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Monday, 6 April 2015

Colchester Needs Investment in Health and Policing Not Cuts To Them

I nearly choked on my coffee last week when I read in the East Anglian that Colchester General Hospital plans to axe 240 full-time jobs by this time next year. The hospital was rated as “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission in January this year.According to the East Anglian article an email has been sent to the 3,400 members of staff at the hospital in which Chief Executive Dr Lucy Moore said the trust faced financial difficulties. Dr Moore apparently said only non-clinical roles were expected to be lost and compulsory redundancies “could not be ruled out” but would be “few in number”.
Assuming that the article is correct, it highlights how outrageous the situation is in Colchester with regard to over development and lack of infrastructure investment to cope with it. It doesn't require a degree to work out that building thousands of new houses and sucking thousands of new people into Colchester and then CUTTING hospital jobs is crazy. I honestly despair. In particular I despair that our elected representatives are not shouting from the rooftops how mad this situation is and that we cannot take the 30,000 extra homes that are planned for us without a corresponding increase in healthcare provision. If I was elected as MP it would be one of the first things that I will raise in the House of Commons
But this is just one aspect of the current barmy situation which Colchester is in . According to the 2001 census, Colchester town's population was 104,390. By the time of the 2011 census it was 121,859. That is an increase of over 17,000 in just ten years. By now it will be even higher. Yet have we received a level of investment in our NHS, transport systems and police services to match this massive population increase? Have we hell. Central government now expect Colchester to take 1000 new homes per year with a main target of 30,000.
A recent article in the Gazette pointed out that Colchester's violent crime rate per capita is now higher than that of inner city Birmingham and Liverpool. Yet in a recent TV appearance with Jeremy Paxman, PM David Cameron admitted to a live audience that if the Conservatives win the general election then cuts to police funding will continue.
Therefore Colchester is expected to put up with thousands more people, thousands more cars but with cuts to NHS provision, inadequate investment in our police services and a continued lack of investment in more school places.
The situation is frankly bonkers and unfortunately none of our elected politicians are challenging this level of expansion. Moreover, while they all like to talk about us needing more infrastructure investment, their record on delivering it is minimal. 
The Green Party is committed to a massive investment programme in our public services to match any expansion. We will use the £80 billion saved by not renewing the Trident missile system to pay for this. In addition we will preserve our green spaces and challenge the mad drive for expansion and growth at all costs which is the root cause of the problems. Only the Green Party is serious about challenging the mess that Colchester is in at the moment.

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