AS WE move forward through 2017 I am becoming more and more dismayed by the way the social fabric of our society here in the south is being damaged.
Just over a week ago, we had 19 ambulances queued up at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, with no other ambulances available to take our seriously ill and injured to hospital.
Three of my friends due elective surgery recently had their operations cancelled just prior to going to the operating theatre, emphasising the pressures facing our NHS while the medical staff must be praised for giving 100 per cent effort.
Our secretary of state for health wants a seven-day NHS.
Well, we have a seven-day NHS for emergencies. Junior doctors work for seven consecutive days doing 13-hour shifts and we just do not have the medical resources for a seven-day elective surgery system.
Cuts to the NHS come in other ways like the government abolishing grants for nursing courses which has resulted in a 25 per cent cut in university nursing course applications.
Meanwhile the country realises it is cheaper to recruit and poach nurses from abroad rather than train our own. Does this make any sense at all?
Also, is it fair that we take trained nurses who are needed abroad to the UK, as we choose not to train a sufficient enough number of our own?
At the same time, schools are given inadequate capital budgets and their expense budgets are cut, forcing Havant’s schools to lose teachers.
There is an additional continued pressure to sell the ‘family silver’ of school playing fields to compensate for the severe lack of funding for budgets by governments which claim education as a top priority.
We need to be raising school budgets to help Havant’s schools up from the bottom with just 17.4 per cent of students applying to UCAS, the lowest in the country which is totally unacceptable.
Following last year’s increase in council tax by Hampshire County Council of four per cent, this year it has raised it by 5.1 per cent. I contend that this is neither needed nor necessary.
But there is hope, Brexit will give the UK great opportunities (despite our Havant MP strongly believing in EU membership and vigorously campaigning to Remain).
We must not fear no deal with the EU and reverting to WTO (World Trade Organisation) tariffs. I’m optimistic for the future as I believe in Britain; do you?