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”.
North Norfolk Labour Party has claimed that the East of England Ambulance Trust’s vow to rethink ambulance cuts is an example of “people power” – with over 5,000 now having now signed the petition against the moves. Despite receiving news that a majority of cuts in Cromer and North Walsham will be overturned, Labour campaigners have promised to keep on fighting for a commitment to improvements in response times and a safeguard on all emergency health care provisions in north Norfolk. The party has now gathered more than 5,000 signatures and this week will be on the streets of both Cromer and North Walsham on Saturday morning. Campaigners will hand over the results at a board meeting in Cambourne next week. Denise Burke, chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, said: “There has been huge public concern and outrage in recent weeks about the proposed cuts in ambulances in North Walsham and Cromer. Everyone knew with our aging population in rural communities that demand was increasing and we have heard some horrror stories about poor response times. We are pleased that the ambulance trust is listening to us. “We will continue the fight for better response times – particularly in North Walsham and Fakenham – where cuts are still being made. Next week we will meet the Chief Executive of the Ambulance Trust to handover the petition and, as well as raising public concerns, we will urge him to tell the government that their cuts are unworkable.”
Labour campaigners are today celebrating a victory in the fight against government cuts to north Norfolk’s ambulance service. The North Norfolk Labour Party, which created the Act On Ambulances campaign, were alerted today to revised proposals from the East of England Ambulance Service Trust – who have been under increased pressure from a petition totalling nearly 5000 names. Under the revised proposals Cromer is set to gain an extra 4 ambulance hours each week compared to the the existing plan, because it will see 140 additional hours from a part-time double-staffed ambulance in the EEAST plan for the autumn. North Walsham was due to lose their only ambulance in the town and had been expected to see those hours replaced by a Rapid Response Vehicle. Now EEAST intends to give the town a part-time double-staffed ambulance for 112 hours a week as well as the full-time Rapid Response Vehicle. North Norfolk Labour Party will continue to keep campaigning against government cuts to the NHS and will continue to fight for better response times in north Norfolk, but welcomes today’s news from the ambulance service in response to their petition. Denise Burke, chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, welcomed today’s news: “There has been huge public concern and outrage in recent weeks about the proposed cuts in ambulances in North Walsham and Cromer. Everyone knew with our ageing population in rural communities that demand was increasing and we have heard some horrror stories about poor response times. We are pleased that…
North Norfolk Labour Party has vowed to keep the pressure on Norman Lamb after the new health minister revealed he supports increased privatisation of the NHS. Mr Lamb said to The King’s Fund in London on Tuesday that he would support increased privatisation of the NHS, commenting: “I’m not a great fan of monopolies, in either the public or the private sector. If there’s never any challenge to the structure provided there’s a danger people can become complacent. There is innovation from new insurgents. We need to embrace that.” Earlier this year Labour and NHS campaigners urged Norman Lamb to vote against the coalition government’s health bill fearing it would lead to more private companies taking over the NHS. Just weeks after he supported the bill the contract for running the Anglia Support Partnership – which provide backroom services to the NHS in Norfolk – was handed to private health company Serco. Denise Burke, chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, said: “The appointment of Jeremy Hunt as Secretary of State for Health raised eyebrows for his support for privatisation of the NHS. Now it is clear Norman Lamb is not going to stand in the way of the Conservatives’ aims. Mr Lamb has now made it clear he supports increased privatisation of the NHS once again proving there is little difference between the Lib Dems and Tories on this national treasure. We will keep the pressure on Mr Lamb over this just like with the ambulance cuts, which he supported in government,…
Campaigners fighting against the demolition of Stalham Staithe cottages Utopia and Arcady have been given fresh hope after it obtained information displaying doubts from officers about the planning applications. Emails obtained by North Norfolk Labour Party between the Planning Officer at the Broads Authority and the planning adviser, claim that the new designs are a “completely fresh sketch plan prepared by another architect” and throw the decision into doubt. The demolition of the cottages taken by the Broads Authority planning committee in April had been held up by the failure to agree detailed changes in the new build replacement designs. The designs were not refused but only partially agreed by the committee as they wanted material changes to be made. Now campaigners are arguing the original decisions to demolish the cottages and rebuild on the land should be overturned if the new designs are not accepted. Sheila Cullingham, former county councillor and a campaigner against the demolitions, said: “The original decision to demolish the cottages could be overturned if the new designs are not accepted. From the information obtained it is clear there is doubt about these designs, and so they should form the part of a new planning application and should be dealt with as such. It would mean fresh consultation and debate by the committee. I do not believe that the Broads Authority planning committee are a rubber stamping walk over, but now is there chance to prove it.”
The Labour Party is concerned about the growing impact of cuts on bus services in rural Norfolk as more routes are axed in north Norfolk.
North Norfolk Labour Party is calling for an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust after their petition against ambulance cuts hit 2,500 signatures this weekend. The local Labour Party, which created the Act On Ambulances petition, believes the strength in numbers over the last few weeks demonstrates public outrage over proposals for Norfolk’s ambulance service. There will be a reduction in fleet across the county, but it is particularly concerning for north Norfolk people who the Chief Executive of EEAST Hayden Newton admitted last year were receiving “a second class service”. Now North Norfolk Labour Party campaigners are calling for an urgent meeting with Mr Newton to discuss the public feeling – which is also echoed by the staff campaigners have spoken to. Jono Read, North Norfolk Labour Party’s press officer, said: “In every town we visit with the petition we are hearing the same stories about ambulance response times in north Norfolk and nobody is convinced that the Chief Executive’s plans will improve the situation – not even the staff – because of the government cuts. On Saturday, in Holt, we heard from one lady who had waited 6 hours for an ambulance for a 104-year-old patient, and she was in disbelief with the proposals to cut the ambulance fleet in Norfolk. We are now calling on the Chief Executive of the Ambulance Service Trust to attend an urgent meeting with us so that we can discuss these proposals and pass…
The campaign against cuts to the ambulance service in Norfolk hit 1,500 signatures on Saturday – on the same day it was revealed Fakenham will face cuts too. The Chief Executive of the Ambulance Service Trust, Hayden Newton, has confirmed that the hours of the ambulance service in Cromer will be reduced and North Walsham will lose its ambulance altogether. Instead there will a focus on Rapid Response Vehicles, driven by Emergency Care Assistants who cannot administer life-saving drugs or take patients to hospital. Now it has been revealed that Fakenham will see their Rapid Response Vehicle reduced by 5 hours a day. On Saturday morning a further 500 people signed the petition against these cuts bringing the total to 1,500 signatures. Denise Burke, chair of North Norfolk Labour Party which created the ‘Act on Ambulances’ campaign, said: “The Chief Executive of the Ambulance Service Trust has now confirmed our fears about ambulance cuts in North Norfolk. North Walsham will lose its only ambulance, in Cromer an ambulance is to go part-time and Fakenham also faces cuts. This is on top of concerns already about response times in North Norfolk where we have an ageing population in rural communities that need a better ambulance service, not fewer ambulances. There is no indication that this reduction in services will provide the improvements that we are being promised in Norfolk. We are calling on the government to rethink these cuts which we fear could cost lives.”
Labour is arguing that the council is breaking its commitment to providing a “centre of excellence for renewable energy”.
Over 1,000 people have now signed a petition calling on the government to rethink cuts to north Norfolk’s ambulance service. The ‘Act On Ambulances’ campaign was set up by the North Norfolk Labour Party after it was revealed that the ambulance service in north Norfolk will face cuts to the service, despite it being told earlier this year by the Care Quality Commission that it needs to improve response times. The local Labour party is concerned about the removal of a full-time ambulance in North Walsham as well as removing the full-time status of one of two ambulances in Cromer. It is calling on the government to rethink their programme of cuts to the NHS before these changes come into effect in October. Last week the campaign received celebrity support from former local resident and Norwich City Football Club director Stephen Fry. The petition can be signed at www.actonambulances.co.uk and can be found in a majority of North Walsham businesses. North Norfolk Labour Party will be in North Walsham on Saturday from 9am. Jono Read, press officer for North Norfolk Labour Party, said: “The Care Quality Commission has told the ambulance service the response times have to improve, but the reality is that they cannot improve when government cuts will mean fewer vehicles stationed here. We believe that the strength of feeling from patients and ambulance staff so far speaks volume. They are clearly calling for ministers and health officials to rethink these plans”.