Mike Hill MP: Universal Credit brings untold suffering
As if the Tories haven't inflicted enough misery on the poorest in our society, the roll-out of Universal Credit has brought more suffering to those already struggling to make ends meet.
All over the country, MPs surgeries are being dominated with cases of people getting into debt, using foodbanks and generally struggling to get by because of payment delays.
Having to wait six weeks and more for money to cover basic costs such as food, lighting and heating is bringing untold suffering to families and - worst of all - innocent children.
The issues are being seen by Conservative MPs as well as Labour, which is why I’m hoping that by the time you read this, Tory MPs will have done the decent thing and voted with Labour in the Opposition Day Debate.
I’m doubtful, but I’m always hopeful.
* LATEST information published by the BBC confirms what we already knew: this government is bringing the NHS to its knees.
All over the country hospital, trusts are failing to hit their three main targets and with winter on its way, I genuinely fear an NHS meltdown.
It’s hard to feel any optimism, but in Hartlepool we can take a crumb of comfort that our local North Tees and Hartlepool Trust have hit two out of the three targets.
It is a massive tribute to our NHS staff that they’ve managed to do this in the face of such pressures and adversity.
I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks on behalf all the people of Hartlepool for the hard work, commitment and care that our doctors, nurses and other NHS staff bring to a service that is literally on its knees
* HMS Trincomalee was 200 years old last week.
Everybody loves the Trinc. It’s iconic, emblematic and the biggest tourist asset we have. Name another town with a whopping big warship slap bang in its centre and I will eat my hat!
Wrapped around this gem are two things; number one is the Historic Quay newly adopted by the National Royal Navy Museum as The Royal Navy Museum of the North, and secondly are the plans by the council to develop Jacksons Landing.
Those who follow me on Twitter will know that in jest I posted a photo of a rather shabby sign near Seal Sands which almost indecipherably pointed to Seaton and I asked Stockton Council (who are responsible for them) to clean up their act and point folk towards the best place in the North East.
I despair that unlike places like the Royal Armories in Leeds and the Lowry Centre in Salford, that the arrival of a prestigious Museum in Hartlepool hasn’t yet opened up the tourist floodgates.
The council is trying its hardest. It has put up the most amazing road signs advertising our major tourist attractions (even though I always say the Heugh Battery gets a raw deal), but we need to do more to draw people in; to make Hartlepool a destination of choice for tourists.
If we don’t, then the Royal Navy Museum of the North may haul anchor and ship out. That would be a disaster for our town.