Yesterday after giving a short interview to the London correspondent of Le Figaro I visited Rathbone a charity based on Brierley Street Bury. Rathbone enable young people who have experienced problems such as bullying or family breakdown to gain skills qualifications and go on to work experience. Together with the Labour Party Candidate I took part in a Question and Answer session when the question ranged from youth unemployment to the war in Afghanistan. Some of the young people were then given achievement awards in recognition of the progress they have made.
I was delighted to be able to welcome Conservative Party Leader David Cameron to Bury today. David called into Bury town centre and chatted to local shoppers.
I attended the Gallipoli commemoration Dinner on Saturday evening at Radcliffe Civic Hall. Earlier I took part in the Christian Muslim Harmony Walk from the Catholic Church on Silver Street to the Mosque on Yarwood Street.
Yesterday morning after communion at St.Anne’s I attended the Annual Meeting of Parishioners at which I was re-elected as one of the two Churchwardens for the following year. Immediately after I went to Bury Parish Church for the Annual Commemoration of the Gallipoli Campaign -it is the 95th anniversary this year.
Today, in between the usual campaigning I spent some time at Bury Church of England High School where they were holding a mock election.
I attended the Civic Flag raising ceremony outside the Town Hall at 9 am then made my way up (on foot I hasten to add) to he top of Holcombe Hill to join Councillor Theckston from Ramsbottom who has for a number of years been arranging for the Cross of St. George flag to fly from the top of Peel Tower each St.George’s Day. We were later joined by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. I climbed to the top of the Tower and the view as ever was spectacular.
Then it was back to campaigning and after speaking briefly to the congregation following Friday prayers at a couple of the Mosques in Bury I caught him with a few more phone calls and emails.
In the evening I visited two more of the local Conservative Clubs to have a word with the members and visitors.
David with Andrew Lansley and Councillor Michelle Wiseman
My colleague Michelle Wiseman the Conservatives Candidate in Bury South and I met with Andrew Lansley this morning the Shadow Secretary of State for Health. Andrew has visited Bury on several occasions and has spent many hours studying the on going fiasco surrounding the Children’s Services and Maternity Department at Fairfield. As things stand Labour decided that following a reconfiguration they were going to shut down the Children’s Department at Fairfield including the Maternity Department and the Special Care Baby Unit. The reconfiguration included a huge and very costly public consultation exercise. The public made their views very, very clear. The public were ignored. After an independent review of the initial closure decision the whole matter went to Labour’s Secretary of State of Health who decided that Fairfield’s Maternity Department would close.
Andrew Lansley has reviewed the latest figures for the number of births across Greater Manchester and today said “If I am Secretary of State for Health after the election Maternity and Children’s Services will be maintained at Fairfield and I will ensure this happens. In the long term there will be no change to this without the consent of G.P.’s in and around Bury who will in our reforms be responsible for commissioning local services”.
The choice for voters in Bury North is clear: Vote Labour and these services will be axed from Fairfield. Vote Conservative and if there is a Conservative Government the Maternity Department will be kept open.
After discussing Fairfield we went on to visit the Blackford House Medical Centre which serves both Bury North and Bury South residents.
This afternoon I visited the residents at Hewlett Court and answered questions on a wide range of issues.
This evening I took part in another debate with the Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates, this time it was organised by some of Bury’s Churches. Again the questions were wide ranging from the economy to M.P.’s expenses.