Thursday, 23 April 2015

Politics: David Cameron visits Courier officers

The Prime Minister David Cameron hit out at Labour for the financial state of Calderdale Royal Hospital during a visit to the Halifax Courier offices this week.

Mr Cameron criticised Labour for drawing up the deal to build a £64 million hospital building under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) which will eventually cost the taxpayer £774 million.

“Labour should hang their heads in shame when they remember this PFI deal done under their government,” he said.

“After the election we want to do what we’ve done with other hospitals, which is sort out the PFI mess and financial mess that they’re in.

“I want people to know that Calderdale Royal Hospital is going to provide great services,” he said.

“We’re seeing a growth in population of people using our hositals and using our A&E.

“We want to see the improvements in primary care - so we will have this seven day access to GP surgeries from eight in the morning to eight in the evening for everyone by the end of 2020.”

Philip Allott, Conservative PPC for Halifax, added that both he and Mr Cameron were keen to keep the A&E in Halifax.

Mr Allott said: “What Mr Cameron has agreed is to guarantee our A&E - he’s adamant in backing me up.

“We will not close the A&E,” he said. “We can restructure and rebalance the debt, and Mr Cameron has given me the green-light if we get a Conservative government to underwrite the debt.

“By restructuring the debt we can bring the trust back from the red into the black.

“The Prime Minister has ruled-out the closure of the A&E.

“So all the banners around Halifax that say ‘David Cameron: hands off our A&E’ can be taken down. My message to Andy Burnham (Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary) is take those banners down.

“The A&E’s not closing and we’re going to keep fighting for Halifax,” he said.

During his interview, Mr Cameron also responded to Labour’s accusation that the Conservatives have made life more difficult for those living in poverty, including the rise in food bank use, welfare cuts and sanctions and the Bedroom Tax.

Mr Cameron said: “We’ve taken three million of the poorest people out of income tax altogether; we’ve seen the first real-terms rise in the minimum wage; we’ve cut taxes for working families; we’ve put in place extra childcare to help people back to work; we’ve had the Work Programme which has been the biggest back-to-work programme in the country’s history.

“It was Labour which crashed the economy - it was the poorest who were hit the hardest, working people lost their jobs and I’m fed-up with hearing the lectures, frankly.

“The election’s going to come down to choice of who do you want to run the economy, who do you want to run the country.

“This is not a moment for protest or message sending - it’s a moment for decision making.

“Voting for UKIP will let in Labour which will put an end to the recovery and be a disaster for Halifax and the rest of the country.”

Mr Cameron was on the campaign trail with Mr Allott with only a fortnight to go until the election.

Halifax has been targeted by the Conservative Party as a key marginal seat.

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Sunday, 5 April 2015

Politics: Candidate Joe sings for world peace

Calder Valley Parliamentary candidate Joe Stead has said he started his own political party because he couldn’t see anyone else that he wanted to vote for.

Mr Stead, 73, set up the World Peace Through Song party after becoming disillusioned with the major political parties.

He said: “Last October, I thought to myself ‘who am I going to vote for?’ - I used to be a staunch Labour support, but since 2003 when Tony Blair decided to attack Iraq I said to myself that I could never vote Labour again.

“We now have disaffected muslims across the world - if we apologise for what we did in 2003, that might go some way to stopping all the young muslims heading out to Syria to join Isis.

“You can’t change history, but the history we have could have been completely different.”

He said as a candidate he is for saving the A&E in Halifax and said that the staff saved his wife’s life there when she suffered an allergic reaction to nuts, adding that if he’d had to take her to Huddersfield she wouldn’t have survived.

He said he is in favour of re-nationalising the railways and introducing a minimum charge that supermarkets can pay farmers for milk.

He added through song: “Labour can’t be trusted, since they bombed Iraq.

“Tony Blair should go to jail and I don’t want Labour back.

“Please don’t vote for UKIP, they’re just a waste of space.

“Their manifesto isn’t nice, their leader’s a disgrace.

“Greens are headless chickens, Liberals are no-shows.

“Vote for World Peace Through Song, in May just vote for Joe.”

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Saturday, 4 April 2015

Politics: George Osborne visits Sowerby Bridge

The Chancellor George Osborne was in Sowerby Bridge this afternoon to see first-hand the work being done by steel firm Pulman and Sons.

During the visit he outlined the importance of the HS2 high speed rail link for the future of our economy and called upon Labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls make it clear where he stands on the issue.

Mr Osborne said: “HS2 is an essential part of the long-term economic plan for the country and for Yorkshire.

“That’s what I think and that’s what the local Labour councillors think.

“And under the Conservatives that project will definitely go ahead with all the jobs and benefits that will bring.”

Holly Walker-Lynch, Labour PPC for Halifax, criticised the visit, dismissing it is a photo opportunity.

She said: “The Labour Party has made it crystal clear that we support HS2, so I’m not sure why George Osborne has come all the way to Halifax to suggest otherwise.

“Most local people had hoped that he was going to announce his support for the electrification of the Calder Valley line or possibly to join Labour in committing to get rid of the outdated pacer trains, but sadly not.

“Another Tory just turning up for a photo.”

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