Batten down the hatches

They circled like vultures waiting for their prey, private sector providers hoping for NHS contracts who had travelled all the way to Worksop to listen to the drugs and alcohol consultation.

If a public service is cheap, efficient and effective, then why meddle with it? However we are stuck with a tendering process begun last February.

One of the problems is that any other new service provider will have to find new buildings to rent in Retford, Carlton, Harworth and Langold.

The taxpayer would of course lose out, as these organisations have no staff and no premises in the area. Money would be wasted on unnecessary offices and new managers. Or as the meeting comprehensively concluded, we can keep our NHS services, cheaper, better value and more effective. I was re-assured by what I heard from the councillor responsible, Joyce Bosnjak, who made clear she did not want to throw away our cost saving services. The County Council was given a very clear, unanimous and unequivocal view from everyone that Bassetlaw wants to retain its current NHS services and not be sucked into a larger Notts contract. Of course this goes for all the NHS. Any private provider has to make a profit and this is at the expense of service provison. It is not as if the County Council haven’t got enough headaches to deal with over £150 million of government cuts. Think the unthinkable we are told and I can see jobs at threat and public buildings going. Does anyone seriously expect all our libraries to survive such cuts for example? We should look at how services and jobs can be saved by combining services onto one site. As an example I would much rather that a library moves into a school than we lose the service overall. We are going to have to batten down the hatches, as George Osborne and David Cameron want many more cuts than what we will face this year.

Some in Parliament want to get rid of the NHS; the BBC and anyone else who asks questions. Every charity is currently under threat, including the Royal British Legion, cancer charities and even Christian Aid. The Government is proposing laws to silence any criticism of government.

What is the most important road improvement needed in Bassetlaw? I am sure that there are many that readers can propose, but none can be as important as a dual carriageway to Sheffield. Notts money has always prioritised roads into Nottingham, which is understandable, but of no use to us. Rotherham and Sheffield have sorted themselves out, but neither Nottingham, nor Sheffield have bothered with this cross border road.

I am pleased to see Bassetlaw Council pushing it to the top of their priority list and about time too, now we need others to back this and either Nottingham or Sheffield to give us that backing. It will be wholly unacceptable to have the only dangerous single carriageway between Worksop and Todwick as if we are some remote desert island. I am therefore contacting all the authorities to see what they are prepared to do to sort this out.

MBA Polymers are going from strength to strength, an incredible 99 per cent of the materials of British cars are now recycled after they are scrapped and this Worksop company is the world leader in recycling the plastics. I have invited government Minister Vince Cable to visit the site to see what government can do to help it expand further and he has agreed in principle to visit. I recently arranged a meeting, which I attended, with the company and Mr Cable in Parliament and I am hopeful that they will be able to expand production and take on more workers.