One of the consequences of government cuts is that public commitments can sometimes be broken. I saw this in a meeting I had with residents from a Housing Association (HA) assisted-places apartment block locally.
Many of the elderly residents had moved in with the promise that their would always be a full time member of staff on-site but this is no longer the case since April.
It’s changed because the HA says the county council has reduced funding and the council says it’s because funding from central government had been cut. The truth of it is they’re both right, but does that excuse a promise being ditched.
And if it does, what’s the currency of a promise? Now as a politician who has had to take some tough decisions before I am not ignoring the reality of economics. I am though of the somewhat old fashioned view that when someone makes a promise they should keep it; even if the outcome is difficult or inconvenient.
So, I will continue to liaise with the various parties to see if a half-way house solution can be found but if it cannot, I’m ready to row in on behalf of these vulnerable Eastbourne citizens who believed a promise when it was first given to them all those years ago.
Talking of saying one thing whilst doing another, I see that the Secretary of State for International Development has finally resigned. Frankly I think this was the right course as it appears she was not entirely open to the public or even the Prime Minister on a number of counts over her visit to Israel. The zeitgeist swirling around Westminster this last few days however was more that if Theresa May hadn’t acted, then whatever residual influence she has left over her Cabinet would be seriously diminished. An even bigger question many MPs are asking, and not just opposition MPs, is how can she keep Boris Johnson in post as Foreign Secretary after his gaffe in the last few days over the British Iranian citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. The PM is not in a strong position so I suspect she won’t sack him but I was struck how in the debate this week when he came to the House to explain his ‘misspeak’ (something he is having to do rather frequently), there were only a handful of Tory MPs in the Chamber to support him. Interesting times!
Meanwhile I had the pleasure of visiting our Accident and Emergency department a few weeks ago and met some of the staff. They do a very challenging job, as we all know, and I was struck by the tremendous commitment they had for the task and for each other. This was then highlighted by one of their team mentioning to me how, sadly, three of this close knit department had cancer, and it was looking rather grim.
She went on to say that all the A&E team wanted to show their appreciation for their colleagues so were planning a fundraiser in mid November to raise money for the Hospice and Macmillan Cancer as well as show their affection for their ill colleagues and would I help spread the word, which I’m very happy to do.
I know full well how a hospital A&E department can get pretty frantic and demanding sometimes, so the close relationships folk build with each other must be not dissimilar to those who have served together on active service.
The event is this coming weekend, the Shinewater Park Fun Run. Have a read of the details below and if you can, please join me in making a donation:
“The DGH A&E staff and friends are taking over the Eastbourne Park Run to raise money for St Wilfrid’s Hospice and Macmillan on November 11 at 9am. The Park Run is a weekly event that takes place in Shinewater Park around the lake every Saturday at 9am.
“Working in A&E isn’t like any normal job, it’s like working with your family and sadly three of our A&E family have recently been diagnosed with cancer. As nurses we are used to fixing things, making things better - but this is something we can’t do!
“So as a team, the whole of the A&E Department will proudly stand as one on the start line of Park Run on Saturday. Together we will show our colleagues that despite not being able to fix them and make them better, we are with them and will support them through their battles.’ If you want to donate please go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/becci-holdaway”
Good luck Eastbourne A&E; I know our town will step up for you in the way you so often do for us. That’s it folks. Have a good weekend and I hope to see you around town.