Good news from Bracknell Town Council

Great news from Bracknell Town Council – Russell Reeve, Alan Moffatt and their team have today installed an outdoor music mixing deck in the Mill Park Olympic legacy play area. This is the first of its kind in the UK and great credit must go to the staff of Bracknell Town Council for their innovative thinking. The mixing deck will amplify music played from mobile phones. I’m seen below with Russell Reeve and Alan Moffatt. I tried the system out and it works brilliantly. Also shown are photographs of the beautifully sculptured logs (from felled trees in South Hill Park). Not only are they an extraordinarily attractive feature, they make an ideal spot for children to rest and play. I encourage everyone to pop down and see these new additions. Mill Park is an oasis in the centre of Bracknell, with a large lake and coffee spot (I’m told their breakfasts are really worth trying!). Thanks again to Russell, Alan and their team. Bracknell can be proud of them.

Roy Bailey's photo.
Roy Bailey's photo.
Roy Bailey's photo.
Posted in Letters | Leave a comment

Today’s Budget – message from Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor

There’s one thing we can be certain of about George Osborne’s Budget today: from start to finish, it will be a cover-up of his terrible record as Chancellor.

Before he stands up in Parliament, I’m asking you to help me stop George Osborne rewriting history.

Forward this email to family and friends now to share the truth that:

  • The Conservatives came into office saying they’d protect our NHS, make people better off and balance the books — but all three promises have been broken.
  • Our NHS is in crisis. Waiting lists have grown and it is getting harder to see a GP.
  • Tax and benefit changes since 2010 have left families on average £1,127 a year worse off — because this Chancellor gives with one hand while taking away much more with the other.
  • Wages after inflation are down by £1,600 a year since the last election…
  • …And because people are earning less, tax revenues have fallen short — which is why George Osborne has broken his promise to balance the books by this year.
  • In short: The old Tory idea that simply cutting taxes for a few at the top means wealth will trickle down to everyone else hasn’t worked.

And there’s worse to come if the Tories win the election:

  • The Chancellor now says he wants to go far beyond balancing the books: he has a target of a £23 billion budget surplus in 2019/20 and £10 billion of unfunded tax promises, which mean…
  • The Tories are now planning even deeper spending cuts in the next four years than during the past five.
  • These cuts will devastate our public services: the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies says the cuts will need to be “colossal” if George Osborne carries out his plans.
  • Our own analysis shows that the cuts to our police, armed forces and social care which these plans would require would be so deep that they would be close to impossible to achieve — even for this Chancellor.
  • That’s why everyone knows the only way the Tories can make their sums add up is by breaking their promises again — raising VAT and putting our NHS at risk.

The Tories came into office promising to protect our National Health Service, make people better off and balance the books. But their plan hasn’t worked.

We need a better plan that puts working families first and saves our NHS, and it will take a Labour Budget to deliver it.

We’ll be talking about our plans throughout the campaign, but for today: let’s not allow George Osborne to pull off a huge deception over the British public. Forward this email to family and friends now.

Thanks,

Ed

 

 

Posted in Letters | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Letters | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Letters | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Letters | Leave a comment

Latest newsletter update about the Easthampstead Post Office

Post Office newsletter

Posted in Letters | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Letters | Leave a comment

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.”

Posted in Letters | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Letters | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Letters | Leave a comment