Saturday, 11 October 2014

Politics: MP William Hague visits Halifax

First Secretary of State and Leader of the House of Commons William Hague MP was in Halifax this week to see the PolyFrame factory first-hand.

Mr Hague joined Conservative parliamentary candidate for Halifax Philip Allott on a tour of the company which has recently announced a boost of 300 local jobs.

He said: “It’s a fantastic company - I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen.

“I think it’s an inspirational business because it’s an example of succeeding in Britain.

“It’s providing employment and training for a huge number of people.”

The MP for Richmond has been in Parliament since 1989 and recently announced that he won’t be standing at the next election.

He said he was most proud of the work he did at the Foreign Office and taking the Disability Discrimination Act through Parliament.

He said: “Working with David Cameron over the last ten years has been great.

“He’s the sanest person I’ve worked with as a party leader and I want him to win the next election.”

He said he regretted how slowly the Conservative party responded to its loss to Tony Blair in 1997.

He said: “We should have changed even faster than we did - we should have brought in more women candidates and more ethnic minority candidates.

“We’ve done that now, but I wished we’d stepped on the accelerator at that time.”

Mr Hague was recently described by Prime Minister David Cameron as the ‘greatest living Yorkshireman’.

He laughed when asked about the statement and said: “This is not me that’s said that, and of course the greatest living Yorkshireman would be very modest.

“It’s not for me to say that, but the Prime Minister did say that - I understand Geoffrey Boycott wasn’t too pleased when he heard about it.”

He added that there is no chance that when he leaves Parliament he will join some of his former Conservative party collegues in defecting to UKIP.

He said: “A vote for UKIP is essentially a vote for Labour.”

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Friday, 3 October 2014

Politics: Calder Valley NHS debate series begins

The first of four political debates between the three main political candidates in Calder Valley took place at a packed-out room at Brighouse High’s sixth form centre.

The incumbent Conservative MP Craig Whittaker, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate Alisdair McGregor and Labour candidate Josh Fenton-Glynn all outlined their positions on local NHS services and broader political issues.

The evening started with each candidate delivering a seven minutes speech on local health service provision.

Mr McGregor said in his speech that NHS services are too centralised and should be spread out for everybody to use. He said his biggest concern - based on three years working in the NHS in Nottinghamshire - is waste.

He said the PFI funded Calderdale Royal Hospital is a “grotesque waste of money.”
But said the Government is caught berween a rock and hard place but would like to see the hospital back out of PFI deals.

Mr Whittaker said the local NHS is currently undergoing a huge strategic review that will see better care in people’s communities.

He said: “Is it any wonder people pile into A&E when so few choices are available?”
He accused Labour of scaremongering and accused Mr Fenton-Glynn of employing “schoolboy politics”.

He added: “There are no proposals to close our A&E.”

Mr Fenton-Glynn said he cared deeply about the local hospital where he was born and where his mum was treated twice for cancer.

He said: “A lot of people are scared about changes we’ve seen proposed - I owe a lot to our local health services.”

He said many of the indicators used to see if the NHS is working are on a downward turn - ambulance waiting times, A&E waiting times and GP appointment times.

He added: “Mr Whittaker says anyone who disagrees with him is scaremongering.”

The next debate will be held at Calder High School, Mytholmroyd, on Thursday, October 9, 7pm to 9pm.