Saturday, 25 April 2015

The NHS and what the parties promise

There's a lot of activity in Yate today concerning the National Health Service. The Labour Party is holding an "NHS Day" at their pop-up shop, and members of the campaign group 38 Degrees are collecting signatures for their campaign "Save Our NHS". This level of interest shows how concerned the public are about the NHS - it's one of this country's unique and most treasured features.

It's worth looking at what the major parties have put in their manifestos about NHS funding. The respected health and social care think tank The King's Fund has looked at the size of the funding challenges facing the NHS and what the various parties are proposing in their manifesto. The latest King's Fund article says that though both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives are promising to fill the projected £8 billion funding gap, "there is a lack of clarity about the Conservative promise, which could amount to a bit more than £8 billion depending on the period the pledge covers. Importantly, with no details on the path the Conservatives will take to reach their promise, there is a worry that the bulk of the increase could come in the later rather than (as needed) earlier years of the next parliament"

Worryingly the Labour Party proposal falls far short of filling the gap (so what are they going to cut in the NHS?) - you can see how much lower the red line is in this graph from the King's Fund article, which is well worth reading in full.

So if you hear the Labour Party talking about being the defenders of the NHS, ask them how they are going to fund the shortfall. And if you hear the Conservatives saying they are matching the Lib Dem pledge, ask them for the details they still haven't provided.

Oh yes, and who came up with the idea to create the NHS in the first place? The Liberal Party. William Beveridge (who was also involved with the introduction of Old Age Pensions) wrote the Beveridge Report for the wartime government, and it was implemented by Atlee's post-war Labour government. See the BBC History website for more details.

Friday, 24 April 2015

New Wapley bridge may open any day

It's possible that the new Sergeant's Farm Bridge, which links Shire Way to Wapley Common, may open as soon as tomorrow (Sat 25 April).

If all goes to plan tomorrow, we understand that Murphys have Network Rail's permission to remove the temporary bridge overnight Saturday/Sunday. Fingers crossed...

They have been installing the new boundary fence for the Network Rail compound. At least in the short term the path from the bridge will emerge at the zebra crossing, then people will be able to walk along the short length of tarmac on the edge of Shire Way and then follow the path back into the ashtrack.

It is hoped to organise a modest celebration event in the near future, possibly involving a local school. We'll keep you posted.

Celebrate St George's Day in style at Yate tomorrow

This year's Yate St George Celebrations at the Heritage Centre and St Mary's Green will be the biggest St George event in the area, with a full day of entertainment and activities for the whole community. There will be mumming, morris dancing, brass band, Punch and Judy, archery, history activities and even St George himself will be in attendance.

For more details and the timetable please check out the Yate and District Heritage Centre website

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Farewell to Kay

R.I.P. Kay Crowe, 1944 - 2015
Campaigning stopped today as we said our final farewell to our dear friend and council colleague of many years, Kay Crowe. A real "community builder", a true campaigner for many causes, an enthusiast in everything she did, and a mainstay of her family.

We'll miss you, Kay.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Never mind the TV debates...

... what happened when the candidates for Thornbury and Yate went head-to-head for the first time?

At the start of the General Election campaign the five candidates for this constituency took part in their first ‘hustings’ meeting. Young people attending sixth forms across Yate and Chipping Sodbury, and voting for the first time at this General Election, organised a meeting at Yate International Academy, attended by over 100 sixth formers. What was THEIR verdict on all the candidates for this seat after quizzing them?

Before the hustings, in a secret ballot the Tories were neck and neck with Steve Webb, with the other parties trailing.

But after a two hour head-to-head grilling of all the candidates things changed.

In an exit poll at the end of the event the Tory vote halved from 25% to 12%, while Steve Webb's vote surged from 25% to 43%.

After testing the candidates on all sorts of issues, the young people's verdict was clear. THEY want Steve Webb to win - they see him as the best person to help deliver the future they want for themselves and their world.

You can hear the candidates at the following public hustings meetings:

Tues 14th April – 7pm
Armadillo, Station Road, Yate, Bristol, BS37 4FW
(organised by Federation of Small Business)

Thurs 16th April – 7.30pm
Zion United Church, Woodend Road, Frampton Cotterell, BS36 2HY

Tues 21st April – 7.30pm
Thornbury Baptist Church, Gillingstool, Thornbury, BS35 2EG

Thurs 23rd April – 7.30pm
Cranleigh Court Chapel, Cranleigh Court Road, Yate, BS37 5DQ

When people hear Steve and what he has been able to achieve with residents locally and nationally it strikes a chord.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

That's inflation for you!

Electioneering was in full swing yesterday, with local Liberal Democrat Focus Team members talking to shoppers at Yate Shopping Centre. "Would you like a balloon?" seems to be a very good conversation starter.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

New Youth Cafe session for LBGTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning)

There's a new monthly Youth Cafe session in Yate for young people aged 14-19 who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans or Questioning. It will run at the Armadillo from 7pm to 9 pm on the last Sunday of every month, starting on Sunday 26 April.