News and Events

Having to wait seven hours in hospital with chest pains - despite having a history of serious heart problems.

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A man suffering chest pains was forced to wait seven hours to see a doctor at Salford Royal Hospital - despite having a history of serious heart problems.

In the latest signs of crippling pressures within the NHS, Roy Ellor has told how he spent the majority of that time sitting in a corridor, even though his doctor had warned he needed urgent hospital treatment.

He had heart surgery three months earlier, but when his symptoms came back his GP rang an ambulance.

He waited in a corridor for three hours before even getting a bed - before being put back onto a plastic chair in the corridor for three more hours until he finally saw a doctor.

Roy said he was ‘utterly shocked’ at the chaos in the department, which had ‘packed’ corridors and ambulances queuing outside.

He said: “After a 25-minute wait an ambulance turned up at the surgery.

“From there, I was then moved to a corridor inside the emergency department and had a wait of three hours, before eventually getting into a cubicle.

 

Salford Royal Hospital says Roy's experience came at a difficult time.

“A harassed and overworked triage nurse took bloods and performed an ECG, then I was left alone for another hour. Elderly patients were stacked up with no dignity in corridors, and I was then moved to a hard plastic chair and told a doctor would be available in another two to three hours.

“I was utterly shocked and as someone with a serious heart complaint, left terrified that the NHS in Salford was now effectively broken. The safety net of our hospital was gone.”

Salford Royal is one of the government’s go-to hospitals when pointing to successes within the NHS, but figures for January so far show more than one in four patients are waiting four hours to be seen there as Greater Manchester’s hospital system buckles under the strain.

The area’s MP Rebecca Long-Bailey said: “If this is happening in a world class hospital such as Salford Royal, what is the real extent of the crisis in A&E in other parts of the NHS?”

A spokesman for Salford Royal said it could no comment on individual patient cases, but said Roy’s experience was not ‘normal procedure’.

Late November, when he was sent to the hospital, was particularly busy because the trust was unable to discharge patients into social care, she said.

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Tim Burgess, MP and union chiefs launch campaign to save Islington Mill after noise complaints

Rebecca Long-Bailey said Islington Mill must be protected

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An MP has joined forces with union chiefs to launch a campaign to save a popular music venue at risk of closure following a resident’s complaints about noise.

Islington Mill’s licence is set to be reviewed by town hall bosses after a neighbour submitted a request to the authority.

A crunch meeting to decide the venue’s fate will be held next month.

Charlatans singer Tim Burgess has given his support to the mill, describing it as a ‘brilliant performance space’.

Now Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long-Bailey - and Trades Union Council (TUC) chiefs - have thrown their weight behind calls to protect it.

Bosses at the James Street venue appealed for fans to contact the town hall with messages before the deadline for submissions for the review ended on Tuesday.

Documents handed to the council by a resident claim venue management have not acted after concerns have been raised previously by a number of neighbours.

They add that ‘loud music’ can be heard until the early hours of the morning, mostly at weekends, and that there is noise from taxis.

Bosses will discover the venue’s fate at a licensing meeting on Monday, February 6.

Ms Long-Bailey said she was sympathetic to residents’ concerns, but said they are ‘not insurmountable’.

She added: “I have visited Islington Mill many times and have seen it grow to become a vibrant hub of creativity and community engagement. Everything from art and music to local political history have found a much-needed home there.

“It would be a great loss to the community and the developing Salford arts and culture scene that we have blossoming on our doorstep.

“In the same way that ‘Madchester’ emerged from a post-industrial Manchester to become the world’s most vibrant and cutting edge music scene, I believe that we are seeing the same pattern emerging in Salford today and this must be nurtured.

 “We are a city with our own distinct culture and history and Islington Mill has played an integral role in developing this over recent years. Great things are happening in Salford and it truly would be a devastating loss to see Islington Mill close.”

Salford TUC secretary Jack Youd said the venue ‘symbolises Salford’s past’ - and ‘represents a big part of its future’.

He added: “Salford has experienced massive changes recently. For many Salfordians things feel like they are changing too fast.

“Islington Mill is an excellent example of what can be done to preserve Salford’s history and give it a new lease of life.”

It’s not the first time the venue has been involved in a dispute over noise.

In 2014 it closed temporarily after receiving complaints. Bosses said they were working with acoustics professionals and residents to improve the situation.

 

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Green Investment Bank Sell-off

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Today in Parliament Labour has called upon the Government to stop the sale of the Green Investment Bank.


The Green Investment Bank has, as a publicly owned institution, been a great British success story. It’s funded innovative new smart green technology to fight climate change and has created export opportunities for a carbonising world. 

The Tories are privatising the GIB, and have said they’ll protect its green purposes by maintaining a golden share. But they’ve been out manoeuvred by the favoured bidders Australian owned Macquarie, who have set up multiple small businesses more each of the GIB’s major assets so they can sell them off without the government being able to do anything about it.

Macquarie are a known asset stripper who have purchased British infrastructure before, taken out big loans, paid themselves large dividends and left their purchases saddled with crippling debts.

 

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#LetSalfordShine

It's great to see Let it Shine, the new BBC show to rival the Voice being set in Salford. Sadly however I am told the live finals are due to be in London.

Let's keep it in Salford, we've got all the magic you need!#letsalfordshine

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Post Office to Cut More Than 420 Jobs

It's very sad to see the further privatisation of postal services and further moves towards profit rather than service delivery.

I am also extremely concerned that we may see more branches close across Salford as there is a further drive for branches to drive profit levels up or close, but with the closure of many banks in the city, the post office is often a lifeline to many people trying to access finance. 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/10/post-office-to-cut-more-than-420-jobs

 

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HMRC plan to close dozens of local tax offices 'unrealistic', watchdog says

HMRC had planned to shut 170 offices and replace them with 13 large regional centres, four specialist sites and a London headquarters

HM Revenue and Customs has been forced to carry out a fundamental rethink of plans to close dozens of local tax offices while centralising operations on a few regional centres, the Whitehall spending watchdog has disclosed.

The National Audit Office (NAO) said HMRC had concluded its original proposals, which involved shutting 170 offices and replacing them with 13 large regional centres supplemented by four specialist sites and a London headquarters, had proved "unrealistic".

The plan was intended to save tens of millions of pounds for the taxpayer while improving efficiency and working conditions for staff.

However, the NAO said HMRC had underestimated the scale of the disruption involved, with up to 5,000 staff expected to leave as a result of the proposed move, while it had been unable to find suitable properties in some of its chosen locations.

"During the transition to regional centres, HMRC must ensure that its service to taxpayers and its ability to collect tax revenue are not impaired," the NAO said.

"It will therefore need to recruit to its new centres and train new staff, while managing redundancies and the moves of existing employees and operations into new buildings.

"It has concluded that its original plans were over-optimistic about the availability of suitable properties and carried too high a risk of disruption to its business, as they involved moving or replacing too many staff too quickly, while delivering other major change programmes in parallel."

The NAO said since HMRC first presented its business case for the plan in 2015, the estimate of its estate costs over the next 10 years had risen by nearly £600 million - 22% - with more than half the increase due to higher than expected running costs for its new buildings.

Cumulative efficiency savings were now expected to reach £212 million by 2025-26 - less than half the £499 million previously forecast.

The problems were exacerbated by a private finance initiative (PFI) agreement with contractor Mapeley, which meant that it faced rising rental and service costs if the move was not completed by 2021.

The NAO said HMRC was now reconsidering the scope and timing of the move to reduce the costs and the risks of disruption.

Options include changing the timetable for opening regional centres, re-considering the location and size of some of the centres, and re-assessing how and when to introduce flexible working practices.

The head of the NAO, Sir Amyas Morse, said: "HMRC should step back and consider whether this strategy still best supports its wider business transformation and will deliver the sustainable cost savings it set out to achieve in the long run."

Mark Serwotka, the general secretary of the PCS public service union, said it was now "imperative" the plans were halted to give Parliament and the public a chance to have their say.

"Cutting thousands of HMRC staff in recent years has hit the services it provides to the public, yet the department and this Tory Government are ploughing ahead with poorly thought through plans that would mean thousands more job cuts," he said.

An HMRC spokesman said: "HMRC's employees are currently spread across 159 offices around the country, many of which are a legacy of the 1960s and 1970s, ranging in size from around 6,000 people to fewer than 10.

"Our 13 new regional centres are an essential part of our work to modernise HMRC and provide an even better service for our customers, while delivering annual savings to the taxpayer of over £80 million from 2025/26. It also means modern offices for our staff, with the latest technology, better collaboration between teams, local training and wider career opportunities."

The spokesman said that the NAO was " not comparing like for like" on costs.

"Not only has the property market shifted over the course of the past year, but our most recent calculations now include updated day-to-day running costs and additional investment in two transitional sites which will ease the move for both staff and customers," he said.

Shadow Treasury minister Rebecca Long-Bailey said: '' Despite issues such as the Panama Papers dominating the headlines in 2016 it is clear that the Government has failed to provide HMRC with the necessary resources to tackle tax avoidance. What is even more worrying is that today's report states that HMRC has yet to define fully how its plans will support better customer service and more efficient and effective compliance activities.

"This is not a Government that is serious about tackling tax avoidance nor is it one who makes the tax payment system easy to navigate for businesses and individuals."

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Six Years of Conservative Failure

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Last month Phillip Hammond delivered his first Autumn Statement; an opportunity to signal a change of direction and to repair some of the damage caused by six years of Conservative failure.

Now, the people where I live in Salford are of good heart, they will always pull together when times are tough and that’s what many thought they were doing when they were subjected to a vicious and economically illiterate austerity agenda.

“Lets fix the roof whilst the sun is shining!” we were told but little did we realise that this ‘nasty medicine’ we were being forced to take was in fact making us worse off and stifling our economy’s ability to flourish in the future.

We have seen 6 wasted years where the deficit has spiralled, debt has spiralled and productivity, which drives our economy, is at rock bottom.

6 years where taxes were cut for the wealthiest ad the most vulnerable saw their incomes savagely cut.

6 years of pernicious cuts and schemes aimed at dismantling and marketising our public services so that now they are teetering on the edge of a cliff.

So was it worth it?

In short, no.

The economic plan the Tories ‘supposedly’ followed has failed on a spectacular level.  

We are now looking at a £122 billion cumulative deficit by 2021, and this from a Government who told us if we slashed public spending, slashed support for the most vulnerable whilst also and slashing taxes for the most wealthy, we would have eliminated the deficit by 2015….

Even more concerning is the damage this failed plan has caused in the longer term, with the Institute for Fiscal Studies stating that real wages will be lower by 2021 than in 2008.  This lost decade is unprecedented in modern British history.

But the Chancellor knew this was coming.

Leaked Treasury documents recently made clear that the failure of the Conservative policy was known in Whitehall for some time, with the government’s old targets on debt and the deficit targets missed, even before Brexit had become an issue.

In the media following the Autumn Statement the Tories spin machine went into overdrive in the attempt to make us believe that the whole financial downturn was as a direct result of Brexit.

In reality however, the figures provided by the Office for Budget Responsibility were staggeringly clear:

Of the 122bn cumulative deficit due by 2021, the Tories’ mishandling of Brexit is forecast £58.7bn, the rest of the deficit is as a result of the Tories’ mishandling of the domestic economy.

Yet despite this gloomy news, the Chancellor steadfastly refused to change tack….

He abandoned his predecessor’s plans to deliver a surplus (of course he did, there wasn’t the slightest chance he or his predecessor would achieve this on the basis of their economic plan) but there was nothing in the Autumn Statement to help those “just about managing” people he was supposed to watch out for.

There was no new money for our National Health Service, despite the worst deficits in the NHS history and the longest waiting lists for decades.

There was no money to end the crisis in social care, despite there now being over 1m vulnerable elderly people left without care.

There was no u-turn on harsh ESA and Universal Credit cuts.  A single parent, in work, is still set to lose over £2000 and the Employment Support Allowance cuts mean £30 a week will be taken from 500,000 disabled people.

And all they could offer to an education system facing the first real-terms cuts since the 1970s was £60m for the Prime Minister’s throwback vanity project of grammar schools.

Chancellor Philip Hammond attempted to announce some new government investment, as Labour have demanded. But the amounts offered are feeble, even with re-announcements like the £1.1bn earmarked for roads.

We are the second lowest country in the G7 in terms of investment so we are far from competing with other industrial countries across the world. Even the OECD has stated that any country serious about being a global economic player must invest at last 3% of Gross Domestic Product each year. The Chancellors investment proposals come in at a paltry 1.9%.

Nor has there been any sight of a real industrial strategy – essential to support the industries of the future.

This is a government without a plan or a sense of direction, either for the domestic economy or for a decent Brexit.  

Labour’s economic vision will not prioritise the few over the many. We will reverse these tax giveaways, channelling the billions of pounds lost into our public services. We will deliver real substantial investment in infrastructure and research with a programme to mobilise £500 billion through direct Government expenditure and a National Investment Bank. We will tackle low paid work and the disgraceful level of in work poverty it creates by introducing a Real Living Wage, expected to be £10 an hour in 2020. And we will deliver an industrial strategy to create high-skilled, well-paid secure jobs right across Britain.

Labour will rebuild and transform our economy so no-one and no community is left behind.

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MP donates to ‘Hope not Hunger’ food bank in Salford

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Members of the public are urged to support the appeal which is already backed by the Trussell Trust, Daily Mirror and super union Unite.

Commenting, Rebecca Long Bailey MP said  “I and many other Labour MP’s are working with the Daily Mirror, Unite the Union and the Trussell Trust to launch the ‘Hope not Hunger Christmas Appeal.’ Nobody should ever have to choose between heating and eating, but particularly at Christmas. Sadly thousands will go without, not just at Christmas, but all year round. People are really struggling to make ends meet on a constant basis due to anything from benefit sanctions to low pay and debt.

If you think you might need any help over Xmas please get in touch with my office on 0161 425 3738 or rebecca.longbailey.mp@parliament.uk

Also if you get a chance over Xmas to buy an extra few bits please don't hesitate to drop them off at my shop on Langworthy Rd and we will drop off at Salford Central Foodbank and the Mustard Tree in Eccles.

Foodbanks take other goods which many take for granted such as winter coats, Toothbrushes and Toothpaste and other essential toiletries. Gloves, hats and other warm clothes are very important for keeping people warm in the winter months. 

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Stop the ESA Cuts at I, Daniel Blake Screening

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Brilliant to see so many people from across Salford and Manchester at HOME tonight for the #stopesacut campaign showing of I Daniel Blake. Thanks for all your support.

This campaign was to try to make this Government reverse the horrific ESA cut to the most vulnerable in society. The cut will see sick and disabled people in the employment support allowance work related activity group lose up to £30 a week! People who are already facing stress and hardship.

we are all only one illness, one catastrophe, one redundancy away from Daniel Blake.

Thanks to all across Britain who made showings in their area tonight.

If you haven't seen the film yet please go, tell your friends. The film epitomises everything that is wrong with our system and how our economy fails large sections of society. We need an economy that provides a future for all of us and a system that treats people with the dignity and respect they deserve.

 

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Homelessness Count in Salford

 

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MP Rebecca Long-Bailey and City Mayor Paul Dennett took part in Salford’s annual homeless count - and were horrified at what they found. From a 19-year-old man sleeping rough in a park for more than three months - to another man slipping in and out of consciousness, barely covered by a blanket in the street, they said the exercise was ‘soul destroying’.

 

Town halls, by law, have to send out a team of volunteers walk the streets each year to count the number of rough sleepers. Politicians wouldn’t usually brave the cold, but Mayor Dennett and Ms Long Bailey said they needed to see the problem first hand - and insisted on going along to see the grim reality for themselves.

 

Council bosses accept it’s a poor way of gauging numbers, but say walking the streets is a good way of getting out to help people. The count merely provides a snapshot of homelessness, but isn’t nearly accurate enough. People can only actually be counted if they’re seen sleeping. Official figures state there were just 14 people sleeping rough in the city last year, much lower than town hall and housing chiefs estimate. This year’s count figure has not yet been published, though it is thought fewer people were counted than in 2015.

 

Around 50 people are currently living in just one temporary hostel in Salford - and dozens more in a church. Last year, 1,600 people presented themselves to the council as homeless.

 

City Mayor Dennett, who walked the streets with Ms Long-Bailey and the council’s housing chief Paul Longshaw, said homelessness is spiralling out of control across Greater Manchester, insisting it is important politicians ‘get out there and see the problem for themselves’. “This is about us trying to understand why people are homeless,” he said. “It’s an absolute disgrace. Why is this happening in today’s society?”

 

City Mayor Dennett has made tackling poverty and homelessness a priority after taking on Salford’s top job, vowing to build new council houses. He added: “It’s an imperfect system which relies heavily on circumstance. Though the numbers have technically fallen this year, we found many instances of makeshift shelters and sleeping areas made by rough sleepers.

  

“Everyone who works in housing is telling us that the number of rough sleepers is rising. “We’re seeing more and more working people and young people pushed into insecure living arrangements, and that often manifests itself in periods on the street. “Although the work which goes into the count each year is vital, the numbers here only scratch the surface of the real problem facing our society.”

 

Salford and Eccles MP Ms Long-Bailey, who said the counts should be regularly carried out, rather than once a year, said: “It’s freezing. I can’t even imagine how anybody could spend a couple of hours sat out in this, never mind a good chunk of their life. “It’s good we’re doing the count, but once a year isn’t enough. We have to report on this more regularly. “This is one of the world’s richest economies. This shouldn’t be happening. Things have to change.”

 

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