Patients in Guildford and Waverley wait over a week to see GP


Thousands of patients wait over a week to see GP under David Cameron

1 in 5 patients in Guildford and Waverley waited seven days or longer to see a GP the last time they tried, an official NHS survey has found.

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20% of local patients – 40,000 people – faced a wait of a week or more when they phoned for an appointment in the last year. This is even worse than in England as a whole where 16%, or one in 6 patients, had to wait over a week.

Labour has pledged to invest £100 million in GP surgeries – saved by scrapping David Cameron’s NHS market rules that waste millions on lawyers’ fees and contract tendering – to guarantee appointments within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it.

Richard Wilson, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate in Guildford said:

“David Cameron has made it harder for people in Guildford to get a GP appointment – proof he can’t be trusted with our local NHS.

“Within days of the last election, he abolished Labour’s appointments guarantee and now thousands of people here are waiting over a week. Labour will scrap David Cameron’s NHS market and invest the savings in helping people get a GP appointment within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it.”

 

“This survey shows that in Guildford and Waverley the number of people waiting over a week for a doctor’s appointment is one of the highest in England. Residents of Guildford and Cranleigh tell me about unacceptable waits to see a GP nearly every day on the doorstep. The two current local MPs, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and former Public Health Minister Anne Milton, must act now to restore access to GPs with 48 hours. If elected next May repairing the damage caused to the NHS by the Conservative-LibDem Coalition will be my highest priority.”

Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said:

“This survey confirms what Labour has been saying. People want to be able to see the GP they trust, and who knows their family history, but are left phoning the surgery day after day only to be disappointed. Patients are waiting days or even weeks for appointments and that is forcing people to A&E in record numbers.

“People know from their own experience that the NHS is heading downhill under this Government.”

Ends

 Notes:

  • GP survey statistics – NHS England CCG Report (July 2014) see “Making an Appointment” sheet, column BN:  http://gp-survey-production.s3.amazonaws.com/archive/2014/July/weighted/July%202014%20CCG%20Report%20weighted.xls
  • Richard Wilson is available on richard@guildfordlabour.org or 01483 511272. He was selected by local party members as Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for 2015 last November. He is a 42-year-old airline pilot who has lived in Surrey for 14 years.
  • The figures above are for Guildford and Waverley CCG. Guildford parliamentary constituency covers nearly half of the CCG’s area. Most of the remainder is in South West Surrey parliamentary constituency, whose MP is Jeremy Hunt, the current Health Secretary.

 

 

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Richard Wilson

Parliamentary Candidate

Guildford Labour Party

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Promoted by Alex Wilks on behalf of Richard Wilson, both of 9b Martyr Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LF

 

First Victory Declared in Battle to Reverse Councillors’ Pay Hikes


Press Statement from Richard Wilson, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Guildford

First Victory Declared in Battle to Reverse Councillors’ Pay Hikes

15 July 2014 – for immediate release

Labour activists in Surrey are today declaring a victory in their campaign to reverse the massive pay hikes which leading Conservative county councillors voted themselves. In May, the Tory majority group on the council voted to ignore their Independent Remuneration Panel and hike their own Special Responsibility Allowances. Later that month, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Guildford, Richard Wilson, started a petition which thousands of residents have signed on Surrey County Council’s own website to reverse the hikes. Today, the council’s Leader, Cllr David Hodge, issued a personal statement at the start of the full council meeting where he complained about the public not understanding his position but agreed to reduce his and his deputy’s allowance to the level recommended by the IRP.

Richard Wilson said, “Thank you to everyone who signed my petition. We have forced Cllr Hodge into this U-turn against his will. We are declaring victory today but our victory is not yet complete so I ask people to continue signing my petition. I aim to reverse all of these pay hikes, not just the Leader’s and Deputy Leader’s 60% hikes.

“Until today, Hodge defended his 60% pay hike as the minimum necessary to do his job. If this is true, then surely he will now resign since his new lower allowance will not be enough. Hodge has been slammed by Conservative MPs, ministers and local parties. The public have spoken with one voice in supporting my campaign to reverse his ill-judged money-grab. His reputation has been irreparably damaged by this and I call on him to consider his position.”

Ends

Note 1. Leader, Cllr Hodge, will now receive an SRA of £35,548pa, up from £27,000 last year but less than the £43,000 he previously said was the minimum he could accept. This is on top of his councillor’s basic allowance of £12,418pa.

Note 2. Richard Wilson’s petition is here: http://petitions.surreycc.gov.uk/moneygrab/

Note 3. Richard Wilson is on 01483 511272

 

 

Richard Wilson

Parliamentary Candidate

Guildford Labour Party

Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Website | YouTube | Donate

 

Promoted by Alex Wilks on behalf of Richard Wilson, both of 9b Martyr Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LF

My submission to Licensing Sub-committee on The Boileroom


Owner Dominique Frazer, Richard Wilson and Alex Wilks

Owner Dominique Frazer, Richard Wilson and Alex Wilks

Regular readers will be aware of the threat to The Boileroom, Guildford’s independent music and arts venue. It has been subjected to a review of its licence by (possibly) 2 nearby residents. After carefully researching the venue and the claims made against it, I decided to support the venue and write to Guildford Borough Council’s Licensing Team with my personal evidence.

You can read my submission here: Submission to Licensing sub-committee

If you would like to add your opinions, please email licensing@guildford.gov.uk

Click to enlarge to read the official notice

Click to enlarge to read the official notice

Letting Agent Fees


Recently I received an email from a local letting agent asking me to support his position that he should be allowed to continue to charge tenants administration fees. He said that Shelter, the housing charity, do not understand his point of view and charging tenants fees helps his business employ a number of staff.

I had to disappoint the letting agent because I believe that such fees are part of the reason that the accommodation market is broken in this country. Having healthy competitive markets is essential for a growing economy. Here is my reply:

Dear <redacted>,

I will not be supporting your position to allow letting agents to continue to charge tenants fees the way they do. I support Shelter’s campaign and I am pleased that this will form part of Labour’s manifesto for two main reasons: evidence I have personally encountered of unfair behaviour by letting agents and my belief that markets can benefit society but only if they are properly constituted to prevent abuse.

 

As a young graduate starting out on my career I was a tenant in the private rented sector for about ten years and paid large amounts in letting agent fees and had inexplicable sums deducted from deposits. Like most tenants, I had no choice, could not shop around between letting agents, and had no way of taking letting agents to court to recover my money.

 

I am pleased to hear that you believe you give tenants a good service. I have to inform you I have never encountered any private tenant who has told me they have received a service worth the money from any letting agent. Tenants say they feel exploited by letting agents. The industry has comprehensively lost the trust of tenants. I can understand why you would like to continue to charge tenants fees but your argument seems to be based solely on your own interests, not the tenants’.

 

The private rented accommodation market in broken. There are too many predatory market participants and money is extracted from the end customer without the healthy competition that a functioning market provides. While landlords can shop around for letting agents, tenants cannot. Therefore, tenants should not be paying the fees. Since you claim you are able to supply a competitive service, you should not be worried about customers (landlords) leaving you for other suppliers.

 

I do not agree with you that this will increase rents. Rents are set by landlords at the maximum level the market will sustain and this will continue to be the case.

 

In a functioning market, the customer must have choice. Currently, tenants only have the choice between paying letting agent fees to renew their lease or moving house. There is no market mechanism to hold these fees down. This has permitted the abusive behaviour by some letting agents which has made this new policy necessary.

 

Thank you again for getting in touch. I regret that we are not in agreement on this issue. You have my permission to place this email conversation in the public domain in any way you see fit. Would you be happy for me to do the same? Please contact me on this or any other issue in future.

 

Best regards,

 

Richard Wilson

Labour PPC Guildford

Promoted by Nick Trier on behalf of Richard Wilson, both of 9b Martyr Road, Guildford GU1 4LF

Save the Boileroom!


Yesterday, along with community activist Alex Wilks, I had the chance to look round The Boileroom, a small independent music venue in Guildford which is threatened with closure. The owner, Dominique Frazer, introduced us to the dedicated staff and showed us how they try to live in harmony with their neighbours.

Owner Dominique Frazer, Richard Wilson and Alex Wilks

Owner Dominique Frazer, Richard Wilson and Alex Wilks

I had heard about the threat to The Boileroom from friends on Facebook and through the local newspaper’s website. There is a massively popular petition to keep the venue open.

There are no other venues in Guildford, and very few in the South East, which provide opportunities for local aspiring independent musicians to develop their talent and play alongside more established acts. The Boileroom pays local bands to perform and is credited by the Musicians’ Union as being a vital part of the live music industry. The Boileroom is hosting the launch event for the Guildford Fringe next week. They put on events for schools, train future music industry staff and succeed despite their more commercial rivals receiving public money as subsidies. They have even won an award from the Noise Abatement Society!

Unfortunately, new neighbours arrived in the next-door house about 18 months ago and they are having a speculative attempt at closing the venue down.

One of the reasons given is that they are disturbed by noise from the venue. We had a demonstration of the sound-proofing yesterday. Inside, some very loud music was played on the speakers. We went outside, through heavy double-doors and it was almost inaudible right outside the door. In fact, the traffic on York Road is far louder and sometimes we had to wait for it to die down to be heard when talking. These doors do not allow enough sound through to be a nuisance. There is a locking system which prevents one door opening until the other one is closed, therefore it is impossible for both double-doors to be open at the same time. It was suggested to me that perhaps windows might be opened if it was too hot inside. However, none of the windows in the noise-protected part of the building open and there is powerful air conditioning so that is not necessary.

The list of alleged breaches of the licence seems to comprise smears and unprovable anecdotes. The suggestions of harm to children are totally made up. The complainants claim that there have been “allegations” that the venue was overcapacity when running an event for schoolchildren. There were no such allegations. Also, the claim that parents have difficulty crossing the road is untrue and the local school confirm this.

Unfortunately, the people who have made the complaint against The Boileroom may have committed an offence by knowingly supplying false information. The Licensing Act allows for high fines to be levied on complainants if they are not honest.

Click to enlarge to read the official notice

Click to enlarge to read the official notice

The Boileroom is a valued community hub. I spoke to a passing neighbour when we were outside on the pavement. He confirmed that Dominique and her team do everything possible to live in harmony with nearby residents. The huge number of signatures collected on their petition already shows what a strong following they have. It is a shame that the local LibDem councillor has not taken up the invitation, like we did, to look round the venue and see what a fantastic asset it is to the community.

It is very disappointing that selfish neighbours can launch this speculative application to review the licence and cause so much heart-ache to so many people. Regular readers of this blog will be reminded of the fight to gain planning permission for the Terry Jayne School of Dance in Lightwater. The Taleban try to stamp out singing and music, let’s stand up against their equivalent in Guildford!

Save the Boileroom!

Surrey County Council “acutely aware” of the crisis they have caused in our schools


The Surrey Advertiser has covered the overcrowding in Surrey’s infant classes which came to light in my recent research:

Surrey Ad 20 June on class sizes

The Tory council say they are “acutely aware” of the problem. They should have been “acutely aware” that this crisis was going to happen years ago and should have done something about it. Surrey’s youngest pupils are suffering due to the council’s neglect of their responsibilities. This probably does not affect many Tory councillors’ families, who will be able to afford private schools for their grandchildren.

By awarding themselves 60% pay hikes, the Tory leadership of Surrey County Council have added insult to injury to the parents and pupils of Surrey.

Enjoy Royal Ascot but don’t get caught short!


The final day of this year’s Royal Ascot race meeting is tomorrow. If you are planning to travel there by train from Guildford via Aldershot there is something you might want to know about:

South West Trains have replaced the usual rolling stock with sub-standard, old, worn-out carriages with no toilets! Private Train Operating Company, SWT say they recognise the need for toilet facilities on the 62 minute journey but they haven’t invested in new trains fast enough.

Travellers in Surrey are used to being forced to settle for second best, on the roads, rails and cycle routes, but this move is degrading for passengers. People tell me they work hard for a living and a trip to the races on Saturday is a small treat that they deserve. Now, the journey home could ruin the whole day. I won’t spell out what the lack of toilet facilities could mean in terms of discomfort and embarrassment.

Come on, South West Trains, if you don’t want to be known as Sub Standard Trains, give us our usual trains back!

SWT

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