Banbury Constituency Labour Party
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Hands Around the Horton – A massive show of support to retain vital services at Banbury’s hospital
Banbury Labour Councillors and supporters joined a coalition of other political parties, unions and campaign groups in a “Hands Around the Horton”, mass demonstration, on Sunday 20 August 2016, in a bid to save acute services.
In plans unveiled recently by the Hospital Trust a number of services at the Horton Hospital, Banbury, are under threat, including maternity, special care baby unit (SCBU), children’s ward, most trauma/orthopaedic work, medical services and A&E. The Trust say they are having difficult in attracting consultants to Banbury, but the strategy of concentrating specialist surgical units at the Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, at least an hour’s drive away, remains on the cards.
Banbury Labour Councillor Steve Kilsby says, “Moving maternity services to Oxford will undoubtedly lead to distress for mothers and babies, and almost certainly lead to deaths. The Trust has to think its whole strategy out again, and acknowledge the increasing health demands of Banbury and its large hinterland
I am increasingly of the opinion that OUHT see Banbury as a soft touch. What would happen if the proposals (and actions) of the Trust were visited upon Oxford itself? The middle classes would be in revolt, and the Trust would be forced to climb down. Well, today’s actions demonstrate that Banbury is not taking any nonsense about removing or diluting our services either.
Councils have been forced to implement savage cut to services. There is now nowhere to run. We lose our buses so people cannot get to their GP or hospital and the ambulance service is so stretched emergency journeys from Banbury to Oxford are in jeopardy.”
Banbury & Bicester CLP’s
Supper & Seeing Red Special
Ethan is the journalist (& author of The Slaughter) who exposed one of the great human rights abuses of our time:
the harvesting of body parts in China – and why the west has turned a blind eye.
Canal Authority has taken notice of towpath safety concerns
Residents at Chamberlain Court, opposite Castle Quay, approached their local councillor because they were worried that a serious accident might happen due to speeding cyclists along the towpath.
Labour Cllr Surinder Dhesi took up their concerns with the Canal and River Trust who have now have posted signs asking cyclists to slow down and “Share the Space’.
Chamberlain Court resident Jenny Ratcliff said, “There are often groups of young cyclists racing along the towpath and I’m worried that some of our residents if taken by surprise could be injured or end up in the canal.”
Cllr Surinder Dhesi said, “We want cyclists to enjoy the towpath but some need to be more aware of pedestrians, particularly frail ones.”
A spokesperson for the Canal Trust said, “We are holding a ‘Share the Space’ event on the towpath on the morning of Tuesday 27th September to raise awareness of our towpath code. This forms part of a National Campaign week in which we will promote cyclists slowing down and pedestrians taking care on towpaths around the county.”
Tory Councillor refuses to resign after potential loss of £600,000 to Cherwell District Council
Tory Councillor Ken Atack, Lead member for Financial Management on Cherwell District Council (CDC) is resisting calls for his resignation, despite a potential loss to the council of £600,000.
Sean Woodcock, Leader of the Labour Group, brought the issue to the public’s attention in February of this year but so far the council is no nearer resolving it.
Sean Woodcock says, “Four years ago, Tory-led Cherwell District Council overpaid £1.5m to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
At the Full Council meeting on Monday evening (18/7/16), I asked the Leader to confirm how much of this money has been recovered. The answer is none.
We know because of this failure to recover this money after four years, that the council faces a loss of up to 40% of it. That is £600,000 lost.
We also know that this authority has lost investment income of £20,000 a year for each of the last four years from this overpayment.”
Due to an error the council paid DCLG £1.5m more that was due in business rates for the 2011/12 tax year. Recent letters from the Department indicate that the council will only recover about 60% of the overpayment, resulting in a loss of £600,000.
This week, and four years later Cllr Barry Wood, the Tory Leader of CDC, said, “I can confess that the money still rests with Her Majesty’s Treasury, ……….. and, as soon as there is something constructive to be told, Councillor Woodcock will be the first to know.”
Sean Woodcock says, “A few months ago I asked the Conservatives’ lead member for finance, Councillor Atack, to take responsibility for this shambles by resigning. He has not done so.
With an unknown amount CDC is spending on consultants and lawyers, the loss to the council grows month by month. I once more ask him to resign.”
Banbury & Bicester Labour Party involved in cross-party efforts to save Horton services
Labour Councillors joined a coalition of other political parties and campaign groups in a mass demonstration outside the hospital’s maternity unit on Tuesday (26 July 2016) in a bid to save acute services.
Sean Woodcock, leader of the Labour Group on Cherwell District Council, said, “We are very angry about this threat to the obstetric service at the Horton. Only last week at a meeting in front of district councillors, and the week before at an event open to the general public in Banbury Town Hall, the Trust were saying that any changes to provision at the Horton, including to Maternity, would be made on the basis of improving clinical outcomes first and foremost.
Now they are saying that maternity may close, primarily because of a shortage of staff. Well which is it? People in Banbury will rightly feel they have not been given information in good faith.”
In plans unveiled recently by the Hospital Trust a number of services at the Horton Hospital are under threat, including maternity, special care baby unit (SCBU), children’s ward, most trauma/orthopaedic work, medical services and A&E.
Sean Woodcock says, “All of us want to see a Horton hospital that is properly resourced and with the services that users need. We will now continue the work that we have been doing with the other councillors and the community to protect services at the Horton. We have already discussed with local MP Victoria Prentis the idea of another ‘Hands Around Our Horton’ event which she has now organised and which Labour will be fully supporting.”
Verging on the ridiculous – Councillor Andy Beere knocks heads together to kick major irritation out of the long grass
Andy Beere, Banbury Labour Councillor for Grimsbury got his dander up at last week’s council meeting about the chaotic situation where beautifully manicured grass verges, sit alongside un-mown stretches not unlike the impenetrable ‘rough’ on golf courses.
He put forward a motion, seconded by Labour Cllr Barry Richards, mandating the council to get together with Oxfordshire County Council, town councils and parishes, to sort it out once and for all. Unusually, the Labour Motion received cross-party support.
Cllr Andy Beere says, “We all as councillors have phone calls about grass verges, we all have phone calls about tree cutting, we all have phone calls about who owns what bit of land and who’s responsible for what.”
He added, “There are boundary disputes as to who cuts what, where and how. It applies in the villages, it applies in Bicester, it applies everywhere. This is what this resolution is about. We’ve just got to get on with it.”
Special Supper Club – Sponsored by Terry and Anne Davis with proceeds donated to the CLP
Guest Speaker: Professor Danny Dorling
Thank you Danny Dorling for a stimulating evening on Saturday 16 July at Adderbury Institute.
Danny Dorling is Halford Mackinder professor of human geography at Oxford University. He is an expert on housing, pollution & inequality. He is the author of a number of books including All That Is Solid, Injustice: Why Social Inequality Still Persists, Inequality and the 1%, and his latest book, A Better Politics.
MAKING BANBURY BETTER TOGETHER – Tell Us What You Think
We in the local Labour Party want to exert a positive influence on the future of Banbury and would welcome your views.This short survey will take you less than a couple of minutes – simply PRESS the red button
The Banbury Labour Party constituency is divided into 3 Branches:
- Banbury Town
- Bicester & District
- North Oxfordshire Villages
To work out in which Branch you live, see the constituency map.Since May 2010 your local Labour Party has been actively campaigning against the speed and scale of cuts to public services that are affecting the most vulnerable in our local communities. These include cuts to housing, transport services, policing, libraries, health and social care.The Conservative-led Coalition cuts go too far and too fast and, through increased unemployment, low paid jobs, many with zero hour contracts, there is a highly negative effect on the economy which although showing some small signs of recovery is still extremely fragile. There are almost a million young people unemployed which is a shocking statistic. As the burden on state services from cost of living crisis increases, the budget deficit becomes harder to reduce. The Banbury Labour Party is fighting for a strategy for growth, an increase in employment and better paid jobs, and reducing the deficit through this growth, rather than excessive cuts.