Calderdale Council’s futile motion on hospital consultation

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

Big support for new petition that asks Calderdale Council to keep public services in public hands

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

Continue reading

Posted from here.

Sita’s parent company has successfully sued Argentininan government for putting human rights above its profits

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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Hospital bosses’ “irresponsible” acceptance of £22bn efficiency cuts will harm patient care

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 plans further massive cuts to Adult Social Care

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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#Calderdale Council privatises School Nursing Service

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.

The Council has taken away these contracts from our hospitals Trust, which is in the middle of serious financial problems. Continue reading

Posted from here.

Calderdale Community Energy sets up as Community Benefit Society

In January 2014 the Coalition government announced its Community Energy Strategy.  At the same time Calderdale Council’s Cabinet voted to accept proposals for the Council to set up a community benefit society, Calderdale Community Energy, in partnership with local third sector organisations like Hebden Bridge Alternative Technology Centre and Pennine Community Power.

The aim is to support the development of community renewable energy projects in Calderdale. Continue reading

Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.

Calderdale’s Energy Future & the Green Deal

Written in 2012, updated in 2013 and now re-posted. Sorry comments have been lost in the process.

Calderdale’s Energy Future (CEF) strategy expects householders to cut 25% of their carbon emissions by 2020, based on 2005 levels. To achieve this target, the Council will encourage households to buy in to the Green Deal.

This is despite the fact that even the government’s own advisers on the Climate Change Committee have calculated that the Green Deal won’t work, and recommend instead that the Big Six energy companies should pay for insulating homes across the country, on a street by street basis. Continue reading

Posted from here.

Calderdale Against Bedroom Tax underwhelmed by Council’s vote to review policy for awarding Discretionary Housing Payments

A majority of Councillors at the full Calderdale Council meeting on 2nd October voted that Cabinet should re-examine the Council’s policy for awarding Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs), to make sure that the awards are made to as many residents as possible who need help with the Bedroom Tax

They also voted for a review the Council’s Housing Strategy to make sure that the supply of affordable housing meets the needs of residents, especially smaller households. Continue reading

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The People’s Commission that isn’t – Calderdale Council shies away from public hearing on hospital cuts and closures

On Monday 28th April, Calderdale Council Cabinet authorised the Chief Executive, in consultation with Party Leaders, to finalise the terms of reference for a People’s Commission on Health and Social Care, arrange for the Commission Panel to be established and arrange for the initial call for evidence.

The only thing is, what the Cabinet has set in motion doesn’t seem much like a People’s Commission.

A People’s Commission is a way for civil society to highlight unresolved violations of law, in a public hearing of evidence and testimony from anyone who’s affected. Continue reading

Posted from here.