Tag Archives: Guildford

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.

nhs.jpg

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

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!

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

Infants in Over-crowded Classes Soar In Surrey by 122%


Press Statement from Richard Wilson, Labour Parliamentary Candidate, Guildford
13 June 2014 – For immediate release

The number of infants in large classes of over 30 pupils has increased by 951 in Surrey since 2010.

In January 2010 there were 779 infant pupils in large classes and the figure is now 1,730, an increase of 122%.

Richard Wilson, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Guildford, said, “Over-crowded infant classes pose a real threat to children’s education and wellbeing. As the son of two teachers, I know the additional pressures that large class sizes place on teachers too.”
Before the General Election, David Cameron promised “small schools with smaller class sizes”.
But the new figures released on Thursday 12 June show it’s a promise they have failed to deliver.
Richard Wilson said: “Conservative Surrey County Council is failing pupils and parents. Infant class sizes are soaring and there is a shortage of school places for all ages. Local parents tell me that they cannot get places for their children in their preferred, nearby, state schools because the council has failed to provide enough places. This is a crisis for the families affected who will now face difficult school runs every day. This comes as leading councillors award themselves 60% pay hikes.

“Surrey has a critical shortage of school places while millions are being wasted elsewhere in the South East on Free Schools where there is a surplus of places. A future Labour Government will prioritise new school places in areas where there are shortages, have rigorous local oversight of schools and ensure that all teachers have or are working towards qualified teacher status.”

ENDS.

Government statistics from 2010 (see Table 14b) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/218954/local_20authority_20tables_20sfr092010.xls

Government statistics from 2014 (see Table 11) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/319510/SFR15_2014_LA_tables.xlsx
Number of infants in large classes (over 30)

Jan-10
Jan-14
Difference 2010-14
% change 2010-14
SOUTH EAST (4)
4,980
12,710
7,730
155%
Bracknell Forest
62
62
0
0%
Brighton and Hove
62
155
93
150%
Buckinghamshire
529
745
216
41%
East Sussex
562
1,094
532
95%
Hampshire
528
1,707
1,179
223%
Isle of Wight
65
187
122
188%
Kent
816
2,718
1,902
233%
Medway
62
319
257
415%
Milton Keynes
284
217
-67
-24%
Oxfordshire
186
563
377
203%
Portsmouth
62
217
155
250%
Reading
31
0
-31
-100%
Slough
126
186
60
48%
Southampton
124
219
95
77%
Surrey
779
1,730
951
122%
West Berkshire
190
282
92
48%
West Sussex
383
1,747
1,364
356%
Windsor and Maidenhead
128
282
154
120%
Wokingham
0
279
279

In their 2010 manifesto, the Conservative Party promised to create “small schools with smaller class sizes”.
A Conservative government will give many more children access to the kind of education that is currently only available to the well-off: safe classrooms, talented and specialist teachers, access to the best curriculum and exams, and smaller schools with smaller class sizes with teachers who know the children’s names.
Conservative Party Manifesto 2010, p. 51
David Cameron said in 2008 that it was “important to have small schools” so that children don’t “get lost”:
“…the more we can get class sizes down the better. It is also important to have small schools. Some schools have got so big that the children get lost in them. …What I want most in a primary school is one where the headteacher knows my child’s name and they’re not part of some enormous mass. You want your child to go somewhere where they can feel warm and safe and loved and identified.”
David Cameron, Yorkshire Post Q&A, 18 April 2008
David Cameron has created a crisis in primary school places. Two-thirds of all the places created by the Free School programme (aggregate figure for both primary and secondary) are not in the areas most in need of primary places.
NAO, Establishing Free Schools, 11 December 2013, http://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/10314-001-Free-Schools-Book.pdf
Last month, it was revealed that Michael Gove had diverted £400 million away from areas in need of new primary places to fund his Free School programme.
The Guardian, 10 May 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/10/gove-lunatic-raid-free-schools
In 2012 Michael Gove relaxed the rules on class sizes and the 30 pupil limit introduced by Labour.
“Schools can breach the limit in exceptional circumstances for 12 months on the proviso that numbers are brought down the following year.
But that requirement has now disappeared from the School Admissions (Infant Class Sizes) Regulations – quietly introduced a year ago – in a move that gives heads more freedom to maintain 30-plus lessons for a number of years without having to employ more teachers.
School leaders have admitted that growing numbers of heads were preparing to take advantage of the rule change to increase class sizes.”
Telegraph, 7 April 2013, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9969834/More-infants-to-be-taught-in-supersized-classes.html

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

Parliamentary Candidate’s Reaction to European Election Results


Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate Reacts to Election Results

Press Statement from Richard Wilson, Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Guildford

26 May 2014 – for immediate release

Labour had strong results in the European Parliament election in Guildford, the South East and Great Britain generally. In Guildford, Labour achieved 4,004 votes, 10.4% [note 1]. This is more than double the vote share achieved at the 2010 general election.

Across the South East, Labour took 15%, up from 8% in 2009, the last European election [note 2]. The vagaries of the d’Hondt system of proportional representation mean that although Labour nearly doubled the LibDem vote it wasn’t quite enough to gain another MEP in this region.

In the country as a whole (before Scotland has declared) Labour took 25.4% up by nearly 10 percentage points since 2009. There will be 20 UK Labour MEPs in Brussels for the next 5 years, up from 13.

Labour’s 2015 parliamentary candidate for Guildford, Richard Wilson, reacted to the result: “I am so pleased that Labour’s Anneliese Dodds has been elected as a Member of the European Parliament to represent this region. Anneliese has been a regular visitor to Guildford and joined us on the High Street, on doorsteps and at the University [note 3] to speak to voters face-to-face. She is a firm favourite with party volunteers and members of the public in Guildford. We are very lucky to have such a hard-working and talented new MEP.”

Guildford Labour Party members have been knocking on doors for months to hear voters’ concerns and explain Labour policies. Thousands of leaflets were delivered by volunteers, Labour did not need to employ people to do this.

Richard Wilson continued, “On behalf of the Labour Party I would like to thank the staff of Guildford and Waverley Borough Councils for conducting the election with their usual diligence. Also, I am extremely grateful to the Labour supporters who gave up their free time to help by knocking on doors, delivering leaflets or telephoning voters. We have a great team of volunteers here and our efforts are starting to bear fruit.

“Most of all, I would like to thank the voters who cast their vote in this election for Labour. Unlike the Conservatives, Labour has representation in the European Parliament from every region of Great Britain. We have been out on the streets of Guildford taking the pulse of public opinion. People will no longer blindly vote Tory here. LibDem voters are almost impossible to find and frequently people are persuaded not to vote Ukip when they hear about their policies, such as abolishing the NHS and legalising hand guns.

“Labour fought a policy-rich election which resonated with voters. We pledged to restore the right to see a GP within 48 hours, raise the minimum wage and protect tenants. Across the UK our party is reconnecting with voters conversation by conversation, doorstep by doorstep, street by street. Nationally, we have knocked on 7 million doors in this campaign. And, even though Ukip and the Tories have outspent us with seven-figure sums, Labour had more activists out on polling day than all the other parties combined.”

Ends

Note 1: Guildford declaration here http://www.guildford.gov.uk/media/17043/European-election-results—Guildford/pdf/European_Election_Results_2014_Final.pdf

Note 2: BBC News http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/eu-regions/E15000008

Note 3: Anneliese Dodds and Richard Wilson launched the Growing Knowledge report in Guildford http://www.guildfordlabour.org/eu-money-supports-scientific-research-in-guildford

Note 4: Richard Wilson is available at Richard@guildfordlabour.org or on 01483 511272.

Note 5: South East Labour Party regional press office is on 0118 923 9402 / 07941 425 421

 

Parliamentary candidate Richard Wilson with Anneliese Dodds MEP in front of the statue of Alan Turing at the University of Surrey

Parliamentary candidate Richard Wilson with Anneliese Dodds MEP in front of the statue of Alan Turing at the University of Surrey

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

Support Guildford’s Teaching Assistants


A recent Labour Prime Minister once said his top three priorities were “Education, Education, Education”. If we are to tackle the massive inequality in our society we need to ensure everyone has the best education possible.image

Teaching assistants have a vital role in classrooms to help children develop educationally and socially. They support teachers by preparing lesson materials, helping pupils who need individual attention, supervising outdoors activity, and in many other ways.

However, now teaching assistants are under attack from Michael Gove, the Education Secretary. He has derided them as a “mum’s army” and may reduce their numbers. This would be devastating for state schools, especially those with high numbers of pupils with special needs.image

The union representing teaching assistants, the GMB, is asking all parliamentary candidates to show their support for teaching assistants. I feel strongly that it is in the best interests of pupils in Guildford that teaching assistants are retained and supported. I will be joining GMB members outside school gates to collect signatures on a petition calling for this, and to discuss with parents how valuable teaching assistants are.image

When you are collecting your child from school please come over and sign our petition and show you support teaching assistants and the work they do.

 

 

UPDATE

2014-05-09 10.24.36 2014-05-08 14.17.10

It was a great pleasure to join the GMB outside Holy Trinity School in Guildford yesterday. Thank you to all the parents and education workers who signed the petition and stopped to chat. Teaching assistants are hugely valued and Michael Gove’s attack on them is unwarranted.

Ukip Don’t Share Cranleigh’s Values


Originally posted on Cranleigh Labour Party:

photo RW My name is Richard Wilson and I was recently selected to be Labour’s parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Guildford which includes Cranleigh. I am a 42-year old airline Captain and I have lived in Surrey for 14 years. In 2015 I will be asking voters here to trust me with their votes to be their next MP. It is a great honour for me to represent Cranleigh albeit only as a candidate at this stage.

1743520_10151948116012411_838760583_nAs the largest village in England, Cranleigh has the advantages and disadvantages of both villages and towns. The roads cannot cope with the current traffic levels, never mind projected future car traffic. House prices are unaffordable for young families. Household bills like electricity, gas, rent and child care are rocketing but wages can’t keep up. Our environment is under threat from unsustainable development and now dangerous fracking for gas. Like everywhere in England, the…

View original 378 more words

Europe’s far right and why voting on 22 May matters


Fascism, racism and anti-Semitism are growing all across Europe. In French local elections recently the National Front made huge gains. In Greece the Golden Dawn draws support from inside police stations and not just from the occupants of the cells. Geert Wilders in the Netherlands “says what everyone is thinking” according to one of his supporters I spoke to. The True Finns, now known as The Finns Party, got 19% of the vote in 2011. Far right parties in Latvia and Poland are members of the same grouping in the European Parliament as the British Conservatives since David Cameron took his MEPs out of the more moderate EPP grouping. Some of these MEPs hold an annual commemoration of the Latvian Waffen SS of the Second World War.

Here in the UK, Ukip and Conservatives are pushing the same buttons, whipping up anti-foreigner sentiment, blaming economic austerity on immigrants and the vulnerable. Since 1945, Europe has been largely at peace because we have cooperated with each other. Increasingly now nationalism and xenophobia are returning.

On 22 May, the UK will elect its Members of the European Parliament by proportional representation. Every Labour vote will count, wherever it is cast. Now is the time to stand up against the rising fascism and racism. In a few years time it will be too late. I’ll be pulling out all the stops for this election. The general election is just over one year away. Next month’s election will be the most significant electoral event here this year. It is absolutely vital that all Labour supporters do everything they can over the next 5 and a bit weeks to ensure we elect as many Labour MEPs as possible to counter racism from the UK and the other 27 members of the EU.

Join me (and ‘like’ this) on the campaign trail and let’s make sure we leave it all on the field!

Be part of the Guildford Labour election campaign!

Be part of the Guildford Labour election campaign!

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