Our Right to Health

mike minogue

Mike Minogue writes in the Whitehaven News:
As we approach the General Election, national polls have shown that the most important issue for voters is the future of the National Health Service. This is true in Copeland, just as anywhere else in the UK. The continuing uncertainty over the future of the West Cumberland Hospital affects us all. Fear for the future of our hospital services has understandably brought popular demonstrations and wide debate.
The NHS has a long history, but now faces major social and environmental changes. Yet the vision in 1942 of that great Liberal, William Beveridge, remains as valid today as it was 70 years ago. He proposed our present social security system, based on the insurance principle – people pay their national insurance and they receive national insurance benefits, including hospital treatment free at the point of delivery.
I suspect we have all at some time been grateful for the excellent work of the NHS and of our local hospital, with its outstanding staff. Despite frequent criticism, the NHS is one of the best health systems in the world and is also among the cheapest. In a recent comparison of eleven advanced countries, the NHS came top for effectiveness, safety, co-ordination, quality and access.
There have been mistakes. The decision by Labour to allow new hospitals to be built via the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) has imposed a huge financial burden involving massive service provision payments for 30 years. Recent reorganisations have caused yet more uncertainty and frustration, nowhere more so than in our local Hospital Trust. But there are some positives too. The new Cleator Moor Health Centre is a great success, effectively a ‘One-Stop shop’ for the community, with impressive facilities appreciated by the local people. We need many more such local developments.
Liberal Democrats believe passionately in the NHS and are committed to maintaining it as a public service open to all, irrespective of their means. We will fight to retain the maximum range of services in our West Cumberland Hospital. The NHS budget will be guaranteed, should Liberal Democrats be in government, to rise to ensure it keeps ahead of inflation.
We will also tackle discrimination against those with mental health difficulties. Around a quarter of the population experience mental health problems, but few receive adequate treatment. Mental health costs the country billions every year. We will ensure that mental health patients get treated as quickly as those with physical health problems. 
Liberal Democrats will fight the coming elections on the principle that everyone needs the best opportunities to get on in their lives. Effective and accessible health care remains essential for this.
To contact West Cumbria Liberal Democrats visit  wcld.focusteam.org.uk  
 or telephone Roger Putnam on 019467 23361



Restoring optimism and fairness in Britain

Danny Gallagher photo
Danny Gallagher: Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Copeland – Writing in the Whitehaven News.
We live in a society which is becoming increasingly unfair. The gap between rich and poor in Britain is steadily widening. An international “league table” assessing income equality shows that Britain now ranks 28th out of 34 of the world’s richest countries. Unlike Germany, for instance, we reward our top managers and bankers wth excessive amounts through salaries, bonuses or share options, whilst many employees struggle on barely enough to survive. OXFAM has calculated that the top 1% of the world’s population, the corporate, financial and social elite, will soon own more of the world’s wealth than the bottom 99%.
This growing inequality requires radical action. President Obama recently asked ”how much longer can we accept a situation where only a few do spectacularly well?”. Many of the political parties in the UK express concern about the vast differences of income and wealth even within our own relatively uncorrupt society. So one key question for politicians from voters in the approaching General Election will be: “What is your party planning to do about our unfair and unequal society?” It is a question which Liberal Democrats have been debating for many months.
Answers to this key question should be contained in the different party manifestos. I hope that voters will examine how each party plans to make ours a fairer society, in which people are rewarded fairly for their work and in which benefits are properly directed to those who genuinely need them. If we fail to tackle what has been described as “the cancer of inequality” I believe we will be confronted by catastrophic social consequences.
Liberal Democrats will ensure high earners and the wealthiest pay their fair tax share; increase public spending in line with the growth of the economy; raise personal tax thresholds to at least £12,500, guarantee decent state pension increases every year; and enforce minimum wage laws. We will also safeguard our precious NHS, ensure those with mental health problems get treated as well as those with physical problems, and protect education funding, from early years through to school and college.
Liberal Democrats understand that a strong economy and a fair society have to go together if we are to enable everyone to progress and achieve their full potential. We have worked hard in this coalition government to rescue and repair Britain’s shattered economy. The task ahead – which we accept – is to move from rescue to renewal, and to restore optimism and fairness. Building a fair society will be at the heart of my campaign.
To contact West Cumbria Liberal Democrats visit  wcld.focusteam.org.uk  
or telephone Danny Gallagher on 019467 23361

Selection of Parliamentary Candidate for the Copeland Parliamentary Constituency

Danny Gallagher photo

The Copeland & Workington Liberal Democrats are pleased to announce the selection of MR DANNY GALLAGHER as the Parliamentary Candidate for the Copeland Constituency for the General Election on May 7th 2015.
Mr Gallagher, aged 55, has wide experience of local government and has worked in management in a range of organisations. He is currently a self-employed business consultant; working with a number of Cumbrian companies.
Mr Gallagher has a particular interest in vocational education for disadvantaged young people and in providing training opportunities for the unemployed and those who have dropped out of mainstream education. He has worked with a range of partners including the probation service and the police, as well as local authorities, and private sector agencies.
As a former councillor in Preston, Mr Gallagher has been a member of a many key committees, including those dealing with employment and environmental challenges. He has taken a special interest in the provision of more and better social housing. He is familiar with the staffing and policy issues confronted by councils at this time of financial stringency.
Mr Gallagher is keen to apply his extensive knowledge and experience to the difficulties and the opportunities which will confront West Cumbria in the immediate future. As Liberal Democrat candidate, he will argue for more investment in our area, the development of a stronger infrastructure, further investment in education and health, with the over-riding long-term aim of building a more resilient local economy and a fairer society.
Mr Gallagher is married with two children and has a strong personal interest in architecture and the built environment.
[ Printed, published and promoted by Roger Putnam on behalf of Danny Gallagher 
(Liberal Democrats) at Bower Bank, Irton, Holmrook, CA19 1TD. (Tel. 019467 23361) ]

Copeland Mayor: Press Release

Issued by Phill Roberts
Chair, Copeland & Workington Liberal Democrats

Tel. 016973 21609
Mobile. 07730 284 529
Email. [email protected]

Election of Mayor for the Copeland Borough Council.

Copeland & Workington Liberal Democrats have taken the decision not to put forward a candidate for the forthcoming mayoral election in Copeland in May 2015.

In the present circumstances it is felt that putting forward a candidate would not be appropriate, given the current situation in Copeland, the background to this mayoral election, and the increasing support in Copeland for an assessment of the benefits of a change to a unitary authority. It is also our view that if we are to have an elected mayor in Copeland at this time, he or she should not be closely identified with a single political party.

It is our view that proper democratic accountability is best maintained through an effective local council elected on a proportional basis, so representing the widest spectrum of local people. However the Liberal Democrats will give their broad support to any independent elected mayor acting in the genuine interests of the whole of the Borough of Copeland for the duration of this present experiment, which may extend to two terms of office.

In the longer term, Liberal Democrats in West Cumbria believe that the present two-tier system of local government which currently operates in Cumbria should be replaced throughout the County by a unitary system, in order to improve efficiency, simplify administration and reduce costs. This might entail the creation of one or possibly two unitary authorities in Cumbria, with appropriate local area subcommittees.