The National Health Service is one of the greatest achievements in British history. Labour founded it after the Second World War and successive Labour Governments have saved the service from Tory underfunding.
The 21st century now poses new challenges to the NHS. We have a growing and ageing population whose needs are increasingly complex. The disconnect between the NHS and Council Social Care means that many people don’t get the service they need, don’t get it in time or end up in costly institutional care that doesn’t mean their needs.
In Nottingham we recognised this a few years ago and have worked hard with the local NHS to integrate health and social care so that we get the service that local residents tell us they want: meeting their needs before they grow, simple to navigate and financially sustainable. Increasingly this is something that has been pursued up and down the country.
Earlier this year a requirement for each area to develop, across 44 footprints, Sustainability and Transformation Plan for local health services was brought in nationally. We fall into the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire STP.
These plans have become controversial and many people have strong views about them. The process for developing these plans has left a lot to be desired. There is considerable anxiety that the public have not had their opportunity to shape them. This is frustrating but has been driven by national guidelines.
In relation to these sorts of consultations, we have been particularly keen to ensure that what people have told us in the past at a local level has featured in the planning process. Nevertheless, it is clear that a full and open public consultation needs to take place.
The plan was released on 24 November and this will instigate a further clear period where everyone is encouraged to pass us their views – running until the middle of January.
It is really important that this consultation is the best that it can be. So we need you to participate. Find out how below.
How to read the proposals
They can be found:
- On the main city council website here: http://beta.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/adult-social-care/sustainability-and-transformation-plan-stp/
- And on the City Council news website here: http://www.mynottinghamnews.com/new-five-year-health-and-social-care-plan-for-nottingham-and-nottinghamshire/
Information for this can be found at: http://beta.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/adult-social-care/sustainability-and-transformation-plan-stp/
Councillor Alex Norris, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health
The Ofsted Annual Report 2015/16 was published by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw yesterday, I have summarised my thoughts below;
Sir Michael has highlighted many issues that are affecting the education of children nationally. He has been clear that in recent years there has been growing inequality and an increasing divide between education outcomes for children in the south and outcomes for children in the midlands and the north of England.
Government education policy has led to this growing inequality and it is now urgent that the government listens to the Chief Inspector of schools’ call to action.
Nottingham children have been impacted by Government education policy and it is clear to see that growing divide in our exam results. After many years of sustained improvement up to 2012, the gap between good GCSE outcomes for Nottingham children and the national average had reduced to just 1.6%. However by 2014 the gap had widened to 12.9%. As Sir Michael rightly points out this growing divide is totally unacceptable.
There are basic, core needs of the education system including the availability of high-quality, well-trained, qualified teachers. Government has been failing in its duty to ensure that enough teachers are entering the education system.
I join Sir Michael in calling for urgent action at the national level to deal with this ongoing and worsening crisis in teacher recruitment and retention.
There are many other key areas of concern that need to be tackled including the lack of good quality careers education, preparation for the world of work and reintroducing vocational and technical qualifications in schools.
The academisation of the school system means that the Department for Education has taken on direct responsibility for secondary education in Nottingham. It is now important that with the responsibility that central government has taken on that we in Nottingham challenge on behalf of local children and families.
Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills
This week, the Heritage Lottery Fund agreed to provide £13.9 million towards the development of Nottingham Castle. Their decision came following a proposal that was submitted in July and was the result of 18 months of hard work from Nottingham City Council Officers and Nottingham Labour Councillors.
The news was delivered on horseback by Robin Hood, who was joined by a group of school children from Haydn Road Primary School and characters from the Castle’s 1,000 year history.
The funding will be put towards the £29.4 million total cost for the development of the castle site and Robin Hood will be the main focus of the attractions.
The new site will be open in 2020 and will include new galleries dedicated to Robin Hood and the story of rebellion in the city, restoration of the gatehouse and Palace galleries, remodelling of the landscape and grounds including a new adventure play area, a new visitor centre and a refurbishment of the caves. There will also be an interactive Robin Hood Gallery, allowing visitors to step back in history and experience medieval life.
We believe the development will make the site a world class tourist attraction and it will attract 400,000 visitors in the first year. This will create an additional spend in the economy of more than £90 million over 10 years.
Not only will this be a celebration of the city’s heritage, it will also have a positive impact on the local economy and jobs. 230 construction jobs will be created, as well as 500 volunteer placements to help deal with an expected 20,000 school visits per year.
This project shows Nottingham Labour’s commitment to leisure and tourism in the city, keeping our manifesto promise to rejuvenate Nottingham Castle and develop the Castle Quarter as a major national heritage attraction.
Despite severe cuts in government funding over the last few years, Nottingham Labour has continued to prioritise leisure for residents and continued to deliver on manifesto commitments, for example, delivering Harvey Hadden Sports Village that was opened in 2015 following a £16m redevelopment.
We have had to be resourceful and seek new ways to secure funding and we are very grateful that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given the castle scheme their vote of confidence.
Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture