That yesterday it was revealed that an estimated 4 million people are waiting for surgery on our NHS is an outrage but it reflects what we all know on the ground: our doctors, nurses and midwives are working harder than ever, but they are being held back by a government that neither knows nor appears to care how to support our health service.
This is a government that has cut local government, including the vital areas of public health and adult social care every year to the point of breaking. A government that thinks it is acceptable to cap pay for health workers, and social workers at the same time as they preside over bills spiralling upwards. A government that refuses to invest in our future.
As Labour councillors we’ll always do everything we can to keep services going, to ensure that the people we represent – our friends and neighbours – are supported, we’ll keep working to build up our communities and we’ll work with the local NHS staff to find ways to do that better. But we are hampered every step of the way by this government.
Here in Reading it is particularly stark – the NHS in South Reading (which actually covers the South and West of the town) is the lowest funded in the country, and we face ever higher house prices making it harder for public services to recruit the staff they need.
It is not good enough and it needs to change. I’ll be working every day that this shambles of a government lasts to both support Reading’s community and to win the Labour government Reading and this country deserves.