Budget fails Cheltenham, say Lib Dems

Originally published 8 March 2017.

Philip Hammond's first and last Spring Budget today has failed Cheltenham, say local Liberal Democrats.

'This was the crunch moment for NHS funding and an opportunity to put right the looming financial crisis facing many Cheltenham schools as well' said Martin Horwood, Cheltenham's Lib Dem parliamentary candidate and former MP. 'And on top of that he has hit our 6,800 strong army of self-employed workers with a bigger bill too.'

'Gloucestershire Hospitals Trust (which runs Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal) is in the red and going deeper into the red' he said ' and after the failure of the Fair Funding campaign headed by our own MP, we now know many local schools are heading that way too.'

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Cheltenham's EU citizens deserve right to remain


Originally published 2 March 2017.

Cheltenham's Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Martin Horwood has called on the government to accept their defeat in the Lords on Wednesday and accept the right of EU citizens already in this country to remain after Brexit.

Speaking to a meeting of Cheltenham's Polish Tenants & Residents Association earlier this week he strongly condemned the government's plan not to guarantee the right to remain of citizens of other EU countries until reciprocal rights for British citizens in the rest of the EU had been secured as part of the ongoing Brexit negotiations - 'as soon as they can'. 

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Schools 'Fair Funding' hoax condemned

Originally published 25 January 2017.

Cheltenham's Lib Dem parliamentary candidate and former MP Martin Horwood has condemned as a 'hoax' the government's planned National Funding Formula ('NFF') which was supposed to deliver 'Fair Funding' for local schools and correct the historic underfunding of counties like Gloucestershire but is actually going to mean two Cheltenham secondary schools LOSING £161,000 a year between them and gives only a fractional increase in funding to a third.

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Autumn Statement provides no extra cash for desperate local NHS

Originally published 23 November 2016.

Today's Autumn Statement by the Chancellor Philip Hammond includes no extra cash for local NHS trusts facing spiralling deficits and looming cuts to local services. 

The Chancellor said in his speech: 'The government, Mr Speaker, has pledged to invest in our NHS and we are delivering on that promise: backing the NHS’ Five Year Forward View plan for the future with £10 billion of additional funding a year by the end of 2020-21.' 

But this 'additional' funding was a re-announcement of current plans and was first promised during the General Election campaign after the Liberal Democrats manifesto raised the issue of NHS finance.  The Government's version of this funding has been condemned as misleading by the Commons Health select committee chair Dr Sarah Wollaston who recently wrote to the government telling them that they were giving a "false impression that the NHS is awash with cash" and that they had "given the NHS what it asked for" when this was not true and that in fact local NHS trusts faced "overwhelming" financial pressures. 

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Lib Dems call for more NHS funds ahead of crunch meeting

Originally published 14 November 2016.

Theresa May's government needs to listen to local people and take urgent action to protect local NHS services.  That means extra funds for the NHS in the Autumn Statement, says the town's former MP and Lib Dem parliamentary candidate, Martin Horwood.

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