My Diary Week Ending 14th January 2018
It seems clear for all to see except this Conservative Government that our cherished NHS is in unprecedented crisis. The message from the front line is clear for all to hear. Never before have 60+ Directors of Emergency Care written an open letter expressing their worry about the severity of the situation. Yet the Health Secretary who has overseen this gathering crisis is rewarded with a bigger title in the Prime Minister's bungled reshuffle! You couldn't make it it up!!
When I met with the Regional Director of the Royal College of Nursing he confirmed that staff are continuing to do their level best but the pressures on them are greater than he can remember. And they still don't know if they will ever get a pay rise with the Conservatives in charge!
We all know that being able to walk and enjoy our green open spaces helps keep us healthy so I was pleased to have my annual catch up with the Paul Learoyd, Chief Executive of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. He remains concerned about the risks that Brexit poses to the environment but is encouraged by the things Government is saying.
However it's actions that speak louder than words and when you have Conservative North Lincolnshire Council continuing to grab bits of green, open space to build on that isn't good thing.
One of my New Year's resolutions is to do all I can to stick up for our area's heritage and green spaces - our identity - against the Conservatives desire to trample over it. It was good to walk round Ashby Ville Pond (pictured above) and Kingsway Golf Course (pictured below) - 2 local nature reserves - with Paul and see the potential that these spaces close to population have in delivering that contribution to healthier living so important for our future.
Through their generosity local people keep the Wildlife Trust going.
Another example of local generosity was clear to see when I dropped in to The Forge Project (see picture above) to see dinners being given to people who struggle to provide them for themselves. The sense of community support was heart-warming. One of the ways to tackle homelessness is through the work of the Forge and other agencies.
The police have a role in dealing with anti-social behaviour and it was good to hear from the Chief Inspector of Humberside Police on Community Policing about the increased investment going into this area, something Keith Hunter, Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner reinforced when I met him later in the day. Hopefully we will begin go to soon see the impact of this with more Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and police around and about and crime being dealt with more quickly.
It was a shock to hear about the explosion at the British Steel coke ovens. Fortunately no-one was hurt and down to the united, coordinated action of unions and management there has been no disruption to the business. Well done to everyone involved.
I was appalled that the Conservatives tried to put the most unsuitable Toby Young on to the board of the Office for Students and made the point that his position would be better filled with someone with strong Further Education (FE) experience. With 30% of Higher Education (HE) students coming from FE colleges and a significant number of HE students studying in colleges like our own fantastic North Lindsey College it's outrageous that there is no-one with this experience on the Board. Thankfully the resignation of Mr Young gives the opportunity for the Government to right this wrong. Let's hope they take it!