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.”
North Norfolk Labour Party have accused the North Norfolk MP of double standards over the cuts to the ambulance service – on the day that he told the local media that he felt the funding for the ambulance services was adequate. Mr Lamb has been attributed with fighting cuts to the ambulance service in north Norfolk and has previously said that he had “real anxiety” about plans to cut the ambulance service in North Walsham and Cromer, as well as resources at Fakenham. The East of England Ambulance Service Trust, however, has indicated that all possible measures have been taking to prevent cuts to the front line service, and that it was a last resort to reduce resources because of the £50m of government cuts over the next five years. Today the North Norfolk MP said that there was “enough funding” in the ambulance service, despite the cuts expected to hit the service in the next few months. The local Labour Party, which organised the Act on Ambulances petition, has claimed his position is “hypocritical” given his vote of support for cuts to the NHS and ambulance budget, and because his position is in the health department which are implementing the changes to the NHS. Last month the outgoing Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, Hayden Newton, oversaw a u-turn on some of the cuts at Cromer and North Walsham after the NHS stepped in and provided £3 million to fund it. Mr Newton committed the…
North Norfolk Labour Party campaigners have pledged to keep the pressure on the successor to Hayden Newton’s role as Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, following his shock announcement to take early retirement. Mr Newton had met with North Norfolk Labour Party leaders to discuss cuts in north Norfolk just days before he announced to the board on 1 October that he was taking early retirement. North Norfolk Labour Party believes this is a further example of our local ambulance service in crisis following government cuts, and will continue to fight for a better service. Their petition continues to gather public support and over 6500 people have signed so far. Earlier this week the party revealed that the Trust plans to move forward with a shake-up of ambulance rotas this month, but will be looking at the 56 fewer hours of ambulance in North Walsham very closely on a monthly basis. Denise Burke, chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, said: “The shock departure of Hayden Newton demonstrates that the ambulance service is in crisis. It needs effective stable leadership and proper funding to deliver a better service, not fewer ambulances and more cuts. We expect the trust to deliver on the improvements promised by Mr Newton and look forward to working with his successor to meet the growing demand in north Norfolk.”
North Norfolk Labour Party has urged residents to speak out about their experiences of the ambulance service in north Norfolk after the Chief Executive of East of England Ambulance Service Trust has committed themselves to reviewing the cuts in North Walsham on a monthly basis. The Chief Executive of EEAST, Hayden Newton, met North Norfolk Labour leaders on 27 September to discuss the rota shake-ups in Norfolk and the proposed cuts to the ambulance service in North Walsham and Cromer. In response to the 6500-signature petition last month he had already revised original proposals for North Walsham and Cromer. This means North Walsham would gain 112 more hours of a double staffed ambulance (DSA) a week and Cromer would gain 140 hours of a DSA each week. Both towns would also gain a 24/7 rapid response vehicle (RRV) and the net effect would be 4 hours more a week in Cromer, but North Walsham would still see 56 fewer hours a week. Hayden Newton has now responded to Labour’s concerns and has said he can only make the case for more funding once he has explored all avenues – and that includes a rota shake-up due at the end of October. Mr Newton added he is committed to reviewing the situation in north Norfolk and North Walsham on a monthly basis. Denise Burke, chair of North Norfolk Labour Party which organised the ‘Act on Ambulances’ campaign, said: “Last month we welcomed the news that following our petition the Trust has…
The leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband has recognised the importance of the Act On Ambulances campaign, organised by North Norfolk Labour Party, at this week’s party conference. Mr Miliband spoke to the north Norfolk campaigners about the importance of the campaign and deputy party chairman MP Tom Watson told party delegates that the campaign and petition was an excellent example of good campaigning within the community. North Norfolk Labour’s Chair Denise Burke, Vice-Chair Stephen Burke, and Press Officer Jono Read took to the stage on Sunday and also collected an award for their efforts. Last week the campaigners handed in a 6500-signature petition and met with Hayden Newton who pledged to spend this week rethinking the remaining cuts to the ambulance service in North Walsham. As of this morning (Friday) the East of England Ambulance Service Trust have said these talks are on-going and that the party will be alerted to any outcomes as soon as those meetings finish. Readers are urged to sign the petition at www.actonambulances.co.uk
The Chief Executive of East of England Ambulance Service Trust, Hayden Newton, has pledged to rethink proposed cuts to the ambulance service in North Walsham following a meeting with North Norfolk Labour Party campaigners.
North Norfolk Labour Party campaigners have handed over a petition containing 6500 names to the East of England Ambulance Service Trust at a board meeting this morning – urging them to rethink plans to cut to the ambulance service in north Norfolk. The Act On Ambulances campaigners traveled from north Norfolk to Cambourne in Cambridgeshire earlier today and presented the petition to Maria Ball (chair of the Trust) and Hayden Newton (Chief Executive of the Trust). Maria Ball said they would study comments on the petition because they were “interested to hear what the public thinks”, and commented on the biggest gathering she had seen before at a board meeting. Hayden Newton said that he would continue dialogue with campaigners at their planned meeting in Norwich on Thursday afternoon. Denise Burke, chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, said: “We are pleased to have been able to present the petition at the East of England Ambulance Service Trust board meeting in Cambourne today, and that officials now a have chance to see what the people of north Norfolk think of their plans for Cromer, North Walsham, and Fakenham. Over 6500 signed the petition and we are encouraging people to continue to sign online. People power has already helped us achieve a rethink of the plans, and at our next meeting on Thursday we will be pushing for ways forward to ensure north Norfolk gets a better ambulance service”.
6000 people have now signed the petition against ambulance cuts in north Norfolk as campaigners plan to make a trip to Cambourne for the East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST) board meeting on Wednesday morning. There was outrage in August when it was revealed a full-time ambulance in Cromer would be reduced to just two days a week, and North Walsham would lose its only ambulance in the town. Hayden Newton from EEAST vowed to rethink the proposals – a result of government cuts – following the public outcry, and has committed extra resource to Cromer and North Walsham on top of the newly proposed Rapid Response Vehicles. This would give Cromer an additional 4 hours of ambulance a week and North Walsham would regain an ambulance but for 56 hours less a week compared to existing plans. North Norfolk Labour Party campaigners today have reached a target of 6000 signatures on the petition and will present it to the board of East of England Ambulance Service Trust on Wednesday morning in Cambourne – when the independent NHS watchdog Monitor will be present. Senior Labour party members will be having further discussions with the Ambulance Trust and NHS Norfolk on Thursday afternoon at the Longwater base. Campaigners will express concern about the loss of ambulance time in North Walsham, and will be seeking assurances the proposed extra ambulance resources are kept in the district and do not cover up further cuts across the county. Denise Burke, chair of North Norfolk…
North Norfolk Labour is turning up the heat as it announces a weekend of campaigning events about ambulance cuts in north Norfolk. Campaigners will be making the journey to Cambourne in Cambridgeshire to hand over the 5000 names to the East of England Ambulance Trust on Wednesday morning, and will be meeting the Chief Executive of the Trust and Norfolk’s NHS service on Thursday afternoon. Before that campaigners will be on the streets of north Norfolk throughout the weekend – starting in North Walsham from 9am and Cromer from 10am on Saturday. There will also be petitioning events in Fakenham over the weekend, and in Aylsham on Monday. The Labour Party welcomed signs of a rethink to ambulances in Cromer and North Walsham but believes more has to be done to improve response times. It is concerned that existing ambulances will have to make up for the loss of 7 vehicles across Norfolk. The Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Mary Creagh MP (pictured) is the latest notable signatory to give her support to the campaign. Jono Read, press officer for North Norfolk Labour Party, said: “We are increasing the pressure this weekend by campaigning on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday across the district. Last week’s news of a rethink to ambulance cuts in North Walsham and Cromer has been welcomed by our campaigners, but there is still a lot of work to be done to improve ambulance response times in the district”.