On Thursday I visited Fairfield Hospital with the Shadow Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley. We met with the Chief Executive of Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and a group of senior clinicians. After discussing the latest position on the proposed closure of Children’s Services we toured the post-natal ward and the paediatric unit.
To coincide with the 60th anniversary of the founding of the NHS at Trafford General Hopsital in Manchester by Nye Bevin the Conservatives have launched an online Bithday Card where anyone can leave their own message.
The website can be accessed here
Sunday saw Tottington’s annual Music in the Park event take place in weather more like Autumn than Summer. There was a strong wind blowing in the morning which actually damaged one of the tents in the course of erection. Fortunately other than a couple of brief showers the afternoon was quite dry and relatively warm, the sun even appeared briefly. I know how much work goes into organising this event and I would like to thank all those who gave up so much time to make this event happen and I hope all those who attended enjoyed themselves.
On Saturday I was the guest speaker at the half-yearly meeting of North West Conservative Clubs. It was actually held over at the Dunscar Conservative Club in Bromley Cross which is in the Bolton North East constituency but even so it was only a short journey for me from Tottington. It is an excellent Conservative Club with great facilities and a very good sized car park. Despite the very heavy rain there was a good turnout with representatives coming from Conservative Clubs all over he North West. After a substantial buffet lunch I spoke for 20 minutes or so about the current political situation and then I answered questons which were many and varied. It is clear that people are becomingly increasingly worried about the state of the economy. A couple of years ago you would just have an occasional question on the economy on Saturday there were several questions about different aspects of the economy and the fears of a recession. I explained that for many people especially in the private sector who had not had a pay rise for two or three years and were now seeing price double-digit price increases in food and fuel for them it would seem like there was a recession now.
I was pleased to be able to welcome Michael Gove MP to the Constituency yesterday when we visited Elton School. Michael is the Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families ( ie Education ). Michael was able to hear at first hand from the Headteacher and Chairman of Governors about the achievements the school has made and the challenges it faces.
I called into Limefield Post Office this week. Limefield is one of the four post offices in the Bury North Constituency which is facing closure. The Government claim that these post offices are closing because they are not used. Well all I can say is that whilst I was there it was not only very busy but there was a constant queue of customers waiting to be served. Hundreds of local people and businsses rely on the post office and its closure will be a devastating blow to the local community
I think the Referendum which is to take place on the third of July as to whether or not Bury is run by an elected Mayor is now beginning to attract the interest of Bury residents. This I suspect is mainly because the polling cards have been delivered and people are wondering why. The principal argument of the group who want an elected Mayor is that such a politician would be able to stop the congestion charge ( the travel to work tax as I prefer to call it ). This of course is nonsense. An elected Mayor would simply have one vote at the meeting of Leaders of Greater Manchester Authorities just like the Leader of Bury Council has. In view of the fact that the Conservative controlled Bury Council is pledged to oppose the new tax I can not understand what the pro-elected mayor group are concerned about. What I do know is that no one has ever suggested to me that the answer to Bury’s problems is yet another politician!