Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/439/5190

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 May 2006

Victory for NHS campaign

Voters say 'no' to cuts

Dr Jackie Grunsell addresses a demonstrationSocialist Party member and GP, Jackie Grunsell (pictured left with megaphone) scored a spectacular victory in the local elections standing for the Save Huddersfield NHS campaign. She gained 2,176 votes - a majority of 807- in the Crosland Moor and Netherton ward, hammering the main establishment parties and the BNP.
Jackie spoke exclusively to the socialist about the campaign and her victory.

"WE'VE HAD this campaign going since October when the hospital Trust and local Primary Care Trusts announced plans to centralise services. They want to move maternity, childrens' and surgical services over to Halifax and close a local hospital, St Luke's.

That started the campaign really. We've been attempting to put pressure on the council and our local MPs to take up the banner and support us. But we've not had much of a response from them, particularly when we called for a local referendum. We lobbied the council on that but they just refused to do it. We felt that would have made a big difference to the Trust's decision.

It was at that point that we decided as a campaign to stand candidates. We wanted to make the election the referendum on the health service.

Of course since then there's been all the announcements of cuts all over the country. And just recently, in this area, its been announced that there's a 6 million deficit. They've brought in an independent consultancy firm to see how they can make 'efficiency savings' - goodness knows how much that's costing - they won't tell us. So there's more cuts to come.

So as a referendum the election result is a resounding vote against the decision and a resounding vote for a fightback.

Now we're taking the Trust to a judicial review and we will discuss with the trade unions about taking some sort of action if they try to carry out their plans. We're calling for the Trust board to be sacked. And obviously we'll continue to put pressure on the elected representatives.

The campaign has realised the need to link up with other campaigns nationally because all these cuts have a national angle as well.

Spread the word

THE MEMBERS of the campaign helped a lot in the elections. They did a lot to spread the word across the ward. As we went along, more people got involved. And we had public meetings throughout the ward.

Since we've won I've had phone calls from more people saying they want to get involved in the campaign, so it's still got momentum. People see the election as part of the NHS campaign rather than a one-off thing.

We worked in all parts of the community. There's a big Asian population in the ward. When we went in to that area we had probably the friendliest response of all.

One of the Labour councillors in the neighbouring ward told me he went into a takeaway at the bottom of the ward, where the boundary is. And a group of Asian lads came in, talking about the elections and saying they were going to vote for me.

He asked: "Why are you going to vote for her?" They said: "Well she's been standing up for us." He replied that he'd voted against the Trust's plans but they said: "You haven't done anything else. She's been fighting for us and we're going to vote for her."

During the campaign and since the election I've had loads of phone calls from people in the Asian community saying: "We voted for you" and "We're really pleased you've won." One lad said: "It's the first time I've ever voted and I voted for you."

We got a lot of support amongst the Asian women, when we saw them on the school gates and things, and amongst the younger Asian men as well.

It's not a difficult argument is it on the NHS? People just know it's wrong. They feel strongly about it no matter where they come from. It's absolutely cut across all the divisions. There isn't a single area of the ward that we haven't had massive support, which shows in the vote.

The Liberal councillor who I displaced wasn't very happy with the result. At the count she came up to me and snapped: "I hope you can fulfil your promise to save Huddersfield NHS." Then she started exchanging insults with the Labour candidate, whilst I went up and gave my acceptance speech!

Beforehand they had both come up to me and said they didn't mind if I got in as long as the other one didn't. They concentrated all their efforts in the Asian community and actually tried to create divisions within it.

So what we've achieved there has been quite amazing. Everywhere we went, people were asking: "How's the campaign going?" Every shop, every takeaway. They were asking for posters and leaflets to give out.

The other members of the campaign are really pleased with the result. I've had loads of phone calls and cards and I'm confident that the campaign will continue to grow."


"Kidderminster factor" visits Huddersfield

THE SAVE Huddersfield NHS result has sent shock waves around the local political establishment. The election of Dr Jackie Grunsell, a local GP, who has been spearheading the campaign is reminiscent of the success of Dr Richard Taylor in 2001 when he was elected as MP for Wyre Forest following a similar 'save our hospital' campaign.

Mike Forster, Huddersfield

The people of Huddersfield have voted against the transfer of services. They have voted for a fight back against cuts and privatisation of their NHS.

Whilst canvassing has gone out of fashion for other parties, Save Huddersfield NHS canvassed the whole ward and the campaign grew on the way, with volunteers and offers of support on every estate.

Anger at both local and national health service reforms, was harnessed in this highly contested ward, resulting in the highest turnout in Kirklees of just under 50%.

Previously disenfranchised sections of the community came out to vote en masse. Whereas other election campaigns and results have highlighted divisions within communities, this time all sections of the ward were united in their desire to defend the health service.

In an atmosphere where people do not appear to be participating in politics, in pubs, churches, mosques, school playgrounds and shops across this ward, people were talking about the election and discussing who they would be voting for.

This result has been a clear rejection of New Labour's health policies as well as the failure of local politicians to stand up to government. It is a springboard for the campaign to continue to grow and make national links with others.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 11 May 2006:


Socialist Party election analysis

Victory for NHS campaign

Huddersfield: voters choose a socialist and a fighter!

Third socialist councillor elected in Coventry

Increased votes for socialism in Lewisham

Stoke - BNP wins close-run election

Excellent results for the Socialist Party

Local elections: A death blow for Blair?

Dangers in Respect's development


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Stop the threats to the NHS


International socialist news and analysis

Female factory workers in Russia start hunger strike

Venezuela: Fight for socialism

Iraq - the nightmare continues

Germany: 'Unity' at the expense of the working class

Morales takes on 'Big Oil'


Socialist Party workplace news

Postal union rejects pay offer

Student union leaders hide truth about lecturers' action


 

Home   |   The Socialist 11 May 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

NHS:

triangleUprising to save the NHS!

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleTories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

Huddersfield:

triangleHuddersfield A&E closure goes to judicial review

triangleHuddersfield A&E closure referred to Jeremy Hunt

triangleHuddersfield parties in the park to save hospital A&E

triangleKick out the Tories to save the NHS!

Socialist:

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

The Socialist:

triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

Socialist Party:

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

Jackie Grunsell:

triangleSustainability and Transformation plans - a repackaging of cuts

BNP:

triangleWhy I joined: "I hope that more and more people are going to join the Socialist Party and the fight to end inequality"

Election:

triangleThe Tories must be driven out

Asian:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Building trade unionism among Black and Asian people

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

PCS

PCS ballots members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

More ...

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

triangle19 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

triangle19 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangle19 Oct Wirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2