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The Labour Party along with the Save Cossham campaign group will be holding a protest in Kingswood Park at 9.30am on 17th September to highlight the strength of feeling about the Minor Injuries Unit promised at Cossham Hospital, but which still hasn't been delivered. The protest will then be moving across the road to the Kingswood Civic Centre to deliver the petition to the Clinical Commissioning Group at the monthly South Glos. Health Scrutiny meeting.

The protest has been planned following a campaign meeting earlier in August packed with almost 200 people. At that meeting Jo McCarron, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, spoke about the importance of delivering the MIU, promised to residents as part of the move of facilities from Frenchay to Southmead. 

Jo said, 

"As part of the move of facilities from Frenchay to Southmead, after a long consultation, local people were promised that Frenchay would be protected as a community hospital - but that promise has been broken, with a raft of the services we were told would be delivered now scrapped. We were also promised the MIU at Cossham, but the longer people are forced to wait, the more suspicious they become that once again promised services will be downgraded.

"People in our area have already had to endure one lengthy battle to save Cossham from closure. Reg Bennett (under the chairmanship of Graham Kennedy) and the Save Cossham Hospital Group, along with local councillors and the former Labour MP, Roger Berry, worked hard to ensure that Cossham did not close - and it was a triumph to see their hard work and determination pay off, ultimately securing a £19million refurbishment from the Labour Government. It was a testament to what can be achieved when the community pulls together.

"Whether it is legal for the CCG to break this pledge or not, the fact remains that the promise was made, and should be honoured. Consultation should always mean something, or else there is just no trust."

Jo McCarron also paid tribute to Reg Bennett and the rest of the Save Cossham team for all the work they do on behalf of the community to try to secure the MIU.

All members of the public interested in the MIU campaign are invited to attend the protest and the delivery of the petition to the Clinical Commissioning Group.

Minor Injuries Unit protest planned for 17th September

The Labour Party along with the Save Cossham campaign group will be holding a protest in Kingswood Park at 9.30am on 17th September to highlight the strength of feeling about the...

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The packed public meeting at Warmley Community Centre on Saturday (26th July) was called by the Save Cossham residents group, who Jo and the Labour team have been working with to make sure residents have their say over the Minor Injuries Unit. So far they have collected more than 7000 signatures between them.

Ben Bennett, from the South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, responded to residents' concerns by repeating that the decision about the Minor Injuries Unit still hasn't been made, and is now due to be taken in the autumn. Jo McCarron said, "The longer people are forced to wait, the more suspicious they become that once again promised services will be downgraded."

Jo spoke about the importance of Cossham to herself and the community: "As someone who has lived locally in Hanham for most of my life, I understand how important Cossham hospital is to the people of Kingswood. My family and I used the hospital before it underwent its amazing refurbishment. We felt fortunate then that we had nearby NHS facilities, and I know how proud we all are of the new Hospital. I also know how important it is for people across this constituency that this excellent local Hospital is used to its very best potential in order to serve our community."

She also spoke about the importance of the Minor Injuries Unit campaign, not just to deliver the MIU, but "to build trust in the delivery of local healthcare." The campaign is "about a history of threatened services, downgraded services and broken promises."

And she paid tribute to the work by Reg Bennett and the Save Cossham group: "As someone whose own background is in voluntary community campaigning, I know these campaigns can be time consuming, stressful and often a thankless task. The vast majority of people don't know how many long hours people like Reg put into it - but I know he and others in the Save Cossham team are working day in, day out to ensure our community gets the Minor Injuries Unit they were promised and deserve."



Here is the full text of Jo's statement:

My name is Jo McCarron and I'm Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood. Many thanks for coming along to our meeting today.  

As someone who has lived locally in Hanham for most of my life, I understand how important Cossham hospital is to the people of Kingswood. My family and I used the hospital before it underwent its amazing refurbishment. We felt fortunate then that we had nearby NHS facilities, and I know how proud we all are of the new Hospital. I also know how important it is for people across this constituency that this excellent local Hospital is used to its very best potential in order to serve our community.

People in our area have already had to endure one lengthy battle to save Cossham from closure. Reg Bennett (under the chairmanship of Graham Kennedy) and the Save Cossham Hospital Group, along with local councillors and the former Labour MP, Roger Berry, worked hard to ensure that Cossham did not close - and it was a triumph to see their hard work and determination pay off, ultimately securing a £19million refurbishment from the Labour Government. It was a testament to what can be achieved when the community pulls together.

Local people have fought hard for Cossham, not only because it serves health needs, but because there is also an emotional attachment too. It is the 'people's hospital', so naturally local people want their say on which NHS facilities are provided there.

Now that Frenchay A&E has closed, the need for a local Minor Injuries Unit is felt more urgently than ever. And people feel more let down and frustrated than ever.

As part of the move of facilities from Frenchay to Southmead, after a long consultation, local people were promised that Frenchay would be protected as a community hospital - but that promise has been broken, with a raft of the services we were told would be delivered now scrapped. We were also promised the MIU at Cossham, but the longer people are forced to wait, the more suspicious they become that once again promised services will be downgraded.

Whether it is legal for the CCG to break this pledge or not, the fact remains that the promise was made, and should be honoured.

I understand how let down people feel about the uncertainty hanging over the Minor Injuries Unit at Cossham. I know first hand that there is nothing more infuriating than undergoing years of consultation, only to learn that it was meaningless. Consultation should always mean something, or else there is just no trust.

And that is why we have called this meeting today - and that is why the Labour team and I have been working hard alongside the Save Cossham group. We've been out speaking to hundreds of people about the issue every week, either on the doorstep, at street stalls or on the phone. It is a highly emotive issue  - and barely a soul passes without signing our petition. Over the last few months, the Save Cossham campaign and the Labour Party have jointly collected over 7000 signatures. I understand the current MP also recently sent out a leaflet with a new petition and has 1000 signatures to add to this total. All the help we can get building pressure is welcome and important.

At every step of the way our Labour team has worked hard to support the Save Cossham group and I strongly believe all political parties should be working together in the interest of Kingswood residents on this issue.

But the battle is not over and there are still many questions that need answering. Local people cannot keep being fobbed off leaving them anxious about local health provision. Particularly now there is no nearby A&E at Frenchay. So we will be keeping the pressure on.

We are continuing to hold regular street stalls and collect signatures door to door or at our regular telephone bank. We have a board circulating around, so if you would like to sign up to help us with this important campaign, please leave your details.

Finally, I just want to pay my compliments to Reg and the rest of the Save Cossham team.

As someone who's own background is in voluntary community campaigning, I know these campaigns can be time consuming, stressful and often a thankless task. The vast majority of people don't know how many long hours people like Reg put into it - But I know he and others in the Save Cossham team are working day in, day out to ensure our community gets the Minor Injuries Unit they were promised and deserve.

I know this campaign is about more than the MIU. It's about a history of threatened services, downgraded services and broken promises. We're campaigning to build trust in the delivery of local healthcare.

So I'd like to close my statement by giving a big thanks to him and his team, for all the excellent and vital work they are doing for our community.

Jo McCarron speaks to nearly 200 residents who turned out to join the call for the Minor Injuries Unit at Cossham Hospital

The packed public meeting at Warmley Community Centre on Saturday (26th July) was called by the Save Cossham residents group, who Jo and the Labour team have been working with to...

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Jo McCarron, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, held a meeting with local residents on Monday about the campaign calling for practical measures to ease traffic problems on Craven Way.

The meeting was hosted by Anne Sheppard, who lives on Craven Way and has been calling for improvements to the traffic calming measures on the road since 2010. In April, Jo joined with Anne and other local residents to set up a petition, which nearly 400 residents have signed. Council officers are now drafting plans for new traffic calming measures in line with the specific proposals the residents have been pressing for.

 

Speaking after the meeting Jo said:

 

"The resolve of the residents around Craven Way is beginning to pay off as the council begins to draw up plans, but they are in the very early stages so on Monday I met with the residents to offer my support to help them keep up the pressure over the coming weeks and months by encouraging other residents to sign the petition and share their experiences and concerns so these can be fed back to the Council."

 

Residents at the meeting spoke about why they are campaigning for action to be taken and agreed to submit their experiences to the Council so they can fully understand the impact of the traffic problems in their area.

 

Some experiences shared include:

 

“I live on the corner of Craven Way and the traffic outside is awful. They come round the corner very fast and have actually gone through my fence into my back garden.  If I had been in the garden with my daughter at the time we could have both been badly injured or even killed.  There have been a lot of near misses, but also a lot of accidents.  On Friday 13 June this year a motorcyclist was knocked off his bike as he came past my house onto the roundabout and was hit by a car coming too fast up Tower Lane.”

Jane Thomas

 

“We cross Craven Way to take the children to school and have found it easier to do so by the 'wonky' roundabout.  However, the number of drivers on their mobile phones, not indicating and speeding onto Craven Way is shocking. There will be a serious accident one day soon… The traffic is built up by cars waiting for the dual carriageway or queuing on Craven way due to the chicane.  People are frustrated and this causes over revving and unsafe driving.  Drivers take chances on the chicanes due to the unfairness of pointless queues - I have seen first hand, on a daily basis, road rage caused by the chicanes.  It's like watching cars drag race to get through and play 'chicken'.  It's dangerous!”

Rebecca Garrett

 

“We have been living in Kennmoor Close for several years and have very seldom felt safe crossing over Craven way which is at the top of our close. We both suffer from a sight loss condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. Our local transport and post box is over the other side of the road and therefore we need to feel that getting to these amenities should not be as difficult as it is. We have family and friends that unfortunately suffer from a visual impairment and also find it difficult crossing the road when they come to visit. Therefore we would benefit from some kind of crossing. That would enable us to live an independent life and not have to constantly be worried about crossing such a busy road.”

Mark Belton and Jane Diment

Craven Way campaigning begins to pay off

Jo McCarron, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, held a meeting with local residents on Monday about the campaign calling for practical measures to ease traffic problems on Craven Way.

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