Politically Speaking Column in Wakefield Express

As every parent knows, the weather can be key to a happy summer. It’s been hit and miss so far this year, including at our annual constituency garden party where the rain held off for the tug of war but poured as we drew the raffle. The summer holidays now stretch before us, along with the challenge of keeping the kids entertained.
And if you are not off on holidays, here in Wakefield there are loads of activities and events for children and families over the summer. If you’ve got little ones, you can meet nursery rhyme characters at Sandal Castle, older children might like to learn some circus skills. Close by there are loads of activities in our local swimming pools and parks.
If you want to venture further afield there are some great day trips in the region. Free entry to all our national museums has survived the cuts so make the most of them. You can visit the new Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield or head over to the National Coal Mining Museum and once you get there it’s still totally free to get in.

Once again this year I’ve put together a summer newsletter for parents and families which includes details of events and activities going on over the holidays. If you’ve not been sent a copy and would like one, just get in touch with my office on 0113 253 9466 or email me ed@edballs.com.

Thank you to those residents who joined me at the Stanley Community Centre this week for coffee and a chat about the NHS. It was great to see so many people wanting to have their say. Changes to our health service have been in the news a great deal in recent months and some worrying stories have emerged about increases in waiting times and job losses as well as the moves to transfer funding to GPs.

Locally, we do finally have a brand new modern new hospital – but people regularly raise questions with me about bed numbers and parking. Nationally, proposals are to transfer funding to GPs but people are worried that it will mean increased waiting times and more bureaucracy. As one elderly resident said to me recently, “making changes is all good and well but we have to make sure they’re the right changes don’t we?” Too right! That’s why I’ll continue to listen to the concerns of local people when it comes to the changes being proposed to the health service.

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Posted July 8th, 2011 by Ed

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