Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/433/5091
The Socialist 30 March 2006 |
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Huddersfield trust votes for cuts - but campaign gets stronger
HUDDERSFIELD AND Calderdale Primary Care Trust have ignored local
people's protests and voted for vicious cuts in the local health
service. Only one or two trust members voted against the proposed moving
and slashing of health services.
But the people of Huddersfield, led by the Save Our NHS campaign
group, are refusing to give up the services they have paid and worked
all their lives for. The unelected, unaccountable trust board have no
right to make a decision that affects the lives of thousands of people.
Their combined salary - £6.2 million - would go some way to easing the
The trust met on 22 March to vote on the proposals. They were greeted
by around 40 members of the Save Our NHS campaign, who have organised
three demonstrations over the last four months. Before long it was clear
the meeting was a farce, a mere formality before they could officially
announce the decision which had been made six months ago.
The presentations were riddled with lies and even some hilarious
truths - for example they showed that of the 742 individual letters they
received, just eight supported the proposals! Yet the trust sat smugly
as furious campaign members heckled. One young man even walked towards
the supporters of the move shouting "shame!" at each one -
before being dragged out by two of the seven bouncers employed for the
The decision has not demoralised the campaign, which has collected
well over 50,000 signatures. If anything the town seems more intent than
ever to fight.
Our next step is to stand candidates in the local elections in three
wards. Socialist Party member Dr Jackie Grunsell will be standing in
Crossland Moor and Netherton, calling for people to vote as if it were
the referendum that the council refused to call.
We also intend to lobby the health secretary and call for the
government to overrule the trust's decision on the basis of overwhelming