Politically Speaking in the Wakefield Express

Happy Yorkshire Day! Alongside all the Union Jacks for Team GB, the White Rose flag of Yorkshire flew on Wednesday to mark the annual celebration of all things Yorkshire. 
 
Yorkshire Day activities are a real help when parents are scratching their heads to come up with ways of keeping the children entertained. Here in Wakefield there is a great programme of summer events and activities. Once again this year I have launched my annual summer survey for families. As well as asking about the big issues affecting local families, there’s loads of information about things to do with the children over the summer. Anyone who wants a copy of the survey should contact my Morley office on 0113 253 9466 or email ed@edballs.com
 
This summer the Olympic Games are providing amazing summer entertainment for children and grown ups alike. We’ve all been hooked in our house since the spectacular opening ceremony last Friday. Although most of the action is taking place down in London, there’s plenty of local interest. Unfortunately one of my constituents, Gildersome’s Adam Scholefield lost out in his opening Water Polo match at the weekend but Yorkshire cyclist, Lizzie Armistead from Otley made us all proud by winning Team GB’s first medal of the games on Sunday. There will be some tense moments ahead but I’ll be cheering Team GB for every medal!
 

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 What an amazing crowd who turned out in support of the Leeds Children’s Heart Unit last Monday! I joined everyone outside the Civic Hall over in Leeds to hear from nurses, parents and the cross-party speakers about the importance of our unit here in Leeds. We then set off around the city centre to make our voices heard.
 
The announcement that our local unit in Yorkshire faces closure is a tragedy for all the families who use it, and for other local families who may need it in the future. If we can’t get the decision overturned, they now face travelling long distances with a sick child, many of them with siblings to care for as well.
 
Of course we have to have centres of excellence in children’s heart surgery so that we know that each child is getting the best possible care, but population density has to be a factor too. Throughout this campaign we’ve been clear that Yorkshire’ big population was key.
 
MPs of all parties in our region have been united in the campaign. But up to now the decision makers have failed to listen to the views and needs of Yorkshire people. So our campaign to keep the Leeds Unit continues. I’ve written again to the Health Secretary, asking for his direct intervention on this to call in the closure of our Children’s Heart Unit.

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Posted August 3rd, 2012 by Ed