Michael calls for new Health Minister to drop cuts to community pharmacies
28 July 2016
As reported by Pharmacy Business, Michael has called on David Mowat MP, the new Minister for Community Pharmacies, to drop the Government’s planned £170 million cut to local chemists.
Mr Mowat was appointed following the new Prime Minister Theresa May’s Ministerial reshuffle. He inherits responsibility for pushing through the 6 per cent real terms cut to the budget for community pharmacy.
Mr Mowat’s predecessor, the Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, had previously admitted that the cut could force up to 3,000 community pharmacies – a quarter of all those in the country – to close.
There are 1,266 community pharmacies across Yorkshire and the Humber that dispense an average of 9,483 prescription items to patients each month. The Government’s cut could force around 300 – one in every four in Yorkshire and the Humber - to close, according to their own estimates.
Michael has fought the Government’s planned cut as part of a cross party campaign of MPs, patients and pharmacists who delivered a petition against the plan – signed by 1.8 million people - to 10 Downing Street. The petition was the most signed of any healthcare petition in history.
Michael has campaigned against the cut by visiting pharmacies in his Barnsley East constituency and has also led a debate in the House of Commons where he highlighted the additional costs the plan would inflict on our already overstretched NHS.
Commenting, Michael said:
“Now that the dust has settled after the Government’s reshuffle, the new Minister for Community Pharmacy must urgently think again and save local chemists by dropping this damaging plan.
“By cutting community pharmacies, the Government is shutting down the first port of call for many patients with minor ailments seeking free advice and over the counter medicine.
“This can only result in more admissions to already overwhelmed A&E departments and more visits to overstretched GP surgeries – piling more pressure on our NHS and costing more in the long run.”
Labour’s fate is in our own hands
25 July 2016
Yesterday, Michael wrote a piece for the Mail on Sunday about the likelihood of an early general election and what that means for the Labour Party.
You can read Michael’s piece in full here.
Annual summer BBQ and family day with Barnsley East Labour Party
24 July 2016
On Saturday, Michael hosted his annual summer BBQ and family day for Labour Party members and supporters in Barnsley East.
Lilian Greenwood, MP for Nottingham South, was the special guest on this occasion at the West Bank House Community Association in Hoyland.
Around 100 people joined Michael for the summer BBQ. He would like to thank Lilian for coming to Barnsley East to address the Constituency Labour Party and meet with many local members. His thanks also go to Cllr Margaret Sheard and to Laraine and Geoff Parkin from West Bank House Community Association, who worked tirelessly to make the day a success together with their daughter Helen and her partner Paul.
He would also like to thank all Barnsley East councillors who attended the BBQ.
Michael visits Wombwell Junior Football Club
24 July 2016
Yesterday, Michael was pleased to visit Wombwell Junior Football club to meet with Coach Dave Roe and the Club’s Under-6 football team. The team is also Chaired by Ian Davis.
The club aims to get young people involved in football and the Under-6 team trains twice a week.
You can find out more about Wombwell Junior Football Club on their Twitter feed here.
Michael visits students during Reds in the Community’s National Citizen Service (NCS) week at Barnsley FC
22 July 2016
Michael visited Reds in the Community’s National Citizen Service week at Barnsley FC on Friday, where he met with some of the local students who participate in the NCS programme.
The students had been working on Barnsley FC’s ‘New Heritage’ project, which has been launched to mark the Club’s 130-year anniversary next year. This project received £74,900 in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and aims to showcase the club’s history as well as the influence the Club has had on people in Barnsley, all through a series of displays in the East stand. Throughout the project different groups will be invited to work on the displays.
On this visit Michael heard first-hand from students what participating in the NCS had taught them. As part of the programme, students learn vital interviewing skills for the future and have the opportunity to build their confidence through a range of activities.
Michael was very impressed with the work Reds in the Community had done together with the students, and looks forward to seeing the ‘New Heritage’ project progress further in the coming weeks and months.
Michael opens Garganey Trust’s new two-storey hide at Broomhill Flash
22 July 2016
Michael was happy to officially open the Garganey Trust’s new two-storey hide at Broomhill Flash on Friday. The Garganey Trust, which does valuable work conserving natural heritage locally, has worked for over four years to make the new hide a reality.
After years of fundraising, work on the building started in autumn 2015 and was completed in spring 2016.
The hide is opened and closed every day by a group of dedicated volunteers, allowing visitors to enjoy the hide from dawn to dusk. The hide offers a fantastic view of the Broomhill Flash.
Michael would like to thank the Garganey Trust, chairman Jeff Lunn and volunteers and supporters for the incredible work they have done. He would also like to thank Cllr Dorothy Coates from Darfield for joining him at the opening ceremony.
People left ‘high and dry’ by Tates Travel
22 July 2016
In his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about his opposition to local bus cuts and his support for regulated bus services.
When Tates Travel collapsed with just 24 hours’ notice earlier this year, my postbag was rightly full of bus passengers complaining they had potentially been left high and dry. People were understandably frustrated and angry.
But there might be more bad news to come for all those people who rely on our local bus services. Because the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) is now consulting on major changes to Barnsley’s buses.
You can read Michael’s full column on cuts to local bus services and his support for regulated bus services here.