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Opinion column – News from the West Wolds Labour Party

Labour Party members protest against East Riding CCG's decision to close minor injuries units in East Yorkshire.
Labour Party members protest against East Riding CCG's decision to close minor injuries units in East Yorkshire.

West Wolds Branch Labour Party members were busy in the month up to Christmas, campaigning against cuts to essential housing and health services in East Yorkshire and raising funds to support further campaigns in 2018.

In late November, branch members lobbied a full meeting of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and handed out leaflets in Pocklington Market Place in opposition to council plans to reduce the number of sheltered housing locations in the county from 47 to 11 – a move that would see wardens in sheltered housing schemes in Pocklington and Stamford Bridge replaced by a centralised responder service.

The consultation period on these proposals was subsequently extended by East Riding.

In December, West Wolds members joined branch members from Driffield and Bridlington in Willerby to protest about the East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG’s) proposals to close the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Hornsea and downgrade the MIUs in Driffield and Withernsea to appointment only.

The X-Ray department has already been shut at Driffield, and one ward at Bridlington has closed.

Commenting on the closures, Driffield Branch member Daniel Vulliamy said: “There are increasing signs of a crisis-within-a-crisis as rural secondary services are stripped out at an alarming pace.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has expressed concerns about the lack of effective consultation in relation to these closures and the CCG has agreed to further discussions with the East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Health, Care and Well-Being Overview and Scrutiny Committee before triggering any changes.

Members also took time out to relax and enjoy themselves in the run up to Christmas and great fun was had by over 50 members and friends who attended the branch Christmas Quiz night at Pocklington Football Club on 15 December.

A total of £413 was raised on the night, money that will go towards further campaigns in support of local communities and public services in 2018.