Labour's hospital-funding petition provokes political backlash

Watford Observer: Matt Turmaine: "Watford deserves a world class hospital". Matt Turmaine: "Watford deserves a world class hospital".

Labour’s Watford parliamentary candidate has launched petition calling for the Government to step in and fund the regeneration of the town’s hospital.

Matt Turmaine said hundreds of residents had signed the petition, which calls for Watford General Hospital to be turned into a "world class" facility, when he and other activists took to the High Street at the weekend.

The petition provoked a vociferous response from the town’s Conservative MP, Richard Harrington, who said it displayed Labour’s "complete lack of understanding" about the situation around the hospital.

Watford Observer:

Dorothy Thornhill: Petition "is not based on facts".

Watford’s Liberal Democrat elected mayor, Dorothy Thornhill, also criticised Labour’s petition, saying it was making a "bogus" point and was not "based on facts".

Following the petition’s launch, Mr Turmaine said: "Five years have passed and still there is no funding in place to rebuild and modernise our hospital. The last Labour government's guarantee of funding has been torn up by the coalition government but there is no viable alternative in place. At this rate there could another five years of indecision.

"Watford deserves a world class hospital. If our Tory MP and Lib Dem mayor won't campaign for funding then I will."

Plans to rebuild Watford General have been under discussion for more than a decade under the guise of the health campus scheme.

Under the last Government, a plan was drawn up to build a new 600-bed hospital with a 500-home development on the land behind Vicarage Road under private finance initiative (PFI) scheme.

However that scheme was scrapped during the recession and PFIs have since been abandoned by the Government as a method of renewing infrastructure.

Watford Borough Council has since drawn up a new health campus scheme, which relies on a partnership with private developer Kier.

Under the current plans the number of homes has gone up to around 700 and the previously protected Farm Terrace Allotments have been thrown into the plans to make the scheme viable for the developers.

Watford Observer:

Could this be the future of hospital provision in Watford?

Yet uncertainty remains over the hospital element of the current health campus. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust has delayed the release of its clinical strategy, which will outline its proposals for the hospital, until as late as mid-2015.

Meanwhile the hospital trust has run into financial difficulty and is also dealing internal problems after a recent health report found it failed five out of six care standards.
  
This week Mr Harrington said the Government had already provided funding for the hospital to open a new maternity unit and access road and added it was ready to talk to the trust about more funding when it had finalised its clinical strategy.

Watford Observer:

Richard Harrington

He said: "This shows a complete lack of understanding from Labour yet again. I bought the Health Secretary personally to Watford General and he stated that he is ready to talk funding as soon as the proposal for the clinical view is received. There is no question about this. It is typical of Labour to ask for borrowed money without bothering to wait until they know how much they need, what they want it for, or how it will be spent."

Responding to the petition, Mayor Thornhill added: "It is a bogus point, absolutely a bogus point. The issue is not about funding at the moment. We should let the hospital deal with its affairs in their own time as they are not asking us to lobby for funding on their behalf.

"When they did (for funding for the new access road), we did and we got it. This is a spurious petition and not based on facts."

Comments (24)

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12:14pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Andrew1963 says...

Better get that hospital built soon or the raw nerve in the Tories and liberal democrats exposed by this petition, will develop into an open sore for the coalition partners. Following the Coalition intervention yesterday to stop front line hospital staff at Watford General getting a 1% pay increase. the head of the NHS has said there will need to be a drastic rationalisation of hospitals - that means Watford General is clearly at risk.
reported in the national press today "Billions of extra funding will be needed for the NHS to help push through "painful and unprecedented" changes during the next parliament, the outgoing boss of the health service warns.

In a frank interview with the Guardian, Sir David Nicholson said that whoever formed the next government would need to give the NHS extra cash because it could not survive if it had to remain in the straitjacket of austerity-era flat budgets after 2015.

The money would be needed so the NHS can dramatically rationalise hospital services, and concentrate its specialist and GP services – allowing an NHS Nicholson calls "unsustainable" to ditch its outmoded reliance on hospital-based treatment and switch to a new model of community-based care"

Nicholson declined to say how much more cash he believed would be required, but another senior NHS leader privately suggested it could be up to £5bn extra a year for several years.

So it seems like the Lib dem and tory politicians and strategic planners running the NHs aren't dragging their heals on funding at Watford General, they may have already decided not to invest in the hospital at all
Better get that hospital built soon or the raw nerve in the Tories and liberal democrats exposed by this petition, will develop into an open sore for the coalition partners. Following the Coalition intervention yesterday to stop front line hospital staff at Watford General getting a 1% pay increase. the head of the NHS has said there will need to be a drastic rationalisation of hospitals - that means Watford General is clearly at risk. reported in the national press today "Billions of extra funding will be needed for the NHS to help push through "painful and unprecedented" changes during the next parliament, the outgoing boss of the health service warns. In a frank interview with the Guardian, Sir David Nicholson said that whoever formed the next government would need to give the NHS extra cash because it could not survive if it had to remain in the straitjacket of austerity-era flat budgets after 2015. The money would be needed so the NHS can dramatically rationalise hospital services, and concentrate its specialist and GP services – allowing an NHS Nicholson calls "unsustainable" to ditch its outmoded reliance on hospital-based treatment and switch to a new model of community-based care" Nicholson declined to say how much more cash he believed would be required, but another senior NHS leader privately suggested it could be up to £5bn extra a year for several years. So it seems like the Lib dem and tory politicians and strategic planners running the NHs aren't dragging their heals on funding at Watford General, they may have already decided not to invest in the hospital at all Andrew1963
  • Score: 8

12:36pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Cuetip says...

Everyone thought after the furore over Hemel's MP comments over 4 years ago that there was a brand new hospital promise set in stone ie assurance that ''..a plan was drawn up to build a new 600-bed hospital with a 500-home development..'' and just a new maternity unit .

The the allotment land was needed to make the 'health hospital campus' viable.

Have the goal posts been moved?
Everyone thought after the furore over Hemel's MP comments over 4 years ago that there was a brand new hospital promise set in stone ie assurance that ''..a plan was drawn up to build a new 600-bed hospital with a 500-home development..'' and just a new maternity unit . The the allotment land was needed to make the 'health hospital campus' viable. Have the goal posts been moved? Cuetip
  • Score: 9

12:58pm Thu 13 Mar 14

TRT says...

"It is a bogus point, absolutely a bogus point. The issue is not about funding at the moment. We should let the hospital deal with its affairs in their own time as they are not asking us to lobby for funding on their behalf."

Sounds like a different tune to the "we're going ahead with it anyway" that she was playing last week.
"It is a bogus point, absolutely a bogus point. The issue is not about funding at the moment. We should let the hospital deal with its affairs in their own time as they are not asking us to lobby for funding on their behalf." Sounds like a different tune to the "we're going ahead with it anyway" that she was playing last week. TRT
  • Score: 4

1:01pm Thu 13 Mar 14

TRT says...

Cuetip wrote:
Everyone thought after the furore over Hemel's MP comments over 4 years ago that there was a brand new hospital promise set in stone ie assurance that ''..a plan was drawn up to build a new 600-bed hospital with a 500-home development..'' and just a new maternity unit .

The the allotment land was needed to make the 'health hospital campus' viable.

Have the goal posts been moved?
No, the goal posts are still in place, but expect them to be bulldozed very soon for the "access road" (access to what exactly?)

Also... lots of clay spoil over the roads in both directions going away from the builders place on Wiggenhall Road that is a cornerstone of the development. Can someone with a view into it from, say, the hospital tower care to say if they've started earthworks or something?
[quote][p][bold]Cuetip[/bold] wrote: Everyone thought after the furore over Hemel's MP comments over 4 years ago that there was a brand new hospital promise set in stone ie assurance that ''..a plan was drawn up to build a new 600-bed hospital with a 500-home development..'' and just a new maternity unit . The the allotment land was needed to make the 'health hospital campus' viable. Have the goal posts been moved?[/p][/quote]No, the goal posts are still in place, but expect them to be bulldozed very soon for the "access road" (access to what exactly?) Also... lots of clay spoil over the roads in both directions going away from the builders place on Wiggenhall Road that is a cornerstone of the development. Can someone with a view into it from, say, the hospital tower care to say if they've started earthworks or something? TRT
  • Score: 6

1:45pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

TRT wrote:
"It is a bogus point, absolutely a bogus point. The issue is not about funding at the moment. We should let the hospital deal with its affairs in their own time as they are not asking us to lobby for funding on their behalf."

Sounds like a different tune to the "we're going ahead with it anyway" that she was playing last week.
She's been rumbled, so has Harrington and they don't like it.
[quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: "It is a bogus point, absolutely a bogus point. The issue is not about funding at the moment. We should let the hospital deal with its affairs in their own time as they are not asking us to lobby for funding on their behalf." Sounds like a different tune to the "we're going ahead with it anyway" that she was playing last week.[/p][/quote]She's been rumbled, so has Harrington and they don't like it. Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: 3

2:54pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Sara says...

Welcome to Labour's version of Narnia. When they were in power, funding to redevelop the hospital was always just around the corner.

In 2008, the then Labour MP commented on the results of her residents' survey, saying that 'more than 80 per cent of those who replied were concerned at delays in rebuilding Watford General Hospital'.

So why didn't the Labour government find the money then? The answer of course is not simple, but nor is it now.

I don't know enough about funding for the hospital to be able to comment further, but I do know opportunism when I see it.
Welcome to Labour's version of Narnia. When they were in power, funding to redevelop the hospital was always just around the corner. In 2008, the then Labour MP commented on the results of her residents' survey, saying that 'more than 80 per cent of those who replied were concerned at delays in rebuilding Watford General Hospital'. So why didn't the Labour government find the money then? The answer of course is not simple, but nor is it now. I don't know enough about funding for the hospital to be able to comment further, but I do know opportunism when I see it. Sara
  • Score: -1

3:00pm Thu 13 Mar 14

John Dowdle says...

My basic point is that I - along with all Watford Observer readers and many, many more people in this country - pay taxes and other forms of payments to our governments to provide us with a national health, education and social care system, among other public services.
Governments (in the plural) chose to use that money instead to bail out poorly performing private banks and the senior executives of those banks have rewarded themselves liberally with huge pay and bonus payments at our expense.
The bankers have also benefited substantially in the form of virtually free money through quantitative easing policies (which are still continuing) at historically low rates of interest and all sorts of illegal price fixing and mis-selling practices which they are only now being brought to account for.
Thus far, not one of them - as far as I am aware - has seen the inside of a prison cell. Why are they immune from normal standards of justice?
Mr Filokowski - former Chief Officer of the Watford General Hospital - has walked away with - I believe - a £400,000 golden goodbye payment and an annual pension of £140,000. Who do you suppose is paying for that?
This can only be being done at our expense and this includes diminishing the quality of health, education and social care provision in this country.
The next government needs to start prioritising public provision over private greed. PFI should be abandoned for all time and all existing contracts should be scrapped, thus saving tax payers vast sums of future money.
Our income tax and national insurance contributions - along with various indirect taxes such as VAT and excise duty payments, etc. - should be applied to meeting the social, educational and healthcare needs of the people of this country.
The public purse gravy train must be brought to an end. By all means, we have to have a private sector in the economy for now but the day must come when it funds itself solely through private individual expenditure and not through leeching-off the public sector.
If that sounds like socialism of a sort, then so be it - but let it be democratic socialism and not the sort of state "socialism" being resurrected in Russia.
Yes, let us have a new hospital in Watford - but use the money we all pay to central government in taxes to meet the costs of it.
My basic point is that I - along with all Watford Observer readers and many, many more people in this country - pay taxes and other forms of payments to our governments to provide us with a national health, education and social care system, among other public services. Governments (in the plural) chose to use that money instead to bail out poorly performing private banks and the senior executives of those banks have rewarded themselves liberally with huge pay and bonus payments at our expense. The bankers have also benefited substantially in the form of virtually free money through quantitative easing policies (which are still continuing) at historically low rates of interest and all sorts of illegal price fixing and mis-selling practices which they are only now being brought to account for. Thus far, not one of them - as far as I am aware - has seen the inside of a prison cell. Why are they immune from normal standards of justice? Mr Filokowski - former Chief Officer of the Watford General Hospital - has walked away with - I believe - a £400,000 golden goodbye payment and an annual pension of £140,000. Who do you suppose is paying for that? This can only be being done at our expense and this includes diminishing the quality of health, education and social care provision in this country. The next government needs to start prioritising public provision over private greed. PFI should be abandoned for all time and all existing contracts should be scrapped, thus saving tax payers vast sums of future money. Our income tax and national insurance contributions - along with various indirect taxes such as VAT and excise duty payments, etc. - should be applied to meeting the social, educational and healthcare needs of the people of this country. The public purse gravy train must be brought to an end. By all means, we have to have a private sector in the economy for now but the day must come when it funds itself solely through private individual expenditure and not through leeching-off the public sector. If that sounds like socialism of a sort, then so be it - but let it be democratic socialism and not the sort of state "socialism" being resurrected in Russia. Yes, let us have a new hospital in Watford - but use the money we all pay to central government in taxes to meet the costs of it. John Dowdle
  • Score: 3

3:06pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

Sara wrote:
Welcome to Labour's version of Narnia. When they were in power, funding to redevelop the hospital was always just around the corner.

In 2008, the then Labour MP commented on the results of her residents' survey, saying that 'more than 80 per cent of those who replied were concerned at delays in rebuilding Watford General Hospital'.

So why didn't the Labour government find the money then? The answer of course is not simple, but nor is it now.

I don't know enough about funding for the hospital to be able to comment further, but I do know opportunism when I see it.
Fair comment Sara.

Labour had plenty of time when they were in power and it's not like they weren't throwing money around like confetti at a wedding, so yes, this is opportunistic and their favoured method of spending, PFI, is a disaster for public spending.

The answer is a government funded hospital, paid for from tax receipts. Would you be in favour of that Sara? Built before the housing estate is built, you know the one, humorously called the Health Campus?

Of course I will understand if as a LibDem you do not answer an awkward question that puts you on the spot for a straightforward answer.

While you are considering what not to answer, I notice you still have not answered my question about where you stand on asking library users about their sexuality, even children.

You should try to answer the difficult questions as well as the easy ones Sara. I do. If you get it wrong, just admit it.
[quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: Welcome to Labour's version of Narnia. When they were in power, funding to redevelop the hospital was always just around the corner. In 2008, the then Labour MP commented on the results of her residents' survey, saying that 'more than 80 per cent of those who replied were concerned at delays in rebuilding Watford General Hospital'. So why didn't the Labour government find the money then? The answer of course is not simple, but nor is it now. I don't know enough about funding for the hospital to be able to comment further, but I do know opportunism when I see it.[/p][/quote]Fair comment Sara. Labour had plenty of time when they were in power and it's not like they weren't throwing money around like confetti at a wedding, so yes, this is opportunistic and their favoured method of spending, PFI, is a disaster for public spending. The answer is a government funded hospital, paid for from tax receipts. Would you be in favour of that Sara? Built before the housing estate is built, you know the one, humorously called the Health Campus? Of course I will understand if as a LibDem you do not answer an awkward question that puts you on the spot for a straightforward answer. While you are considering what not to answer, I notice you still have not answered my question about where you stand on asking library users about their sexuality, even children. You should try to answer the difficult questions as well as the easy ones Sara. I do. If you get it wrong, just admit it. Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

John Dowdle wrote:
My basic point is that I - along with all Watford Observer readers and many, many more people in this country - pay taxes and other forms of payments to our governments to provide us with a national health, education and social care system, among other public services.
Governments (in the plural) chose to use that money instead to bail out poorly performing private banks and the senior executives of those banks have rewarded themselves liberally with huge pay and bonus payments at our expense.
The bankers have also benefited substantially in the form of virtually free money through quantitative easing policies (which are still continuing) at historically low rates of interest and all sorts of illegal price fixing and mis-selling practices which they are only now being brought to account for.
Thus far, not one of them - as far as I am aware - has seen the inside of a prison cell. Why are they immune from normal standards of justice?
Mr Filokowski - former Chief Officer of the Watford General Hospital - has walked away with - I believe - a £400,000 golden goodbye payment and an annual pension of £140,000. Who do you suppose is paying for that?
This can only be being done at our expense and this includes diminishing the quality of health, education and social care provision in this country.
The next government needs to start prioritising public provision over private greed. PFI should be abandoned for all time and all existing contracts should be scrapped, thus saving tax payers vast sums of future money.
Our income tax and national insurance contributions - along with various indirect taxes such as VAT and excise duty payments, etc. - should be applied to meeting the social, educational and healthcare needs of the people of this country.
The public purse gravy train must be brought to an end. By all means, we have to have a private sector in the economy for now but the day must come when it funds itself solely through private individual expenditure and not through leeching-off the public sector.
If that sounds like socialism of a sort, then so be it - but let it be democratic socialism and not the sort of state "socialism" being resurrected in Russia.
Yes, let us have a new hospital in Watford - but use the money we all pay to central government in taxes to meet the costs of it.
If we left the EU and cut foreign aid down to a sensible amount we could have as many hospitals as we wanted. Allotments would not need to be under threat.

One of the results of the above would be we wouldn't need so many houses and would have more space to park a car which is becoming a big problem in Watford.
[quote][p][bold]John Dowdle[/bold] wrote: My basic point is that I - along with all Watford Observer readers and many, many more people in this country - pay taxes and other forms of payments to our governments to provide us with a national health, education and social care system, among other public services. Governments (in the plural) chose to use that money instead to bail out poorly performing private banks and the senior executives of those banks have rewarded themselves liberally with huge pay and bonus payments at our expense. The bankers have also benefited substantially in the form of virtually free money through quantitative easing policies (which are still continuing) at historically low rates of interest and all sorts of illegal price fixing and mis-selling practices which they are only now being brought to account for. Thus far, not one of them - as far as I am aware - has seen the inside of a prison cell. Why are they immune from normal standards of justice? Mr Filokowski - former Chief Officer of the Watford General Hospital - has walked away with - I believe - a £400,000 golden goodbye payment and an annual pension of £140,000. Who do you suppose is paying for that? This can only be being done at our expense and this includes diminishing the quality of health, education and social care provision in this country. The next government needs to start prioritising public provision over private greed. PFI should be abandoned for all time and all existing contracts should be scrapped, thus saving tax payers vast sums of future money. Our income tax and national insurance contributions - along with various indirect taxes such as VAT and excise duty payments, etc. - should be applied to meeting the social, educational and healthcare needs of the people of this country. The public purse gravy train must be brought to an end. By all means, we have to have a private sector in the economy for now but the day must come when it funds itself solely through private individual expenditure and not through leeching-off the public sector. If that sounds like socialism of a sort, then so be it - but let it be democratic socialism and not the sort of state "socialism" being resurrected in Russia. Yes, let us have a new hospital in Watford - but use the money we all pay to central government in taxes to meet the costs of it.[/p][/quote]If we left the EU and cut foreign aid down to a sensible amount we could have as many hospitals as we wanted. Allotments would not need to be under threat. One of the results of the above would be we wouldn't need so many houses and would have more space to park a car which is becoming a big problem in Watford. Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: -4

3:29pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Sara says...

I have already said I don't know enough of the detail, or actually any of the detail. I try not to speak when I don't know the facts, because rumour and speculation help no-one and they certainly don't build a hospital.
I have already said I don't know enough of the detail, or actually any of the detail. I try not to speak when I don't know the facts, because rumour and speculation help no-one and they certainly don't build a hospital. Sara
  • Score: -5

3:37pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

Sara wrote:
I have already said I don't know enough of the detail, or actually any of the detail. I try not to speak when I don't know the facts, because rumour and speculation help no-one and they certainly don't build a hospital.
Surely you have a personal opinion on how hospitals should be funded, don't you?

Surely you are able to form an opinion on whether it is sensible to build a hospital first and then infill with houses, or whether it is more sensible to build a dense housing estate first and then try to figure out how to build a new hospital on the space that's left, if there is any?

Surely you have a view on whether it is right to ask children and adults their sexual persuasion if they want to use a library service?

It's only human to have views on such things.

You're a councillor, Sara. People expect you to have views, even if you don't have all the facts at your fingertips.
[quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: I have already said I don't know enough of the detail, or actually any of the detail. I try not to speak when I don't know the facts, because rumour and speculation help no-one and they certainly don't build a hospital.[/p][/quote]Surely you have a personal opinion on how hospitals should be funded, don't you? Surely you are able to form an opinion on whether it is sensible to build a hospital first and then infill with houses, or whether it is more sensible to build a dense housing estate first and then try to figure out how to build a new hospital on the space that's left, if there is any? Surely you have a view on whether it is right to ask children and adults their sexual persuasion if they want to use a library service? It's only human to have views on such things. You're a councillor, Sara. People expect you to have views, even if you don't have all the facts at your fingertips. Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: -1

3:51pm Thu 13 Mar 14

John Dowdle says...

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford wrote:
John Dowdle wrote:
My basic point is that I - along with all Watford Observer readers and many, many more people in this country - pay taxes and other forms of payments to our governments to provide us with a national health, education and social care system, among other public services.
Governments (in the plural) chose to use that money instead to bail out poorly performing private banks and the senior executives of those banks have rewarded themselves liberally with huge pay and bonus payments at our expense.
The bankers have also benefited substantially in the form of virtually free money through quantitative easing policies (which are still continuing) at historically low rates of interest and all sorts of illegal price fixing and mis-selling practices which they are only now being brought to account for.
Thus far, not one of them - as far as I am aware - has seen the inside of a prison cell. Why are they immune from normal standards of justice?
Mr Filokowski - former Chief Officer of the Watford General Hospital - has walked away with - I believe - a £400,000 golden goodbye payment and an annual pension of £140,000. Who do you suppose is paying for that?
This can only be being done at our expense and this includes diminishing the quality of health, education and social care provision in this country.
The next government needs to start prioritising public provision over private greed. PFI should be abandoned for all time and all existing contracts should be scrapped, thus saving tax payers vast sums of future money.
Our income tax and national insurance contributions - along with various indirect taxes such as VAT and excise duty payments, etc. - should be applied to meeting the social, educational and healthcare needs of the people of this country.
The public purse gravy train must be brought to an end. By all means, we have to have a private sector in the economy for now but the day must come when it funds itself solely through private individual expenditure and not through leeching-off the public sector.
If that sounds like socialism of a sort, then so be it - but let it be democratic socialism and not the sort of state "socialism" being resurrected in Russia.
Yes, let us have a new hospital in Watford - but use the money we all pay to central government in taxes to meet the costs of it.
If we left the EU and cut foreign aid down to a sensible amount we could have as many hospitals as we wanted. Allotments would not need to be under threat.

One of the results of the above would be we wouldn't need so many houses and would have more space to park a car which is becoming a big problem in Watford.
Leaving the EU might reduce the population of this country but it would also reduce the level of income coming into the economy and government.
If taken too far, it might also create a situation of impoverishment in this country if we find it too difficult to trade with other countries on the European mainland.
As you know, recent research indicates immigration is a good thing for this country; we have much better employment levels than most other EU countries - though their membership of the euro probably does not help.
As far as foreign aid is concerned, I do not think that is a major factor in the running-down of public services. I note that you talk about cutting foreign aid down to a sensible amount. At present, it constitutes just 0.7 per cent of GDP. What figure do you consider to be sensible - and why?
Actually, the numbers of empty properties in this country - including Watford and London - is absolutely massive. A programme to identify and bring into use empty properties would make a big difference. Offering low interest loans or grants to property-owners to get their properties refurbished up to a rentable or saleable standard might make sense?
[quote][p][bold]Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John Dowdle[/bold] wrote: My basic point is that I - along with all Watford Observer readers and many, many more people in this country - pay taxes and other forms of payments to our governments to provide us with a national health, education and social care system, among other public services. Governments (in the plural) chose to use that money instead to bail out poorly performing private banks and the senior executives of those banks have rewarded themselves liberally with huge pay and bonus payments at our expense. The bankers have also benefited substantially in the form of virtually free money through quantitative easing policies (which are still continuing) at historically low rates of interest and all sorts of illegal price fixing and mis-selling practices which they are only now being brought to account for. Thus far, not one of them - as far as I am aware - has seen the inside of a prison cell. Why are they immune from normal standards of justice? Mr Filokowski - former Chief Officer of the Watford General Hospital - has walked away with - I believe - a £400,000 golden goodbye payment and an annual pension of £140,000. Who do you suppose is paying for that? This can only be being done at our expense and this includes diminishing the quality of health, education and social care provision in this country. The next government needs to start prioritising public provision over private greed. PFI should be abandoned for all time and all existing contracts should be scrapped, thus saving tax payers vast sums of future money. Our income tax and national insurance contributions - along with various indirect taxes such as VAT and excise duty payments, etc. - should be applied to meeting the social, educational and healthcare needs of the people of this country. The public purse gravy train must be brought to an end. By all means, we have to have a private sector in the economy for now but the day must come when it funds itself solely through private individual expenditure and not through leeching-off the public sector. If that sounds like socialism of a sort, then so be it - but let it be democratic socialism and not the sort of state "socialism" being resurrected in Russia. Yes, let us have a new hospital in Watford - but use the money we all pay to central government in taxes to meet the costs of it.[/p][/quote]If we left the EU and cut foreign aid down to a sensible amount we could have as many hospitals as we wanted. Allotments would not need to be under threat. One of the results of the above would be we wouldn't need so many houses and would have more space to park a car which is becoming a big problem in Watford.[/p][/quote]Leaving the EU might reduce the population of this country but it would also reduce the level of income coming into the economy and government. If taken too far, it might also create a situation of impoverishment in this country if we find it too difficult to trade with other countries on the European mainland. As you know, recent research indicates immigration is a good thing for this country; we have much better employment levels than most other EU countries - though their membership of the euro probably does not help. As far as foreign aid is concerned, I do not think that is a major factor in the running-down of public services. I note that you talk about cutting foreign aid down to a sensible amount. At present, it constitutes just 0.7 per cent of GDP. What figure do you consider to be sensible - and why? Actually, the numbers of empty properties in this country - including Watford and London - is absolutely massive. A programme to identify and bring into use empty properties would make a big difference. Offering low interest loans or grants to property-owners to get their properties refurbished up to a rentable or saleable standard might make sense? John Dowdle
  • Score: 3

3:52pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Sara says...

Well of course hospitals should be funded from general taxation. But i don't have any financial data, so I'm not making any other comments, because i don't have the facts. That's the way I am on everything.

Just because I'm a councillor, doesn't mean I'm rent-a-quote.
Well of course hospitals should be funded from general taxation. But i don't have any financial data, so I'm not making any other comments, because i don't have the facts. That's the way I am on everything. Just because I'm a councillor, doesn't mean I'm rent-a-quote. Sara
  • Score: -3

4:31pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

John Dowdle wrote:
Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford wrote:
John Dowdle wrote:
My basic point is that I - along with all Watford Observer readers and many, many more people in this country - pay taxes and other forms of payments to our governments to provide us with a national health, education and social care system, among other public services.
Governments (in the plural) chose to use that money instead to bail out poorly performing private banks and the senior executives of those banks have rewarded themselves liberally with huge pay and bonus payments at our expense.
The bankers have also benefited substantially in the form of virtually free money through quantitative easing policies (which are still continuing) at historically low rates of interest and all sorts of illegal price fixing and mis-selling practices which they are only now being brought to account for.
Thus far, not one of them - as far as I am aware - has seen the inside of a prison cell. Why are they immune from normal standards of justice?
Mr Filokowski - former Chief Officer of the Watford General Hospital - has walked away with - I believe - a £400,000 golden goodbye payment and an annual pension of £140,000. Who do you suppose is paying for that?
This can only be being done at our expense and this includes diminishing the quality of health, education and social care provision in this country.
The next government needs to start prioritising public provision over private greed. PFI should be abandoned for all time and all existing contracts should be scrapped, thus saving tax payers vast sums of future money.
Our income tax and national insurance contributions - along with various indirect taxes such as VAT and excise duty payments, etc. - should be applied to meeting the social, educational and healthcare needs of the people of this country.
The public purse gravy train must be brought to an end. By all means, we have to have a private sector in the economy for now but the day must come when it funds itself solely through private individual expenditure and not through leeching-off the public sector.
If that sounds like socialism of a sort, then so be it - but let it be democratic socialism and not the sort of state "socialism" being resurrected in Russia.
Yes, let us have a new hospital in Watford - but use the money we all pay to central government in taxes to meet the costs of it.
If we left the EU and cut foreign aid down to a sensible amount we could have as many hospitals as we wanted. Allotments would not need to be under threat.

One of the results of the above would be we wouldn't need so many houses and would have more space to park a car which is becoming a big problem in Watford.
Leaving the EU might reduce the population of this country but it would also reduce the level of income coming into the economy and government.
If taken too far, it might also create a situation of impoverishment in this country if we find it too difficult to trade with other countries on the European mainland.
As you know, recent research indicates immigration is a good thing for this country; we have much better employment levels than most other EU countries - though their membership of the euro probably does not help.
As far as foreign aid is concerned, I do not think that is a major factor in the running-down of public services. I note that you talk about cutting foreign aid down to a sensible amount. At present, it constitutes just 0.7 per cent of GDP. What figure do you consider to be sensible - and why?
Actually, the numbers of empty properties in this country - including Watford and London - is absolutely massive. A programme to identify and bring into use empty properties would make a big difference. Offering low interest loans or grants to property-owners to get their properties refurbished up to a rentable or saleable standard might make sense?
John,

I wasn't even thinking about the reduction in number of people, more the savings to be had by not paying £55 million a day to be members of the EU club.

As for Foreign aid, I thought we might cut it down to what it needs to be, in other words fund useful programs like innoculations and emergency famine disaster relief but look carefully at everything else and judge it on a case by case basis.

When you have a government budget it has to be spent, and so there are civil servants scouring the globe looking for projects that might be classifiable as foreign aid and then just throwing money at them. We in Ukip call that waste and it's something we are keen to clamp down on.

We also need to look at our priorities. If we can't afford hospitals in the UK but we can afford to build windmills abroad on foreign aid, then to me that seems like our priorities are all wrong. Local hospitals before foreign windmills seems a far more sensible use of our tax money.

If you look at the amount of fraud that happens to aid it is frightening and I believe that's a direct result of trying to spend a budget down to its last penny. Why £11 billion? Why not 10 or 9 or even 12 or 13? Or 8 or 7 or 6 billion? Why a budget at all that has to be spent? Why not a fund that could be drawn upon and if not spent, used for the benefit of those in the UK?

As for the benefits of immigrants, the jury is out and you can take your choice of reports that say anything from "they make this country richer" to "they make this country poorer" and you can choose whatever one suits your pet theory.

Leaving the EU should not impoverish this country, it should enhance and enrich the UK. At least we would have our freedom back to make our own laws and live an independent life again, free to sack our government and have a real change in how the country runs. At the moment the government manages the country within the confines laid down by the EU, a largely undemocratic organisation.

Trading with the EU is a given, the EU guarantees it and so does the WTO. Clegg is lying when he says all those jobs will be lost but I think most people know that now.
[quote][p][bold]John Dowdle[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John Dowdle[/bold] wrote: My basic point is that I - along with all Watford Observer readers and many, many more people in this country - pay taxes and other forms of payments to our governments to provide us with a national health, education and social care system, among other public services. Governments (in the plural) chose to use that money instead to bail out poorly performing private banks and the senior executives of those banks have rewarded themselves liberally with huge pay and bonus payments at our expense. The bankers have also benefited substantially in the form of virtually free money through quantitative easing policies (which are still continuing) at historically low rates of interest and all sorts of illegal price fixing and mis-selling practices which they are only now being brought to account for. Thus far, not one of them - as far as I am aware - has seen the inside of a prison cell. Why are they immune from normal standards of justice? Mr Filokowski - former Chief Officer of the Watford General Hospital - has walked away with - I believe - a £400,000 golden goodbye payment and an annual pension of £140,000. Who do you suppose is paying for that? This can only be being done at our expense and this includes diminishing the quality of health, education and social care provision in this country. The next government needs to start prioritising public provision over private greed. PFI should be abandoned for all time and all existing contracts should be scrapped, thus saving tax payers vast sums of future money. Our income tax and national insurance contributions - along with various indirect taxes such as VAT and excise duty payments, etc. - should be applied to meeting the social, educational and healthcare needs of the people of this country. The public purse gravy train must be brought to an end. By all means, we have to have a private sector in the economy for now but the day must come when it funds itself solely through private individual expenditure and not through leeching-off the public sector. If that sounds like socialism of a sort, then so be it - but let it be democratic socialism and not the sort of state "socialism" being resurrected in Russia. Yes, let us have a new hospital in Watford - but use the money we all pay to central government in taxes to meet the costs of it.[/p][/quote]If we left the EU and cut foreign aid down to a sensible amount we could have as many hospitals as we wanted. Allotments would not need to be under threat. One of the results of the above would be we wouldn't need so many houses and would have more space to park a car which is becoming a big problem in Watford.[/p][/quote]Leaving the EU might reduce the population of this country but it would also reduce the level of income coming into the economy and government. If taken too far, it might also create a situation of impoverishment in this country if we find it too difficult to trade with other countries on the European mainland. As you know, recent research indicates immigration is a good thing for this country; we have much better employment levels than most other EU countries - though their membership of the euro probably does not help. As far as foreign aid is concerned, I do not think that is a major factor in the running-down of public services. I note that you talk about cutting foreign aid down to a sensible amount. At present, it constitutes just 0.7 per cent of GDP. What figure do you consider to be sensible - and why? Actually, the numbers of empty properties in this country - including Watford and London - is absolutely massive. A programme to identify and bring into use empty properties would make a big difference. Offering low interest loans or grants to property-owners to get their properties refurbished up to a rentable or saleable standard might make sense?[/p][/quote]John, I wasn't even thinking about the reduction in number of people, more the savings to be had by not paying £55 million a day to be members of the EU club. As for Foreign aid, I thought we might cut it down to what it needs to be, in other words fund useful programs like innoculations and emergency famine disaster relief but look carefully at everything else and judge it on a case by case basis. When you have a government budget it has to be spent, and so there are civil servants scouring the globe looking for projects that might be classifiable as foreign aid and then just throwing money at them. We in Ukip call that waste and it's something we are keen to clamp down on. We also need to look at our priorities. If we can't afford hospitals in the UK but we can afford to build windmills abroad on foreign aid, then to me that seems like our priorities are all wrong. Local hospitals before foreign windmills seems a far more sensible use of our tax money. If you look at the amount of fraud that happens to aid it is frightening and I believe that's a direct result of trying to spend a budget down to its last penny. Why £11 billion? Why not 10 or 9 or even 12 or 13? Or 8 or 7 or 6 billion? Why a budget at all that has to be spent? Why not a fund that could be drawn upon and if not spent, used for the benefit of those in the UK? As for the benefits of immigrants, the jury is out and you can take your choice of reports that say anything from "they make this country richer" to "they make this country poorer" and you can choose whatever one suits your pet theory. Leaving the EU should not impoverish this country, it should enhance and enrich the UK. At least we would have our freedom back to make our own laws and live an independent life again, free to sack our government and have a real change in how the country runs. At the moment the government manages the country within the confines laid down by the EU, a largely undemocratic organisation. Trading with the EU is a given, the EU guarantees it and so does the WTO. Clegg is lying when he says all those jobs will be lost but I think most people know that now. Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: -2

5:12pm Thu 13 Mar 14

John Dowdle says...

I have a completely open mind on continuing UK membership of the EU.
Like many others, I believe we should eventually hold a referendum on continuing membership to be decided by the UK electorate (with or without Scotland) so that the people of the UK will get to express themselves on the issue.
My belief is that the British people were hoodwinked into thinking they had joined a common market without anyone properly explaining what an "ever closer union" actually meant.
It is now clear what it meant and it is definitely the case that a properly informed UK electorate should be allowed to decide if they want to be part of a United States of Europe or not.
To be honest, I think you are over-egging the pudding when you say we should be 'free to sack our government'. Even as a member-state of the EU, we still retain the freedom to sack our governments at times of general elections.
Of course, the degrees of freedom of UK governments has been considerably curtailed by membership of the EU, to the point where something like 70 per cent of all legislation affecting the UK now originates from the EU.
However, the UK electorate may decide they are sanguine about that in a referendum; you may have to be prepared to accept that.
As for foreign aid, you need to find out just how much of it is recycled back into orders placed with UK companies. In some cases, advocating cuts in the aid budget could end up costing UK jobs. I do not have the actual details but you/UKIP need to find this out.
Much to her embarrassment, Home Secretary Theresa May has been found out sitting on an independent report which has demonstrated that immigration has not had much effect on UK levels of employment.
If anything, migrants have contributed substantially towards our improving economy - lightweight though that improvement actually is.
Indeed, it may be the case over time that we will give thanks for having a more open door policy than other EU countries where having an extra workforce to provide labour and funding for an increasingly greying population is concerned.
Of course, there are additional stresses and strains on our public services as a result but we should all remember that the new members of our local communities are also paying taxation into central government.
They are just as entitled as the rest of us to expect properly planned provision for their public service needs too - which includes the provision of healthcare, along with education and social care too. They have paid for it.
I have a completely open mind on continuing UK membership of the EU. Like many others, I believe we should eventually hold a referendum on continuing membership to be decided by the UK electorate (with or without Scotland) so that the people of the UK will get to express themselves on the issue. My belief is that the British people were hoodwinked into thinking they had joined a common market without anyone properly explaining what an "ever closer union" actually meant. It is now clear what it meant and it is definitely the case that a properly informed UK electorate should be allowed to decide if they want to be part of a United States of Europe or not. To be honest, I think you are over-egging the pudding when you say we should be 'free to sack our government'. Even as a member-state of the EU, we still retain the freedom to sack our governments at times of general elections. Of course, the degrees of freedom of UK governments has been considerably curtailed by membership of the EU, to the point where something like 70 per cent of all legislation affecting the UK now originates from the EU. However, the UK electorate may decide they are sanguine about that in a referendum; you may have to be prepared to accept that. As for foreign aid, you need to find out just how much of it is recycled back into orders placed with UK companies. In some cases, advocating cuts in the aid budget could end up costing UK jobs. I do not have the actual details but you/UKIP need to find this out. Much to her embarrassment, Home Secretary Theresa May has been found out sitting on an independent report which has demonstrated that immigration has not had much effect on UK levels of employment. If anything, migrants have contributed substantially towards our improving economy - lightweight though that improvement actually is. Indeed, it may be the case over time that we will give thanks for having a more open door policy than other EU countries where having an extra workforce to provide labour and funding for an increasingly greying population is concerned. Of course, there are additional stresses and strains on our public services as a result but we should all remember that the new members of our local communities are also paying taxation into central government. They are just as entitled as the rest of us to expect properly planned provision for their public service needs too - which includes the provision of healthcare, along with education and social care too. They have paid for it. John Dowdle
  • Score: 0

5:15pm Thu 13 Mar 14

#UKMum says...

So much waste of money locally and nationally. 'The Bridge Over the Duck Pond' epic waste and all that concrete path which replaced our perfectly good brick cycle path and walkway. Construction barriers in place for almost 2 years. Watford has been a building site for too long. Now they are demolishing Charter Place for MORE rebuilding. Just give us some peace for a while please. Watford's Mayor promortes nothing but More Restaurants; More Leisure Facilities; More Housing; for goodness sakes what about something ACTIVE for a change. The woman suffers from tunnel vision.

A centrally funded teaching hospital with research facilities and medical tech jobs would be great but don't rely on the ConDems when it comes to fiscal matters. The money wasted on getting the NHS ready for privatisation has not put our tax pounds to very good use for starters.

Richard Harrington voted for Clause 119 of The Care Bill as well the other day. That allows Jeremy Hunt to shut any hospital if he thinks it's not viable. Watch out Watford.
So much waste of money locally and nationally. 'The Bridge Over the Duck Pond' epic waste and all that concrete path which replaced our perfectly good brick cycle path and walkway. Construction barriers in place for almost 2 years. Watford has been a building site for too long. Now they are demolishing Charter Place for MORE rebuilding. Just give us some peace for a while please. Watford's Mayor promortes nothing but More Restaurants; More Leisure Facilities; More Housing; for goodness sakes what about something ACTIVE for a change. The woman suffers from tunnel vision. A centrally funded teaching hospital with research facilities and medical tech jobs would be great but don't rely on the ConDems when it comes to fiscal matters. The money wasted on getting the NHS ready for privatisation has not put our tax pounds to very good use for starters. Richard Harrington voted for Clause 119 of The Care Bill as well the other day. That allows Jeremy Hunt to shut any hospital if he thinks it's not viable. Watch out Watford. #UKMum
  • Score: 0

6:42pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Wacko Jacko says...

Labour's idea if 'government funding' was the disastrous PFI schemes which have saddled so many hospital trusts with multi million pound debts to pay each year for the next thirty or so years, and led to so many hospital trusts ending up in financial difficulty. Once again our opportunist local Labour clots are barking up the wrong tree and offering to spend public money they don't have.
Labour's idea if 'government funding' was the disastrous PFI schemes which have saddled so many hospital trusts with multi million pound debts to pay each year for the next thirty or so years, and led to so many hospital trusts ending up in financial difficulty. Once again our opportunist local Labour clots are barking up the wrong tree and offering to spend public money they don't have. Wacko Jacko
  • Score: -4

8:49pm Thu 13 Mar 14

John Dowdle says...

Wacko Jacko wrote:
Labour's idea if 'government funding' was the disastrous PFI schemes which have saddled so many hospital trusts with multi million pound debts to pay each year for the next thirty or so years, and led to so many hospital trusts ending up in financial difficulty. Once again our opportunist local Labour clots are barking up the wrong tree and offering to spend public money they don't have.
Iain: it is great to see you are turning into a real socialist. PFI was only ever a confidence trick with which to further enrich the already rich and powerful.
Economic theory states that profit is the reward for taking risk; but just what risk is attached to PFI contracts? Answer: None.
Therefore, all profits made from PFI contracts are wholly unwarranted - I am sure you agree.
[quote][p][bold]Wacko Jacko[/bold] wrote: Labour's idea if 'government funding' was the disastrous PFI schemes which have saddled so many hospital trusts with multi million pound debts to pay each year for the next thirty or so years, and led to so many hospital trusts ending up in financial difficulty. Once again our opportunist local Labour clots are barking up the wrong tree and offering to spend public money they don't have.[/p][/quote]Iain: it is great to see you are turning into a real socialist. PFI was only ever a confidence trick with which to further enrich the already rich and powerful. Economic theory states that profit is the reward for taking risk; but just what risk is attached to PFI contracts? Answer: None. Therefore, all profits made from PFI contracts are wholly unwarranted - I am sure you agree. John Dowdle
  • Score: 2

12:05am Fri 14 Mar 14

Andrew1963 says...

Sara wrote:
I have already said I don't know enough of the detail, or actually any of the detail. I try not to speak when I don't know the facts, because rumour and speculation help no-one and they certainly don't build a hospital.
You should know as a local councillor. All you have to do is read the trust financial reports which are readily available on its web page. It makes it quite clear that the hospital redevelopment plans came to halt in 2010. The. Government has not given the hospital any money for the access road, simply a loan which adds to the trusts debt and is repayable if it sells surplus land at Hemel, so it has to hold on to empty and unrequited land. Further more the abolition of the PCT has led to less money for the trust while it is at the same time having to cope with great demand on its services. It's all in the publicly available documents. Watford Council is spinning itself into a vortex of denial on the hospital. I understand why as a land owner next door it wants to regenerate its land for profit, which is not in itself a bad thing, but has lied about the hospital as cover for some unpopular consequences of the commercial redevelopment. So to get its commercial partners and cash flow sorted out it has decided t o put housing on t he allotments which is unpopular . It plans to service those 700 units with access via Cardiff Road which is unpopular so to mitigate those factors it has promoted a lie about this all about facilitating a new hospital. Now that is unravelling and if the prediction of just 70 major acute hospitals becomes a reality Watford General will go the way of Sun printers, a folk memory and display cabinet in a museum to explain what was there before the land became nothing more than an identikit block of Barratt flats.
[quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: I have already said I don't know enough of the detail, or actually any of the detail. I try not to speak when I don't know the facts, because rumour and speculation help no-one and they certainly don't build a hospital.[/p][/quote]You should know as a local councillor. All you have to do is read the trust financial reports which are readily available on its web page. It makes it quite clear that the hospital redevelopment plans came to halt in 2010. The. Government has not given the hospital any money for the access road, simply a loan which adds to the trusts debt and is repayable if it sells surplus land at Hemel, so it has to hold on to empty and unrequited land. Further more the abolition of the PCT has led to less money for the trust while it is at the same time having to cope with great demand on its services. It's all in the publicly available documents. Watford Council is spinning itself into a vortex of denial on the hospital. I understand why as a land owner next door it wants to regenerate its land for profit, which is not in itself a bad thing, but has lied about the hospital as cover for some unpopular consequences of the commercial redevelopment. So to get its commercial partners and cash flow sorted out it has decided t o put housing on t he allotments which is unpopular . It plans to service those 700 units with access via Cardiff Road which is unpopular so to mitigate those factors it has promoted a lie about this all about facilitating a new hospital. Now that is unravelling and if the prediction of just 70 major acute hospitals becomes a reality Watford General will go the way of Sun printers, a folk memory and display cabinet in a museum to explain what was there before the land became nothing more than an identikit block of Barratt flats. Andrew1963
  • Score: 6

12:29am Fri 14 Mar 14

John Dowdle says...

I seem to recall someone has reported that the number of residential units planned for the West Watford flood plain has now risen to 750. Is that right?
I seem to recall someone has reported that the number of residential units planned for the West Watford flood plain has now risen to 750. Is that right? John Dowdle
  • Score: 0

7:44am Fri 14 Mar 14

Sara says...

I am not a Watford councillor. I have no say over what happens on the site. I have enough detail to keep on top of for the things that I can influence in my area and on my councils, so I don't have the time to get involved with things where I can't have any effect.
I am not a Watford councillor. I have no say over what happens on the site. I have enough detail to keep on top of for the things that I can influence in my area and on my councils, so I don't have the time to get involved with things where I can't have any effect. Sara
  • Score: -4

7:51am Fri 14 Mar 14

#UKMum says...

John Dowdle wrote:
I seem to recall someone has reported that the number of residential units planned for the West Watford flood plain has now risen to 750. Is that right?
Yes I was also surprised to see another 50 tacked on recently. It keeps escalating. You should see the grey pall of smoke over West Watford on a day like yesterday. Those living in The Fields already have poor air quality. Imagine what will happen when the new 'giratory system' goes in.
[quote][p][bold]John Dowdle[/bold] wrote: I seem to recall someone has reported that the number of residential units planned for the West Watford flood plain has now risen to 750. Is that right?[/p][/quote]Yes I was also surprised to see another 50 tacked on recently. It keeps escalating. You should see the grey pall of smoke over West Watford on a day like yesterday. Those living in The Fields already have poor air quality. Imagine what will happen when the new 'giratory system' goes in. #UKMum
  • Score: 1

9:31am Fri 14 Mar 14

vickyt34 says...

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford wrote:
Sara wrote:
Welcome to Labour's version of Narnia. When they were in power, funding to redevelop the hospital was always just around the corner.

In 2008, the then Labour MP commented on the results of her residents' survey, saying that 'more than 80 per cent of those who replied were concerned at delays in rebuilding Watford General Hospital'.

So why didn't the Labour government find the money then? The answer of course is not simple, but nor is it now.

I don't know enough about funding for the hospital to be able to comment further, but I do know opportunism when I see it.
Fair comment Sara.

Labour had plenty of time when they were in power and it's not like they weren't throwing money around like confetti at a wedding, so yes, this is opportunistic and their favoured method of spending, PFI, is a disaster for public spending.

The answer is a government funded hospital, paid for from tax receipts. Would you be in favour of that Sara? Built before the housing estate is built, you know the one, humorously called the Health Campus?

Of course I will understand if as a LibDem you do not answer an awkward question that puts you on the spot for a straightforward answer.

While you are considering what not to answer, I notice you still have not answered my question about where you stand on asking library users about their sexuality, even children.

You should try to answer the difficult questions as well as the easy ones Sara. I do. If you get it wrong, just admit it.
Phil now that Linda Topping has been chosen by the Tories to run against you in this years mayoral contest will you start to attack local Tories in the same way you have Labour and Lib Dem locals?
[quote][p][bold]Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: Welcome to Labour's version of Narnia. When they were in power, funding to redevelop the hospital was always just around the corner. In 2008, the then Labour MP commented on the results of her residents' survey, saying that 'more than 80 per cent of those who replied were concerned at delays in rebuilding Watford General Hospital'. So why didn't the Labour government find the money then? The answer of course is not simple, but nor is it now. I don't know enough about funding for the hospital to be able to comment further, but I do know opportunism when I see it.[/p][/quote]Fair comment Sara. Labour had plenty of time when they were in power and it's not like they weren't throwing money around like confetti at a wedding, so yes, this is opportunistic and their favoured method of spending, PFI, is a disaster for public spending. The answer is a government funded hospital, paid for from tax receipts. Would you be in favour of that Sara? Built before the housing estate is built, you know the one, humorously called the Health Campus? Of course I will understand if as a LibDem you do not answer an awkward question that puts you on the spot for a straightforward answer. While you are considering what not to answer, I notice you still have not answered my question about where you stand on asking library users about their sexuality, even children. You should try to answer the difficult questions as well as the easy ones Sara. I do. If you get it wrong, just admit it.[/p][/quote]Phil now that Linda Topping has been chosen by the Tories to run against you in this years mayoral contest will you start to attack local Tories in the same way you have Labour and Lib Dem locals? vickyt34
  • Score: 2

2:41pm Sat 15 Mar 14

Harry Caine says...

Andrew1963 wrote:
Sara wrote:
I have already said I don't know enough of the detail, or actually any of the detail. I try not to speak when I don't know the facts, because rumour and speculation help no-one and they certainly don't build a hospital.
You should know as a local councillor. All you have to do is read the trust financial reports which are readily available on its web page. It makes it quite clear that the hospital redevelopment plans came to halt in 2010. The. Government has not given the hospital any money for the access road, simply a loan which adds to the trusts debt and is repayable if it sells surplus land at Hemel, so it has to hold on to empty and unrequited land. Further more the abolition of the PCT has led to less money for the trust while it is at the same time having to cope with great demand on its services. It's all in the publicly available documents. Watford Council is spinning itself into a vortex of denial on the hospital. I understand why as a land owner next door it wants to regenerate its land for profit, which is not in itself a bad thing, but has lied about the hospital as cover for some unpopular consequences of the commercial redevelopment. So to get its commercial partners and cash flow sorted out it has decided t o put housing on t he allotments which is unpopular . It plans to service those 700 units with access via Cardiff Road which is unpopular so to mitigate those factors it has promoted a lie about this all about facilitating a new hospital. Now that is unravelling and if the prediction of just 70 major acute hospitals becomes a reality Watford General will go the way of Sun printers, a folk memory and display cabinet in a museum to explain what was there before the land became nothing more than an identikit block of Barratt flats.
"hospital redevelopment plans came to halt in 2010"

Wasn't that when Rich Harrington dug deep into his £470,000 political war chest and "won" in Watford.

Now that chickens are coming home to roost he's very clearly worried.

When this is all over and he loses perhaps he'll disappear to Maritius where the bulk of the shares in his Company Harvington Properties are salted away.

Was that the game plan all along by any chance?
[quote][p][bold]Andrew1963[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: I have already said I don't know enough of the detail, or actually any of the detail. I try not to speak when I don't know the facts, because rumour and speculation help no-one and they certainly don't build a hospital.[/p][/quote]You should know as a local councillor. All you have to do is read the trust financial reports which are readily available on its web page. It makes it quite clear that the hospital redevelopment plans came to halt in 2010. The. Government has not given the hospital any money for the access road, simply a loan which adds to the trusts debt and is repayable if it sells surplus land at Hemel, so it has to hold on to empty and unrequited land. Further more the abolition of the PCT has led to less money for the trust while it is at the same time having to cope with great demand on its services. It's all in the publicly available documents. Watford Council is spinning itself into a vortex of denial on the hospital. I understand why as a land owner next door it wants to regenerate its land for profit, which is not in itself a bad thing, but has lied about the hospital as cover for some unpopular consequences of the commercial redevelopment. So to get its commercial partners and cash flow sorted out it has decided t o put housing on t he allotments which is unpopular . It plans to service those 700 units with access via Cardiff Road which is unpopular so to mitigate those factors it has promoted a lie about this all about facilitating a new hospital. Now that is unravelling and if the prediction of just 70 major acute hospitals becomes a reality Watford General will go the way of Sun printers, a folk memory and display cabinet in a museum to explain what was there before the land became nothing more than an identikit block of Barratt flats.[/p][/quote]"hospital redevelopment plans came to halt in 2010" Wasn't that when Rich Harrington dug deep into his £470,000 political war chest and "won" in Watford. Now that chickens are coming home to roost he's very clearly worried. When this is all over and he loses perhaps he'll disappear to Maritius where the bulk of the shares in his Company Harvington Properties are salted away. Was that the game plan all along by any chance? Harry Caine
  • Score: 2

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