Changing Britain together – Labour’s commitments for government

Please read this important document. It contains Labour’s commitments for government should it win the general election.

Message from ED MILIBAND

My mission is to make Britain work for everyone, not just for a privileged few. Building a recovery that works for you and your family, ensuring that the next generation does better than the last and that the NHS has time to care for those that need it most. Over the last four years we have worked hard to listen and respond to you: the British people. With just months to go before the next General Election I want to give you a sense of what we have heard and how we will seek to turn things around.

People are they being told there is a recovery when they aren’t feeling the benefits. They are working hard, but not being rewarded. Young people fear that they are going to have a worse life than their parents. Even those making a decent living are often still unable to afford to buy a house. Families worry that the NHS, one of the foundation stones of their security, is under threat. Meanwhile they see a privileged few doing better and better.

These are symptoms of a country that is too unequal. It is a country I am determined to change and that is why I want to be your Prime Minister. Some people say this is too difficult, that it doesn’t matter which party you vote for. Or that Britain not working for hardworking people is just the way things are, especially when there is a deficit to bring down. I don’t agree and the policies outlined here show why. There is a very real choice on offer. I am proud of our policy programme, our plan for Britain.

This isn’t our manifesto, because there is more to come and we want your ideas. But in setting out our priorities for Britain it should give you an idea of just how deep our commitment to change runs. It explains how together we can build our economy on the success of the many, a society based on our shared values and a politics that gives power away instead of guarding it. And it shows that even when there is less money around we can change things with big reform not big spending. Millions of people in this country are resting their hopes for a fairer, more just, more equal Britain on us. We will not let them down. As we finalise our manifesto we want to hear your views about this plan and what else we need to do. Please get in touch by visiting  labour.org.uk/changingbritaintogether.

Ed Miliband

Leader of the Labour Party

LABOUR WILL

1. Raise the Minimum Wage to £8 an hour and ban exploitative zero hour contracts

2. Freeze energy bills until 2017 while reforming the broken energy market

3. Cut the deficit more fairly by asking those earning over £150,000 to contribute a little more through a 50p rate of tax

4. Get at least 200,000 homes built a year by 2020 and deliver a fairer deal for private renters

5. Scrap the Bedroom Tax

6. Require all firms that have a major government contract to offer apprenticeships

7. Repeal the Tories’ plans to bring competition and privatisation to the NHS

8. Ensure the NHS has time to care with 8,000 more doctors

and 20,000 more nurses, funded by a mansion tax on homes worth over £2m

9. Control immigration so that entitlements to benefits are earned and wages are not

undercut

10. Devolve power to Scotland, Wales, and the cities and counties of England

changing_britain_together

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Democratic governance of the police

Standards Committee Police_Accountabillity__Evidence_A_-_D

Written evidence submitted to the House of Lords committee on standards in public life – police accountability.

An nteresting read – see E7. My recent research about the ability of the Surrey Police and Crime Panel to hold its Police and Crime Commissioner to account is cited. I hope to publish that research in the near future.

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Labour councillor helps residents in Chadwick Mews, Bracknell

Email received today from Guy Langstaffe, Robert Heath Contractors, about remedial works to heating and water systems in Chadwick Mews, Old Bracknell. This follows repeated issues suffered by residents. Councillor Roy Bailey has pressed both Affinity Sutton and Robert Heath to carry out these essential works.

Good Afternoon Roy,

 I would like to update you concerning the planned works at Chadwick Mews and the actions being under taken by Robert Heath Heating on behalf of Affinity Sutton.

We will be sending out lettered appointments in the next two days (Starting on 18th February 2015) concerning the planned works that will start on Monday 2nd March 2015.

We intend to complete 2 – 3 properties a day and will also consider weekend works if it means the project will be completed.

There will be Forty Properties in Total out standing so this will be a 4 week project.

I will keep you updated on the progress of this project weekly via a spread sheet to advise which properties have been upgraded or if we have had any access issues

Kindest Regards

Guy

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Latest newsletter update about the Easthampstead Post Office

Post Office newsletter

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Easthampstead Post Office counter – Good news

Post Office counter Councillor Roy Bailey (holding the letter from the Co-operative) with Kath Nugent (fourth from right), Diane Thomas (Third from right), the store manager (fourth from left), a member of the Post Office counter staff (first on left) and local residents outside the Easthampstead Co-operative store in Bracknell this afternoon – celebrating the decision to retain the post office counter. Good news all round.

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Press release – Post Office counter at the Easthampstead Cooperative store

“I’m delighted that my actions, on behalf of the local residents and Bracknell Labour Party, have resulted in the Cooperative’s decision to keep the Post Office counter in Easthampstead open. Local residents alerted me to the proposed closure when canvassing last Saturday. I immediately spoke with the manager of the store, who confirmed the rumours, and then I wrote to, and spoke with, senior managers in both the Cooperative organisation and the Post Office. I made the point that this Post Office counter was an essential community facility and that its closure would have a dramatic impact on local residents, especially the elderly. As a member of the Cooperative Party, I was really pleased to receive a telephone call this morning from Nicola Osborne, who told me that their decision to close the counter had now been reversed. This is great news for everyone in Old Bracknell and Wildridings.”

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The Post Office counter at the Easthampstead Cooperative Store has been saved

Labour councillors have responded to concerns from local residents about the proposed closure of the Post Office counter at the Easthampstead Cooperative Store. Apart from organising a local petition, Councillor Roy Bailey wrote to the head offices of both the Co-op and the Post Office. As will be seen from the attached letter from the Co-op, a decsion has now been made to keep the Post Office counter open, which is good news for everyone in Old Bracknell and Wildridings. This is a tremendous victory for common sense, as well as a recognition that the post office provides a great community service. Good news!

 

Letter from Co-op

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Labour’s plands for the NHS

Labour’s plans for the NHS

Andy Burnham has been making announcements about what he would do if he was in charge of the NHS. A big part of his policy is about bringing health
and social care together and there is quite a lot about children, mental health and chronic conditions. And giving patients more rights. You can read his Ten Year Plan

<http://www.sochealth.co.uk/2015/01/29/labours-ten-year-plan-health-care/> on
our website.

<http://andyburnhammp.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/andy-burnham-speech-on-labours-10-year.html?m=0>

*The Government’s record on health:*

· England’s GP to Patient ratio has worsened by 4% as population
increases and unfilled GP vacancies grow

· GPs spend cash more efficiently than any other part of the NHS. It
is sheer folly that the Tories have delivered a real terms funding cut of
£987m to GPs

· 4 million A&E patients have been keep waiting more than 4 hours
under the Tories since Cameron became PM, a near tripling on a weekly basis

· The number of emergency operations cancelled for a second time has
climbed 42% in the most recent year compared to 2010-11.

· 3.2million patients are currently languishing on NHS Waiting Lists
for treatment. This year’s figures are the highest in at least 6 years

· There are almost 137,900 Zero Hours Contracts in the Health &
Social Care Sector. These contracts have more than tripled (up 270%) since
2010

· Jeremy Hunt has subjected the majority of NHS Nurses to a real
terms pay cut over 4 years. Nurses’ pay has declined £2,000 in real terms.
It is unacceptable that bankers’ pay now grows six times faster than nurses

· Private Firms have been invited to bid for NHS contracts with a
value of more than £16bn. On average, these firms say they will make a
profit of between 5-8%.

· 33%, 56% or 70% of NHS Contracts tendered are now being won by the
private sector depending on which data you read

· Private Patient Income at NHS Trusts has grown by 12% (£50m) from
2010-2013. We have no official data thereafter but some Trusts have
reported an increase of up to 40% from PPI.

· In 2009-10 the NHS spent £1.1bn Agency Staff. That has risen to
£3.2bn for 2011-12, £3.9bn for 2012-13 and £2.9bn for 2013-14

· In 2009-10 £13m was spent by the NHS on redundancy pay-outs. That
figure jumped to £211m in 2010-11 and £426m in 2011-2 It was £444m in
2012-3 and a further £196m in 2013-14

· ¼ of NHS Trusts are now in deficit. 44 new trusts moved into
deficit in 2013-14. The total deficit for NHS Trust more than doubled from
£297m to £743m in 2013-4

· 1,876 Mental Illness Beds have been axed in little since Q1 2010.
At least 7 mental health patients have taken their own lives as a result

· There has been a 311,000 cut in the number of adults in receipt of
Social Care since 2010

· Elderly users of Social Care are paying £588 more for care than
they were in 2010. Some outlets argue the rise has been even higher at
£2,400

· Social Care funding for nursing homes, residential care and
community care has been cut by £160m, £331 and £559 respectively from 2010
to 2013. Further cuts are still to come

· In 2014, 42% of Maternity Units shut their doors to the public at
least once. This is an increase from 28% in 2012

*LABOUR’S PLANS*

We want to see a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in
the hands of the many not the few and where the rights we enjoy reflect the
duties we owe.

Labour’s long-term goal is to break the link between a person’s social
class and their health. We will work across government, using the power and
influence of all government departments and agencies, to achieve this.

Ed Miliband launched Labour’s NHS pledge, promising to build an NHS with
the time to care: 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs. Join up services
from home to hospital, guaranteeing GP appointments within 48 hours and
cancer tests within one week.

Labour’s 10-year plan for the NHS is a blueprint to raise standards of care
and ensure the health service is sustainable in the 21st century. Invest
in staff so the NHS has time to care:

– Integrate care from home to hospital
– Give patients new rights to access care
– End the neglect of mental health
– Prevent ill-health
– Restore the right values to the NHS

Andy Burnham laid out more details of Labour’s plans for the NHS:

– Labour’s plan to integrate services from home to hospital will help
end 15-minute care slots through new year-of-care budgets, incentivising
providers to improve social care and prevent vulnerable patients falling
ill or injuring themselves.
– The next Labour Government will create a new arm of the NHS: 5,000
homecare workers within the NHS to help those with the greatest needs,
including the terminally ill so they can stay with their family at the end
of life, and those who are leaving hospital who need extra help if they are
to move back into their homes.
– All vulnerable older people will be offered a safety check to identify
risks to their health like cold homes, loneliness and the likelihood of
them falling, so that problems can be tackled and they avoid unnecessary
hospital visits.

Labour rescued the NHS after years of Tory neglect before. We’ll do it
again.

– Create a £2.5 billion a year NHS Time to Care Fund to support 20,000
more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 more home care workers and 3,000 more
midwives – funded by a mansion tax on homes worth £2 million or more, by
ensuring that tax avoiders play by the rules and by a levy on tobacco
companies.
– Guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours, and the same day for those
who need it.
– Guarantee a maximum one-week wait for cancer tests.
– Repeal David Cameron’s NHS changes that put private profit before
patients, so that NHS professionals can focus on your care, not competition
law.
– Give patients and the public a say when changes to local services are
proposed.
– Bring together physical health, mental health and social care into a
single service to meet all of a person’s care needs – whole person care,
built around patients.

· Pursue improvements to food labelling to help people better
understand what they are eating, including working at EU level to introduce
mandatory traffic light labelling of packaged food.

· Regulate for a maximum level of fat, salt and sugar in food
marketed substantially to children

· Place the promotion of physical activity at the centre of public
health policy.

*· **Reduce inequalities in the early development of physical and
emotional health, and cognitive, linguistic, and social skills.*

*· **Ensure high quality maternity services, parenting programmes,
childcare and early years education to meet need across the social
gradient.*

· *Build the resilience and well-being of young children across the
social gradient.*

· Freedom Of Information to extend to all contracts, including
private ones.

· Health agencies will play an active role in community development

· Ensure that when changes are proposed to local hospital services
patients and the public have a seat round the table from the very start,
helping design and decide on plans for change

· Train, recruit and pay new staff through a ‘Time to Care’ fund,
including 5,000 new homecare workers in the NHS to support people to stay
in their home.

• Create greater rights to care at home.

• Work with local authorities and care providers to end time limited
15-minute visits.

• Tackle the exploitation of care workers, so that travel between
appointments is not an excuse for paying below the minimum wage and ban
exploitative zero hour contracts.

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Domestic Violence – Invitation to talk at Reading University on Monday 19th January

Dear members and friends,

The Reading Criminal Justice Association – Next meeting at 7.45pm to 9.30pm on Monday 19th January, at the Senior Common Room, Park House, Whiteknights, Reading

I’m delighted to invite you to our next meeting, which will be held, as usual, in the Senior Common Room, Whiteknights’ campus, Reading University. Our guest speakers are Cheryl Potter and Alan Gibson and the topic of their presentation is:

Domestic abuse and its effects on adults and children. The role of Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC) will also be included.

Cheryl and Alan, who are both former police officers, have extensive experience in handling domestic violence and I know you will find their talk particularly interesting and informative. Please feel free to invite interested colleagues.

Please aim to arrive about 7.30pm. You may need to allow a little extra time to park. The map showing the location may be viewed here. The website also contains helpful information for those travelling to the university, by car or bus. For more information about the Reading Criminal Justice Association, click here.

Kind regards.

Roy

Roy Bailey
Publicity Officer,
The Reading Criminal Justice Association
07717 755146

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‘The mess we inherited’ – some facts with which to fight the Tory Big Lies – by Alistair Campbell

‘The mess we inherited’ – some facts with which to fight the Tory Big Lies
Posted on 19 August 2013 | 9:08am

​​ I am indebted to Professor Vernon Bogdanor, who among other things was David Cameron’s tutor at Oxford, for drawing my attention to a recent report by the LSE Growth Commission. Anyone who looks at the mix of academics, business leaders, economists and banking experts on the Commission will be unable to dismiss them as Labour stooges.

Professor Bogdanor had read my recent blog suggesting Labour need to do more to rebut the Tory attack on the so-called ‘mess we inherited,’ and so thought I would be interested in the Growth Commission’s overwhelmingly positive view of the economic performance of the Labour government between 1997-2010 – and, in particular, between 2007-10. Indeed I am. Among its conclusions:

– British economic performance was strong throughout the period of Labour government, and GDP per head grew faster in the UK than in France, Germany, Italy or Japan.

– Productivity growth in terms of GDP per hour was second only to the US, and improvements in employment rates were better than in the US.

– This success, they say, was NOT due to an unsustainable bubble in finance, property or public spending. From 1997-2007, finance contributed around 0.4% to a 2.8% productivity growth.

– They also dispute the view that this was all due to Thatcherite reforms which were then accepted as a norm. Instead, they point to improvements delivered by Labour changes to competition policy, a major expansion in education – remember ‘education, education, education’ and – wait for it – immigration.

– On education, they pointed out that by 2007 the UK was spending more on education as a proportion of GDP than Germany and the US, and the percentage of the relevant age group going to university was higher than in France or Germany.

– Furthermore, they believe this had a positive impact in the fight to reduce crime and illegal immigration.

– Crucially, they make clear the crash was an international phenomenon which cannot be blamed on Labour policies, and that Labour did not leave Britain more vulnerable once the crash occurred.

– They say the structural element of the deficit was 1% of GDP in 2008 – it rose to 5% by 2010 because of the crisis in consequence of the fall in tax receipts. So the increase in the deficit was a consequence not a cause.

– They praise the Labour government’s counter-cyclical policies post crash, pointing out that these went some way towards limiting the fall in output, and say Labour ministers were right to recapitalise the banks and maintain demand.

– Where they are critical of Labour is in relation to skills, especially at the bottom end of the social and economic scale, and not doing enough to cut regional inequalities.

But overall the picture is a good one, and totally at odds with the dominant ‘mess we inherited’ narrative, uttered every time coalition ministers open their mouths.

And even if they do not say so explicitly, it is pretty clear the Commission believes that on the big choice of the last election – retrenchment under Labour, or austerity under the Tories – that GB/Darling were right, and DC/Osborne wrong.

This is all relevant to the current debate.

The only way to counter the Tory Big Lies is by fighting back with the truth, even if it means doing so belatedly, and at the risk of the Tories screeching ‘mess we inherited’ ever more loudly.

We see the same in their approach to the NHS. Another ‘mess we inherited,’ they say, to justify changes for which nobody voted and for which they have no mandate. What they actually inherited was an NHS with the highest satisfaction ratings in its history, which are now sliding as waiting lists grow, health workers are deliberately demoralised, and Jeremy Hunt talks up failure wherever he can find it to open the doors to a new system geared to those who see healthcare purely as a source of profit.

The same approach in education, where Michael Gove casts around for schools doing badly amid the thousands doing well, and deliberately distorts Blairite reforms aimed at helping those at the bottom of the educational pile to justify changes aimed at ushering in private providers at the expense of standards and enough school places. And in welfare, where the truth that the big bills are going on pensions for an ageing population is twisted to feed a hate agenda against the poor, the disabled, asylum seekers, all wrapped up as the ‘scroungers’ who in reality make up a tiny fraction of Iain Duncan Smith’s budget.

The Britain the coalition inherited after a decade of Labour in power was fairer, better off, with improved and improving public services, stronger cities wand regions, a vibrant culture. It was not a mess. The mess is happening now, with living standards falling, NHS crises returning, unprecedentedly low morale among teachers and police, power shifting back to a few at the top. Britain, far from booming, as the cheerleaders would have you believe, is recovering more slowly than had they followed the Brown-Darling approach that was beginning to deliver the jobs and growth we needed.

The Tories are planning to run the line that the country should not give back the keys to the people who crashed the car. The truth is the car ran a lot better under Labour, and can do so again.

– See more at: http://www.alastaircampbell.org/blog/2013/08/19/the-mess-we-inherited-some-facts-with-which-to-fight-the-tory-big-lies/#sthash.cU0MzMx5.dpuf

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