27 December 2017
It is becoming clear that one issue above all others is giving concern to the people of Macclesfield. Responding to our survey, 88% of residents - eight out of nine - tell us that they are “very worried” about health services.
Small wonder, given recent headlines like: “Town to lose mental health or dementia inpatient service” and the closure two years ago of Hollins View care home, believed to have resulted from a dispute between Health & Social Services.
It’s all very well for our Member of Parliament to make noises about “blocking moves” until “questions” have been “answered” and “proposals … substantially improved”. He is not only a Conservative, but a junior member of the government which is pushing through the systematic commercialisation of our Health Service, handing over more and more into the hands of corporations and putting profits before people.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt seems to favour an American model of healthcare - which must be the most expensive and least accessible in the “developed” world. Campaigners - including eminent physicist Stephen Hawking - have been moved to take legal action to try and prevent this commercialisation of our health services.
Labour has also played its part in the great NHS sell-off. The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) - mortgaging chunks of the NHS off to private healthcare companies, builders and banks - first introduced by John Major’s Conservatives in 1992, was massively expanded by Labour soon after taking office in 1995.
Healthcare is not a commodity to be bought or sold. The NHS must provide healthcare, free at the point of need, funded through taxation. It must be a public service funded by, run by and accountable to local and national government and devoid of all privatisation. The NHS is there to provide healthcare and should not be subject to market forces, internal or external.
Greens challenge Energy Secretary after shock revelation from frackers Cuadrilla
Green Party of England and Wales co-leader Jonathan Bartley has today (21 June) sent a letter (below) to Greg Clarke MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to highlight the Party’s far-reaching concerns for the safety of the local community in the vicinity of Cuadrilla’s exploratory fracking site at Preston New Road in Lancashire.
The letter follows a meeting between Bartley and two directors from Cuadrilla, where he put questions from the community to them. Bartley is concerned both by the lack of information about emergency plans provided to the residents and by significant questions over whether or not there is even an evacuation plan in the event of a well blow out or other accident.
“We’re calling on the Secretary not to make a decision over whether to grant a licence to frack until the matter has been investigated thoroughly and safety concerns are addressed. The fact that local residents don’t even know if there’s even a proper plan in place for emergencies - let alone evacuation - is deeply concerning.
“It would be completely unacceptable and be playing fast and loose with people’s safety to ignore these issues. The Secretary of State clearly shouldn’t make a decision on whether Cuadrilla should be allowed to frack until these serious questions are answered and the concerns of local people are addressed.”
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