Nic Dakin MP

Standing up for Local People

Young People

My name is Rayne Killingbeck. I live in Ashby and am currently in Year 10 at Frederick Gough School. I'm enjoying my work experience in Nic Dakin's office and this is my blog.

I like books, writing and playing the violin. I am also interested in politics, and the inner workings of our society. It is what helps neighbourhoods and nations function in an ever changing and increasingly tricky to navigate global community. Now more than ever it is important that people stay aware and alert of the problems and challenges that they and others are facing. Young people especially become increasingly vulnerable to a world that changes and restructures itself in complicated and unpredictable ways. Although we are told that politics is only for adults to be interested in, and even then it is a slightly strange hobby to keep up to date with parliamentary decisions and progress (or lack thereof), it is becoming progressively more necessary for us to take it upon ourselves to make ourselves sufficiently knowledgeable on local, national and global areas of interest. The decisions being made will affect younger generations just as much as anyone else and it is in our best interests to make ourselves informed of these matters.

One area that has seen an increase in national interest in recent years is one of our counties most prized possessions: the NHS. Many people have criticized the government for the lack of funding the NHS receives, and many blame the insufficient funds for many of the other complaints people often have, such as the lengthy waiting times often experienced in Accident and Emergency departments. Hospitals are accused of owning out of date equipment, or of spending funds unnecessarily and prioritising trivial and unimportant matters. A proposed solution to this problem is to use a so-called ‘Brexit dividend’ (money saved from not being required to pay fees to the European Union) to partially fund an extra £20bn per year for the NHS by the year 2023. However, the exact details of this plan are not yet known to the public, and many question whether they are known to the government either. It is expected that, to achieve this goal of increased funding, taxes will need to rise. Unsurprisingly, many people are unhappy with the idea of having to lose more of their wages to the government, but no other feasible routes of gaining money for this purpose have been thus far suggested.

What many people seem to forget, however, is that inadequate resources are not the only reason for the struggles our National Health Service is faced with on a day to day basis. The abuse that the service receives from citizens of the UK who take it for granted undeniably contributes to the challenges that staff are constantly faced with. For example, Accident and Emergency departments are often used by people whose problem is neither an accident nor an emergency. This plays a part in increasing the wait times in A&E departments; less than the target of 95% of patients were being seen within four hours in November of 2015. An excuse often heard by those guilty of using A&E inappropriately is that seeing a GP would cause too much stress and hassle, but the cause of this in doctor’s surgeries is often the same as in hospitals. The improper use of the surgeries is commonly the root cause of appointments being unavailable, or waiting times being unacceptably long (a issue similar to the one common in A&E).

People often forget how lucky we are to have access to the healthcare that we do, and consequently the services are taken for granted repeatedly and consistently. The lack of sufficient funds has undoubtedly at least partially caused the problems in the NHS that are obvious today. However, it cannot be ignored that the role played by the general public in helping to harm our healthcare services is a significant issue that needs to be investigated and managed.

Rayne Killingbeck - Our NHS

My name is Rayne Killingbeck. I live in Ashby and am currently in Year 10 at Frederick Gough School. I'm enjoying my work experience in Nic Dakin's office and this...

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Last time I posted was the day before I moved to university. The timing of this post just so happens to fall on the day before I move back to university for my second semester.

It’s safe to say I’ve had a good first semester. I’ve adapted to living independently, I’ve attempted cooking and more importantly I’ve passed all my modules so far! I even managed to get a First in my first midterm exam! Exams are fast approaching again (when are they not?) which means the next few weeks of my life will be full of revision.

Some people say university is harder than A-Levels. In some ways I can see that but in others it’s completely different and I feel it can’t really be compared. Whilst studying A-Levels, I was essentially spoon fed the information and it was just a case of copying from the textbook. But at university I have a lecture on a topic, a workshop seminar on the same topic and then I have to pick from an extensive reading list of what to read to prepare on that matter. It’s so much more work than college yet the freedom to choose what you read, the freedom to engage lecturers who are experts in that field is incredible and so different to college. To have such easy access to such incredible minds is truly remarkable.

The modules at university are so varied and differing, I’m constantly learning more and more- on matters I already had considered myself to be strong in! As I’m studying British Politics and Legislative Studies it means that despite only being a first year, I have some modules with the second year Politics students. At first this was a very intimidating thing for me, as the second years already had the base knowledge that I was still studying alongside this. But over the first semester I grew to enjoy this as it allowed a different range of students to bounce ideas and questions off, rather than the same people who were in my other modules.

I was also fortunate enough to attend the Labour Students Political Weekend in Liverpool, where events included a keynote speech from Shadow Cabinet Minister Emily Thornberry and varied to panel talks on what should be done in the first 100 days in a Labour government to the power of trade unions. This was a remarkable, eye opening experience, which not only allowed me to find friends across the country but educated me remarkably on how diverse and talented our party is, how the party is composed alongside allowing me to form stronger political views on policy matters I hadn’t considered once before.

Before I started university, I already knew I wanted to join societies. After all, not only does is bring with it typical student socials such as drinking, but many more opportunities for self-growth and political knowledge and opinion to grow, alongside a group of like-minded individuals. A personal favourite of mine are mock parliaments, where in the last one I argued as Leader of the Opposition for a motion on grammar school reinstatement. Societies also offer up many opportunities such as the trip with the Politics Society to Parliament recently, where we were given tours by current Hull students who are on placement there. When studying at university I feel that it’s so important to look at and join societies, even just for the social environment and friendships that you find within them.

Overall I’ve had an incredible first semester at university, and I hope that the second semester will be as good, if not even better than the first!

Jessica's Blog: First Semester

Last time I posted was the day before I moved to university. The timing of this post just so happens to fall on the day before I move back to...

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My name is Anna and I am currently in my final year of a social science degree at North Lindsey which involves a number of different subjects, one of which is politics. I'm a mum of 2 and was born and bred in Scunthorpe.

I am volunteering in Nic’s office to gain some experience in this area by looking at the duties Nic and his team undertake at the local constituency office. 

I thought I would use my first blog to talk about the contentious issue that is Universal credit.  This is relatively new to the Scunthorpe area with it being rolled out last week by the jobcentre.  From the outside it appears that this is a great way to help people manage their money more efficiently.  However, it has to be noted that nationally, where it is already in place, there have been many reported problems, and the main one is that many claimants have developed significant rent arrears.

Nic, back in September, asked for the Government to reconsider the expansion of it, to attempt to ease the pressures present already in the areas where it is already in place.  At the very least, there should be agencies in place where claimants can get any help they may need, especially with the housing benefit element.  Some of the requests put forward during a meeting by landlords at a round table meeting, were to end the 7 day waiting period for new claims. To improve the digital element for full service and to create a transitional funding pot so that landlords can support vulnerable tenants.

Whether this will affect Scunthorpe residents in the same way remains to be seen as it is still in its infancy in this area.  

Anna's Blog

My name is Anna and I am currently in my final year of a social science degree at North Lindsey which involves a number of different subjects, one of which...

 

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Today is my final day in Nic’s office before tomorrow’s move to university! What better way to spend my last day in Scunthorpe than with politics and cake?

It’s been around a year and a half since I first visited Nic’s office and it has been an incredible adventure! From writing emails, blog posts and research to even attending training courses and visiting Westminster multiple times and much much more.

I am incredibly grateful for all the opportunities that have been given to me by Nic and his team throughout the year and a half that I have been coming to the office.

Although this may be my last update for a while, it will not be the last. Whether it’s in my third year of university when I’m on placement in Parliament (hopefully with Nic!) or in the time I visit home during my entire time at university, I can guarantee that I will return.

So to conclude, farewell for now but I shall see you again soon.

Jessica's Blog: Farewell

    Today is my final day in Nic’s office before tomorrow’s move to university! What better way to spend my last day in Scunthorpe than with politics and cake?...

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As a current student of Politics at the University of York, I’m excited to gain some ‘hands-on’ experience within the political world. Having recently joined the Labour Party, I decided that it was appropriate to assist in building a fairer society in a time of great political turmoil. We face numerous challenges both locally and nationally, which threaten to undermine the quality of services provided to the many.  Therefore, it is in my firm belief that only a Labour government can fully address these issues. In the era of debate on such ‘high political issues’ in which it is easy to forget the issues faced by real people, I look forward to helping resolve the daily issues faced by real people in Nic’s constituency.

As a member of York United Nations Association, I have a keen interest in international affairs. This, alongside my position as International Organisations editor for the York Politics Review leads me to be disappointed in the outcome of the 2016 Referendum on membership of the European Union. However, it is extremely important we respect the due course of democracy. Thereby, it is extremely difficult to find any support for the Great Repeal Bill, with the slant of due process and parliamentary scrutiny with the proposed Henry VIII clauses. 

Robbie's Blog

As a current student of Politics at the University of York, I’m excited to gain some ‘hands-on’ experience within the political world. Having recently joined the Labour Party, I decided...

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