Fossil Free West Yorkshire were out in St George’s Square Hebden Bridge on Saturday 17 September. Armed with dusters and mops to clean up the West Yorkshire Pension Fund, they were collecting signatures for the petition to divest the Pension Fund from fossil fuel companies.
Calderdale Council estimates that 1,250 businesses have been affected by the Boxing Day floods. These businesses can apply to the Council for financial support to help them get back on their feet.
Businesses that are eligible for the grant are small to medium enterprises, charities and other third sector organisations.
A grant of up to £2,500 per business is available to help them open up and start trading again after damage caused by the Boxing Day storm. The funding covers costs such as clean up equipment (generators, dehumidifiers, lighting, brushes etc), building and stock security, IT and electricity, temporary accommodation, specialist advice and marketing to keep customers informed. Continue reading
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#NHS Detectives are on the case, collecting evidence to thwart the crime of privatisation.
Here is our report on the privatisation of some mental health services in Calderdale – some mental health hospital services, and community mental health services for Children and Adolescents, and for Adult Drug and Alcohol Recovery. Continue reading
Three NHS and social care organisations are planning the future of Calderdale’s mental health rehabilitation and recovery services.
Only two of them have explained their proposals to Councillors on Calderdale Council’s Adults Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel. They want to cut beds and put patients into their own homes with unclear “support” in the community.
If you are affected by these proposals, please contact Plain Speaker.
Research shows that cutting mental health beds puts patients at increased risk of suicide. Continue reading
Calderdale Council has unanimously agreed a motion that calls on their NHS commissioning partner, Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group, to delay the public consultation on proposals that are more than likely to cut Calderdale Royal Hospital acute and emergency services, until there is evidence that taking community services out of the hospital and transferring them to GP hubs reduces acute and emergency hospital admissions.
The Council’s motion sidesteps the fact that the Care Closer to Home scheme (transferring community services from the hospital to GP hubs) is a big change to Calderdale NHS and we need to be consulted on this too – not just on the hospital cuts.
What kind of patient care and NHS staff working conditions will come with Care Closer to Home? We know the community hubs will employ less qualified staff like physician associates and there will be big reliance on voluntary carers, family and friends. Continue reading
Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS Campaign Group were out on the street in sunny Halifax on Saturday 11 July to launch their Calderdale Public Service Users petition, which is addressed to Calderdale Council.
Hundreds of people signed the petition and the campaigners were kept busy answering questions from passers by.
The Petition calls on Calderdale Council to set up a new procedure for providing public services, so that the Council:
- is always the preferred provider
- publicly justifies every decision to privatise services
- only awards contracts to companies that observe both UK and international Human Rights Law, recognise Trade Unions, pay a living wage and have no history of fraud, tax dodging or endangering public or employees’ safety
- fully informs the public about all public service contracts, at all stages- from what contracts cover to how the Council manages them
- favours local companies and requires big contract winners to subcontract to local companies
Through its privatised household waste and recycling service, Calderdale Council have been handing over public money to a subsidiary of a global waste and water company that puts profits above the human right to water and other vital utilities.
But Calderdale Council’s contract with Sita runs out shortly and the Council has put a new waste and recycling contract out to tender.
This raises some questions about:
- the conditions that Calderdale Council requires companies to meet, before they can bid for contracts to run our public services
- the specifications for the household waste & recycling service – what it collects, when and where.
Plain Speaker suggests that the process of privatising public services should include the online publication of all procurement documents, so the public can see what our money is being spent on, whether the contract specifications meet the public’s needs and whether companies bidding for the contracts are ethically fit to provide public services. Continue reading
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The Secretary of Calderdale NHS 38 Degrees campaign group has slammed a statement by Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals trust’s Chief Executive and other hospital bosses across England, that they’ll accept the government’s proposed £22bn efficiency cuts in exchange for the Prime Minister’s backing for rapid hospital cuts and closures, and funding for “new models of care”.
Among these new models of care are Calderdale’s “Care Closer to Home” scheme, which aims to cut acute and emergency hospital services by taking services for frail elderly and chronically ill patients out of Calderdale Royal Hospital and putting them into the “community”.
Owen Williams, Chief Exec of Calderdale & Huddersfield hospitals Trust, recently co-signed an NHS Confederation letter to the Prime Minister where NHS bosses accepted the government’s £22bn “efficiency” cuts programme for the NHS, while calling on the new Conservative government to honour its manifesto promise of an £8bn extra funding/year to carry out the big changes identified in NHS England’s 5 Year Forward View, plus funding for “transformation” and social care. Continue reading
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Calderdale Council’s Budget Proposals 2015/16 – 2017/18 include swingeing cuts to local services, in order to “balance the budget” in the face of massive and unprecedented cuts by central government to the local government support grant.
Labour has put forward an alternative budget that includes the use of prudential borrowing and Council reserves to invest in income-generating public services, like affordable housing and business support – but it still proposes making major cuts as laid out in the Tory/LibDem Budget.
Both the Labour and the Tory/LibDem budgets include big cuts to Adults Health and Social Care (AHSC) services.
£2.5m is the target for cuts in 2017/18 to be achieved through cutting Council social workers loose from the Council and setting them up as a “mutual” business. Both the LibDem/Tory budget and the Labour budget include this measure. Continue reading
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The dismemberment of our NHS proceeds apace.
On 7th January, the private community health care company Locala announced that Calderdale Council has awarded them two new NHS contracts in Calderdale.