Solidarity saved our court from axe

Whilst Bassetlaw Council is being cut by more than any council in the south of England, with an 8.9% cut next year, care home fees are to rise by an extraordinary amount, the fire service is getting the largest cut in the country and 300 Notts front line police officers are to be early retired there is one glimmer of light.

We were the only local campaign that won a reprieve for our court where the Lord Chief Justice and Government Ministers recommended closure.

One hundred local courts are being shut down, continuing the mad rush to centralise all services into the big cities, but our local campaign has kept Worksop magistrates court open.

We had, so I am hearing, lots of letters going in clearly with very good arguments about the false economy of closure. Local solicitors, the Council, police, staff, unions and the general public all supported the campaign and everyone in the meetings I organised played a big part.

Special praise should go to the staff, Magistrates and local solicitors who marshalled their arguments very effectively and in my meetings with solicitors we ensured that the arguments being put were the right ones and were all complementary to one another.

The lessons from this victory will help us in planning campaigns on both the hospital and the fire service in the New Year.

I notice that none of the Non-Executive Directors of the hospital or the Primary Care Trust have requested any information from the Department of Health on the proposed shift of services from our hospital.

This begs the question: do they know what they are voting through? I invite the Bassetlaw Non-Executive Directors to meet with me on this issue and if they wish to debate them in public, after all they are making profound changes that cannot be reversed.

Neither Councillor Wanless or Councillor Quigley have so far agreed to meet or debate with me on this important issue, so what about the other elected executives?

HHH

If the weather forecasts are correct and we have another big freeze this weekend then we will very quickly see whether the County Council has again failed to get grit to where it needs to be. I have been pressing hard on this, and as ever they claim that they are doing everything that is necessary.

If we again have the inept leadership from Notts County Council – ignoring our plight up here in Worksop, I trust that one of them will do the decent thing and resign which is what the Transport Minister did in Scotland. There is no reason why pensioners, schools, shops and doctors surgeries should not be accessible every day of the year.