• Conor hears about plans at Newton family and community centre


    Conor met Fiona Ruddy to catch up on the latest news about Newton family and community centre.
    Over a cup of tea at Chouxchouxbedoo café on Newton High Street because the centre’s kitchen was being refurbished, the centre’s chair Fiona told Conor about plans to run a new dementia café.
    The centre also has a host of other community events in the pipeline after the revamp of the kitchen, sponsored by Taylor Wimpey Homes, is finished.

    It has had a busy summer with events run by Wargrave Big Local and the Prince’s Trust, as well as a summer fete and a very successful summer play scheme.

    The play scheme was the centre’s flagship programme for children (along with the 426 Club), providing activities for children aged 5-13.

    Conor also heard about the centre’s bid for Lottery money to offer more activities for youngsters.

    The centre’s volunteers have held a number of fundraising activities – including bag-packing at Tesco and Iceland – at the High Street Hub and Newton Town Show
    Fiona said: “
    We are so fortunate to be very well supported by local businesses, Newton Rotary Club and Newton and Earlestown Community Group, as well as the wider community.

    “We couldn’t run these activities without our very dedicated and supportive group of volunteers that make these activities possible at the community centre. So, a big thank you goes to all the volunteers.”

  • NHS

    Like you, I care deeply about our National Health Service. It is one of our great national institutions and forms part of the essential fabric of our society. It is there for us all when we need it most and must be defended.

    I am aware of the recent investigation by 38 Degrees and the related report by Incisive Health into NHS England’s proposed ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plans.’ I am concerned at the report’s findings that proposed cost-saving measures include the closure or downgrading of some A&E units and reductions in the number of hospital beds.

    I believe that the analysis in Incisive Health’s report is a damning indictment of the Government’s underfunding and mismanagement of the NHS. Emergency closures of vital units across the country testify to a real crisis. As you may be aware, the Government has outlined plans to make £22 billion worth of efficiency savings in the NHS by 2020/21. I am concerned that the only way the Government will achieve these savings will be by cutting staff and pay and closing essential services. 

    Health spending rose at an historically low rate of 1.1% in real terms between 2009–10 and 2015–16. In comparison – the independent Health Charity, the Nuffield Trust – has noted that under the previous Labour Government, health expenditure growth increased at an average rate of approximately 6% per year between 1997 and 2009. 

    The current Government has cut public health funding and health education budgets and has consistently underfunded social care. The human costs of the NHS’s financial problems are longer waits and poorer care, with hospitals overcrowded and understaffed.

    In July 2016 I supported an Opposition motion in the House of Commons, which was led by my colleagues in the Shadow Health Team, and which called on the Government to set out proposals for additional NHS funding. The motion passed without a vote. My Shadow Frontbench colleagues have secured an Opposition Day debate on Sustainability and Transformation Plans in the NHS, which is taking place in the House of Commons on 7 September 2016. I can assure you that my Shadow Frontbench colleagues and I will hold the Government to account on this issue.

    With an ageing population and the associated demands on the NHS, the Government must get to grips with the funding problems, or patients will suffer and the future of a fully functioning health service will be in jeopardy. I will continue to stand up for the NHS and oppose all damaging cuts.