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Topical Questions - Health and Social Care
Oral Contribution: 29th October, 2019
Why, under a Conservative Government, was Airedale Hospital’s £22 million bid for renewal of the ward block turned down? Is it not time that the Government adopted the suggestion of NHS Providers of a far larger multi-year capital programme for the NHS, with decisions based on need?
It is a great pleasure to follow Andrew Jones, a fellow Member of Parliament from Yorkshire. He made a very knowledgeable speech. Indeed, it was a statesmanlike speech, following the statesmanlike speech by my hon. Friend Graham P. Jones, whom I congratulate on securing the debate.
I am a relative newcomer to this issue, on the basis that I was not re-elected to Parliament until 2017, but I have asked a number of questions on the issue, and I notice that every time I or someone else asks a question from the Labour side, there is quite rightly somewhere in the answer the line, “I am sure the hon. Member will recognise the contributions of the hon. Members for Pendle (Andrew Stephenson) and for Shipley (Philip Davies) and Julian Smith.” I do indeed recognise that. This is an all-party campaign. We even had Northern Ireland backing us earlier in the debate. The campaign certainly unites the great counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire like nothing else...
I have always thought that the operation of democracy in a marginal seat is rather like the operation of capitalism: red in tooth and claw. Defending a majority of, say, 249 is rather like trying to run a company in a market that is very competitive; I have done both and what it teaches me is that we must concentrate on what is important in life. Therefore, following the passionate speech about Scotland made by Luke Graham, I intend to speak about a region that has just a slightly larger population: Yorkshire and the Humber.
I welcome in the Queen’s Speech the reference to a White Paper on English devolution; this is unfinished business for us all. Some 18 councils from all parties in Yorkshire have come up with a scheme for One Yorkshire devolution. Economic analysis of that suggests it could add £30 billion to the Yorkshire economy, using the Yorkshire identity and the Yorkshire brand to promote and get inward investment to improve transport and skills...
JOHN Grogan MP visited The Swan in Addingham to support the local pub, and the Long Live the Local campaign. The campaign celebrates the vital role local pubs play in the community, culture and economy whilst highlighting the pressure they are under from a range of taxes including beer duty, business rates and VAT.
A SECOND attempt to build houses on fields between Bracken Bank and Oakworth will go before councillors next week. Residents and politicians have renewed their fight against development on the greenbelt site off Goose Cote Lane. In April 2018 Bradford Council turned down GCL Developments’ first planning application, for 130 houses, due to the land’s greenbelt status. The company submitted a second outline application in January this year, for 100 houses, and this will be discussed by the council’s Regulatory and Appeals Scrutiny Committee on Thursday November 7.
THE FAVOURED option for a new crossing at the Silsden/Steeton roundabout on the Aire Valley Road could be known by Christmas. Keighley MP John Grogan this week revealed the latest news of plans to provide a safe crossing, such as pelican or footbridge, linking Silsden with the Steeton/Silsden railway station. He spoke after receiving a progress report from Bradford Council on the project, which has been subject to long delays while a feasibility study was organised.
A commitment to reopening the rail line between Skipton and Colne is all campaigners want for Christmas, a Yorkshire MP has claimed. John Grogan, MP for Keighley, made the call for the Department for Transport (DfT) to promise to reopen the line before the New Year during a debate in Westminster Hall yesterday. A study finished in 2018 found it would be feasible to re-open the line and ever since campaigners have worked to get the 12-mile stretch back in use. But Mr Grogan said yesterday: “I’m surprised given that it’s two years now since the feasibility study was announced that more rapid progress hasn’t been reached.” He said: “I do think now we generally do need to advance this cause more rapidly. The potential to implement this scheme speedily is something that no other TransPennine option has.”
John Grogan MP, Ilkley Town Council, Ilkley’s three district councillors and Ilkley Business Improvement District have joined forces to work towards the introduction of a new Ilkley Hoppa bus linking up with the station in the morning and evening peaks.
KEIGHLEY MP John Grogan has signed two House of Commons motions calling for law changes to protect people and pets from improper use of fireworks. He is arguing for a new law similar to that already in place in Northern Ireland where a licence must be obtained for the use as well as the sale of fireworks. He is also asking for a big reduction in the maximum noise limit for fireworks on sale to members of the public, currently set at 120 decibels. Mr Grogan said: “At this time of year, I am getting more emails about fireworks – many from pet owners – than I am about Brexit.
ILKLEY Clean River Group’s application for Bathing Water Status for the River Wharfe has gone to Defra with the support of Ilkley Town Council, John Grogan MP, and Bradford Council. If successful the river would be the first in the UK to achieve Designated Bathing Water Status. Over 500 people completed the consultation survey with overwhelming support for a river fit to swim, paddle and play in. Ilkley residents volunteered to count people in the river every week from May to September.