Although the NHS has dominated our agenda, fracking has always been one of our concerns and any who attended our meeting at Carleton could not helped be affected by Tina Rotherey’s passion, spirit and love.
So although no rallying call was made other than notifications on our facebook groups, a few of us did get over to Northallerton on Friday.
Judith and I set off just before 8am and arrived soon onsite around 9am. The first person we met was Andy Brown who took our photo .
We then realised we were stood by Ellie Greenwood of Hebden Bridge, whom we had met at a a FOE meeting in Skipton. On the other side of us was Pauline Allon of Skipton (who can be seen on earlier posts on the NHS picket line). Here are pictures of them with the amazing Tina Rotherey.
Jude and Earl arrived mid-morning and were there as we left around 2pm having joined the band at the gate 🙂
We went to Northallerton yesterday to add to the numbers protesting about fracking in Kirby Misperton. I came away thinking less about fracking and more about how unimportant we the people have become! Over 80% of the people in Ryedale are against fracking and yet this could be imposed upon them.
There is no support from anyone who lives within a mile of the existing well. They find it a blot on the landscape and the noise when it was being drilled was constant and could be heard by them all. The district Council voted against it.
People who live there have a good life. Employment is above average ann mainly dependant on agriculture and tourism, which is down to the beauty of the landscape and Flamingo Land. Both will be devastated if fracking is allowed. Add to that a massive drop in property prices, 72 lorries a day going through a village which in some places has no paths, constant noise from drilling (30 wells to 10 sq kilometres) and they can take up to 100 days to drill. Constant light and total disfigurment of the landscape, Then there is the proposed construction of 9m high barriers of freight containers to decrease the light and sound pollution! Throw in traffic movement over a grade 2 listed bridge – which has caused much smaller ventures to have planning permission with-held. Then add the potential risks to health and water aquifers and seismic activty!
Local landowner, Sir Richard Storey, true blue automatically started as pro until he started to investigate and spoke to friends in NZ. Yesterday he said “Over recent years I have challenged everyone to tell me where I can see for myself anywhere in the world an example of friendly fracking. I have not had one reply.”
Drill or Drop have the most comprehensive coverage of the event including ‘pick of the quotes’ and ‘live updates’ giving a summary of what each speaker said including full texts of some.
John Ashton’s is well worth reading.
Video of the event by Dave Marris of Frack Free Crawberry Hill.
Worth the watch it includes an address to the crowd by Tina Rotherey.
Frack Off.org also has lots of good information on what is happening nationwide.
Having read the weather forecast we were dreading these two days, but after a slow start for us on Tuesday we numbered 15 and on Wednesday we made 20 and were also joined again by Janet Russell’s flash mob NHS singers, who had come to support the doctors and ourselves on the picket line and then were going to support the doctors in various cafes in the afternoon.
This time there were song sheets and some Junior doctors and 38 Degree members joined in.
Although no one wanted to be involved in an all out strike, there was total confidence in the senior doctors and a feeling of strengthening resolve from both the Junior Doctors and the public, who were certainly honking their horns and bringing goodies.
We are now working with, not just alongside, the Junior Doctors. We supplied them with cafes willing to allow their premises to be used to talk to willing customers .
Chris Marshall a registrar has already talked to some of us at Ilkley and is going to do so again on Monday May 9th at 2.30pm Steeton Hall. All welcome.
Conversations with union officials also took place .
All in all we felt it had gone well and that the sun had shone on the righteous 🙂
I have been trying to work out how many local 38 Degree members have been out leafleting and on the picket line and at the Leeds Rally and I reckon it must be at least 40 possibly close to 50. Well done everyone. Where we go next is the question for us and the Junior Doctors. Hopefully we will be liasing and arranging some public meetings where the Junior Doctors can meet more people. They are very willing to do this.
I had wanted to add links but there are so many it was very hard to choose.
However one of the heartening things is that the BMA does seem to have the bit between it’s teeth now. Relevant information on privatisation and an excellent video.
if you go to their youtube page they have been adding a lot of good videos re the Junior Doctors.
This fight must go on. An interesting development has taken place with well known campaigners including Peter Roderick and Alyson Pollock meeting with Heidi Alexander and John McDonnell and offering their services as a think tank. Well worth a read I thought, especially the PDF report of the meeting – link at the bottom of the page.
We were there I think we numbered 13 but we were spread about 🙂 It was a really great event with applause from the crowd. Bill took these pictures.
Gilda Peterson, one of the organisers, said the response from the public was “fantastic”.
“It was one of the biggest demonstrations we’ve seen in Leeds for quite a few years,” she said. “People clapped as we went by and number of people joined us – even the police said they were surprised and pleased for us that so many people took part.”
The group is campaigning about what they call “the privatisation by stealth” of the NHS, the demoralisation of staff and lack of financial support.
Fellow campaigners from across Yorkshire, including Airedale, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Dewsbury, Sheffield and Harrogate joined protestors, as well as representative from trade unions and the Labour and Green parties.
Despite monsoon conditions at times, we were there from 9am until midday on Wednesday.
This was in the first hour before many had arrived. The banner served as shelter from the ravages of the weather but was difficult to hold on to at times!
Thursday was a much better day and made even better by the arrival of Janet Russell and her Silsden choir who flash mobbed the reception and then came and sang to us.
We also had some interesting conversations with the Junior Doctors. Snippets include them having to pay for their rooms when they are on call if they want somewhere to sleep. Since privatisation of the canteen there are no subsidised meals and it is not staffed at night. Exams they take also have to be paid for. He had worked out that one months salary a year was taken up by paying for extras.
A Guardian article by Kailash Chand, deputy chair of the British Medical Association
An excellent article from the Kings Fund:-
A video of a Harrogate Junior Doctor’s view.
A chilling article by Anna Athow about NHS and ‘Devo Manc’
Anna Athow, retired surgeon
Greater Manchester Association of Trades Union Councils ( GMATUC ) called a mass NHS emergency protest rally to protest against the devolution of the Greater Manchester NHS Budget, called “Devo Manc”, without public scrutiny.
An emergency resolution passed by GMATUC stated in part, “ As trade unionists we can only suspect that the break up, dismemberment, rationalisation and further privatisation of the NHS in England ( under the banner of public service reform) is precisely what it’s all about, and being hurriedly imposed to avoid any such thorough examination, scrutiny and proper public debate of the issue.”
The motion ends by calling for a referendum on ALL the Greater Manchester devolution issues.
On 27th February 2015 Chancellor George Osborne, and the chief executive of NHS England Simon Stevens held a press conference to announce a “Memorandum of Understanding” for “Devolution of health and social care in Greater Manchester” ( GM ).
This marked a deal to parachute in a £6bn pooled health and social care budget, direct from the Treasury to a new GM Strategic Health and Social Care Partnership Board – in shadow form from April 2015, and statutory by April 2016.
This board contains leaders of 10 Local Authorities ( LAs ) ( 12 Clinical Commissioning Groups ( CCGs) and representatives of NHS England ( NHSE ), as well as providers and voluntary organisations.
The Combined authority of GM consists of LAs ;Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Tameside, Salford, Stockport, Trafford, Wigan,- an area of 5000 sq miles, and 2.7m population.
This deal came as a complete surprise to everyone but a few top council leaders, such as Sir Howard Bernstein and Sir Richard Leese, who had secret negotiations with Osborne for six months and then persuaded the 10 LA leaders ( 8 Labour ) to agree. Members of the public, NHS staff, trade unions, and Members of Parliament, had no idea.
The deal dictates a massive change in the way that commissioning and funding of healthcare is organised in GM, changing the deckchairs again, beyond the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
The purpose of it, is to drive through the Healthier Together programme to close 4-5 acute District General hospitals ( DGHs ) in GM , and divert the funding into the new business “models of care” outlined in Simon Stevens’ “ Five Year Forward View”. ( FYFV)
The budget for health and social care is to be pooled. The commissioning for health and social care is to merged together into Joint Commissioning Boards ( JCBs )of local councils and CCGs.
There will be four tiers of new management. The Strategic Partnership board will be supervising a JCB for GM, standing over localised JCBs.
At the very top will be a Programme Board including Simon Stevens, John Rouse from the Department of health, leading local figures in the Healthier Together programme, and Graham Urwin from Staffordshire and Shropshire.
(Staffordshire is the area where contentious reconfigurations have just taken place with the removal of A&E, paediatrics and maternity from Mid Staffs hospital and a £700m, 10 year, privatisation deal for Staffordshire’s Cancer services.).
NHS England has representatives on every one of these boards. So despite the appearance of local decision making, NHSE will enforce its own policies.
These huge administrative changes will make possible the bringing together of funding streams from NHSE, the CCGs, the LAs, Public Health England, mental health and social care all into ONE POT.
The Joint commissioning boards will then be able to re- direct this funding, away from our District General Hospitals and GP surgeries and tertiary care, into the “ new models of care” outlined in the FYFV.
The Memorandum states “GM is to be” a trailblazer for the objectives set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View”.
The main objectives of the FYFV presented by Stevens in October 2014 are to impose A – “ new models of care” modelled on the US healthcare system.
B. –a new “ modern workforce” fit for these new care models. i.e. a workforce with local pay, 24/7 working, flexible and able to ‘cross boundaries’, highly efficient with increased productivity and reduced skill mix, with changed terms and conditions, altered training, and with a huge new role for volunteers.
The ‘ new models of care” include
1.large out- of- hospital providers; “Multispecialty community providers ( MCPs )” and “Primary and Acute Care systems ( PACs )” ,
2. “Small viable hospitals” ( which would be dumbed down DGHs without proper A&E s), 3. “Specialised care” such as cancer and elective orthopaedics on networks with prime contractors. 4. ‘Networks of emergency and acute care’, with a halving of the number of Type 1 A&Es.
Steven’s key drive is to get the MCPs and the PACs off the ground in his so called “ Vanguarda” of “ integrated health and social care”. GPs surgeries are being coerced through underfunding to federate up into these MCPs, which are designed for populations of 50,000 to 300,000. and could even take over a downgraded local hospital.
(These would contain medical and nursing staff, social workers, care assistants ‘new roles’ and lots of management. The idea is that these would provide primary care, and elements of elective hospital work, mental health, public health, and out of hoursemergency calls.
They would tender for a new contract and could be prime contractors doing commissioning and providing, and could sub-contract out pathways of care. Patients would be registered with a GP and the work would be done on a capitated budget, which could not be overspent.)
MCPs and PACs are modelled on American health maintenance organisations such as Kaiser Permanente. They make a profit by incentivising staff to limit hospital referrals and care.
It is for these, that the health budget has been merged with the social care budget, as they will be providing both health and social care.
And of course, putting the provision of health and social care in the same contract, makes it easier to start charging for healthcare in the same way as for social care. Patient charges are clearly on the agenda of an incoming Tory government.
The propaganda slogans of “ joined up care” and “ integrated care” of the Vanguards, are a clever disguise for prime contracting and subcontracting i.e. disintegration and outsourcing.
These objectives have nothing to do with improving patient care, but of opening the way for takeover of NHS clinical services by multinationals, to make a handsome profits.
Already, we see our NHS in crisis with a severe lack of beds and staff.
Unions and campaigners and the public must oppose this plan from the start.
Devo Manc is part of much bigger devolution plan with pretensions to devolve £22bn of public funding to the GM Combined Authority, – to commission policing, planning, housing, transport , training,etc.
It is a poisoned chalice. The responsibility for making the billions more of public spending cuts will then rest with the devolved authority, and a mayor, whichever government gets in at the election.
The Devo Manc plan is a blitzkrieg attack to fast- track the reconfiguration of the NHS into new business models ready for private company take over.
It is a declaration of war on the health unions and the workforce, as it depends on ending Agenda for Change and doctors current contracts, and pushing through local pay and 24/7 working. They want a drastic reduction in jobs and more unskilled workers and volunteers, to hike up “ efficiency” and cost cutting, so that the circling private companies can make massive profits out of public sector contracts.
They want the end of a national public sector workforce with high levels of training.
The devolution deal is designed to use local councils and NHS leaders to break up the NHS area by area, using new commissioning structures and methods of funding, all dictated from the top. It is localised dictatorship. The aim is to end the NHS as a national publicly provided service. Then use it as a “test bed” and “ trailblaze” similar deals all over the country.
Above all there must be a huge struggle to defend what we have ; all our DGHs, our GP surgeries, our ambulance services, our community services, public health, and whats left of mental healthcare. And our public sector workforce.
The same devastation is being wreaked on all the public services. United action by the unions is needed to bring back these services into public ownership.
Labour is committed to the same policies and welcomes the FYFV and Devo Manc
Defend our District General hospitals and GP surgeries.
No to the new business models of care. No to the new cheap labour workforce
Down with the Five Year Forward View.
Defend the NHS as nationally publicly funded and provided service.
Down with Devo/ Manc. It must go
When 38 Degree local group members from Skipton, Keighley and Ilkley found out that David Babbs, a founding member and Chief Executive of 38 Degrees was speaking at Settle Stories, we decided to invite him to Skipton. What a good decision that turned out to be.
Local group members act quite independently of 38 Degrees Head Office team. This meeting provided an opportunity for us to get to know David and for him to get to know us. It began with a relaxed half hour of people chatting together over refreshments, then followed a short introduction by us and then David, after which there was an hour and a half session of which much was an open discussion.
David fielded a wide range of questions with an energy and enthusiasm that demonstrated his commitment to 38 Degrees philosophy of inclusion and listening to its members. The discussion ranged from the internal workings of the organisation, through its non-political stance to how it worked with Westminster and the role of local groups. The responses and discussion were enlightening and sometimes surprising (apparently hardly any MPs like us – oh dear!)
David’s energy cannot help but affect his audience and although some had to leave early many of us wished we had had longer. David was impressed by the commitment and knowledge of our members and us by his vitality and belief in the movement.
It was as cold as it looks and over the three hours there were about twelve of us turned up to do a stint. We turned up in similar numbers the next morning too. This is not a battle anyone is relishing.
This open letter explains the problems really well.