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Peter Lamb: “The NHS can be saved”

In his article this week, the leader of Crawley Borough Council talks about Labour’s plans to reverse ‘the Conservatives’ slow privatisation of our NHS’.

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Last Sunday, Jeremy Hunt became the longest-running Secretary of State for Health in UK history.

Given that when Theresa May tried to remove him in January he not only hung on but emerged with new responsibility for social care, his talent for survival really is impressive, it’s a pity his impact upon the survival of the NHS doesn’t look quite so rosy.

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Back in Summer 2017, Crawley’s Clinical Commissioning Group, the body responsible for paying for all local residents’ NHS treatment, fell into Special Measures as they were no longer able to afford the treatments people needed within the budget the Government had allocated them.

At the time we were told that there was ‘no clear plan’, a phrase we hear far too often about the Government, as to how they would close the funding gap with suggestions that Crawley patients would face a rationing of treatment. Unfortunately, almost a year later we seem no closer to a solution.

The idea of a loved one going without life-saving treatment because the Government has decided Crawley has already had its share of healthcare is heart-breaking, beyond that it’s just morally wrong.

This week, Labour announced its plans for reversing the Conservatives’ slow privatisation of our NHS, bringing the service back into public ownership and its financial resources fully-focused on delivering healthcare for those who need it. The NHS can be saved, you just need a Government which believes it’s worth saving.

It’s often claimed that Nye Bevan, the founder of the NHS, said it would survive for so long as there were those left with the faith to fight for it. We believe that healthcare isn’t an optional extra, it’s what makes us a decent society. We’re going to go on fighting for it, and with your support we’re going to win.

Cllr Peter Lamb
Leader, Crawley Borough Council

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Opinion

Mayor Carlos Castro: Easing Crawley’s Post-Brexit fears

In his article, the Crawley Mayor talks about an event held in Broadfield to allow ‘many unanswered questions’ to be put forward to officials: providing some Post-Brexit clarity for Crawley’s Portuguese community.

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On July 14th, I had the pleasure to work with the Portuguese Consulate to bring clarity to the Portuguese community living in Crawley and surrounding areas regarding their rights Post Brexit.

There has been a lot of unanswered questions since the referendum from the Community and after taking the Mayor’s Office May 18th, bringing peace of mind to EU nationals was on top of my to do list.

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The Portuguese Consulate Officers were in attendance at the Mayor Making and coincidently they had the same idea in mind. It was that night that we started to make plans on how, where and when we could put this event together.

The event took place at the Broadfield Community Centre at 3pm. We had in attendance over 100 local residents, somehow only Labour Councillors in attendance, and a journalist reporting to the Journal de Noticias (Portuguese newspaper) and it was here that many unanswered questions were given a chance to be put forward to officials.

Sadly, within a couple of hours of this event starting, it became a political target! A Facebook post and later on the Crawley Observer, it stated that this event was being called as a way of scaring EU Nationals, that there was nothing to be afraid and called my efforts playing politics. Since when is putting your residents first a “political gain”! The role of Councillor is to help all constituents and as a human being embrace diversity.

Such statements were not only an insult to the community, but also a disrespect to the work of the Government Officials who came down from London to speak to these residents in aid of clarifying their doubts and worries.

The same way, giving someone a website to visit and fill out a complex application isn’t all that there is to getting “settled status”! Many questions referred to divorced parents, custody matters and which parent can do what, as well as how the Consulate will be or not be able to play a role in helping its Nationals with the process. We also had questions from residents who already have resident status and would they need to apply as well and those who may struggle with the language.

So telling residents that there is nothing to worry about when their own party started this, is absolutely ridiculing those who fear Post Brexit. A better man would have empathy, a better politician would have a better interest in his community.

This event was so well attended and well received by many, I now plan to put together another event where all of EU residents can attend and be offered the same opportunity to be given peace of mind. I urge everyone to share this news with your EU co-workers, neighbours, friends, family to get in touch. Together we can face this beast and keep what I call Post-Brexit fears away.

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