Over 8000 people have now signed a petition against the ambulance cuts as hundreds also send a message to MP Norman Lamb urging him to drop his support for the cuts.
Steve Morphew, Labour’s Police Crime Commissioner candidate, joined activists campaigning against ambulance cuts.
Labour challenged MP Norman Lamb’s claims on ambulance cuts after the Lib Dem claimed that he had not voted for ambulance cuts.
Hundreds of members of the public have signed giant postcards addressed to MP Norman Lamb urging him to drop his support for cuts in ambulance funding. The north Norfolk MP has both voted for cuts to the NHS which is leading to £50m of cuts to the ambulance service, and plays a role in implementing the changes in the health department. Mr Lamb has also said that the service has adequate funding, despite the service having to reduce the number of vehicles in Norfolk by approximately seven. On Saturday the North Norfolk Labour Party were on the streets of Cromer collecting signatures against the government cuts which, despite a partial u-turn, will still see 56 fewer ambulance hours a week in North Walsham, and a cut in Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV) time in Fakenham. Hundreds signed the postcards urging the MP to drop support for ambulance cuts, and continued to sign the Act on Ambulances petition which has gathered more than 7,000 signatures. Denise Burke, chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, said: “On the streets the public are concerned about worsening ambulance response times and they are really worried by the cuts to the ambulance service which are coming into effect at a time when demand across the country is continuing to grow, and when we are about to hit the busy winter months for 999 calls. We hope these giant postcards will send a message to MP Norman Lamb that the public wants him to change his stance on…
North Norfolk Labour Party is continuing the campaign against cuts to the ambulance service in north Norfolk this weekend as the horror stories about response times continue to pile in. Last weekend Labour members were on the streets of North Walsham encouraging residents to sign giant postcards to Norman Lamb calling for him and his colleagues in the health department to rethink their cuts to the NHS and ambulance service. Labour’s Act on Ambulances petition also hit 7,000 signatures from the public who are against the move. Although cuts in Cromer were overturned they will still affect North Walsham and Fakenham as well as a number of other bases across Norfolk. On Tuesday the party heard from Mr Sadler from Sheringham who was concerned about the time it took his brother to get an ambulance after he suffered from a heart attack. He said that his sister-in-law dialled 999 at 4.45pm on Sunday evening, and it was 7.45pm before an ambulance arrived. He says that the first ambulance called had been diverted, while the second was delayed as it stopped for petrol. Mr Salder says his brother’s heart stopped twice – once after the attack and secondly in the ambulance when he was rushed to hospital. His brother is now recovering but Mr Sadler is speaking out because he is worried others will have to go through a similar situation because of government cuts. Campaigners have also heard from the family of a Holt lady suffering from thrombosis and cancer….
North Norfolk Labour Party are continuing their campaign against cuts to the ambulance service by piling pressure on health minister Norman Lamb, urging him to rethink his support for the cuts to ambulance funding and to rethink plans in the health department. Their Act on Ambulances petition has now gathered 7,000 signatures and on Saturday Labour members were gathering signatures on giant postcards in North Walsham urging the MP to rethink his position on cutting ambulance funding. The postcards will be delivered to Norman Lamb in November. The local Labour party has vowed to keep up the pressure on the government and health officials after the outgoing Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust pledged to review remaining cuts in North Walsham on a monthly basis. On Sunday the shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham commented that the health service remains in “increasing distress” following revelations that the number of patients waiting outside in ambulances for over thirty minutes had risen by 20pc in the last year, and by almost a third since the government came to power. He told the Sunday Telegraph: “The sight of ambulance queuing outside A&E takes us back to the bad old days of the Tory NHS… They are putting people at risk so they can tick Government boxes.” North Norfolk Labour Party will be in Cromer on Saturday 3 November with their petition and large postcards.
North Norfolk Labour Party has welcomed the outcome of a vote yesterday that saw the government defeated in a key House of Lords vote around changes to council tax benefit, with Labour forcing an independent review of the changes to be carried out within three years of them being introduced. The changes to council tax benefit have been branded the “new poll tax” due to their serious implications – with particular concern about North Norfolk where the cuts will be some of the worst in the country. Baroness Hollis of Heigham, former work and pensions minister, led a House of Lords amendment on Monday that warned the changes risked creating a “poll tax mark two” with up to two million families paying towards their council tax for the first time. She told the House of Lords on Monday: “If set too high, families cannot pay. If set too low, the council cannot collect”. She added that an independent review within three years would allow Parliament to see if the changes to Council Tax Benefit were “sturdy and robust” or not. The amendment was carried with a majority of 38 votes. North Norfolk will have one of the harshest hits to council tax benefit in the country because the government has ring-fenced funding for the elderly, and because the district has a large aging population. This will mean those currently claiming for the benefit will be expected to pay up to 30pc contribution – harsher than any other area in Norfolk…
A new grant for councils aimed at softening the blow of changes to council tax benefits for one year highlights how serious cuts to welfare will be next year, North Norfolk Labour Party has claimed. North Norfolk will have one of the harshest hits to council tax benefit in the country because the government has ring-fenced funding for the elderly, and because the district has a large aging population. This will mean those currently claiming for the benefit will be expected to pay up to 30pc contribution – harsher than any other area in Norfolk – and one of the worst in the country. The local Labour Party will continue to campaign against these proposals and has compared the effects of this new bill to the Poll Tax in the early 1990s. They have argued that the new government £100m transitional government announced for one year will only cover up the severity of this policy for a short time. North Walsham has the largest number of claimants in north Norfolk with 667 people claiming Council Tax Benefit. Cromer Town has 493 claimants and Fakenham has 349 claimants. Denise Burke, chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, said: “Next year is going to be one of the toughest years of government cuts yet when changes to the Council Tax Benefit come into place. These proposals have been likened to the Poll Tax where thousands were sent to prison for failing to pay because they could not afford to. The fact that there will be…
North Norfolk Labour Party members were amongst the 100,000 campaigners in London yesterday who were marching for a change in the government’s economic policy. Local Labour Party activists joined trade union members as well as public sector workers – including nurses, firefighters, and teachers – on two coaches to London yesterday morning which picked up in North Walsham, Sheringham, and Cromer. The march, organised by the TUC, saw thousands of campaigners and workers join together to call for a change in economic policy which focuses on jobs and economic growth. Stephen Burke, vice-chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, said: “North Norfolk Labour Party joined an estimated 100,000 people marching for a better future. Together we were all united by the belief that this government should be focusing on job creation rather than cutting vital services and jobs and rather than cutting taxes for millionaires.”
North Norfolk Labour Party have called for the former North Norfolk Lib Dem chair Graham Jones to contest a by-election, following his resignation from the party yesterday, and have claimed this is another example of the party in disarray. Graham Jones announced that he had stepped down as the chairman of Norman Lamb’s constituency Liberal Democrat party and had resigned – choosing to become an “Independent Lib Dem” rather than fight a by-election, or leave politics altogether. Now the local Labour party has argued that Mr Jones should follow the advice he had given to previous Lib Dem defectors and fight a by-election. Denise Burke, chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, said: “This is another sign of the Lib Dem party in north Norfolk in disarray. For the past two years Mr Jones has tried to defend Norman Lamb’s voting record and the actions of Liberal Democrats in government, but now he too has become disillusioned with their actions and politics. Mr Jones says that there are too many that are out-of-touch in government and defends the local MP, yet Norman Lamb has supported those at the top in every single government vote. We believe Graham Jones should follow the advice he and the Lib Dems gave to all party defectors – Councillor Rice, Callaby, and Hardy – which was to resign from their seat and fight a by-election.”