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Peter Lamb: Celebrating the NHS

The leader of Crawley Borough Council says “without a major change at the top we won’t be celebrating the NHS’s 80th Birthday a decade from now.”

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Last weekend, I was out with other Labour councillors and activists in Queens Square and at Broadfield Barton celebrating our NHS’s 70th Birthday.

As part of our celebration we were handing out birthday cake and asking members of the public to sign giant birthday cards for past and present NHS workers, letting them know despite the pressures they’re facing Crawley residents are behind them.

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Our NHS is part of what makes this country great, the principle your right to life shouldn’t be based on what you earn or who your parents were. Residents were extremely keen to sign the cards and leave their personal messages of support, sadly many also wanted to tell us how concerned they were for the services’ future. It’s a concern I share.

Crawley’s NHS provision has never faced as great a threat as it does today. Our town’s Clinical Commissioning Group, which is responsible for financing all our local health needs, has been in Special Measures for the last year as they can’t afford to pay for all the healthcare we need with the budget the Government has allocated, raising concerns over the future rationing of care. Meanwhile, GP provision in the town is now at the point of breaking.

Our MP promised us £350m a week in new NHS funding when he campaigned heavily for Brexit, money which has now been proven to have never existed. Even the latest announcement on NHS funding falls far short on what healthcare experts say is needed. It’s not over-the-top to say that NHS funding is a matter of life and death and the Government have proven themselves either unwilling or unable to deliver. All the figures now show, without a major change at the top we won’t be celebrating the NHS’s 80th Birthday a decade from now.

Cllr Peter Lamb
Leader, Crawley Borough Council

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Francis Guidera

Councillor Francis Guidera: Supporting Thomas Bennett

Councillor for Tilgate Francis Guidera, on his visit to Thomas Bennett Community College with fellow Conservatives Duncan Crow and Crawley MP Henry Smith.

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Crawley MP Henry Smith and Conservative Councillors Duncan Crow & Francis Guidera with Thomas Bennett students, Chelsea players/trainers and new Head, Mr Bianchi.

On Friday 21st of September, Henry Smith MP, Cllr Duncan Crow and I spent 3 hours with students and the new headteacher of Thomas Bennett school.

We had a tour of the school to see for ourselves how classes were being conducted, followed by a one hour lunch meeting with about 10 students from all years up to 6th form where we discussed a broad range of ideas ranging from how students support each other both as fellow students and as young people to how we can get this positive message out to you, the people of Crawley that it’s a great school with amazing facilities and brilliant teaching and leadership teams. The students were very impressive!

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We then attended the opening of the new 3G football pitch with some of the Chelsea players and trainers, and students and finally had a meeting with the new head, Mr Bianchi to discuss ways in which we can help.

Thomas Bennett is a great school and I would be quite happy for my daughter to go there if she wasn’t already in another great Crawley school, and local parents really should attend the open evening because spaces are limited!

I will be supporting the school and the new head in every way I can, as will Duncan and Henry.

And finally, thank you for the invite Mr Bianchi. A wonderful afternoon!

Cllr Francis Guidera
Borough Councillor for Tilgate

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