Blog Archives

FGM: The Difficult Debates

Female genital mutilation (FGM/‘cutting’) is an inherently difficult subject.  The clash of social mores, clamours of righteousness from all quarters, vast contradictions evident in legal and child protection and the sheer sensitivities of the topic, contrasting personal vulnerability and grotesque practice, all make intervention perilous.  And beyond that there are the demands for clarity about male circumcision and appropriate modes of action in the UK and elsewhere. But still 50+ UK children daily are at risk of abuse.

If you have a Twitter account and would like to draw more attention to this issue, please use the hashtag   #NoFGM  and follow  @NoFGM1.  Thank you.

To read more of this article and to comment, please visit Hilary’s professional website here.

Speed Limits And De-restricted Signs Don’t Add Up

All public roads in Britain have a legal speed limit. What then are so-called ‘de-restricted’ speed signs about?   I spend many hours every year on motorways and travelling between various towns (especially at Christmas: no trains – safest and greenest way to travel – so we have little choice but the car).   But must road experience be confusing as well as so un-eco?  Is it time to change the way vehicle speed controls operate?  And maybe also time to challenge current road culture?  More RoSPA, less Jeremy Clarkson perhaps?

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Save Our Libraries Day, As Bedtime Reading Week Ends In Barnsley

Today is Save Our Libraries Day, a national event in protest against the threatened closure of many local libraries in the UK; and by a positive irony folk in Barnsley are having their very own Bedtime Reading Week which finishes also today, 5 February. What more evidence is needed that books and reading are valued everywhere?
It is easy to forget how important books are to the development of small children. There’s a ‘window of opportunity’ in just the very first few years of a child’s life which we all ignore at our peril…

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Can Swans, Dogs, Families And Fishing Co-exist In Sefton Park?

10.06.21 Liverpool Sefton Park male swan & cygnets 037aa 160x115This male swan is father to his six cygnets, now surviving without their mother. The female of the adult pair was lost when a dog attacked her, and the fear is now for the safety of the swan family in her absence. So once again we ask the perennial questions about who our city parks are ‘for’. Can dogs and people mix? And how reasonable is it to permit fishing in this urban environment, given that it too destroys waterbirds and scares away young families?

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Christmas Activities For Children And Families

No-one has the perfect answer to the question, ‘What shall we do with (or as) the kids over Christmas?’ But here are some day-by-day suggestions for the family during the Christmas / Winter Solstice week, with an indoor, an outdoor and a foodie activity for each date. Mix and match, with something for everyone, is the general approach. And, whatever you do, have fun.

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