Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Proposals

I have read both the CCG and the council’s proposals for the future of HRI with interest today.

I will only support a proposal which guarantees improved accessibility for Colne Valley constituents and will continue fighting on the national stage for a well-funded, publicly owned NHS which is fit for the 21st century.

The campaigners from Hands Off HRI and Let’s Save Huddersfield A&E have done a phenomenal job of keeping up the pressure locally and nationally, and I am very pleased that alternatives to the closure of HRI and loss of services throughout Kirklees are being considered. However, I still have concerns about each of the proposals which are being put forward.

The CCG’s revised plan goes some way to meeting the demands of campaigners and local residents and I am glad that no further PFI is being considered. However, Colne Valley residents deserve access to a comprehensive A&E service that includes emergency ambulance admissions. Travel time and the problems caused by hospitalisation in another town are major issues. The national picture for our NHS remains bleak, with the worst cuts to services in the history of the health service, and privatisation at the hands of the Tories.

The council’s plan is a long-term view, with a timeline of at least a decade. I am glad that the council is planning this far ahead, and that it is willing to look at radical solutions to overhaul local health services.

However, I am yet to see any detail of this plan and I have reservations about its achievability. There is no information about the proposed location of the new hospital and no guarantees on where the money is coming from to build it. It is unclear what would happen in the meantime to the services which are under threat in Huddersfield and which have already been lost in Dewsbury. My concern is that the council has already faced unprecedented funding cuts at the hands of this government, with even the most basic of services under threat. A proposal for a £300m investment therefore requires a lot more detail, and the council must develop this through a full consultation with local residents and stakeholders.

Holiday Hunger – Children worried about food

A combination of benefits delays, in-work poverty, and service cuts make the holidays a time of hunger and heartache for many children & families. More than 1/5 UK children “worry often” about food – and that figure is rising.

This is Tory Britain in 2018.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/03/they-hadnt-eaten-all-day-food-banks-tackle-holiday-hunger

Awarding of NHS contracts to private companies

Our NHS should not be used as a cash cow to drive private profit.

We need accessible and fully funded care, with transparency and accountability procedures in place to protect the interests of patients, not multi-national corporations.

Health care funding cuts have harmed provision in Kirklees, and threaten to continue for years to come. This Government needs to listen to the public, put people before profit, and halt privatisation.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/05/virgin-awarded-almost-2bn-of-nhs-contracts-in-the-past-five-years?CMP=share_btn_fb

Volunteering at Marsden Library

Marsden Library would welcome some new recruits to their friendly team of volunteers who help out in the library during all opening hours (and sometimes outside them!) Volunteering is fun, is a vital contribution to the community, and can offer valuable workplace experience.

If you could spare an hour or two, please do get in touch – all offers of help will be welcomed.

Find out more information by:
• calling in at the library during opening hours: (Tues 10-13.00; Wed 13-18.00; Thursday 10-13.00; Fri 13-17.00; Sat 10-15.00)
• visiting online: friendsofmarsdenlibrary.org.uk/home/join-us/
• emailing: info@friendsofmarsdenlibrary.org.uk

Fairtrade Coffee Morning

Our first Fairtrade coffee morning was a big success on Thursday. Locals popped in for a chat, delicious cakes and coffee. Fairtrade goods were also on sale thanks to Karen Hill.

We raised over £100 which will be donated to Kirklees Fairtrade Forum.

Thanks also to Staff from Slaithwaite Co op,who donated raffle prizes and were a great support, and to Bewley’s who donated lovely coffee!