Grantham Journal column: ‘Services are at risk - we must protect them’, says Labour councillor Charmaine Morgan
Labour members believe passionately in the need to protect key public services and our party is built on a tradition of fighting for the rights of ordinary people.
Despite promises from the coalition Government that we can trust them with our frontline public services and our economy, the evidence is rapidly stacking up to the contrary.
South Kesteven District Council’s Conservative Group are pushing forward high profile projects with no real strategic vision for Grantham. The Emperor’s New Clothes comes to mind as they ‘coo’ at the new relief road.
They just cannot understand the concerns of those joining the Labour Group, who voted against the Southern Quadrant plans, because the potential benefits from the relief road will be outweighed by the impact of 4,000 more homes and 12,000 more cars on existing communities. And so an opportunity to build more social housing is lost.
Despite a judicial review, Lincolnshire County Council has announced it proposes to continue with plans to close 30 libraries across Lincolnshire by 2015 unless volunteers come forward. Grantham Library will remain open, however we have already seen reduced library open hours at Grantham, with little time now available for people who work during the week to visit their library.
Our fire and rescue services also face cuts, as full-time officers are replaced by firefighters who will be required to travel to the fire station when called out in some areas, and thus risk delayed response times. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is calling for protestors to join them in Lincoln City centre at 11am tomorrow (Saturday).
Our hospital services are not safe either as Grantham Hospital’s A&E struggles to cope and there is a further delay in the public consultation over the future of health services in Lincolnshire.
At a national level, David Cameron has been working behind the scenes to implement the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This deal would have enabled corporations to sue future Governments if laws written by us to protect our workers’ rights and public national assets, such as our NHS, affected their ability to make a profit.
It was the democratic process within the EU that enabled us to collectively say ‘No’ (at least for now) to a deal that would have undermined democracy and public services across Europe to the benefit of the multinational businesses involved.