Letter from Parliament - Jim Dobbin MP
Date published: 29 May 2011
I was present in Westminster Hall in the House of Commons to listen to President Obama address both Houses of Parliament. It was a historic occasion. The President is the fourth person to so do, the others being Nelson Mandela and Pope Benedict 16 and Her Majesty the Queen.
President Obama clearly stated that the global financial crisis began in Wall Street and it was the financial markets and banks that caused the economic downturn across the world. He also referred to the very successful G20 conference which was led by Gordon Brown. He also alluded to solutions to the crises by some countries going too far and too fast in reducing deficits. No wonder David Cameron sat grim faced. The president’s visits to Ireland and the UK were overwhelmingly successful.
Surveys on the NHS found that levels of satisfaction were at an all time high. One year on the Royal College of GP’s representing 42,000 family doctors report that David Cameron’s NHS re organisation will cause “irreparable damage to the core values of the NHS”. NHS staff were told by Sir David Nicholas, Chief Executive of the NHS that the proposal for reorganisation remains unchanged despite the government’s pause for reflection. We now hear from Andrew Lansley that there will be minimal changes. He is cheered to the roof tops by his 1922 committee colleagues. Then Nick Clegg steps in and declares a six month pause and major changes that would see the bill delayed. Does he have the support of Cameron? Are we about to see the resignation of the Secretary of State for Health?
What an absolute shambles! No wonder local NHS Trusts and Primary Care Trusts are confused.
The government have set strict targets for reduction of spending which cannot be achieved without serious cuts. So much for the so called ring fenced budgets. A number of MPs whose constituents are affected by the Pennine Acute Trust’s budget problems along with trade union representation met the Chief Executive, John Saxby on 27th May. He was supported by his senior managers. It was a long involved meeting. We all registered our concerns about patient care, job reductions and staff car parking charges. We shall continue to monitor the situation and later present these problems where they belong at the door step of Number 10.
The government’s lack of concern for rising youth unemployment is demonstrated by its failure to act for a whole year. One year since the general election there are an additional 43, 000 young people unemployed who are not in education or training. The real problem is the lack of growth in the economy due to the Conservative led coalition’s policies of deep and far ranging cuts instead of pursuing a proper strategy for jobs and growth. The news on the political front is very depressing and I cannot see it improving in the near future.
I congratulate Cllr Alan Godson on becoming Mayor of the Borough and wish him a successful and enjoyable year. I visited the United Reform Church in Alkrington in Middleton twice in May, firstly to enjoy Middleton’s Musical Society’s version of Faure’s Requiem and St Denys Mass for Peace conducted and compered by Graham Marshall, with soloists Freda Farnworth and Keith Lloyd accompanied by John Peace plus the society’s choir – a lovely evening . The second visit was to attend the service of induction for the church’s new minster Rev Norman Vivian. I wish him a happy and fulfilling ministry.
St Vincent’s Primary RC School, Norden invited me to take part in an assembly that highlighted the fact that 67 million young people world wide do not have access to education. I promised to take this issue to the Prime Minister and send the letters that the children wrote to No 10. The children were able to see that education and health was the solution to poverty in the developing world. The assembly was very well presented and the children and staff at the school did a fantastic job in getting the message across. We are extremely lucky in the borough to have so many good schools with excellent teachers and enthusiastic hard working pupils.
Have Your Say