Politically Speaking in the Wakefield Express

Save our NHS! Our local campaign against unfair changes to NHS funding for our area continues. After meeting with the local Clinical Commissioning Board a few weeks back we took the campaign to the streets on Friday and hundreds showed their support. Overall the changes being made will keep the overall health budget for England the same but while some areas are seeing their budget cut, others will see theirs increase. Across West Yorkshire over £210 million could be lost from health budgets, £43 million of that from Wakefield, a 10.6% cut. At the same time, health budgets in other, more affluent, parts of the country, including the Prime Minister’s own constituency in Oxfordshire, will see their budgets increase by over £39 million. These are areas where people already have higher life expectancy. The people who backed our campaign on Friday are clear – the NHS has to be fair and penalising those with poor health and lower life expectancy in favour of those in affluent areas with higher life expectancy is wrong. The Government and NHS England have to change their mind. It’s outrageous that health budgets are being played with in this way and that people in our area will be penalised. There are just a few weeks left until NHS England meet on 17th December to finalise next year’s budgets. To add your support to the campaign, please email me ed@edballs.com. ********* Young people have had a tough time of it over the last few years – with the economy struggling and measures to support young people into work, such as the Future Jobs Fund, scrapped, for well over a year long term youth unemployment skyrocketed. It’s still very high in many places but thankfully the rate is now falling. But for many young people, those months and years in some cases, without a job or training opportunity will have significantly dented their confidence. For those still in school, many youth work programmes have been cut back too. Locally a few remain. For Youth Work Week I went along to the Cross Keys Youth Club in Stanley where a big group of young people and youth workers were having a fabulous time. Youth work is hugely important to give young people confidence and a way to explore their identity and to learn about respecting others. And youth work is also about having fun which everyone was certainly doing in Stanley. One girl asked me about my job as her MP and what I have to do every day. Someone else asked what kind of car I drive. And they were also really interested in how I work with the police to reduce crime. It was great to meet such an enthusiastic bunch of young people. I’m really looking forward to a return visit.

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Posted November 22nd, 2013 by Ed