NEW Mayor of Kirklees Coun Paul Kane is raising funds for Diabetes UK over the next year.
Coun Kane, who has represented the Dewsbury East ward for 20 years, became the district’s figurehead after a ceremony on Wednesday night.
About 29,000 people in Kirklees have diabetes, a disorder which causes high blood sugar levels.
This can damage major organs such as kidneys and even lead to blindness, heart attacks and strokes.
In a speech last week at the launch of his charity quest Coun Kane described diabetes as “spreading like an epidemic”.
He gave the following details:
• One in 100 people do not know they have it;
• Only 30 per cent of those diagnosed stick with their treatment;
• Type 2 diabetes is preventable in 95 per cent of cases.
Also, half of all blindness and amputations are related to diabetes.
As a result, 10 per cent of the NHS budget is spent on diabetes or care linked to the condition.
Coun Kane said the spread of diabetes is “not acceptable and must be stopped as it brings misery to many sufferers and their families.
“It changes people’s lives for the worse and affects the length and quality of life,” he added
Funds raised will support activities like screening and prevention road shows to make people more aware of the risks.
Coun Kane added: “I encourage people to consider doing something to support the work of Diabetes UK. Together we can make a huge difference.”
He stressed that all the money raised in Kirklees during his mayoral year will be spent locally.
• Fellow Dewsbury East councillor Eric Firth broke the fundraising record as mayor in 2011-12. The Labour veteran collected more than £100,000 for the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice in Huddersfield.