A new fight for our ambulance service

It’s one thing after another.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 19th April 2012, 3:14 pm

First we fought on the hospital. Then the Magistrates Court, then the fire service and then the police. Plus the many more unnecessary cutbacks.

Now we have a new one: a review of our ambulance service.

In their wisdom, the non emergency ambulance service has been privatised and across most of the East Midlands it has been given to Stagecoach, the well known bus operating company.

As a consequence, cuts in the 999 emergency ambulance service now have to be made and ambulance stations will be closed.

The consultation is to begin soon, but it is already clear that quite a number of ambulance stations will go.

I think we can all see where this is leading.

I have long argued for fire police and ambulance stations to be merged into one, saving overhead costs and helping share expertise.

Those ideas are dead and buried for the next few years.

We will have to fight hard to hold what we currently have- ambulance stations in Worksop and Retford.

Nobody rationally would argue for the whole of Bassetlaw, the size of Greater London, to be covered by one ambulance station, but I can see that coming.

It’s another unnecessary fight, but it is one we will have to have.

Meanwhile Parliament gets hot under its collar about whether multi-millionaires can claim back all their tax if they give to charity.

It really is a different world down in Westminster and one that bears little relevance to our needs and our wishes.

At least we have some good news on the horizon, as there are positive discussions about how we can get a ten pin bowling alley into Worksop.

I think it might be possible and I am working hard with others to make this a reality.

A bowling alley after the new cinema begins to really give our youth something to do and I think it changes the attitudes in the town and will improve the reputation of our area for the better.

The Treasury Committee, at my instigation included the scandal of drawdown pensions in our report this week.

This issue affects already 300,000 people, many of whom do not realise yet, and two local people have lost 60 per cent of their pension overnight.

This is entirely due to the decisions made by George Osborne as Chancellor and I, and the Cross Party Treasury Committee are demanding urgent action.