I had an interesting and informative meeting yesterday with the Acting Chairman and the Director of Strategic Planning about the future of services at Fairfield Hospital.
We spent most time on discusssing the future of Maternity Services. The decision taken to close the Maternity Department in December is to be reviewed by an Independent Review Panel who will send a report of their findings to the Secretary of State who will then have to decide whether or not to endorse their findings. One thing is clear there will not be a decision before this years local elections.
I have been at the North West Conservatives Conference – entitled the Blue Skies Conference – today at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton. The opening speaker was the Party Chairman Francis Maude MP. Next on was Councillor Susan Williams, the Leader of Trafford Council, then it was my turn to address the Conference. I had not been given any subject so I said a few words about Bury and I then took part in a question and answer session with Susan and the Shadow Chancellor George Osborne MP who was the main speaker and he wound up that debate. It was the first time North West Conservatives have held such a Conference since the Party was reorganised a few years ago and all in all it was very successful. The former MP for Bury North Alastair Burt who is now the Member of Parliament for Bedfordshire addressed the Conference in the afternnon and I had the opportunity to meet up with him again. It so happens that the Reebok is close by a target Ward in Bolton so as often happens on the way out Susan [my wife Susan not Susan Williams referred to earlier] and I were given a couple of hundred leaflets to go and deliver. As it was raining hard and already the light was starting to fade we decided that we will go back over to Bolton after Church tomorrow to deliver our leaflets.
Today I have been at the North West Conservatives Regional Conference at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium ( of which more later….) and last night I attended the pre-conference reception and dinner in the hotel restaurant which overlooks the pitch. With great good fortune for those Conservatives attending the dinner who were interested in sport rugby league’s World Club Challenge Final match was taking place between St Helens and the Brisbane Broncos. St Helens ran out 18-14 winners in a tense finale. Following on from the one day cricket success it was good to see the Brits on the winning side again.
Conservative Party Leader David Cameron MP attended the pre-dinner reception and was in good spirits when I chatted to him. Our guest Speaker was Jim Hancock the well known political broadcaster in the North West.
Now that is not bad. I have been writing my blog for nearly two months and no mention of the Labour Leadership! Well, time to put that right. With the announcement this week that Michael Meacher MP is to run following on from the announcement some months ago that Jon Cruddas MP would be running at least there should now be a contest. The only problem is that they both need to collect about 44 signatures from fellow Labour MP’s just to have their name put on the ballot paper. I very much doubt they will both manage this feat. Even if they do I think that the very left wing agendas they are both promoting would be unlikely to capture more votes in Labours complex electoral college system for electing their leader than the left wing agenda of Gordon Brown……assuming he stands?
Yes, that is how Monday and Tuesday have looked in my diary this week. It is just the luck of the draw but this week has been ‘Meetings Week’ for Bury Conservatives. Election planning Monday Election leaflets Tuesday. Anyone who has ever been involved with local politics will know that behind the headlines lies an awful lot of hardwork, often mundane and routine but vital nonetheless and I guess that is what this week is all about. I am hoping to fit a gym and swim session in this evening but then tomorrow it is back to the theme of the week … a meeting of the Bury North Conservatives’ Executive Council which is the Committee in overall charge of affairs in the Constituency.
I read with interest of a poll reported in today’s Times newspaper of over 3,000 doctors most of whom believe Labour has failed to reform the NHS. Nearly twice as many doctors trust David Cameron to put the NHS right compared to the number who would trust Gordon Brown.
Almost 3 out of every 4 who responded did not believe the extra cash put into the NHS had been well spent. This question of where has all the money gone is one which I am frequently asked especially in light of the plans to close the Maternity Department at Fairfield Hospital so it is interesting to see the views of so many members of the public echoed by a majority of the doctors in this survey.
I am pleased to report that I am alive and well this morning and able to write an entry in my blog. Why you may wonder is this noteworthy? Well, last night as it was Valentines Day I volunteered to cook our evening meal. From fresh ingredients I hasten to add and not from a packet. I made a leek, tarragon and mushroom risotto and Susan ate it all and I can report that Susan too is feeling fine this morning. The only problem is that I will now probably be expected to contribute more in the kitchen than I have in the past where my “assistance” has normally been limited to chopping up and clearing up.