A Deceitful Government.

The Crown Prosecution Service is expected to announce before the General election in June whether around 30 Tory MPs will be criminally charged over the alleged 2015 election expenses scandal.

The Conservative Government has also broken a legal deadline to announce any changes to the state pension age, leaving millions of older voters in the dark about their future pensions. The Government is legally mandated to review the state pension age by May 7th, as set out in the 2014 Pensions Act.

The Cridland review recommended scrapping the triple-lock pension, which guarantees a minimum annual rise to the state pension by 2.5 per cent. It also recommended raising the state pension age from 67 to 68 between 2037 and 2039, which would affect almost 6 million people. For people who are younger than 30, they might find themselves working until the age of 70. Our Conservative Government are a bunch of self-serving crooks. They tell the electorate as little as possible; retiring at 70 will not be in the Conservative manifesto, not a chance, but it will happen.

The campaign group Transparency International, whose head of UK advocacy and research Rachel Davies has said: “It’s absolutely true that the UK is one of the leading financial centres for the laundering of corrupt money from overseas, whether through the property market, luxury goods or other sectors”.

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A&E Attendances Are Up 4.1%

It was interesting that my MP, asked the Secretary of State for Health, what the average employer pension contribution is for a junior doctor. The written answer that she received was that junior doctors are at the bottom of the pile, when it comes to employer contributions. I am not sure if her intension was to highlight the plight of junior doctors under this Government. Our NHS seems to be out of the media spotlight, now that Brexit and Grammar schools are under the media spotlight.

The performance of our local NHS trusts is well below standard. The long-term trend is one of missed targets, with emergency admissions up 3.8%, diagnostic tests up 6.1% and consultant-led treatment up 4.2%. A&E attendances are up 4.1%. The NHS is a wonderful organisation, but it seems that we are getting more emergency treatment. Is this because we are less healthy and general practitioners are failing to respond due to lower budgets?

Flood Defence Funding Lower

 

After the tidal surge that hit the East coast the Environment Agency said 800,000 homes in England had been protected by flood defences and better forecasting had given people “vital time” to prepare. When David Cameron came into office they cut millions of funding for sea defences. In 2011 flood defence funding was cut by 8%. The effects of climate change are not being taken seriously by this Government. Since the last tidal surge of 1953, sea levels are around 6 inches higher.Image

 

In 2005 Hurricane Katrina and the associated tidal surge that accompanied it killed more than 1800 people. The effects of Climate change was predicted to bring more precipitation and more severe weather conditions, but yet few are linking last weeks tidal surge to climate change, despite it being Dover and Kents’ highest recorded sea level in more than 100 years. Insurers are bracing themselves for new claims over damage to homes and businesses, just two months after storms in southern England led to payouts of over £100 million. Our Government needs to wake up, instead of funding the Arts Council and other such organisations, they should put more money into coastal and flood defences.

Day Trip Pensioner

 

Cuts to local bus services is affecting the elderly. This is why a blanket free bus travel for the pensioners is poor use use of public money. The cuts to local bus services are affecting the people that most needs free bus travel; whilst the “day trip pensioner” gets a free jolly. There was an article in the Telegraph recently about a pensioner couple, Michael and Jacqui Burden, they decided to leave their two cars at home and instead hopped from one local to service to another as they travelled between their Devon home and Carlisle. These are the people that do not need free bus travel; yet the tax payer is funding it. Whilst the real deserving pensioners just wants to get to the local clinic or hospital, has to pay for a taxi because the bus services are too sparse.

 

Todmorden and Climate Change

 

The town of Todmorden has a long history of flooding from the River Calder and Walsden Water. In 2005 the Environment Agency began major engineering work to improve flood defences in Todmorden, and other work has also been carried out, right up to 2012. But the reason we are seeing more flooding is excessive rainfall. In 1972-82 there were only 5 days with more than 10mm of rainfall; but in 2002-12 there were 7 days with more than 10mm of rainfall. But in 2002-12 there were more days without rainfall, and there was actually more rainfall in total in 1972-82. What we are seeing is exactly what climate change scientists have predicted; that climate change would significantly increase the number of days that severe thunderstorms would occur.

Oxymoron – Health and Safety

 

Figures produced using Met Office temperature data, says that the risk of ill health and death increases for every degree above a particular maximum threshold. The temperature in Leeds on 19th July were 20*c, very hot for many people. Last year, on the same date, temperatures were 12*c lower. The ambulance services have seen a 9% increase in call-outs. Andrew Jenkins, deputy director of medical and clinical services, said: “It is fair to say that the weather has affected all the demand”. Health bosses said there was a big jump in new attendances at A&E during the first half of July compared with the same period in the previous two years.

The NHS advises people to keep cool and drink plenty of fluids in order to avoid heat exhaustion, heatstroke and dehydration. And what does my employer do? They tell me that I cannot wear shorts because its against health and safety policy. Surely this is just very poor management using health and safety as an excuse? I drove passed a school crossing patrol officer (lollipop man), and he was wearing his full length coat. The thing that I have in common with that lollipop man is that we are both employed by the health and safety mad, Leeds City Council.

the leeds citizen

citizens-panel-your-leeds-your-say-a6-adWhy is it that so many of us are so stubbornly resistant to joining in with anything to do with local government?

I only ask because it turns out that our local council’s flagship vehicle for finding out what we think and what we’re worried about – the Citizens’ Panel – is struggling to get enough people to sign up.

Re-launched as a mainly online tool in October last year by Leeds City Council, the panel set itself the target of enlisting 6,000 people to participate in regular surveys about local services and issues.

That’s 6,000 over-18s from a population of around 600,000. Just one per cent.

But only 3,900 of us have bothered so far, despite a pretty comprehensive promotional campaign that used social and traditional media, plus educational, housing and other networks to reach up to 200,000 of us.

“Efforts to undertake citizens panel recruitment have been more…

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