Letter from Parliament - Jim Dobbin MP
Date published: 12 July 2010
According to the new Con-Dem government, health spending has been ring fenced and therefore protected. However beware of the subtlety of the decision taken by Andrew Lansley, the new Health Secretary to give control of 80% of all Health spending to GPs. GP commissioning will create smaller, competitive GP units that could easily go private. At a time when dentists are coming back to the NHS fold we could see General Practice moving away from the NHS. This is a clever move disguised as devolution of power. Of course there are already arguments from political pundits that Health should not be ring fenced.
Although Rochdale Borough’s schools have fortunately escaped cuts in the Building Schools for the Future Programme, in many parts of the country the announcement made by Michael Gove, the Education Secretary caused total confusion as one day schools were still in the programme and the next day they had been withdrawn. What a shambles.
Frankly the coalition has totally ignored the banking crisis across the globe and the steps taken by the last government to save the banks, which was opposed by the Tories. The budget deficit made worse by the banking crisis has become the cover for coalition ideology to destroy the state involvement in delivery of public services. No public services are safe I’m afraid. The worst elements of Thatcherism have returned. The people of this borough are in for a shock when these cuts are introduced in due course.
I enjoyed a visit to VTF Solutions Ltd in Middleton who design clean air systems for hospital theatres. I was shown their new system for use in orthopaedic theatres. It’s incredible the innovative design and manufacturing that takes place locally.
On behalf of Greater Manchester MPs I met with Manchester Fire Chief Steve McGuirk for talks on future policy at their Swinton HQ.
On Friday 2 July in Albert Square, Manchester I spoke in support of the Mesothelioma campaign, raising awareness of this terrible disease that is so heavily associated with Turner Newall in this borough. It was encouraging to see such a large turn out. Darnhill Festival was a great success and a credit to the organising committee and the local community where I used to be ward councillor.
In the evening I was pleased to celebrate the retirement of Eamonn Scott, Head teacher at St Vincent’s RC Primary School after many years leading the school. He has left a powerful legacy for his successor. It was an entertaining evening with the staff starring in a great musical video, showing their talents in true Hollywood style.
Back to Westminster to see what new initiatives the Con-Dem coalition has in store.
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