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Jo McCarron, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, spoke to delegates at Labour's Annual Conference in Manchester about the importance of rebuilding trust following a series of broken NHS promises locally and nationally.

Jo was moving a motion submitted by Kingswood CLP and Bristol North West CLP reaffirming Labour's commitment to protecting our health service - the motion passed unanimously by delegates.

Here is the full text of Jo's speech:

"I am Jo McCarron, CLP delegate for Kingswood, Bristol, and standing to be the next MP for Kingswood.

It is a huge honour to be moving this motion on behalf of everybody who wants to save the NHS from Tory destruction.  

Let me tell you what’s been happening to a couple of hospitals in my area.

A few years ago, Cossham Hospital was under threat of closure. But after a hard fought campaign, not only was it saved – we secured a £19million refurbishment from the last Labour Government. This was thanks to the hard work of residents, Labour councillors, and the former Labour MP, Roger Berry.

It was testament to what can be achieved when we pull together. 

But do you know, when Cossham Hospital re-opened there were two empty rooms. The Minor Injuries Unit was missing. It was promised, but it’s nowhere to be seen.

But luckily we have an amazing group of campaigners – the Save Cossham Group. Together we have been working to make sure local people are heard.

I have been blown away by the team’s hard work and determination. And even more than that, by the public response to our petition at street stalls, on the doors and at the meetings and rallies we have called. 

Last week the Save Cossham Group and I presented the petition, with 16,000 signatures.

So it’s clear, people in Kingswood are passionate about their local health services.

But this isn’t only about health – it’s also about broken promises.

There had been another promise that nearby Frenchay hospital would be protected as a ‘community hospital’.

Since then a raft of the services that were supposed to be delivered were scrapped – that, despite the Conservative MP, Chris Skidmore, saying he had already made sure the community hospital would be delivered. He said it was job done. I guess he’s hoping nobody will notice that most of Frenchay has actually closed.

People feel betrayed, ignored, let down. Uncertainty and betrayal isn't good for anybody's health.

What’s at stake above all is trust, and not just in Kingswood but across the country. People’s faith that promises count for something, that they won’t be taken for a ride.

Do you remember David Cameron promising that his number one priority was the National Health Service?

Well I think he might need a reminder.

He said he would stand up for the NHS.

Well, the reality is that his Government has piled pressure on our health service

- Cutting thousands of nurses

- Slashing social care for the elderly and vulnerable

- Closing walk in centres

- Wasting billions on a reorganisation no professional health body wanted and no-one voted for 

The result is patients waiting longer for treatment, longer for GP appointments, longer in ambulance queues.

And now we have Conservative MPs talking about charging patients. Is that their plan to ease the strain the health service is under? Attacking the basic founding principle of our NHS.

Free at the point of use. Available to all.

David Cameron’s NHS promises have counted for nothing.

The truth is, that is bad not just for the Tories, but for politics as a whole.

Labour has a plan to rebuild our NHS,

Repealing the Health and Social Care Act, that diverts money for health care into private company profits.

Investing in frontline staff. 8,000 more GPs. 20,000 more nurses.

But people need to know that they can trust us to deliver.

We need to show week-in week-out that we are already making a difference. 

And we are, in Kingswood alongside the Save Cossham Group, and in constituencies up and down the country, fighting to protect local NHS facilities. 

So let's get out and keep up the fight. It’s now or never.

And I say to the Tories – just as surely as you have been closing down walk-in centres, come next May, it will be you walking out the door."

Jo McCarron speaks at Labour Party Conference about our NHS

Jo McCarron, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, spoke to delegates at Labour's Annual Conference in Manchester about the importance of rebuilding trust following a series of broken NHS promises locally...

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Jo McCarron and representatives from the residents’ campaign group calling for improved traffic calming measures on Craven Way spoke to councillors at the Council’s Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment Committee meeting on Wednesday 3rd September. 

They presented their petition, signed by more than 400 people so far, along with written statements from local residents about the problems they experience with traffic on Craven Way.

Jo and the residents’ group will also be speaking at the Kings Forest Area Forum meeting on Monday 15th September at 7pm in the Civic Centre. The Forum’s list of potential traffic schemes now includes improvements to the traffic calming on Craven Way – residents will be pressing the case for this scheme to be finalised and implemented as soon as possible.

Below is the text of Jo’s statement at the meeting on Wednesday:

“My name is Jo McCarron and I am Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood. I am here today because I’ve been working with local residents to try and make sure their concerns about traffic on Craven Way are listened to and acted on – and to urge councillors to read their statements about the problems they experience.

“Although there is speed calming along most of the stretch of Craven Way, there is not any, and has never been any, at the Tower Lane end. Residents do welcome the news that the chicanes are due to be removed, and in their petition – signed by more than 400 people – they have put forward practical suggestions as to what scheme should replace them.

“Residents have been extremely concerned about this issue for a number of years and say they do not want to wait until a serious accident before action is taken. They contacted me earlier this year, and told me they had been calling for action since 2010, but feel they have been ignored by their local councillors and the current Conservative MP. I am keen that residents in Kingswood have a say on matters that are important to them, so I met with the concerned residents and I helped them to build their campaign. 

“Since we started building pressure on this issue, there has been some progress. I know council officers have now put together a draft scheme which incorporates the residents’ suggestions, this is on the Kings Forest Area Forum’s list of potential transport projects.

“This is encouraging, but we are here today to try and make absolutely sure that from this point onwards, residents’ concerns are taken seriously, that councillors and officers do all they can to deliver the most effective possible traffic calming measures along the whole of Craven Way, and that residents have a say in the future changes to Craven Way.”

Jo McCarron and local residents deliver petition to keep up pressure for improved Craven Way traffic calming

Jo McCarron and representatives from the residents’ campaign group calling for improved traffic calming measures on Craven Way spoke to councillors at the Council’s Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment Committee...

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Read the article on page 14 of the Week In here...

Or read the full text of Jo's comments below:

"As a working mum, I know the stresses involved in finding the right childcare, particularly during the school holidays. My kids are now a bit older, but I really feel for parents facing childcare costs that are putting more pressure than ever before on the household budget, while fewer and fewer childcare places are available. Childcare should not be a barrier to parents wanting to return to work – that’s no good for anyone.

"I helped out this summer at the holiday play scheme run by Juice Community Project in Cadbury Heath. It’s free, it’s open every weekday afternoon during the school holidays, and above all it’s great fun for the kids and the volunteers who help supervise. Families with services like this on their doorstep are really lucky. For more and more parents, finding good, affordable holiday childcare is a real struggle. The average price of holiday childcare has gone up around 20% over the last five years. And only 27% of local authorities in England have enough holiday childcare for parents who work full-time – five years ago that figure was 49%.

"Childcare is obviously a particular concern during the holidays, but childcare throughout the year is becoming a bigger and bigger challenge. There are 35,000 fewer childcare places across the country than there were in 2010, and childcare costs have gone up five times faster than wages.

"As a result, pressure has been growing on the Government to act, and they have at least announced some extra help towards childcare costs in the form of an increase in the “childcare subsidy”. However, this amounts to only £400 a year for the average family, and will not be introduced until next year.

"More could definitely be done, and should be done – for the benefit of parents, and the wider economy. Labour has set out fully funded plans to provide an extra 10 hours a week of free childcare for working parents, worth £1500 per child per year. We have pledged to guarantee breakfast and homework clubs at school to ensure good quality care is available for all primary aged children. I’ve spoken to hundreds of local parents who back these plans – let’s hope that pressure on the Government to deliver this kind of meaningful help continues to grow."

Jo McCarron speaks to the Week In about the challenge parents face finding good, affordable childcare

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