Saturday, August 28, 2010

ConDems dismantling NHS...

So, the Tories have let slip their secret plans to scrap the professional, much-respected NHS Direct Service.

So when you phone NHS Direct in future, you are unlikely to get a trained nurse responding, but a call centre operative instead.

It's another of Cameron's pre-election promises broken and threatens to reverse the achievements of the past few years in reducing waiting times at Accident and Emergency departments.

The Tory determination to cut the NHS is not so surprising given their record - they fought tooth and nail to prevent Labour creating a National Health Service for all in the first place - then starved it of cash and almost destroyed it in the Thatcher era.

What I find surprising is the apparent willingness of Nick Clegg and the LibDems to roll over, dump any pretence of principles, and campaign for the Tory agenda to cut public services under a thinly disguised veil of 'cutting the deficit'.

Of course we need to cut waste where it can be identified and improve services, but the ConDem Coalition has no mandate to cut the NHS itself.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tories take revenge by scrapping Audit Commission...

The Tories have finally taken their revenge on the Audit Commission which played a key role in uncovering scandals such as the criminal ways of Jim 'Jailbird' Speechley in running Lincolnshire County Council - and of course illegal gerrymandering by Shirley 'homes for votes' Porter.

Staff at the Commission, told by email today that the ConDem Government was scrapping the Audit Commission, leaving no national body to step in when there's a major failing in a local council by politicians of any persuasion - whether right here in Lincolnshire, or anywhere else in the country.

Tory says she'll fight the ConDem playground cuts...

A senior Tory on Peterborough City Council says she'll fight playground cuts announced yesterday by a Tory Government Minister.

Fifteen childrens play areas in Peterborough have already benefitted from Labour's Playbuilder programme - each getting £50,000 from the Government. But yesterday, Tory Minister Michael Gove took the decision to order Peterborough City Council - and 131 other council across the country - to stop all work.

In tonight's Peterborough Evening Telegraph, Sheila Scott, the Tory councillor responsible for childrens services in the city said the news was 'very disappointing' and went on:

“I will be doing everything I can to get the appropriate people to change their minds about this funding.

“We know these are very difficult financial times but children are our future and we need to protect that.”

I'm sure her Tory colleagues will be reminding Sheila that 'we're all in this together and children shouldn't be exempt...'

But the truth is, she's absolutely right and I wish her the best of luck in persuading the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats at Westminster to stop the daft cuts.

I hope that the first step in Sheila's campaign is to let the ET know where all the affected playgrounds in the city are located - information apparently so far denied to them.

The ET also highlight the positive difference parks built under Labour's Playbuilder scheme are already having. In Werrington, anti-social behaviour has been cut.

And in Peanut Park, Orton Goldhay, which was provided in partnership with Cross Keys Homes, who matched the Government grant, the ET reports that the community came together to design the park which is now making 'a tremendous difference' to the area’s children.

The ConDems talk about building 'the big society' but it seems to me their actions are destroying it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Deepings Rafts for Heroes...

Congrats to organisers of the weekend's Deepings Raft Race for providing another great Deepings day out for thousands, helped put our community on the map, and raised a decent wodge of cash for a hugely worthy cause - Help for Heroes which supports wounded soldiers, sailors and airmen (and women) returning from fighting for our country in Afghanistan.

Why 'Every Child Matters' should be banned...

As a former county councillor, I know what a huge and positive difference the previous Government's 'Every Child Matters' programme made to transform and modernise childrens' services, not only here in Lincolnshire, but across the entire country.

But it seems the ConDems are so rattled by the success of 'Every Child Matters', that they want to ban its very name.

Isn't there something deeply worrying - and rather Stalinist - about Tory Ministers who moaned endlessly about political correctness and spin prior to the General Election, but now spending their time writing pointless edicts to ban phrases they don't like.

Isn't it even more worrying when you learn the author is Michael Gove, the man who scrapped 700 school buildings projects - and had to issue FIVE lists because he kept getting his facts wrong?

Would it be churlish of me to suggest that his time would be better spent concentrating on getting his facts right, rather than on spin and political correctness...?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Rab C Nesbitt star's posh South Lincs pad...

The actor behind Scots layabout Rab C. Nesbitt has put his Spalding home up for sale - for close on three-quarters of a million pounds.

That should keep him in string vests for a while...