Upper Calder Valley helps Rochdale send warm clothes, food and medicine to people of Aleppo

The first of two 40 foot containers was sent off from Rochdale to Aleppo in Syria on 22nd December. It contained warm winter clothes, food, medicine, medical equipment, nappies, etc – all donated by hundreds of people and businesses from the region. The second container will be going to Aleppo in early January.

Upper Calder Valley, which received so much kindness and help from total strangers this time last year in the aftermath of the Boxing Day flood, donated many clothes. Continue reading

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Hebden Bridge Welcome Festival a huge success

Nearly 400 people attended the Welcome Festival on Saturday 29th October at the
Birchcliffe Centre in support of asylum seekers and refugees. Most of the performers on the day were refugees. There was a famous Syrian singer and his daughter coming from Bournemouth, the Songo Drummers Project, the Harmony Choir from Leeds and Dave Nelson and Charlie Carr from Hebden Bridge. For the children there was also face painting, arts & craft activities and making figures out of balloons. Continue reading

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NHS Commissioners hand £378K to commercial consultants Attain for work on Slash and Trash Plan that threatens statutory services

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From April – October 2016, the West Yorkshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan Programme Management Office has been run by a private sector consultancy company called Attain, at a cost to the NHS of £377,976 for work. 12% of this will be Attain’s profit, according to its website. Attain’s Chief Executive, Martin Wilson, is a former partner in KPMG.

attain-logo-doing-the-privatisers-workThe STP will be completed on October 21st – the deadline for handing it over to NHS England.

It has been drawn up in considerable secrecy, and will only be published after NHS England has made it fit for public consumption. This is a change of plan.  Until last week, when NHS England issued the instruction to Clinical Commissioning Groups not to publish their STPs until NHS England has seen them and commented on them, the plan was for the West Yorkshire STP to be published on October 23rd or 24th. Continue reading

Care Closer to Home – too bad there’s little or no evidence it would work

People are rightly very exercised about the proposed hospital cuts and A&E closure – but the proposals to move hospital services into the “community” are equally devastating.

This bit of the “Right Care Right Place Right Time” shake up – which should really be called “Less Care, Fragmented Hither and Yon” – has the potential to wreak destruction on the bit of the NHS that most of us use more than anything else – our GP/primary care services.

This is Part 2 of Plain Speaker’s attempt to begin to answer some key questions about so-called Care Closer to Home. (You can find Part 1 here) Continue reading

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Help from Council for people who’ve been flooded out of their homes

Info about help for people who’ve been flooded out of their homes is on the Calderdale Council residents’ flood help website in the section:

“Help available through the Discretionary Housing Payment scheme”

Anyone who has had to leave their home temporarily due to flooding and is in receipt of Housing Benefit may be able to get assistance with the following:

  • Bond payments if moving into a private tenancy
  • Removal costs
  • Shortfall in rent if temporarily moving into a property larger than the household needs

Please complete and return to us the Discretionary housing payment form [(downloadable here

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Clinical Senate rubbishes Right Care Right Time Right Place clinical model

Anyone wanting to ask a question at Calderdale CCG governing body meeting  on 10th Dec has until 5pm Tuesday 8 Dec to email it in, to susan.holmes2@calderdaleccg.nhs.uk

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The agenda and all the papers for the Gov Body meeting are online here.

There are many questions to ask about Agenda item 8, Changing the hospital services. Continue reading

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Huddersfield’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Community condemns terrorist attacks

Fatihul-haq, President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Huddersfield South, whom Plain Speaker met at Huddersfield Planet Festival at the end of the summer, has asked us to pass on the word that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Huddersfield utterly abhors the carnage that was carried out in Paris last Friday.

The people murdered in the Paris atrocity will be remembered at services this Friday, 20th November, when prayers will be said in their memory at Mpsque Baitul Tauhid, Spaines Road, Fartown HD2. Special services will be starting at 12.45 and there will be one minute silence prayers.

The World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Caliph Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, has said:

“On behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community worldwide, I express my heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the French nation, its people and government following the heinous terrorist attacks that have taken place in Paris. This brutal and inhumane attack can only be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Continue reading

All welcome at 25th July Dewsbury workshop on how to defend the NHS against the privatisers’ plans

Dewsbury Keep Our NHS Public invites everyone to JOIN THEM on Saturday 25th July in sunny Dewsbury, from 11am – 4pm at Dewsbury Women’s Centre, (men are welcome :)), 7 Wellington St. WF13 1LY, where Dr Anna Athow (retired Consultant Surgeon & BMA member) will give a presentation on NHS England’s Five Year Forward Plan – so that we know what we’re dealing with.

There will be lots of opportunities to ask questions and discuss what these proposals mean to the hospitals, community and public health services and GP surgeries in our areas – as well as gaining an understanding of what is happening nationally. Continue reading

Tell Craig Whittaker MP to keep the Human Rights Act

If you’re a Calder Valley citizen and want to keep the Human Rights Act (HRA), please tell our MP Craig Whittaker to join with pro- Human Rights Tory MPs and argue and vote against the government’s attempt to repeal the HRA.

Here is a template for an letter/email to send him – obviously change it as you see fit.

You can copy and paste it into this email form and then send it to our MP. Continue reading

Questions about transfer of £millions to #Calderdale Council from hospitals Trust that faces year-end deficit

These are the questions Plain Speaker is asking Calderdale Adults Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel at its meeting this evening. The Scrutiny Panel is scrutinising the Calderdale Better Care Fund plan to transfer money from the NHS to a pooled budget run by both Calderdale Council and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group. Continue reading