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Stroud Against The Cuts

Letter to local papers on NHS

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 09:51 administrator
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The following letter has been published in at least one local paper and was sent to others. It is written by Hannah Basson, Treasurer of Stroud Against the Cuts. References for the points made follow the text.

 

Dear Sir,

Stroud has a history of supporting health services being publicly-owned and funded. This is the most economical and fair way to distribute services, yet this government keeps attacking the NHS.

Of promised funding, less than half is new money. Once maintenance backlog and PFI repayments (including very recent ones) are factored, the real terms increase is about 13% of what’s being offered. Costly tenders for contracts, enforced since 2012, and forced savings of £22 billion hurt even more. Are these privatised contracts any better? Locally Out of Hours, hospital pharmacies, buildings maintenance, smoking cessation clinics, and transport services suggest not.

We are told investment is being made to GP services but unprecedented numbers are leaving and surgeries are shutting. GPs are told to refer patients on earlier, yet being told to refer less. Admissions to nursing schools have reduced by 23% since the government stopped training bursaries, there have been 90% fewer job applications from EU nurses since the referendum and there are still 1000s of vacancies.

The government says that the NHS will remain ‘free at the point of use’, but this does not necessarily mean comprehensive, universal, or treatment according to need.

The national media publish stories of the cost of ‘health tourism’ (0.3% of NHS budget actually), yet seem at ease with a system that costs about 15% to simply fragment services in order to feed a growing private sector.

Our NHS costs less than most other comparable countries in the world and the Commonwealth Fund named it the most efficient. Seven years ago, it was at the top of the Commonwealth Fund league tables in most categories.

Think that we can’t afford the NHS? This is a fiction to divert your eyes from the truth, by a Health Secretary who co-authored a book that called for the NHS to be replaced by an insurance system. He is ably abetted by colleagues, such as a Conservative policy advisor who advised that the NHS would “cease to exist” within five years of a Tory government.

Sincerely,

Hannah Basson

(Treasurer, Stroud Against the Cuts)

 

This letter was sent without references but should you wish to follow up claims made, a few links are pasted below:

 

"Stroud has a history of supporting health services being publicly-owned and funded"

 

"[public ownership and funding] is the most economical and fair way to distribute services" - read e.g. "At what cost? Paying the price for the market in the English NHS" (direct link to pdf)

 

"[Of funding promised by the Conservative government], less than half is new money. Once maintenance backlog and PFI repayments (including very recent ones) are factored, the real terms increase is about 13% of what’s being offered" - read e.g "NHS spending per person will be cut next year, minister confirm"

 

"Costly tenders for contracts, enforced since 2012" / "a system that costs about 15% to simply fragment services in order to feed a growing private sector" - read Caroline Molloy from Stroud's essential article "The billions of wasted NHS cash no-one wants to mention"

 

"forced savings of £22 billion" - read Caroline Molloy's "NHS cuts - are we in it together?"

 

"Are these privatised contracts any better? Locally Out of Hours, hospital pharmacies, buildings maintenance, smoking cessation clinics, and transport services suggest not" - read e.g. "Private health contractor comes under fire for "putting profit before service""

 

"We are told investment is being made to GP services but unprecedented numbers are leaving and surgeries are shutting." - read e.g "If general practice fails, the whole NHS fails"

 

"Admissions to nursing schools have reduced by 23% since the government stopped training bursaries"

 

"there have been 90% fewer job applications from EU nurses since the referendum and there are still 1000s of vacancies"

 

"The national media publish stories of the cost of ‘health tourism’ (0.3% of NHS budget actually)"

 

"Our NHS costs less than most other comparable countries in the world and the Commonwealth Fund named it the most efficient."

"Seven years ago, it was at the top of the Commonwealth Fund league tables in most categories."

 

"a Health Secretary who co-authored a book that called for the NHS to be replaced by an insurance system"

 

"a Conservative policy advisor who advised that the NHS would “cease to exist” within five years of a Tory government"

 

Letter from Archway Secondary School Mr Colin Belford to Parents/Carers

Thursday, 25 May 2017 13:49 administrator
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Please see below the text of a letter from the Headteacher of Archway Secondary School to Parents/Carers. We believe the content will be of interest to parents/carers at other schools and/or the general public, but offer no further comment here. We have reproduced the letter in it's entirety, with permission.

 

Archway School * Paganhill * Stroud

Gloucestershire * GL5 4AX

Tel 01453 763242

Fax 01453 766093

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

www.archwayschool.net

Headteacher Colin Belford


25 May 2017


Dear Parents/Carers,

A recent meeting of Secondary Headteachers in Gloucestershire considered the issues facing education in the County and what questions we might ask prospective parliamentary candidates in the run up to the General Election. Our Governors looked at the questions and felt that we should share them with parents. They are listed below.

Policy
1. What is your position on education? How high on your agenda is it?
2. Do you think education should be de-politicised to avoid sweeping change and uncertainty and is your party willing to commit to stability to avoid unnecessary and expensive changes in curriculum and accountability measures?

Pupils’/well-being
1. Do you think there is a link between changes to the testing regime and childhood mental health issues across key stages 2, 3 and 4?
2. What are your priorities in supporting schools in tackling societal issues, protecting children in the digital age and ensuring that the education system protects/supports the mental health of children?
3. Do your party’s educational policies deliver the skills necessary for 21st century employability and how will you continue to narrow the achievement gap for disadvantaged children?

Funding
1. Do you think that we can build a world class education system with a systematic drop in national per pupil funding?
2. What is your policy to ensure schools are sufficiently and fairly funded? Will you review the National Funding Formula to achieve this?
Continued/…page 2
1. What are your plans to tackle the crisis of inadequate core funding per pupil?
2. The previous administration says that it has protected spending per pupil but it has not protected costs per pupil so that provision is deteriorating. Will you ensure funding at least keeps up with increasing costs? How?

Recruitment
1. What are your party’s plans to deal with recruitment and retention crisis in teaching (so few joining and so many leaving), and how will you ensure that teaching remains an attractive and respected profession?

I hope that you find these useful.

Yours faithfully,

Colin Belford
Headteacher

Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 May 2017 13:57 )
 

Public Meeting: General Election - what can we do?

Tuesday, 09 May 2017 11:14 administrator
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General Election - what can we do?

Thursday 11th May, 7.30-9.30pm - Stroud Old Town Hall, The Shambles - Free entry/donations welcome. For more information call/text James Beecher - 07734 058789

 

A meeting for our supporters and anyone interested in making the government's record of cuts and privatisation a pivotal part of the general election locally.

Stroud Against the Cuts is not affiliated to any political party but we believe there is important work to do, that our supporters - many of whom are not members of political parties - can be involved in.

We'll prepare some information, and a few ideas of how people can help our work - but are interested in hearing ideas from others about things we can do to highlight the government's terrible record.

 

Let us know you're coming / invite your friends on Facebook: General Election - what can we do?

 

We want your ideas for things we can do ahead of the election to make issues like the NHS privatisation, Education cuts, and increasing poverty central to the election. Stroud Against the Cuts is not affiliated to any political party and this meeting is not about who you should vote for, but about other work we can do.

We also have some ideas for action of our own that we'd love some help with:

* Help organising, publicising and funding a big public event on the NHS before the election (with NHS workers at its heart - as part of the national NHS Roadshow)

* Help with Register to Vote efforts

* Help with writing, designing, distributing (and paying for) leaflets - on the NHS, Education, and Wages/Poverty/Benefits - or other topics relevant to our core topics of cuts and privatisation that you suggest

* Help identifying, creating and sharing the best social media content

* Help identifying people who might be willing to speak to us about the impact of cuts and privatisation on them

* Help filming, editing and sharing videos featuring the best of the above

* Donations to help fund the above work and targeted social media advertising

* Volunteers to host stalls around the constituency on Saturday each week before the election

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 May 2017 11:17 )
 

School Cuts

Thursday, 25 May 2017 13:45 administrator
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Below is the text of our leaflet on cuts to schools which we have been handing out recently. For more information go to: schoolcuts.org.uk

 

Unless the Government allocates more money,
schools will lose  £3 billion  a year in real terms by 2020.

98% of schools’  costs are rising  faster than their income.

60% of secondary schools are running a  deficit budget .

 

 

What that means in GLOUCESTERSHIRE

An estimated reduction across all schools in Gloucestershire in real terms by 2020, under current Government policies

–£32,002,649 Budget change by 2019

–£424 Per pupil   –859 Teachers

 

 

Locally Stroud Schools face the following cuts

Archway School

cut by 12%

Callowell Primary School

cut by 9%

Cashes Green Primary School

cut by 10%

Gastrell’s Community Primary School

cut by 11%

Marling School

cut by 12%

Rodborough Community Primary School

cut by 10%

The Rosary Catholic Primary School

cut by 7%

Severn View Primary Academy

cut by 3%

St Mathew’s Church of England Primary School

cut by 7%

Stroud High School

cut by 11%

Stroud Valley Community Primary School

cut by 15%

Uplands community Primary School

cut by 6%

Thomas Keble

cut by 12%

 

 

The General Election is a chance to change this

 

 


WHAT CAN I DO?

 

 

 

        Get informed

 

 

»   Visit  www.schoolcuts.org.uk   www.stroudagainstcuts.co.uk

»   Attend a husting and find out what your local candidates say about education.

 

        Spread the word

 

 

»   Let other students, parents and staff know at your local school.

»   Talk to friends, family and neighbours.

»   Write letters to the Stroud News and Journal, Stroud Life, The Citizen.

 

        Use your vote

 

 

»   Make sure everyone you know is registered to vote. (Deadline to register to vote for the General Election is  Monday 22 May.)

 

 

Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 May 2017 13:49 )
 

Press Release: Campaigners call public meeting to make NHS, Education and poverty issues in the general election

Tuesday, 09 May 2017 11:11 administrator
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Press Release: Campaigners call public meeting to make NHS, Education and poverty issues in the general election


  • What: Public Meeting for supporters of Stroud Against the Cuts
  • Where: Stroud Old Town Hall, The Shambles
  • When: Thursday 11th May, 7.30-9.30pm
  • Free entry/donations welcome


Campaign group Stroud Against the Cuts, which led a successful campaign to keep Gloucestershire's community health services in the NHS in 2011/12, has invited its supporters to a public meeting to discuss the General Election tomorrow, Thursday 11th May. Organisers say the meeting, at the Old Town Hall in the Shambles from 7.30-9.30pm, will be about how to make NHS privatisation, cuts to schools and rising poverty issues in the General Election.

James Beecher, a member of the group's organising committee said: "Stroud Against the Cuts isn't connected to any political party, but we believe there are issues that need to be make central to the discussion ahead of the election, and voices that need to be heard. The government's cuts to the NHS budget and privatisation policies have created a crisis in the NHS and a threat to its future. We're also worried about the £3bn/year cuts to school budgets that the Conservatives are planning by 2020, and want to make sure that parents and teachers fears are part of the debate. Our group was set up to fight cuts and privatisation, but we're also concerned about the growing poverty we see in this country - at our meeting on Thursday we'll be talking about how we can make sure that the voices of people experiencing the impacts of the government's policies are heard"

More information is available on Facebook, and elsewhere on our website you can find details of what we'll be discussing. Contact: James Beecher - 07734 058789

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 May 2017 11:19 )
 


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