Grantham Journal column: Shame on you for this division and fear
With so many issues facing us at present locally it is hard to know where to turn.
Not only is there concern over some of the significant development proposals for our town but our local hospital is under threat. Many local people are struggling to get by and 500 job losses have been announced at Totemic. There has been outright condemnation of the Government’s sale of the barracks for housing land, which not only rides roughshod over any local plans or opinion, but also, with a pen, writes out a century of our town’s military history.
Our precious NHS is falling into a perilous state. Our most vulnerable people are at risk and this is leading to dreadful suffering. Our ambulance crews are under huge pressure. I was appalled to learn this week of two cases where local residents, both in their nineties, have been left lying seriously ill or injured waiting for hours for ambulances to arrive on the street. In one case, a lady, a former nurse, had a fractured hip having been trapped under her scooter. After a 4 hour wait, she gave up and having relied initially on kind members of the public for help, had to turn to her son for transport. The 999 ambulance that was called did not arrive at all. This begs the question over why the CEO of EMAS supported the proposals to divert A&E patients at night from Grantham to Lincoln or elsewhere. At such a time it would be so easy to be distracted from other odious Government actions which are crucially important to our humanity and about which we cannot and should not stay silent.
I recently came across both a local member of a migrant community, with whom I have worked in the past and a talented migrant artist who I have come to know as a friend. Since the EU Referendum, and subsequent Brexit result, they and other members of their community, have been left shocked and living in a state of limbo. Unable to plan for the future. Fearful of travelling overseas. Afraid to speak about their circumstances should they draw attention to themselves. How shameful that people in our town should feel like this. Without doubt it is prudent to have a migration policy that enables us to manage resources for the benefit of all. But, whatever we may think of the benefits or challenges of immigration I do not believe the majority of people in Grantham consider it morally acceptable for our Government to fail to give clear support to those people who have already made their lives here, many of whom have invested money and time in our community.
What makes the Government consider it is acceptable to treat us this way? To cut our vital services? To create division, uncertainty and fear? Shame on them.