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In response to the news that former Labour Councillor Leigh Farrow had joined UKIP, a spokesperson for the Labour and Co-operative group said:

Leigh Farrow was removed as a Labour candidate following repeated complaints from council staff and party colleagues of unacceptable behaviour, not for any political reason.

If he wishes to seek election in May for UKIP then that is a matter for him, although we would question whether he agrees with UKIP policy of removing rights in the workplace, such as sick leave, health and safety, maternity leave, paid holidays and more, as well as their support for the privatisation of the NHS.

His defection to UKIP is somewhat surprising as until now Leigh Farrow has been on record as describing UKIP as "racist", "xenophobic", "further to the Right than the Tory Party" and "acting like the BNP."

Unions Together has compiled a list of the UKIP key social policies. This is available at http://www.unionstogether.org.uk/page/s/truth

 

Labour reaction to Councillor joining UKIP

In response to the news that former Labour Councillor Leigh Farrow had joined UKIP, a spokesperson for the Labour and Co-operative group said: Leigh Farrow was removed as a Labour...

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Angry patients facing the closure of Eaton Place GP practice described the search for a new GP as ‘absolute chaos’ and a ‘mad scramble’ at a public meeting held last night (Thursday 4th December) by Labour parliamentary candidate for Brighton Kemptown, Nancy Platts.

The meeting, held as part of the campaign to ‘Replace Eaton Place’ was chaired by Frances McCabe of Healthwatch Brighton and Hove and speakers included Nancy Platts, local Labour Party Ward Councillor Warren Morgan who sits on the local Health and Wellbeing Board, Councillor Gill Mitchell and East Brighton Council candidate Maggie Barradell who is also a patient at Eaton Place surgery.

At the meeting one couple described how this was the second time they had to move doctors in four years due a previous GP practice closing, again due to retirement.

A female patient who had been diligently contacting each of the 15 alternative GP practices on the list supplied by NHS England said;

I spent a full working day going through the list of 15. Two involved two buses and a long walk, two said I lived in the wrong postcode, two had poor NHS ratings and one was no longer there.

One woman, commenting on the distances people would be expected to travel to get to a new GP said they had been measured ‘as the crow flies’ so to get to some in a short space of time. You would need a helicopter

Others said that when they tried to register at a new surgery they were turned away and told to wait for an ‘open day’ or come back in January or February 2015. This left them feeling very worried about whether they would be able to find a new GP near to their home.

Nancy Platts said:

I am horrified by the way people are being treated. The confusion about where responsibility lies for ensuring patients have a local GP is a direct result of the fragmentation of the NHS under this Conservative-led Government. Expecting people from East Brighton to travel half way across town to see their GP or turning them away when they try to register somewhere else is unacceptable. NHS England must get a grip of this situation, there is a clearly a need for a GP surgery in this part of East Brighton and we cannot have over 5,000 people left frantically trying to find a new doctor.

East Brighton Ward Councillor, Warren Morgan said:

We cannot afford to lose a GP surgery in East Brighton and we need to ‘Replace Eaton Place’. I have written to NHS England and this issue will be discussed at the Health and Wellbeing Board next Tuesday. I will continue to fight to keep local GP services for people in my Ward and I will be asking the Board to look urgently at new options for a surgery in the area.

Many patients also expressed concern that they could no longer register with a particular GP and felt that it was time-wasting and sometimes upsetting to have to keep re-explaining their medical condition. One man with mental health issues said that having a one-to-one relationship with a doctor was very important to him and was worried that he might have to see a different GP each time.

Labour Council Candidate and Eaton Place patient Maggie Barradell led the call for people to go with her, Cllr Gill Mitchell and Nancy Platts to the Health and Wellbeing Board next week to make their views known. They are urging people to join them and will be gathering at 3pm outside Hove Town Hall on Tuesday 9th December.

The petition to ‘Replace Eaton Place’ can be found at http://www.nancyplatts.org.uk/replaceeatonplacegp or you can follow the campaign on Twitter with hashtag #replaceeatonplaceGP.

Eaton Place GP Practice will close on 28th February 2015 due to the retirement of the current GPs.

Finding a new GP is ‘absolute chaos’ and a ‘mad scramble’ say patients from Eaton Place

Ahead of a meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee meeting, Councillor Warren Morgan, Leader of the Labour and Co-operative Group, said:

Labour are taking the responsible option in the face of ongoing cuts to support for people on low incomes by the current Government, and proposing to reduce support by an affordable 6.5%. This will mean that support for low income council tax payers in Brighton and Hove is still amongst the best in the country.

The Green proposal depends on a “yes” vote in a May referendum putting everyone’s council tax up by £100 a year. In the event of a “no” vote the Green proposals would mean low income council tax payers would pay three times as much as they do now.
  • The Policy and Resources Committee is deciding over the level of Council Tax Reduction provided by the council. This scheme provides a reduction for some residents by setting a minimum level of council tax they have to pay. At the moment, this is 8.5% of the full council tax bill, and Labour are proposing that this go up to 15%. The funding for the scheme is being cut by central government, so maintaining the reduction at 8.5% is not affordable.

  • Attached is a spreadsheet outlining Council Tax Reduction levels in unitary authorities. In 2013/14, Brighton and Hove had the 6thlowest minimum payment level of all the authorities with the 8.5% minimum payment level, and with a 15% minimum payment level would have the 12th lowest minimum payment level in 2014/15. This is out of 56 unitary councils.

  • Prospective Council Candidate, Neil Schofield, wrote a blog entry outlining his concerns over the Greens’ proposal for Council Tax Reduction. The blog is at http://notesbrokensociety.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/brightons-greens-council-tax-and-a-disgraceful-act-of-moral-blackmail/

Labour voting for responsible option on Council Tax Reduction

Ahead of a meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee meeting, Councillor Warren Morgan, Leader of the Labour and Co-operative Group, said: Labour are taking the...

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