Guest columnist: Only the fire service should be running the fire service

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

This week I met with local fire officers who came down to Parliament to campaign for better funding and against cuts to the fire service.

We discussed a range of concerns that they have.

One of these concerns included the idea that fire and rescue services should be taken over by police and crime commissioners.

On that point my view is that the police have enough on their plate already and fire officers should be allowed to run themselves.

I have always supported our local fire officers and will continue to do so on all the issues they raised with me this week.

I have written before about the proposed NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan, which will have a major impact on the health service in our area.

Last week, I met with the people charged with creating the plan, who asked me to sign up in support.

I refused to do so.

I am unwilling and will remain unwilling to sign up to, and add my support to, any plan which seeks to move services from our hospitals.

And I made this clear to them.

We need clear guarantees about the future of Bassetlaw Hospital and I will not support it being turned into a cottage hospital.

I also made my alternative proposal of giving the NHS control over the social care and public health budgets.

This will be a positive way forward to strengthen the local NHS and the local hospital.

I will be meeting with them again and will keep you all updated on what is happening to the NHS in Bassetlaw.

I also joined campaigners in Worksop last weekend in calling for our local NHS to expose the increasing waiting lists and huge cuts this government is imposing on our NHS.

Last week I was delighted to attend the local Illuminate event.

This was held to mark the run up to the 400th anniversary of the Bassetlaw Mayflower Pilgrims landing in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The event was organised by the local churches and saw school students perform and then the local community gather outside for a candle ceremony.

It was an evening when the Bassetlaw community came together and remembered the important role people from our area played in the founding of American democracy.

There will be many more events in the run up to 2020.

For more than two years I have been campaigning for more prison officers.

Low numbers of prison officers puts them at risk and means that prisons can spin out of control.

Now that more money has been announced I will make sure that it goes to Ranby, which has seen serious problems in recent years.

I’ve invited the Prisons Minister to visit Ranby with me, where I will make the case to him in person.