Tag Archives: 40

More than 40 Tory MPs demand extra funding for the councils they’ve been starving

Rubbish: will domestic refuse collections be cut back – again – if Rishi Sunak and his government refuse a plea from more than 40 Tory MPs for the restoration of funding to local councils?

Tory MPs who gleefully nodded through cuts totalling three-eighths of local council funding are now demanding extra cash so the same councils can fend off bankruptcy. Is it because this is an election year and they are afraid they’ll lose their Parliamentary seats?

More than 40 of them have joined dozens of others in demanding extra funding to avoid big cuts in council services.

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Here’s the BBC:

The group of 46 MPs, which is made up of 44 Conservatives as well as Labour’s Daniel Zeichner and Liberal Democrat Sarah Dyke, includes former ministers Priti Patel, Robert Jenrick, Greg Clark and Damian Green.

The letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove was co-ordinated by the County Councils Network and the County All-Party Parliamentary Group.

It urged the government to provide extra funding for local authorities ahead of a vote in the Commons next month “to ensure that the councils in our areas can continue to provide the services that our residents depend upon”.

There has been growing concern across the local government sector about council funding, with particular pressure on the cost of providing care for vulnerable adults and children, as well as housing services.

The government said it had announced a £64bn funding package for councils.

In December, the government announced the amount of funding it plans to make available to councils from April, and said it represented an average increase of 6.5% compared to the year before.

It is interesting that the Tory government said it was providing £64 billion in funding, when apparently the amount of cash it made available for councils fell from £41bn to just £26bn between 2010 and 2020.

Perhaps some of the extra cash is so-called ‘Levelling-Up’ money?

If so, Labour’s Luton North MP Sarah Owen has something to say about the way that money has been allocated:

Most of the response to the Tories’ call for cash has been ridicule – and for obvious reasons. They knew they were taking money away from local councils when they voted for austerity cuts to their funding, so they knew that services would be cut.

These responses therefore seem entirely appropriate:

Rishi Sunak is facing the possibility of another rebellion when Parliament is asked to approve a new funding deal for local councils in the near future.

It seems that these Tories have presented their government with a lose-lose situation: either set themselves up to lose the funding vote in Parliament, or set themselves up to lose the election when the amount of funding approved by Parliament turns out not to be enough.

Perhaps this is a good moment to remind you that the people of the UK can have all the public services they want. The only thing missing is the political will to provide it.

The UK is the fifth-richest economy in the world, meaning there is plenty of money available. Most of it is held by a small number of extremely rich millionaires and billionaires, many of whom would not object to paying a little more tax if it frees up money for public services.

But the Tory government – including some of the MPs now demanding more funding – is determined to cut taxes for the richest people, rather than increasing them.

This is a problem that the Tories created for us, with a plan to blame councils in the face of any backlash. Now it is backfiring onto them. Serves them right.


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Jeremy Corbyn hints he’ll stand in next general election as he marks 40 years in Parliament

Jeremy Corbyn chats with one or two friends in his constituency… Oh, all right. This is in fact how he was greeted in Leeds, back in 2017.

This will be mud in the eye of the Brylcreem Barrister (as some call him) and his cronies.

Left Foot Forward has reported:

The former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has today given his strongest indication yet that he intends to stand as a parliamentary candidate for Islington North in the next general election.

In a Twitter thread marking the 40th anniversary of him first being elected as MP for Islington North, Corbyn said: “It has been an honour representing the people of Islington North. With your support, that is what I’ll continue to do.”

Rumours have proliferated that Mr Corbyn will stand as an Independent since the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee passed a motion by Keir Starmer that barred him from representing that party in any further election.

Now, as he celebrates 40 years as a member of Parliament, he has given the strongest hint yet that this is exactly what he’ll do.

He’s certainly had a lot of support on his anniversary.

Thanks to Corbyn and the movement that grew around him, we have seen how popular left-wing policy positions can be. We now know they almost won a general election despite the most hostile press and Parliamentary Labour Party in political history

wrote Chelley Ryan in the Morning Star, adding:

There is a solidarity that runs deep amongst us all, forged during the Corbyn era.

In the same paper, David Rosenberg wrote about Mr Corbyn’s dedicated work fighting racism and fascism:

And Lindsay German examined his life of pro-peace activism:

Source: Jeremy Corbyn hints he will stand in the next general election 40 years after he was first elected – Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate


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Tory hospital fail as Sunak and Barclay abandon plan for 40 new builds by 2030

In denial: Steve Barclay (front) and Rishi Sunak (behind) are trying to hide the fact that NONE of the 40 hospitals they have promised the NHS will actually be built by 2030 – if ever.

Have you noticed how the Tories always manage to achieve plans that will profit them – on time, with a minimum of fuss – but never complete projects to help the population as a whole?

For example, their boast that they would build “40 new hospitals” by 2030 is now in tatters after Health Secretary Steve Barclay admitted that it simply isn’t going to happen.

In any case, the 40 projects weren’t in fact new hospitals anyway, as this extract from a 2022 article shows:

By their definition, of the Government’s 40 ‘new’ ones, 22 can be classed as rebuilding projects; 12 as new wings of existing hospitals; three rebuilds of non-urgent care hospitals; and three can truly be termed ‘new’ as people who speak the English language understand that word. Oh, but two of the three actually-new hospitals will open as old ones close, as replacements. Both were planned anyway, before 2019.

They only fit the government’s own criteria of what constitutes a new hospital, rather than conforming with those of the general population:

These criteria, according to the document, can include: “a major new clinical building on an existing site or a new wing of an existing hospital, provided it contains a whole clinical service, such as maternity or children’s services; or a major refurbishment and alteration of all but building frame or main structure, delivering a significant extension to useful life which includes major or visible changes to the external structure.”

The author of that article now has this to say about the Tory claim:

Despite the admission that the work isn’t going to happen within the 11 years that the Tories had given themselves to get it done in their 2019 manifesto, Barclay was still trying to kid us all that we would be getting 40 new hospitals at some time in the future, when the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg interviewed him today (Sunday, May 28, 2023):

As you could hear, he was in fact referring to the hotchpotch of rebuilding projects, new wings and so on, described above.

His claim that patients would not mind, either way, is of course nonsense. In the UK, 7.3 million people are waiting for treatment and 40 fully-staffed, state-of-the-art new hospitals would have addressed that waiting list. A few new wings and replacements won’t.

It’s typical Tory policy.

They always prioritise what they want – and to hell with what you need.


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Can you believe this Tory is still pushing the ’40 new hospitals’ lie?

Conservative MP Lucy Frazer tried to push the old Boris Johnson lie that 40 new hospitals are being built, during BBC Question Time on Thursday (October 27).

Maximilien Robespierre discusses it here:

The issue is that, if it had been a straight interview between Frazer and a BBC journalist, she would have got away with her lie. It was only because Julia Hartley-Brewer, of all people, called her out that she didn’t.

Standards of broadcast journalism have clearly fallen very low for that to be allowed to happen.

And her attitude when caught out was that people shouldn’t get angry about the fact that she lied!

Of course we should be angry. She is an elected politician; we expect her to be truthful with us.

Hopefully she’ll lose her Parliamentary seat at the next election but This Writer won’t be holding his breath waiting for that to happen. People vote for the party they support and/or the leader they like, rather than the individual drone who’s actually up to take their local seat.

It’s a shame. If we all put a little more thought into what our votes support, Westminster could be a very different place.

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Johnson’s 40 hospitals promise is ‘unachievable’ – like all their empty promises to help us

Boris Johnson: he promised the NHS 40 new hospitals but all he gave it was the clap.

Has any Conservative government promise since 2010 – to improve our lives, our security, our well-being in general – actually been honoured?

I don’t mean promises to offer slight relief to those of us affected by their decisions – like the furlough scheme that provided a fraction of wages to replace those lost because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

I mean promises like this offer of 40 new hospitals. Remember the attempt to claim that new units built at old hospitals were actually new hospitals, in a vain bid to fool us into thinking they were making good on Johnson’s falsehood? And now we know it won’t happen at all.

So that’s my question:

Have the Tories lifted a finger to improve the quality of life in the UK – for the majority of its citizens – in any way since they were elected in 2010? Have they done anything? At all?

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Tory NHS lies may derail election campaign after health bosses highlight staffing crisis

The reality of the Tory NHS: Jill Woolley, a former NHS worker, who has dementia, was forced to wait six hours for treatment on a trolley inches away from overworked NHS staff. That is what Tory cuts have done to the UK’s once-proud health service.

Remember when Tories from Boris Johnson down were falling over themselves to boast about building 40 new hospitals?

Then they were fact-checked, and it turned out there was enough money for just six NHS trusts that had a hospital in desperate need of rebuilding.

A further 21 trusts were earmarked for “seed” funding, to help plans that would not come to fruition until the end of the next decade.

So the “40 new hospitals” claim was a big lie, really.

And now NHS leaders are making dire warnings about under-staffing at hospitals across England – which is the Tories’ responsibility.

So instead of being benevolent providers who catered for all patients’ needs, the Tories have in fact been shown up as skinflints who are starving the system:

Hospitals are so short of doctors and nurses that patients’ safety and quality of care are under threat, senior NHS leaders have warned in a dramatic intervention in the general election campaign

Nine out of 10 hospital bosses in England fear understaffing across the service has become so severe that patients’ health could be damaged. In addition, almost six in 10 (58%) believe this winter will be the toughest yet for the service.

It seems the Tories know this can cause them serious harm:

The views expressed by senior NHS figures on Tuesday will heighten the anxiety in Conservative ranks that the health service’s growing problems risk derailing the party’s campaign in an election members hoped would be dominated by Brexit.

So what will they do?

Any new announcements will be greeted with scepticism because of the “40 hospitals” deception.

Health will certainly be under discussion in the leader debate on ITV this evening (November 19), so it will be fun to watch Mr Johnson squirm.

Will you be bringing popcorn?

Source: Nine in 10 NHS bosses say staffing crisis endangering patients | Society | The Guardian

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Pay-to-see-GP service expanding across the UK as Tories expand ‘two-tier’ privatisation of NHS

Under the new scheme you can bribe your doctors to see you first by giving them £40. Do you have a spare £40? [Yes, I know the image uses dollars].

This is utterly repellant.

The Tories are saying you can skip NHS queues by paying for NHS services.

It is completely unfair and a betrayal of the principles of fairness on which the NHS was founded, as it pushes the poor back down the queue and ensures that they remain sicker, longer.

It does, however, support the principles on which the Conservative Party is based – rich people first; poor people last.

It would be welcome to hope that users of the health service will refuse to participate in this betrayal – but people do what they must, and Tory supporters will do it to spite the others.

Let us hope that the Labour government that is coming will ban this project as the divisive and dangerous attempt to undermine the nation’s health that it is.

A revolutionary new Uber-style service that guarantees same-day GP appointments is to be rolled out across the UK next year.

Billed as an answer to patients being unable to get appointments to see their doctor it is a bid to ease the NHS by mobilising their part-time GP workforce.

The unique online service called Doctaly has been branded the ‘next online game-changer’ and enables patients to skip NHS queues to see a GP privately within a couple of hours – for a one-off fee of just under £40.

Source: Same day £40 service for face to face meeting with GP to expand across the UK – Mirror Online


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Fracking set to be banned from 40% of England’s shale areas

The Guardian is reporting that regulations proposed by the Labour Party and approved by the Coalition Government mean fracking will be banned from two-fifths of the land in England.

[Image: The Guardian.]

[Image: The Guardian.]

Labour faced harsh criticism last week, particularly from the Green Party of England and Wales, after it failed to support that party’s call for a moratorium on fracking that would have banned it altogether. Green supporters suggested that Labour had done a deal with the Coalition to abstain on the moratorium in return for support over the 13-point regulation scheme.

In fact, according to the newspaper, “Ministers were forced to accept Labour’s new environmental rules last week to avoid a rebellion by Conservative and LibDem backbench MPs, many of whom are facing opposition to fracking from constituents.”

So there was no dirty backroom deal and 40 per cent of England is free of fracking whereas, if Labour had supported the Green moratorium, none of England would be protected.

The article continues: “Neither the government nor Labour have stated how much of the land available for future shale gas drilling – 60 per cent of England – would be affected by the new bans. But a Guardian data analysis has revealed it is 39.7 per cent, with large swaths of the south and south east off-limits, as well as the Yorkshire Dales and Peak district.

“An independent analysis by Greenpeace also found that 45 per cent of the 931 blocks being licensed for fracking in England were at least 50 per cent covered by protected areas, which it said was likely to make them unattractive to fracking companies.

“Just three per cent of of the blocks have no protected areas at all, Greenpeace found.”

Well played, Labour! That was a good afternoon’s work.

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