Spring 2017 Newsletter
Parliament has just voted decisively for there to be an early general election, by a majority of 522 votes to 13.
Representing Beverley and Holderness is a great honour and I will seek to stand again as your Member of Parliament.
Why not get involved in the election campaign? If you’d like to know more about how to play a role (regardless of which party) I’d be delighted to give you information on how to do it. Email me on email@example.com or call me on 01482 679687.
As Parliament prepares to dissolve, I also want to bring you up to date on what I have been doing since my last e-newsletter at Christmas.
I have been campaigning on a wide range of issues across Beverley and Holderness. The most significant of these is the urgent need to save the Minor Injuries Units in Hornsea and Withernsea, earmarked for closure by East Riding Clinical Commissioning Group as part of a planned reconfiguration of services.
Immediately after East Riding Clinical Commissioning Group announced its decision in March to close these units, I called on the Council to exercise its right to refer the matter formally to the Health Secretary. I am delighted to say that the Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee voted to do so unanimously on 4 April.
I continue to be concerned that the upshot of removing local minor injuries care will be greater pressure on both the Accident and Emergency unit at Hull Royal Infirmary and Yorkshire Ambulance Service, which would not benefit anyone and could put lives at risk. We will not give up the fight and the matter will now go all the way to the top.
Away from the NHS, I am pleased to announce that my campaign for a fairer funding settlement for local nurseries has made a breakthrough. The Government has confirmed it will introduce a minimum pupil funding level nationwide. This will help to ensure East Riding nurseries receive enough money to provide the places needed to deliver 30 hours a week free childcare for working parents from September.
I’m grateful to everyone who supported my Save East Riding Childcare Campaign and who took the time to sign my petition and share their views. The Government has put its money where its mouth is and proved that it is determined to deliver the Government’s commitment to double the free hours of childcare provided for working parents of three- and four-year-olds.
Community policing in Beverley and Holderness is in the spotlight. I have never had as many people write to me to complain about crime as they did last year, with constituents from Beverley, Hedon, Hornsea and Withernsea highlighting their personal experiences.
In October I took this up forcefully with then Chief Constable Justine Curran. In a deeply disappointing reply the Chief Constable told me, “Holderness remains a low crime area and is a safe place to live… residents’ fear of crime is often greater than the reality.”
So I met our local Police and Crime Commissioner, Keith Hunter, in December to question whether the Chief Constable was up to the job and had got her priorities right.
Since our meeting things have developed further. In late January, figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed a 13% rise in crime in Hull and the East Riding in the twelve months to September 2016. Those figures belied the Chief Constable’s assurances that people in Holderness have an exaggerated fear of crime.
The Police and Crime Commissioner has now acted. The Chief Constable has gone. The commitment, bravery and dedication of local police officers never ceases to amaze me – now they need a leadership that matches their high standards.
On 29 March the Prime Minister kept her promise to trigger Article 50, the mechanism by which Britain will formally leave the European Union.
I voted in favour of every stage of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017, honouring the wishes of the clear majority of voters in the East Riding, which gave the PM permission to trigger Article 50 and open exit negotiations.
This is an historic moment from which there can be no turning back. We are going to make our own decisions and our own laws. We are going to take control of the things that matter most to us. And we are going to take this opportunity to build a stronger, fairer Britain.
The Government will represent every person in the United Kingdom in the negotiations, whether they voted Leave or Remain – and including those EU nationals who have made this country their home. As the Prime Minister has said, our shared values, interests and ambitions can – and must – bring us together as a country.
Investment in Hornsea
I was delighted by the announcement that Hornsea is to receive £3.77 million from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Coastal Communities Fund to renovate the town’s seafront.
The money will fund a large part of a £4.6 million project to rejuvenate South Promenade, including the expansion of the leisure boat compound, upgrades to car parking and a new all year round café, retail space and visitor hub.
This is excellent news for Hornsea and I want to congratulate everybody involved in putting the successful bid together, including East Riding of Yorkshire Council. They have done a terrific job and I can’t wait to see the final result.
In February I held a special summit on diabetes in Tickton to bring together experts on diabetes from across the East Riding. Attendees included leading consultants, doctors, representatives of the Hull and East Riding Clinical Commissioning Groups and patients.
There are an estimated 18,300 adults with diabetes in East Riding of Yorkshire. Worryingly, East Riding of Yorkshire has the second highest diabetes-related amputation rate in the North and Yorkshire – NHS data shows there have been 202 amputations locally over the last three years, involving people losing their feet or their legs. This is 70 higher than if the East Riding were in line with the national trend.
My summit identified a number of areas where care could be improved, including:
- better information for patients so that they know what treatment they should expect and how to monitor risk;
- better training for the nurse practitioners and GPs involved in primary care;
- better communications between hospitals and community services; and
- more effective workforce planning to ensure there are no gaps in care when key personnel retire.
To help monitor the situation, I will now receive information from the local NHS regarding their analysis of the root cause of amputations over the course of the next year. I will also meet nurse practitioners in local GP practices to discuss their work caring for patients first-hand.
To end this newsletter on another health issue, I continue to campaign for defibrillator provision across Beverley and Holderness.
As part of Restart a Heart Day, I joined The Oliver King Foundation at their event in Westminster calling for all MPs to become Defibrillator Champions. The Foundation was set up following the tragic death of 12-year-old Oliver King from a sudden cardiac arrest, which kill a dozen young people every single week.
I held my “Tour de Tickton” at the end of last year to view five new defibrillators in and around Tickton by bicycle and to meet those involved in providing this vital equipment
In November, East Riding of Yorkshire Council voted to endorse my “How To” Guide explaining how to get a defibrillator for your area or village. The Guide is available on my website.
The General Election
To end this newsletter where I started, the General Election will be held on 8 June. I hope to see many of you on the campaign trail in the weeks ahead.
My office will remain open to deal with casework as normal throughout the campaign, so if I can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS – Become my friend on Facebook at www.facebook.com/grahamstuart62 for regular updates and give me a call on 01482 679687 if you want to discuss anything at all.
April 24th, 2017