When the Tories talk about devolving power to local communities what they really mean is delegating cuts.
The Government have cut local government to the bone since 2010 and they continue to impose cut upon cut, hitting the most deprived areas the hardest.
Communities and local Government Secretary, Greg Clark announced a £300 million transitional grant for councils suffering the harshest cuts.
Yet, 85 per cent of the grant goes to the Tory authorities, which have suffered the least since 2010. Labour councils are to receive just four per cent of the grant, leaving major Labour-run urban areas with no transitional funding at all.
Labour welcomes the support for councils who are struggling with Tory cuts but this appears to be a Tory stitch-up to win over potential Tory rebels who had threatened to vote against the settlement.
It’s astonishing that the five most deprived councils in the country – Middlesbrough, Knowsley, Hull, Liverpool and Manchester – will receive nothing under the grant, while the five most affluent areas– Hart, Wokingham, Chiltern, Waverley, Elmbridge – will collectively receive £5.3m.
Last week we had the outrageous spectacle of Jeremy Hunt’s imposing a contract on junior doctors which has led to an unprecedented situation in the NHS.
He has completely failed to listen to junior doctors and has deliberately inflated the issue of the junior doctor’s contract with delivery of seven-day day services.
Rather than helping to resolve this difficult dispute he is gambling with patient safety.
Unfortunately it now looks as though more strikes are likely.
If that happens, it will be clear that the blame lies with the government, not the doctors.
Labour has appealed to Jeremy Hunt that “even at this late stage, to go back and negotiate with the BMA”.
If he doesn’t, he will destroy the morale of junior doctors which is already at rock bottom.
His decision could lead to a protracted period of industrial action and a junior doctor recruitment crisis, which would be damaging to patients.
I recognise the huge contribution junior doctors make and the years of training they go through to look after us.
These are people dedicated to our health and our NHS, it’s time the Tories realised that.
One of the biggest privileges of being the MP for Rother Valley is to be able to show people from the constituency around Westminster especially school groups who usually have the best and sometimes diverse questions.
This week it was the turn of Dinnington High to come and look round and quiz me on various topics.
The questions varied from Trident to equal pay with a question on education funding thrown in as well, it was great to see a group of teenagers so in touch with the big issues of the day.
Once they had finished their tour, they were off for a ride on the London Eye.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the adults who help out on these trips, they wouldn’t be able to go ahead without you.
As I said earlier I would encourage as many people as possible to come and visit Westminster, if you would like to arrange a tour please contact my London office on 020 7219 6306.