them. Dr Khan (DK): Such administrative measures to curb freedom for the sake of perceived collective interests are a common phenomenon. I was referring to the passion for freedom which overrides considerations of moral norms, such as incest, homosexuality, abortion, extramarital relations, legally permitted extramarital sex at very young ages, giving a child the right to ‘divorce’ his parents, etc. All these actions clearly undermine the family, the oldest social institution of human history, which holds together the fabric of society. BS: The disintegration of any western family unit has not been caused by personal freedom not being given the smallest degree of leeway. In fact, we do not force a husband and wife to live together when they do not like each other, or when they are constantly fighting with each other. We can disagree about whether divorce is good or bad. Families break up because of economic situations, mental situations, emotional situations and many, many, other factors. DK: No one can deny that the social and legal rules of every society should provide sufficient room for terminating marriage for whatever reason. Nor can anyone deny that there are innumerable fac-

tors involved in the break-up of a family and that each unit has their own considerations. Nor can one generalise. What seems to me to be on the rise in western society is an attitude of selfishness where one’s own pursuits – be they biological fulfilment, self-gratification or materialistic – put the family in jeopardy. There seems far less willingness to make sacrifices for the sake of the marriage/family and divorce is resorted to as an easy way out. We also find that elderly parents are often neglected or carted off to old-age homes. Again, let us not generalise, but often ageing parents are considered a burden and lack the loving care of an extended family. Having said that, we are, unfortunately, finding that this is occurring more and more often in our own society, despite clear religious, moral obligations on our part. BS: The fact that western countries have more divorce rates is not bad in itself; in fact, it is probably good as it evidences that western countries are not allowing husbands to dominate their wives and treat them as cows or slaves. DK: I have already agreed that every society and legal system should provide a proper way out when marriage fails. I could not agree more that neither spouse should be misused in any way – physically or mentally. Some of the things you refer to are local customs and do not hinge on religion. In fact, Islam brought liberation to women from the indignity, oppression and exploitation they suffered from at that time. The Holy Prophet insisted on a girl’s right to choose her husband, to demand a high dowry and to claim her rights in inheritance. He even insisted that married women need not take their husband’s names. His most beloved wife, Khadija, was called ‘Khadija, daughter of Khuwailid’. She was an entre-

preneur prior to her marriage and came to know him and admire his honesty and sincerely during her (business) partnership with him. So we have a golden example of marriage in the model of our Prophet (pbuh) who declared: “Paradise lies under a mother’s feet”. Muslims firmly believe that marriage is an essential component of human society which must be preserved at all costs. BS: I’ve been married 42 years myself to the same wife. I can understand that sometimes men and women may not want to formally marry, but simply want to live together for emotional and economic reasons. I can understand that sometimes men enjoy living with men and women with women. I can understand that sometimes it works for one man to have more than one wife, which we do not allow in the US. I also know one woman who has married 14 times, and killed eight of her husbands. Sometimes it is better for a marriage to end and, in the west, we allow marriage partners to make that decision, not the government. DK: We too allow marriages to end and the government does not force couples to either stay together or part. The Quran states that divorce is allowed, but should only be undertaken as a last resort. A man was allowed four wives because, at that time, there were many widows who had no form of sustenance. However, the Quran clearly states that, unless a man is able to treat all his wives equally, both in physical and psychological terms, he should not venture to have more than one. It also urges moderation in all walks of life. This custom is not often practiced here nowadays, simply due to financial constraints.

Public transport is also limited on this day, and may be completely unavailable on certain routes. Many people visit recreational spots on Pakistan Day, so traffic congestion is common in big cities. Background The roots of the struggle for independence of British India can be traced back to the uprising of 1857 which started off as a rebellion of the British East India Company soldiers but soon took the shape of a freedom struggle and caused a major threat to

uplifting of Muslims that comprised of 25 to 30 percent of the total population of British India. In a Muslim League annual session in 1930, Muhammad Iqbal, a poet and philosopher, put forward the ideal of Muslims being a separate nation. Iqbal is accredited for weaving the Two-Nation theory, an ideology that eventually made the creation of Pakistan possible. The Two-Nation theory stated that Hindus and Muslims were from two different nations. Muslim culture, tradition, religion, ideology, morals and language were all

ity areas of British India was demanded to protect Muslims’ political, social and cultural rights. In a Muslim League general session from March 22 to March 24, 1940, Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah and other party leaders unanimously rejected the idea of united India, endorsed the TwoNation Theory, and called for a separate Muslim homeland. The Lahore Resolution was supported by all major Muslim Leaders of the time. Pakistan gained independence from British rule on August 14, 1947. Nine years after Pakistan’s creation, the first constitution was implemented on March 23, 1956. March 23 was initially meant to celebrate the adoption of the country’s first constitution and its transformation as a republic. The constitution of 1956 was annulled by the military government of Ayub Khan in 1958 and March 23 became a day to commemorate the Lahore Resolution of 1940, which eventually led to the creation of Pakistan. Symbols Minar-e-Pakistan (Pakistan Minaret) is a minaret (a type of tower) in Iqbal Park in the city of Lahore. It was built to venerate the Lahore Resolution. The minaret is constructed where the Lahore Resolution was passed. This monument symbolizes a blossoming flower and reflects the blissfulness of independence.

To be continued Email: dr.a.quadeer.khan@gmail.com

Pakistan day Pakistan Day is a public holiday in Pakistan to remember the Lahore Resolution on March 23 each year. The word “Pakistan” was never used but the Lahore Resolution is considered a major milestone in the Muslim struggle for an independent state in undivided India. What Do People Do? Pakistan’s national flag is hoisted on public and governmental buildings at dawn on Pakistan Day. A 31-gun salute in Islamabad and a 21-gun salute in provincial capitals are fired. A change of guard occurs at the mausoleums of Muhammad Iqbal (commonly known as Allama Iqbal) and Muhammad Ali Jinnah (commonly known as Quaid-i-Azam or the Supreme Leader), followed by garlands being laid. A main feature of Pakistan Day celebrations is a parade at Constitution Avenue in Islamabad. An award ceremony is organized where the president gives military and civilian awards to recognize recipients’ achievements and contributions to Pakistan. Pakistan Day festivals, parties, national songs and debate competitions are featured throughout the day, which sees many people spend time with families, friends and loved ones. Pakistan Day specials are broadcast on radio and TV. Special prayers are offered for peace and prosperity. Public Life Pakistan Day is a public holiday in Pakistan on March 23. Government offices, banks, post offices, educational institutions and businesses are closed, except for some multinational organizations.

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Company Raj (Company Rule) in an undivided India. Leaders such as Sir Syed Ahmed Khan worked tirelessly for the political, social and economic

distinctly different from Hindu ideals. Both nations (Hindus and Muslims) shared mutually contradicting beliefs. Therefore, an autonomous state consisting of Muslim major-

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PAKISTAN MONUMENT ISLAMABAD

Asian Women Of Achievment Awards Sheffield’s Asian women are being urged to sign up for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards and follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner Sipra Deb. The awards are a nationwide search to find 2014’s breakthrough Asian females. Sipra has already put Sheffield on the map after winning the Entrepreneurial Asian Woman of Achievement Award last year for her business, The Play Arena. Following a career as a molecular biologist, Sipra changed paths and created The Play Arena, which is now the city’s largest and most innovative indoor play centre. She overcame the tragic murder of her father and came up with a vision to create a space where families can enjoy time together. She is also involved in

supporting several small ventures run by ethnic minorities and by women. Awards founder Pinky Lilani OBE said: “When the awards launched 15 years ago, I wanted to create a platform where the accomplishments of our country’s ground-breaking Asian women could be highlighted and celebrated. “From those working to support their local communities, to those shaping some of the UK’s biggest and most influential organisations - these are the women making a substantial contribution to our culture and economy and it is vital we champion their success.” Nominations are open now at http:// awa.realbusiness.co.uk and close on Monday, March 17.

UK political party’s official exposed as ex-Pakistani gangster

Pakistan Monument in Islamabad, Pakistan, is a national monument representing the nation's four provinces and three territories. After a competition among many renowned architects, Arif Masood’s plan was selected for the final design.

Imran Khan’s Role At Bradford University Is Defended The Vice-Chancellor of Bradford University has mounted an impassioned defence of its Chancellor Imran Khan after a student motion was lodged calling for him to stand down. This month the University’s Student Union will vote on the motion which demands the international cricketer turned politician steps down due to “neglect” of his duties to attend recent graduation ceremonies. But Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Cantor has stood by Mr Khan. The last time Mr Khan, leader of the opposition party PTI in the Pakistani National Assembly, attended a graduation is believed to have been in 2010. The motion was raised by law student Mohsin Tanveer, and will be voted on at a union meeting on Monday, March 10. Mr Tanveer said: “Many students are unhappy with the fact that they have

country which has serious problems with terrorism, education and poverty. “While I understand that it is frustrating for students that Imran has not attended an award ceremony at Bradford for some time, I have urged students to be sympathetic to the situation in Pakistan and the responsibility Imran has to improving the state of the country. I have appealed to the better nature of our student body to be more supportive of the work Imran has to carry out as a politician.” A union spokesman said it could not comment on the motion until it is discussed at the council meeting. Mr Khan is the fifth Chancellor in the university’s history, having been apbeen denied the opportunity to engage pointed in 2005. The university website with the Chancellor on a regular basis.” says the Chancellor’s role is to confer Prof Cantor said: “Our Chancellor has degrees twice a year. a major political role in Pakistan, a

Pakistan Announces First Ever Counter-Terror Policy Pakistan has unveiled its first ever counter-terrorism policy after battling a homegrown Islamist insurgency for more than a decade, announcing that every act of militant violence would be met with retaliation on their bases. Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan announced the "national security policy" before parliament a day after it was formally approved by the cabinet, ending years of waiting for a set of unified rules of engagement for terrorism. The move comes as talks between the government and the Taliban that began earlier this month have stalled following the killing of 23 soldiers being held by the militants. Pakistan has responded by carrying out a series of deadly air strikes in the northwest that have left

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over 100 militants dead. Khan said the shelling was in line with the government's new policy and that strikes would continue alongside efforts to negotiate with the Taliban. "We have made a significant shift in our policy, now we will react to each and every act of terrorism in the country with an attack on the headquarters of the militants along the Afghan border," he said. "Whenever there is a strike anywhere, we will target headquarters of the militants and it's because of this new policy that we have been carrying out precise strikes in the tribal areas." Commenting on the status of the dialogue between the government and Taliban representatives, Khan said talks have been put on hold but would

A spokesperson of a British political party proved to be a major embarrassment for it after he was exposed as one-time ex-chief of a Pakistani kidnapping gang. Mujeeb ur Rehman Bhutto, the UK Independence Party's (UKIP) campaigner who helped in boosting its multi-cultural credentials and worked as the party’s Commonwealth spokesperson between March and December 2013, had canvassed in a key by-election in which the party came close to gaining its first MP. The 35-year-old has admitted being the "boss" of a high-profile gang which struck in Pakistan's port city of Karachi in 2004, in a kidnapping that netted him a £56,000 ransom payment. He admitted to the charges in a British court the following year and was awarded a sevenyear jail term. Last month, UKIP opted to distance itself from Bhutto, saying he resigned from the party after being confronted about

his criminal history. Bhutto’s past getting revealed on BBC Newsnight came just a month after David Silvester, a UKIP councillor in Oxfordshire, provoked ridicule by claiming that this winter’s floods were God’s revenge for the new law allowing gay marriage. Bhutto had first flown to Manchester city for collecting a payment of the £56,000 ransom for a high-profile 2004 kidnapping, according to an investigation by the BBC’s programme. While other members of Bhutto’s gang were sentenced to the death penalty for their convictions in 2005, he admitted to being the "boss" at Manchester Crown Court and was sentenced to seven years at a British jail. In 2011, he became a member of UKIP. UKIP came second behind the Conservatives in the last European Parliament poll in 2009 winning 17 percent of the vote, a media report said.

Sky’s Asian Pack To Launch 4Th March BSkyB is launching its new Asian TV bundle on Tuesday 4th March. While broadcasters are keeping hush on this historical move on digital satellite, it is understood, ZEE TV, ZEE Cinema, ZEE Punjabi, Sony Entertainment Television Asia, Sony MAX, ARY Digital and B4U Movies will form the currently unnamed new package. This is the first time in BSkyB’s history, a whole package to third-party Asian TV channels is being formed. With this launch, VIEWASIA, which is controlled by Sony Entertainment Television Asia will be axed. Pakistani chan-

nel, Geo UK will not be included in this package. Similarly, there had been talks of new channel, Hum TV joining the package but this will not be happening for now. The pricing of the new package is said to be around £15 per month. To add Star TV channels from the other Sky packages, Sky subscribers will have to pay a further £1.00 per month. Subscribers of ZEE Network and VIEWASIA channels are expected to receive communication in the coming days to inform them of this change.

"resume anytime soon and both negotiations and targeted strikes will go hand in hand". Security experts have long called for rapid response teams to deal with terror incidents in crowded urban environments and track down militants. Since 2007 the Pakistani Taliban have been waging a bloody campaign against the Pakistani state which has claimed thousands of lives. The umbrella militant group was founded in response to a raid on a radical mosque in Islamabad, but Islamist violence in the country began surging after the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Attempts by previous governments at formulating a national security policy have floundered over a lack of consensus and political will.

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Working Women:

Britain Moving Backwards On Equality There are more working women in Britain than ever before - a record-breaking 14 million now have jobs. Nearly 70 percent of women are in work, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics, and women now account for 46 percent of the British workforce. That's something of a surprise because the government's austerity programme is slashing public sector jobs. As 2 in 3 public sector workers are female, women were expected to be

the main group to lose out. Women are disproportionately concentrated in the health and educations services. The figures also show a sharp rise in the number of women looking for work. Female immigrants are coming to Britain from Europe to fill low-skilled service positions like night-cleaning in hotels and offices. And the government has equalised male and female pension ages - boosting the numbers of women over 50 seeking work - at the same time as it clamps down

Mental Health and Asians Britain is a crucible of cultures and ethnic communities. Different ethnic groups have different rates and experiences of mental health problems, reflecting their different cultural and socio-economic contexts and access to culturally appropriate treatments. Mental illness is a taboo subject for people in South Asian communities and that misconceptions and misunderstanding about the causes of mental health problems are barriers to reducing negative attitudes. A report titled 'Time for Change' has recently uncovered a culture of stigma, secrecy and shame surrounding mental illness among Asians. The report cites consequences for those with mental health problems including reduced marriage prospects, lowered community status and social exclusion. Major hurdles include pressure to adhere to social norms, fear of socialising with someone with a mental illness and the view that those with mental health problems are ‘stupid’. Family Matters also highlights the role immediate family inadvertently plays in perpetuating negative attitudes towards mental illness; while generally seen as responsible for and caring of relatives with a mental illness, families can also cause feelings of isolation and exclusion in their efforts to protect loved ones from the gossip and stigma that may come from extended family and the wider community. But study shows Asian people have better rates of recovery from schizophrenia, which may be linked to the level of family support. Suicide is low among

Asian men and older people, but high in young Asian women compared with other ethnic groups. Indian men have a high rate of alcohol related problems. Research has suggested that Western approaches to mental health treatment are often unsuitable and culturally inappropriate to the needs of Asian communities. Asian people tend to view the individual in a holistic way, as a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual being. One in four people in Britain are expected to experience a mental health problem. But stigma and discrimination are still very common, especially among the ethnic communities. Myths such as assuming mental illness is somehow down to a 'personal weakness' still exist. A person who is considered 'mentally healthy' is someone who can cope with the normal stresses of life and carry out the usual activities they need to in order to look after themselves; can realise their potential; and make a contribution to their community. However, your mental health or sense of 'wellbeing' doesn't always stay the same and can change in response to circumstances and stages of life. Everyone will go through periods when they feel emotions such as stress and grief, but symptoms of mental illnesses last longer than normal and are often not a reaction to daily events. When these symptoms become severe enough to interfere with a person's ability to function, they may be considered to have a significant psychological or mental illness.

on single parent benefits - driving single mothers to look for work. So, although the numbers in employment are creeping up, the swelling labour market means unemployment is not going down at the same rate. The number of people claiming jobless benefits has fallen by 28,000 between December and January to 1.22 million. But this isn't necessarily cause for good cheer: More women are calling themselves self-employed, which means they're likely to be pocketing sums far below the minimum wage. A recent report showed the lowest earning self-employed workers are earning a third less than they did 12 years ago. Where Britain once led the way with the Equal Pay Act, austerity and the recession are pulling the

country backwards. The pay gap between men and women widened last year for the first time since 2008. The gap sits at 15 per cent on average, with male workers taking home £5,000 more than their female counterparts. And although women are finding work as estate agents, shop assistants and high-street bankers, they only make up 20 percent of the workforce in crucial growth industries like science, construction and engineering. This shows no sign of changing any time soon. Almost one million young people are still unemployed. And, more worryingly, 250,000 of those young people have been unemployed for over a year.

Someone with clinical depression, for example, will feel persistent and intense sadness, making them withdrawn and unmotivated. These symptoms usually develop over several weeks or months, although occasionally can come on much more rapidly. Mental health problems are defined and classified to help experts refer people for the right care and treatment. The symptoms are grouped in two broad categories - neurotic and psychotic. Neurotic conditions are extreme forms of 'normal' emotional experiences such as depression, anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Around one person in 10 experiences these mood disorders at any one time. Psychotic symptoms affect around one in 100 and these interfere with a person's perception of reality, impairing their thoughts and judgments. Conditions include schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Mental illness is common but fortunately most people recover or learn to live with the problem, especially if diagnosed early. The exact cause of most mental illnesses is not known but a combination of physical, psychological and environmental factors are thought to play a role. Many mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder can run in families, which suggests a genetic link. Experts believe many mental illnesses are linked to abnormalities in several genes that predispose people to problems, but don't on their own directly cause them. So a person can inherit a susceptibility to a condition but may not go on to develop it. Psychological risk factors that make a person more vulnerable include suffering, neglect, loss of a parent, or experiencing abuse. Difficult life events can then trigger a mental illness in a person who is susceptible. These stressors in-

clude illness, divorce, death of a loved one, losing a job, substance abuse, social expectations and a dysfunctional family life. A mental illness can’t be 'tested' by checking blood or body fluids. Instead it is diagnosed, usually by an experienced psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, after studying a patient's symptoms and monitoring them over a period of time. Many different mental illnesses can have overlapping symptoms, so it can be difficult to tell the conditions apart. To diagnose a mental health condition, psychiatrists in the UK may refer to the World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases (ICD) system. This lists known mental health problems and their symptoms under various sub-categories. It is updated around every 15 years. Some experts argue that the current system relies too strongly on medical approaches for mental health problems. They say it implies the roots of emotional distress are simply in brain abnormalities and underplay the social and psychological causes of distress. They argue that this leads to a reliance on anti-depressants and anti-psychotic drugs despite known significant side-effects and poor evidence of their effectiveness.

STARTING AN ONLINE BUSINESS Amar Saleem

Business Development Manager Sheffield Chamber of Commerce Starting an online business

Consumer habits have changed dramatically. By 2020, some experts predict that 90% of transactions will take place online or be internet-influenced. Many businesses have long used their websites to generate additional revenue, yet in recent years there has also been significant growth in businesses that start up exclusively online, which can involve less risk, cost and effort. CREATING AN ONLINE BUSINESS

ing to trade online involves conducting market research to identify your target market, assess demand, competition and reaction to your prices from potential punters. You also need to produce a business plan. If sales are likely to exceed the annual threshold (currently £79,000), you must become VAT registered. You’ll also need to pay tax, in accordance with your status as a sole trader, limited company, etc. Online traders must also observe data protection legislation, of course, when storing important information about customers. Marketing will largely determine your business website’s success and search engine optimisation (SEO) is crucial to this. Basically, it means using words on your website that ensure high placing in lists on search engine (eg Google) results pages. You could also use paid-for advertising services such as Google Adwords, for which you’re charged on a pay-per-click basis. GETTING YOUR SITE UP AND RUNNING

As with any small business, the first steps to start- You must decide whether to

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Email: amar.saleem@scci.org.uk create your own business website or get someone else to do it for you. Doing it yourself can save money, but the results might not be great. There are many ready-made online solutions that allow people with little experience to create their own website. However, these are only likely to provide you with a couple of formulaic template pages with stock text and photos. With this in mind, you might prefer to pay a professional website designer. This should give better results, and will cost around £300-£600 per day. For around £2,000 you should get a service which includes design, domain name registration and arranging hosting of your site and pricing should be kept up to date and you must by an internet service provider. Setting a budget state how much VAT and post and packaging is payand a clear brief can help you minimise the costs. able per item. To collect payments you need to include a shopWEBSITE INFORMATION YOU ping cart function, as well as a secure means by MUST INCLUDE which customers can enter their card details when paying. Most website designers provide a shopping Your business website must cart function and payment facility as part of their include your address and service. Online website-building packages do, too. contact details, privacy polYou also need a merchant account to collect payicy, terms and conditions, ments. Providers such as PayPal are popular, but exchange and refund policy, you should also enquire at your bank. You pay a quality commitment and inservice charge on each transaction, a set-up and formation about delivery and monthly service fee. payment. Stock availability

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Islam Channel Launches Groundbreaking Documentary Islam Channel launches groundbreaking documentary adoption series ‘Please Can I have a Mummy and Daddy’ The Islam Channel (Sky 813) recently launched its ground breaking ‘adoption’ documentary series, entitled ‘Please Can I Have a Mummy and Daddy’, airing 9pm on Wednesdays and 7pm on Sundays for 6 weeks, starting on 12th February 2014. This 6 part series aims to promote adoption within the Muslim community, highlighting the shortfall of Muslim adopters for Muslim children needing to be adopted from the care system and challenging the misconception that adoption is forbidden in Islam.

A percentage of the 2,500 Muslim children in the care system in England need adoption or long term fostering, ideally with families who can best reflect and support their religious and cultural identity. A severe shortfall of Muslim adopters makes this a near impossible task for social workers who sometimes plead for Muslim families to come forward, however they simply cannot wait indefinitely. Asian and Muslim children wait the longest to be adopted and some are never even found a family. Adoption agencies are sometimes pleading for Muslim families to come forwards but many Muslims believe adoption is forbidden in Islam. But what, then, is the solution for Muslim children left in the care system? And is this a correct interpretation of what Islam

says on adoption? This documentary series, by the Islam Channel, hopes to shed light into this often sensitive subject. Consultation with Islamic scholars, social workers and experts in the field gives a picture of the reality on the ground and explores what the duty of the British Muslim community is to its own children. This series has been greatly anticipated both by Muslims who have been inclined towards adoption but were unclear about its permissibility and by adoption agencies throughout the UK who hope that it will lead to an increase in the number of Muslim prospective adopters. So far we have had 1.6million viewers due to promotion by first4adoption and had enquiries from overseas.

The Impact of the Internet on British Asians The Internet has changed our life. From its start as a means to share information between researchers, to today a gigantic world-wide network of computers allowing us to communicate, share and consume information. But not everyone is reaping the benefits within the British Asian community. Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist, is best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, the ‘Super Highway’ or commonly known as the Internet. He made a proposal for an information management system in March 1989 which was to use the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) on a client computer connected to a server via the first version of the Internet. The idea of this interconnection between computers was proposed to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers, and by 1990, the first website was built at CERN was first put online on 6th August 1991. At that point they had no idea of what the invention was going to do to the everyday life of people and how it would contribute to how people communicated, shared and exchanged information globally. Life without the Internet today is probably unthinkable for those who are living in its age. However, there are generations of people for whom the Internet has very little relevance or simply the gap is getting larger between the users and the non-users due to lack of skills. Thus, the impact of the In-

ternet cannot be ignored within the British Asian community. Since the late 1990′s the Internet has gradually become part of work and everyday lifestyle. In many cases, today, most people do not even realise when they are using the Internet but they are. For example, VOIP phones, banking, at work and shopping. For British Asians, as the generations have changed, a gradual gap has developed between those who know and those who do not know how to use the Internet. It is a bigger problem for the older generations, especially, those who have no or very little education or language abilities. Albeit, the Internet is providing content openly in mother-tongue languages too but the issue is with knowing how to use it, not what’s available on it. With the explosion of smartphones and tablet devices becoming the norm to access content on the Internet, using these portable devices introduces even more usability issues for those who find technology hard work. But for those growing up with it, like young children, using these devices is a breeze. Since the Noughties, broadband has risen in households, and British Asian parents have debated allowing the Internet to be part of home life, to give their children immediate access. Especially, from an educational perspective where it is an indispensable tool to help with learning, home-work and general knowledge. But it’s not been an easy decision. Social media with the likes of Twit-

ter, Facebook and LinkedIn are key areas of use for British Asians, followed by YouTube, music websites, film websites and shopping on-line. The use is tremendously high in South Asia in countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Social exclusion of British Asians who are not familiar or comfortable with this technology is a problem already and will get bigger. This includes many businesses not having digital strategies, work prospects reducing due to lack of skills, households having differences in understanding, and children growing up being more savvy than their parents. Therefore, it’s important that skills no matter how basic, are taught to early generations of Asians on how to use the Internet. Otherwise the grandparents and Uncle and Aunty Ji’s will have very little idea of how the world has changed. Communities need to run courses and help people a much as possible. The growth and value of the Internet has outstripped its critics. There is no stopping it, it is a revolution like others in history but not all British Asians are reaping the rewards of this digital communications highway and many are living lives completely oblivious to one of the most game changing inventions in world history. The only way this can change is if we start with family and friends and help those unfamiliar with the World Wide Web and what it has to offer.

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Allama Iqbal Sunday Cricket League Season 2014

The league kindly informs all club officials to note key dates for the up coming season. Booklet meeting will be held on 22nd April 2014 @ILM office, Abbeydale Road, 7pm. Clubs are reminded they must be represented by an official. Non attendance will incur a fine of 30.00. The league endeavours to distribute cricket balls at this event. Season 2014 will inshallah commence on Sunday 27 April 2014. The league request all club officials to e-mail joint secretary Afraz Khan with their secretaries details; name and e-mail address, to; afy124@goglemail.com. League secretary will forward league fixtures to respective officials. Clubs will also receive cup fixtures and further up dates via e-mail, so it's imperative you comply with the request. Chairmen sahib, Fayyaz Shah and the Executive Committee wish all the participating clubs a very good season. Afraz Khan Joint League Secretary

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PROPERTY CORNER

THE THEATRE OF THE AUCTION ROOM Mohammed Mahroof BSc (Hons) MRICS Consultant Mark Jenkinson & Son The popularity of the auction room is becoming quite infectious. There are daytime programmes which follow auction rooms up and down the country, with interest from lay purchasers wanting to buy in the auction room becoming extremely popular.

The drama of preparing for the auction then begins with the process of organising surveys, checking the legal documentation and getting the finance in place. All in anticipation of the fall of the hammer. So you can imagine why the euphoria kicks in, after the culmination of many weeks of preparation, What is it about buying at auction? It is like a thea- when the auctioneer says the property is yours. And tre, with so many people in one room from many the winning bidder begins another chapter of realisbackgrounds and circumstances, all with a story to ing their ambitions for the property they have just tell and all wanting to tell a story once acquired. they have been successful or not. The auctioneer is the star of the show givSo in terms of ing lead to audience participation. The buying at aucroom anxiously anticipates the first bid. tion what are the key issues Once this begins the show is in full flow, with bidders bidding in their own style. you should have Some twitch, others nod and wink, all considered and the time keeping a eye on who else is bidding against them. A temporary rivalry begins with a opponent that they have probably never met or can't even see. Others watch on as competition for the prop- organised before bidding in erty warms up. As bidding continues, audience the theatre of potential: participation generally begins to increase. Once the bidders hear the words "I am selling and for the Preparing to buy at aucfirst time" from the auctioneer, the successful bid- tion? der will have many emotions running through their mind – euphoria, trepidation,victory. I am sure it •Carefully read the docuis like scoring a century in cricket or scoring a win- ments and conditions of ning goal in football. There will be a huge gasp of sale. breathe from the watching audience and a huge •Ensure you have a 10% deposit in place and means smile on the the face of the victor. When the win- to complete within 28 days. ning card is handed to the successful bidder, the •Ensure you have a mortgage in place. If you do not walk to the signing quarter begins, with the audi- then you may lose the 10% deposit. ence watching sometimes in amazement or in awe •Have any surveys or land searches carried out and of the winner. I am told by many people that the take advice from a solicitor around possible legal istheatre of buying at auction is adrenaline inducing. sues. •Basically you need to have all the necessary arBefore the theatre of the auction room begins, the rangements in place before bidding at auction. Do open viewings are also an exciting time for a buy- not bid blind or on a whim. er. Many people will visit a property on the same designated day. There they will meet competitors Can I buy before the property goes into the aucyet unknown, all with a special reason for buying tion room? the property. Some will be looking to buy a family home, others a project, a development, business •Offers can be made prior to the property going to premises. auction but you may not always succeed. If many people want to do this then sellers will sell through

the room to create competition. •Completion is normally within 28 days. •On the other hand, sellers may decide to sell the •No gazumping or back word property before auction if the offer is acceptable. What is the role of the auctioneer? What if I change my mind? •The auctioneer is the seller's agent. •Once the hammer falls you are in a binding con- •The auctioneer will take bids from people in the tract and if you change your mind the 10% deposit room or sometimes by telephone. They will conwill be lost. tinue taking bids until there are no more bids. •The seller may pursue you if they sell it again and •In some cases when there are no further bids, the there is a difference for the shortfall. auctioneer may say this lot is "withdrawn, see me •Changing your mind can be quite expensive, so go after the auction". This basically means that bids in with a clear understanding of what you are bid- have not reached the reserve which is set by the ding for. Believe me, people do bid for lots they are auctioneer and the seller, and you can make a furnot interested in without realising. ther offer which may or may not be accepted. •The auctioneer is the main person in the room. What should I bid? They have the authority to refuse a bid, without explanation, and also resolve any problems which •You should always have may occur as a result of the bidding. Their decision a maximum amount you is absolute and final. want to bid. Sometimes •Auctioneers are quite entertaining which adds to in the excitement of the the buzz of the room. auction room people do get carried away and bid The theatre of auctions has been around for cenmore than their budget. turies with people returning again and again. The You should never do this. popularity of the auction room has increased and this centuries old method of buying and selling will, in my opinion, continue for many generations to come. There will be an auction near you so What are the bengo along and see the theatre efits of selling at for your self. auction? •Intensive marketing period •When the hammer falls a binding contract is in place - the buyer cannot back out. •All interested parties have an opportunity to bid and are in the room. •A 10% deposit is paid and completion is normally within 28 days. What are the benefits of buying at auction? •When the hammer falls the property is yours.

This article is merely a guide and you should always consult with an auction specialist and solicitors if you are considering buying or selling at auction. If you want to contact me I am a consultant at Mark Jenkinson and Son, 0114 2760151/0787 9015095, and will be more than happy to advise on any property issues you may have. Please feel free to contact me or through ILM, and do keep requesting topics you want me to write about.

History of the Naan The Naan, an enjoyable flat-bread has made a mark in South Asian cuisine through the centuries. We look at where and when it began and how it is enjoyed in its different forms today. The Naan is one of the most popular flat breads served with South Asian food. In p a r t i c u l a r, accompanying food from the Northern Area of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajizkistan and surrounding areas. Have you ever been spoilt for choice for the vast selection of Naan today and wondered about its origin? We explore and discover more about this delightful and enjoyable flat bread which is popular in many parts of the world including the UK, USA and Canada. The Naan originates from India but is today eaten in most types of South Asian restaurants and homes around the globe. It has transformed from a basic form of bread for many to experimental creations by chefs and food enthusiasts today with different fillings and flavours. The first recorded history of Naan can be found in the notes of the Indo-Persian poet Amir Kushrau in 1300 AD. Naan was originally cooked at the Imperial Court in Delhi as naan-e-tunuk (light bread) andnaan-e-tanuri (cooked in a tandoor oven). During the Mughal era in India from around 1526, Naan accompanied by keema or kebab was

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a popular breakfast food of the royals. In 1926, overlooking the hustle and bustle of Regent Street, Veeraswamy, Britain’s oldest Indian restaurant served Naan on its menu. The word Naan is derived from the Persian word ‘non’ which refers to bread, and initially appeared in English Literature dating back to 1780 in a travelogue of William Tooke. In Turkic languages, such as Uzbek, Kazakh and Uyghur, the flatbreads are known as nan. The ingredients for making Naan usually consists of dry yeast, all-purpose flour, warm water, sugar, salt, ghee and yoghurt. The ingredients are used to make a smooth and stretchy elastic dough which is used to make Naans. Modern recipes sometimes substitute baking powder for the yeast. Milk may be used to give greater volume and thickness to the Naan. The methods of cooking Naan have evolved over time. Naan is traditionally cooked in a tandoor, or clay oven. This is different from from roti or chapatti, which is usually cooked on a flat or slightly concave iron griddle called a tawa. However, now the method of baking is also used to make a Naan, giving you the opportunity to make them in your everyday oven. Typically, it’s served hot and brushed with ghee (clarified butter) or butter.

Bread? Actually, it was the yeast. The yeast was first used in Egypt in 4000 BC but wasn’t understood till much later. Flat breads from 4000 BC-19th Century were unleavened. People came to grips with the process of the yeast in the 19th Century. Pitta Bread was one of the earliest form of flat bread. Naans were cooked around the 14th Century and Chapatti followed in the 16th Century. The ‘World’s Biggest Naan Bread’ was made in 2004 by Honeytop Speciality Foods. The Naan measured exactly 10ft by 4ft and celebrated the launch of Brewers Fayre’s Curry Nights in the UK. It took over five hours to make and required eight staff to carry it! Another major record broken with the Naan was by the restaurant called Indian Ocean. They broke the Naan World Record by making 640 Naan breads in just one hour. They out-numbered their target- 400, set by the Guinness Book of World Records. The Naans were distributed to charity and greatly appreciated by the Salvation Army Hostel in Manchester, UK. In Birmingham’s Balti restaurants in the UK, a ‘Family Naan’ can be ordered, which is a large table sized Naan cooked for everyone to share with their balti dish. There are also, many ethnic bakeries opening in the UK, making fresh Naans for customers at fantastic value, for example, four freshly cooked Naans for £1.

Garlic Naan – topped with crushed garlic and butter. Kulcha Naan – has a filling of cooked onions. Keema Naan – includes a filling of minced lamb, mutton or goat meat. Roghani Naan – sprinkled with sesame seeds, and is popular in Pakistan. Peshawari Naan and Kashmiri Naan - filled with a mixture of nuts and raisins including pistachios. Paneer Naan – stuffed with a filling of paneer (cheese) flavoured with ground coriander and paprika. Amritsari Naan – stuffed with mash potatoes and spices and also known as ‘Aloo Naan,’ originating from Amritsar, India.

Naans are being used as the base flat bread for many different toppings such a mixed vegetables (sabzi), grilled meats and even the advent of ‘Naan Pizza’ is being seen in stores and at dinner tables. The Naan today is available in UK supermarkets and produced in high volumes as an accompaniment to a curry or balti; chefs are always creating new varieties of this There are various derivatives of South Asian flat breads. original flat bread of the Mogul era, and people are also These are: Chappatti, Bhatura, Dosa, Romali, Puri, Luchi, having a go at making it in their own homes. The Naan Tandoori Roti, Pitta Bread, Kulcha, Paratha and of course, has made its mark in history as being a staple form of flat Naan. There are also many varieties of Naan, including: bread fully enjoyed by millions around the globe. So which came first? The Plain Naan – simplest form which is brushed with ghee Naan, Chapatti or the Pita or butter. Which is your most favourite Naan?

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Education Subjected To 10,000 Violent Attacks There have been almost 10,000 violent attacks on places of education in recent years, according to the biggest ever international study of how schools and universities are targeted by acts of aggression. These included the murder of staff and students and the destruction of buildings in bomb and arson attacks, in countries including Pakistan, Colombia,

into becoming soldiers. Syria's conflict has seen deadly attacks at universities in Aleppo and Damascus and there were high levels of attacks on students in Yemen and Sudan. The perpetrators have included government forces, armed insurgents, terror groups and criminal gangs. They have committed murders, abductions and intimidation.

Controlling culture The shooting of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai by Taliban opponents of girls' education in 2012 focused global attention on such attacks on education. But this study shows that this was far from an isolated case and that staff and pupils have been singled out for deliberate violence in many different conflicts and ideological battlegrounds. In February, in north-east Nigeria at least 29 teenage boys were killed in a massacre at a boarding school. Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group Somalia and Syria. This stark account of violence against education opposed to western education, is suspected of carbetween 2009 and 2013 has been published by a rying out the attack. The Education Under Attack coalition of human rights groups, aid organisations report says that 30 teachers were shot dead in Niand United Nations agencies. It reveals the extent to which education has been subjected to deliberate acts of violence. These are not cases of schools and their staff "just caught in the crossfire. They are bombed, burned, shot, threatened, and abducted precisely because of their connection to education. Thousands of death threats There were 9,600 attacks worldwide, with incidents recorded in 70 countries, with the worst problems in Africa and parts of Asia and South America. There was a pattern of deliberate attacks in 30 of these countries, where such violence was used as a "tactic of war". These figures do not include the type of school shootings carried out against pupils and staff at Sandy Hook in the US in 2012. The country with the greatest number of attacks was Pakistan, with the most common assault being the blowing up of school buildings. Colombia was the most dangerous place to be a teacher, with 140 murders and thousands of death threats. For school pupils, Somalia was the country where children were most likely to be pressed

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geria last year, including some in front of a class. Attacks on education can be a proxy for other conflicts, such as trying to undermine a government symbol or trying to promote a political, religious or ideological message or to terrorise another community. In Afghanistan and Pakistan there have been violent attacks against the education of women. Or else targeting students can be a way of pursuing a sectarian dispute. In Burma, also known as Myanmar, last year, a Hindu nationalist mob set upon boys from a Muslim school, hacking dozens to death. In 2010, in Iraq an escorted convoy of Christian students travelling to university were the victims of a car bomb attack.

and criminal gangs. As community leaders they are targeted by groups wanting to intimidate local people or to recruit school pupils into armed gangs. The impact of violence can reach beyond the individual victims. Terrorising academics and students in university can destroy the research capacity of an economy, warns the report, and trigger the de-

Destroying skills There can also be more specific campaigns. In Mexico there were six bomb attacks on universities by a group opposed to nanotechnology research. parture of highly-skilled young people. Teachers in Colombia have faced violence from Intellectual curiosity and free speech, necessary in armed groups, including rival paramilitary forces academic life, can be undermined by the threat of violence, with fear prompting "self-censorship" and a brain drain to other safer countries. Occupying buildings There are also concerns about armed groups occupying educational premises, using them as barracks or training bases or sometimes as detention centres or even places of torture. In 24 of the 30 countries worst affected by attacks on education, there were cases of schools being taken over by military forces. The study calls for the creation of "safe zones" around schools and wants combatants to recognise the need to protect places of education. A positive step would be a common agreement "not to use schools for military purposes". There are also calls for a clearer path for investigating and prosecuting the perpetrators of acts of violence against schools and their staff and pupils. As well as the loss of life, violent conflict is one of the biggest causes of a loss of education. About half of the 57 million children without access to any school place live in areas disrupted by war and violence.

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SHEFFIELD’S SURVIVAL Sheffield is still winning the battle for survival following the recession – but youth unemployment rates, chronic health problems and mixed economic fortunes threaten to derail the city’s progress, according to a new report. This year’s State of Sheffield report by civic leaders says a booming population has also increased the pace of change locally and warns those facing poverty and financial difficulties could soon face ‘even more extreme hardship’. The number of people living in the city has increased by more than 7.6 per cent over the last decade – with almost 20 per cent of all residents now from ethnic minorities. Sheffield is a ‘city of choice’ for people to live and work in, the report says, but there are not enough new businesses, wages are among the lowest of the country’s major cities and unemployment among those aged 18 to 24 has risen ‘significantly’. In the past year alone there has been a 17 per cent drop in the number of 25 to 29-year-olds in Sheffield – and it is feared this is down to a lack of enticing jobs. City residents are living longer – but this is expected to bring a big increase in the number of elderly people with dementia to 9,300 in 16 years’ time. Unhealthy, sedentary lifestyles, poor mental health and a 22 per cent increase in the number of obese women are also a cause for concern. More than a fifth of households are living in ‘relative poverty’ – described as having a household income less than 60 per cent the national average – while the gap between the city’s economic output and the national average is estimated at £1.6 billion.

decade ago. And overall the local population has been ‘consistently increasing’, standing at 552,700 in 2011, according to the latest census figures. The number of people in the city centre has doubled, largely as a result of students moving in, while Walkley’s and Fulwood’s populations have risen by 21 and 17 per cent respectively. In the Central ward, more than eight per cent of the population is now Chinese, while Burngreave and Darnall have the highest numbers of ethnic minorities, the biggest group being residents of Pakistani origin. Seven per cent of people in Burngreave were of Arab origin, and in Darnall 7.3 per cent were Bangladeshi. Burngreave and Darnall have seen ‘significant’ population growth, while wards such as Graves Park, Woodhouse, Southey Green and Birley have seen a decline. Affluent areas in the south- west of Sheffield are becoming even more sought after as places to live. Beauchief, Dore and Totley and Stannington – where numbers of residents went up by over 10 per cent – have all seen an influx. Numbers of elderly residents went up 26 per cent between 2001 and 2011, with more expected to live past 85. Three wards had more than a fifth of their residents in the over-65 age group – Woodhouse, Birley and West Ecclesfield. Sheffield’s population went from 513,000 to 552,700 over 10 years, although it dipped slightly to 551,800 afterwards. In 2013 there was a 17 per cent drop in 25 to 29-year-olds, followed by a 10 per cent decline in those aged 20 to 24. The city is growing; people are staying here and are choosing to have families here. People and businesses are choosing to move to Sheffield. The city has an increasingly vibrant, cosmopolitan and diverse population. YOUTH EMPLOYMENT Too many youngsters remain out of work

HOUSING Fewer homes and of poorer quality The poor state of local housing remains an issue for the people of Sheffield. Amid falling levels of house building and restricted access to mortgages, more people are renting property which is not always up to standard. Last year 91 per cent of rented council houses met Government standards – but just over half of private rented housing is up to scratch. “Too many families are living in poor quality housing across the city,” the report says. House building dropped from a peak of 2,882 in 2007/08 to 931 in 2012/13 and average property prices have dropped, although the level of sales is improving. In 2010, the most year for which figures are available, 42,190 people in Sheffield were living in fuel poverty and struggling to heat their homes. POPULATION “It’s a vibrant, cosmopolitan place to live” Ethnic minorities now make up 20 per cent of Sheffield’s population – posing a ‘big challenge’ for the city. The State of Sheffield 2014 report says 109,500 residents are from ethnic minority backgrounds, more than twice the figure of 55,200 a

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Youth unemployment is still ‘far too high’ in Sheffield, despite apprenticeship schemes and new education strategies helping to bring down the number of jobless young people. The current rate of unemployment stands at 10.8 per cent, more than a quarter of whom are aged between 16 and 24. Benefit claimant rates also vary across the city – last September unemployment was below the national average in the Hallam and Hillsborough constituencies, but above in four other areas, the highest being Brightside. Council leader Julie Dore said the authority ‘continues to help young people get a start on the career ladder’, through apprenticeships and the new University Technical College. “Our commitment to apprenticeships, for which we are a leader nationally, has now see the percentage of young people not in education, employment or training reduce to 6.5 per cent, but we want to reduce this further,” she said. Last August, 46 per cent of people on the dole in Sheffield had been signing on for up to six months, while 34 per cent had been doing so for over a year. The previous month, 2,780 had been signing on for at least two years. The State of Sheffield report also issues a stark warning to families already struggling to cope in an age of austerity. “It is no long-

er the case that work is the route out of poverty,” it says. “In terms of future trends, many of those already in difficulty will potentially face even more extreme hardship and additional groups currently on the margins of poverty and new groups of households who may have been financially secure previously could have new challenges to face.” ECONOMY Performance still lagging behind average

HEALTH Wellbeing of women a cause for concern The state of women’s health is a new cause for concern, according to the report. More than 22 per cent of females in Sheffield are obese, a figure which is increasing, while the percentage of new mums who smoke has gone up over the last three years. Teenage pregnancy rates are also higher than the national average, although levels have ‘reduced significantly’. People in all parts of the city are living longer and fewer are dying from major illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. But infant death rates, unhealthy lifestyles, dementia and poor mental health all pose problems. It is estimated that only a quarter of Sheffield adults eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetables daily, while 580 deaths could be prevented annually if residents improved their diet. “Sheffield’s amount of both adult and childhood obesity is worrying and poses a major risk to health,” the report says.

The State of Sheffield report raises questions about the strength of the city’s economy. The gap between the city’s economic output and the national average is estimated at £1.6 billion. “Even if Sheffield continues to track wider UK economic trends, it will not significantly close the output gap,” the paper says. “Economic performance remains a mixed story. The city does not have the number of businesses, relative to the size of its population, as it should. Levels of start-up businesses need to increase.” But John Mothersole, the council’s chief executive, said Sheffield had not ‘fallen out of the pack’ following the recession of 2008. “We want to be different, but we want the same economic perform- Our communities have changed. We often talk ance and earning power as the best of the other about expecting such a change, but it’s hapEnglish cities outside of London,” he said. pened. This is a big challenge for our city High-profile events and festivals are still pulling in visitors and giving the city a boost – but two of these events, Tramlines and Fright Night, have had their council funding cut or cancelled entirely.

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HAPPY HAPPY NEW NEW YEAR YEAR E Q U I T Y L AW

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March edition 2014  

ilmnews.com

March edition 2014  

ilmnews.com

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