Mike Hill: Positive sign that the town’s hospital is now here to stay

News that North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust are to spend £300,000 on upgrading the theatres at the University Hospital of Hartlepool is welcome.

Thursday, 17th October 2019, 10:00 am
Updated Thursday, 17th October 2019, 11:00 am
The University Hospital of Hartlepool.

Although they have a long way to go to regain our trust after the Maternity Unit debacle, and of course the loss of our A&E, this is a positive sign that, despite all the pressures on the NHS, our local hospital is here to stay.

Of course, the NHS featured heavily in the Queen’s Speech earlier this week, alongside other things like crime, schools and the environment.

In total 26 bills were proposed in what has been described as a party political broadcast on behalf of the Tory Party.

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There were some very important aspects of the speech, which nobody can quibble about like increasing police numbers and tackling domestic abuse.

But in this un-costed wish list, which conveniently airbrushes out the fact that most of the measures in the speech are a consequence of 10 years of Government austerity measures, the opportunity was not taken to tackle contemporary issues like guaranteeing free TV licences to the over 75s, state pension inequality for women born in the 1950s and the looming crisis in social care.

Instead of focusing on fixing these important issues the Government instead has chosen to put forward obscure and contentious legislation to require voters to show picture ID at polling stations.

Dressed up as a measure to counter election fraud this is nothing more than an attack on the democratic right of the people to vote in elections purely for party political advantage.

And on the subject of democracy, if you are wondering where all the police have gone lately all you need to do is walk around the Westminster square mile to find lost of police vans. Why?

Because the so called “Crusties”, as described by Boris Johnson, who are wanting to peacefully protest about the climate emergency have been banned from the capital.

Whatever opinion you have on politics or climate change, the fact is that we still have freedom of speech in our country and the right to peaceful protest. Denying that right sets a dangerous precedent.