News

Labour has called on Peter Aldous to seek 'real assurances' from the Government that Waveney's fishing community will not be used as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations.

Local fishing leaders have described the Government's failure to take proper account of the industry in the transition deal negotiated with the EU last month as 'catastrophic'.

Ministers agreed that even after Britain leaves on 29 March next year fishing in Waveney and along the Suffolk coast will be bound by EU rules until the transition period ends on 31 December 2020.

But under the terms of the transition deal agreed by the Tories the UK won't even have a seat at the EU negotiating table when quotas are negotiated in December 2019 and will have no say.

Cllr Sonia Barker, leader of the Waveney Labour Group, said false hope had been generated by fisheries minister George Eustice's appearance at an East Anglian fishing conference in March. A Commons debate called by Peter Aldous last week attended by a handful of MPs would do little to help.

Cllr Barker said: 'The Waveney Labour Group is very concerned the Government has sold the fishing community of Lowestoft down the river with the recent Brexit transition deal.

'The reassurances to the industry in Lowestoft given last month by George Eustice have been shown to be worthless. Despite their fine words the Government is more concerned when negotiating Brexit to put other sectors - particularly finance - before the needs of our fishing industry.

'Peter Aldous needs to do more than call very poorly attended debates. Our fishing industry needs real assurances - not more platitudes.'

Can we trust the Tories to fight for our fishing industry?

Labour has called on Peter Aldous to seek 'real assurances' from the Government that Waveney's fishing community will not be used as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations. Local fishing...

Waveney Constituency Labour Party and the Waveney Labour Group welcome Jeremy Corbyn's successful application for an emergency debate on the convention that parliament should approve military interventions in Syria and elsewhere.

Mr Corbyn called for the debate, which will take place today, after expressing concern that the government's failure to seek parliamentary approval for last Friday's air strikes on Syria sets a precedent for further action that risks a reckless escalation of the war, and the danger of direct confrontation between the US and Russia.

The conflict has already cost more than 500,000 lives and led to five million refugees being forced to flee Syria, and the internal displacement of another six million.

Writing in yesterday's Guardian Mr Corbyn said: 'There can be no question of turning a blind eye to the use of chemical weapons. Their deployment constitutes a crime, and those responsible must be held to account.' But rather than resorting to further 'symbolic' and 'ineffective' ad-hoc strikes he argued pressure should be applied through sanctions, embargoes and, if necessary, the international criminal court. UN approval should be sought before any further military action is taken.

Mr Corbyn continued: 'We have to remove the scourge of chemical weapons but also use our influence to end the still greater scourge of the Syrian war. A diplomatic solution that will allow for the country to be rebuilt, for refugees to be able to return home and for an inclusive political settlement that allows the Syrian people to decide their own future could not be more urgent.'

Waveney Labour expresses support for Corbyn Syria debate

Waveney Constituency Labour Party and the Waveney Labour Group welcome Jeremy Corbyn's successful application for an emergency debate on the convention that parliament should approve military interventions in Syria and...

Waveney Labour group has expressed concern that Tory-led Waveney District Council (WDC) is accumulating significant reserves while cutting services and imposing big council tax increases.

Research by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the National Audit Office shows that WDC's reserves have increased by £9.3m to £14.3m since 2010/11, and now stand at 1.5 times its annual expenditure. WDC blames Westminster funding cuts and the council tax freeze imposed on councils between 2010/11 and 2016/17 for the spending reduction.

But Councillor Sonia Barker, leader of the Waveney Labour Group said:

'We oppose the Tory government's funding cuts but WDC must take responsibility for its own decisions. We are concerned that residents are paying more but getting fewer services. WDC has cut services and increased council tax rates despite sitting on significant reserves, and despite shifting a number of expensive liabilities to Lowestoft Town Council, where council tax increases have had to be higher than in predominantly Tory areas elsewhere in Waveney. We voted against WDC's unnecessarily high council tax increase.

'We understand that maintaining some level of reserves is necessary, but this is not the right way to manage our resources. People are paying more but getting less with the Conservatives.'

Please see the Eastern Daily Press for details on the research carried out by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the National Audit Office.

Fewer services, higher council taxes - but more reserves

Waveney Labour group has expressed concern that Tory-led Waveney District Council (WDC) is accumulating significant reserves while cutting services and imposing big council tax increases. Research by The Bureau of...

Waveney Labour and the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk have expressed concern over the appointment of the outgoing head of the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) as the new boss of the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT), which is struggling with an ongoing funding crisis.

Labour's Cllr Jane Murray, Waveney District Council Shadow spokesperson for Community, Health and Safety, said: 'Mr Lejk spoke at the Beccles Health meeting on Wednesday 7 March. Several Waveney District councillors and members of the Waveney Labour Party attended. He spoke as Executive Lead of the Norfolk and Waveney STP and informed us about the future plans of the NHS within Norfolk and Waveney. The next day Mr Lejk resigned from this role to take up a highly paid post as CEO of the NSFT! Can we say our health services are in safe hands?'

A spokesperson for the Campaign told the Eastern Daily Press (EDP): 'This is a disastrous appointment for service users and carers, the head of the commissioners who have starved NSFT of funding has now taken over the organisation. It’s a travesty and the council of governors whose job it is to represent service users, carers, staff, and the public ignored the views of the appointment panels and approved this appointment instead of listening to feedback.'

Please see the full story on the EDP website.

Waveney Labour expresses concern about key health appointment

Waveney Labour and the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk have expressed concern over the appointment of the outgoing head of the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability...

The Waveney Labour Group has called for archives currently held at the Lowestoft Record Office to be relocated to a renovated Town Hall.

A motion proposed at a meeting of Waveney District Council in response to plans to move archives currently available at Lowestoft Library to Ipswich won cross-party support.

The motion, presented by Labour councillors Peter Byatt and Keith Patience, urged the Council to 'urgently engage with Lowestoft Town Council and other stakeholders involved with the Heritage Action Zone, to prioritise the renovation and redesign of Lowestoft Town Hall, with a view to including a purpose built facility if needed, to relocate the Lowestoft Record Office.'

Waveney Labour argued the decision to move the archives should be delayed until a restored Town Hall can house a new record office.

Funding for the Heritage Action Zone, covering the north end of the High Street and including Lowestoft Town Hall, was secured by Waveney District and Lowestoft Town councils.

Waveney Labour urges all of the Heritage Zone's stakeholders, including the councils, Lowestoft Vision, East Suffolk Building Preservation Trust and Heritage England, to engage with the proposal: everyone must work together for the good of the town and its heritage.

Waveney Labour Group has also asked for regular updates from Cllr Michael Ladd, Waveney District Council's Cabinet member for Tourism and Economic Development, and lead councillor for the Action Zone.

Waveney Labour calls for Lowestoft archives to be moved to renevated Town Hall

The Waveney Labour Group has called for archives currently held at the Lowestoft Record Office to be relocated to a renovated Town Hall. A motion proposed at a meeting of...

Waveney Labour Group has called for the little known organisation responsible for delivering Norfolk and Waveney's health and social care to be opened up to greater public scrutiny.

The Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) brings together health trusts, councils and voluntary organisations to develop a plan for delivering the region's health and social care services.

The Partnership is working out a plan for coping with pressures forced by the failure of Government spending to meet rising demand for health and social care. It is expected more than £300 million will need to be saved in Norfolk and Waveney over the next five years to make up for the short fall.

The STP aims to free up hospital beds by treating more people at home, using technology to manage health conditions remotely where possible, and promoting alternatives to conventional care, such as walking groups and befriending services provided by local organisations.

Surveys by the Eastern Daily Press have revealed little public awareness of the Partnership. 66.5% said they had never heard of the STP and 89% did not know how to make their voices heard.

Even Norfolk and Waveney STP executive head Antek Lejk has acknowledged a lack of openness, telling Norfolk's Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee last October that 'I have to confess the whole process about setting up the STP was in secret a bit, we were told not to be too involved in public debate.

Cllr Jane Murray, Waveney District Council member for Oulton, said: 'We are deeply concerned about the Norfolk and Waveney STP's lack of transparency. The Partnership must engage in more democratic consultation with patients, the public and health sector staff.'

'Just last month a governor at James Paget University Hospital resigned because of concern that patients and the public are not being given sufficient opportunity to discuss the Norfolk and Waveney STP.

'NHS England has - belatedly - produced guidance highlighting that wide public consultation is essential for the effectiveness and credibility of the programmes developed by STPs.'

Cllr Murray also expressed concern that the STP is establishing an Accountable Care Organisation (ACO) - a public-private sector partnership in which private health companies work with public authorities - to handle much of the region's health and social care budget.

Cllr Murray said: 'I fear a Norfolk and Waveney ACO is being developed in secrecy, totally contrary to the principle that the NHS be transparent and accountable in its decision making.

'I have called for public meetings to be held in Waveney as soon as possible to discuss the STP. I've been informed that the next meetings due to be held will not be open to the public, just to voluntary sector and patient representatives.

'If you are concerned about the future of our local and national health services join me in writing to the Secretary of Health, Jeremy Hunt and our MP Peter Aldous. Join the local Norfolk and Waveney campaigns, attend the engagement meetings and call for proper public consulation.'

For further information about STPs and local events calling for greater transparency please see the NHS Norfolk Action Group and Norfolk & Suffolk Mental Health Crisis.

Waveney Labour calls for local health care 'transparency'

Waveney Labour Group has called for the little known organisation responsible for delivering Norfolk and Waveney's health and social care to be opened up to greater public scrutiny. The Norfolk...

Waveney Labour has condemned as undemocratic the Government's decision to press ahead with the replacement of Waveney and Suffolk Coastal district councils with a new authority.

Local Government Secretary Sajid David has confirmed that a new East Suffolk District Council will be established next April, with the first elections to be held the following month.

Sonia Barker, leader of the Waveney District Council Labour Group said: 'We are deeply concerned that the Secretary of State has insisted on confirming the new authority without giving the people of Waveney and Suffolk Coastal residents the opportunity to approve the proposal through the ballot box. We have repeatedly called for a local advisory referendum to give residents an opportunity to make their voice heard.

'We will continue to raise our concerns about this undemocratic initiative with Sajid Javid and Waveney MP Peter Aldous, and work hard to ensure that Waveney is fairly represented when the ward boundaries for the new council are drawn up.'

The reform will reduce the number of councillors representing th Waveney and Suffolk Coastal regions from 90 to 55.

Waveney Labour condemns 'undemocratic' council merger

Waveney Labour has condemned as undemocratic the Government's decision to press ahead with the replacement of Waveney and Suffolk Coastal district councils with a new authority. Local Government Secretary Sajid...

At last night’s Waveney District Council meeting the Waveney Labour Group voted against the first of three Independent Remuneration Panel’s recommendations that WDC Councillors should get an average increase overall of 28.6% in WDC Allowances. 23 Conservative Councillors (with one Abstention) voted for the basic WDC allowance to increase to £4,787.57 pa. for all Councillors plus an increase in the amount and the number of Special Responsibility Allowances SRAs). Conservative Councillors voted for the creation of up to eight new Deputy Cabinet posts (£2,393.78 pa SRA) and payment to Vice Chairs of Committees (£957.51 - £2393.78 pa SRA). The Leader of WDC Cllr Mark Bee will get an increase of £5,056.40 pa SRA on top of an increase in the basic allowance – taking his new Leader’s allowance to £14,362.00 (plus the new basic allowance of £4,787.57 pa. making a total of £19149.57 pa). Cllr Bee is also a `double hatter` which means he also has an allowance from SCC – this also applies to six other WDC Conservative Cllrs (five of whom are on the WDC Cabinet ( Basic Allowance plus £4950 SRA pa ). In answer to a question from Labour Councillor Keith Patience the total cost of the new payments per annum to Waveney District Council was given as between £51,000 to £81,000 per annum. There are currently 28 Conservative Cllrs and the majority of them will be receiving a Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) as a result of the vote which went through last night. The Waveney Labour Group asked for a recorded vote so all residents of WDC will be able to see how their Councillor voted once the minutes of the meeting are on line. The Independent Remuneration Panel’s recommendations can be viewed now at www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk. Labour Councillors were particularly concerned that the increases are to be backdated to the 1st April, 2017. Waveney residents can give their judgement on these massive increases at the ballot box in 2019.

The Waveney Labour Group’s view put forward strongly by Cllr Sonia Barker Leader of the Waveney Labour Group last night is that this is absolutely the wrong time for such an enormous increase which is morally indefensible and will look to residents as just plain greedy when the inevitable increase in Waveney District Council Tax lands on their doormat in a few weeks time. The Waveney Labour Group also emphasised that many Waveney residents are struggling with an increase in inflation and the failure of their wages to keep up with living costs as Waveney has one of the lowest average gross wages pa at £20,300 compared to £28,400 nationally’.

Cllr Sonia Barker - Letter to the Lowestoft Journal

At last night’s Waveney District Council meeting the Waveney Labour Group voted against the first of three Independent Remuneration Panel’s recommendations that WDC Councillors should get an average increase overall...

Subject: Invitation to Norfolk and Waveney STP event on 7 March 2018

Dear Jane

Sarah and I met you last December at the event we held about the Norfolk and Waveney STP in Great Yarmouth. We wanted to let you know that we’re holding an event in Beccles on 7 March, 2.00pm – 4.30pm.

It will be similar to the events held before Christmas – it will include a short introduction to the STP (from Antek Lejk and Patricia Hewitt), followed by sessions on primary care and acute services. You are very welcome to attend, although you may not feel it would be a good use of your time given that you attended the Great Yarmouth event before Christmas.

You can find out more about the event and sign-up to come along here – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-future-of-health-and-care-services-in-norfolk-and-waveney-tickets-42313072539?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=escb&utm-source=cp&utm-term=listing

please feel free to share this email with anyone who would be interested in coming along.

Many thanks

Chris

Chris Williams
Communications and Engagement Manager
Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership

NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group

Beccles House
1 Common Lane North
Beccles
Suffolk NR34 9BN
Tel: 01502 719500
Email: chris.williams20@nhs.net
Website: www.healthwatchnorfolk.co.uk/ingoodhealth/

 

 

 

**NHS - Very Important Meeting, if you can, Please attend.

Subject: Invitation to Norfolk and Waveney STP event on 7 March 2018 Dear Jane Sarah and I met you last December at the event we held about the Norfolk and...

Response from Connor Rand  Regional Organiser,

East of England Labour Party: -

The process of seats selecting a Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate is the property of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party (a body representing all parts of the Party with spaces directly elected by members, affiliate places and so on). Once they give the go ahead seats can start the selection process, and at this point we will be in touch with those seats concerned. So far they have decided that our most marginal seats, with Tory majorities of less than a few thousand or so, can select their candidates and some of those have started this process with the rest to be completed by the spring. After this, it will be up to NEC to decide which further seats can select and when.

 

Thus, people are welcome to ‘chase up region’ but there is no prospect of it changing anything.

 

Best wishes,

 

Connor Rand

 

Regional Organiser

Labour East

@eofelabour

Information From Region Re:- Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Selection

Response from Connor Rand  Regional Organiser, East of England Labour Party: - The process of seats selecting a Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate is the property of the National Executive Committee...

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