Claire Wright – damaged and stolen poster boards “unfair and disappointing”

Press release:

“In the past week Claire Wright has received growing reports of her A1 poster boards going missing or being damaged across the East Devon constituency.

More than 300 boards are now in place across towns and villages in the area, however, in the past week, she has received reports of boards going missing or being damaged, including at: Sidmouth, West Hill, Ottery St Mary, Budleigh Salterton and Woodbury Salterton.

She said: “We don’t know who is damaging the boards and it is really disappointing because it is a practice I would always condemn.

“With my 600 strong army of supporters I am fighting really hard to win this election. But I will always fight fairly and honestly.

“It is particularly disappointing because my campaign is funded exclusively by local residents who have been amazingly generous, donating an incredible £9000 over two weeks. Each board costs over £5, so it is local people’s money that is being needlessly wasted and that is deeply regrettable.”

I hope that whoever appears to be targeting my boards will now stop.”

Strong …ly weak and stable..y wobbly on home care charges!

Summary: May is panicking … she will say ANYTHING … as long as it REALLY means NOTHING!

What Owl thinks: the bigger your house, the more money you will be able to leave to your relatives. Yeah, that sounds more like a Tory policy!

“Theresa May has refused to say how high the Conservatives’ new cap on social care costs would be, after announcing an unprecedented U-turn on her manifesto plan to remove the limit.

The Prime Minister became increasingly flustered as she faced a barrage of questions from journalists, having seemingly watered down a key element of the Tory manifesto.

Asked by Channel 4 News’ Michael Crick where she would set the limit, Ms May said: “We have not changed the principles of the policy we set out in our manifesto. Those policies remain exactly the same.”

May waters down ‘dementia tax’ in U-turn after poll lead slashed
The Conservative manifesto’s section on social care makes no mention of a cap. Previously the plan had been to introduce an upper limit of £72,000 on the lifetime cost of a person’s care by 2020.

It said a green paper would be drafted to “address system-wide issues to improve the quality of care”.

But Ms May told journalists at the launch of the Welsh Conservatives’ manifesto: “The plans that we set out were very clear in the manifesto, you can look in the manifesto … We said we would issue a green paper and of course within that green paper we’ll be consulting on the details of the proposals.

“Nobody is going to have to pay for their care, nobody is going to have to pay for their care … while they are alive. Nobody is going to have to lose their family home.

“We have not changed the principles we set out in the manifesto.”

She added: “We will have an upper limit, absolute limit, on the amount people will pay for care.”

It came after a pair of polls showed Labour narrowing the gap on the Conservatives to just nine points, following the launch of Ms May’s manifesto.

The Tories’ lead has halved compared to a week ago, according to Survation, with Theresa May’s party on 43 and Labour on 34.

The poll of 1,034 adults was taken over 19 and 20 May and showed people were more likely to say Labour had the best policies for older people and the NHS.

A YouGov poll had Labour on 35 per cent, their highest of the campaign so far, with the Tories on 44 per cent.”

“Claire Wright stands up for pensioners”

“Claire Wright, the independent County Councillor fighting to win the Devon East constituency, is opposing what she deems a triple-pronged attack on pensioners, revealed in the Conservative manifesto this week.

She said: “The Conservative manifesto contains some appalling attacks on the very people who can bear it the least.

“In recent years we have seen younger people, those on benefits and disabled people, lose vital financial support and it seems that the Conservatives are now targeting older people.

“The winter fuel allowance will be so restricted that an estimated 10 MILLION people out of 12 million will lose out. That’s almost everyone.

This will create terrible hardship for older people who are already struggling to make ends meet in addition to heating their homes.

The pension triple lock is set to be lifted, which could see the same people who are struggling to make ends meet suffer hardship as they see their state pension lose value year after year.

“Meanwhile insurance companies circle like sharks, trying to cash in by providing schemes with high premiums. What kind of caring Conservatism is that? They’re taking apart the welfare state and selling it off piece by piece.”

“I’ve received messages from pensioners who are concerned, upset and angry. These are people who’ve worked hard for 40 years or more, paid their taxes and National Insurance like good citizens do, and simply want to pass on their home to their children or their grandchildren.

“And the Conservatives are aiming to take it away: Incredible! Many of them are core conservative voters. They’re telling me that they will never vote Tory again and that they’re happy to find an Independent they can back instead. One couple called it ‘an insult to our generation’.”

“It is deeply unfair, especially when the government is prioritising spending billions on projects that are nothing to do with improving lives of people living here, such as HS2, a third runway at Heathrow, building brand new roads, free schools and new grammar schools, to give just a few examples.

East Devon is well known as a beautiful place to retire to. The Guardian named it number five in the country in a 2012 article. The 2011 census showed that 28% of our local population is aged 65 and over, and that three quarters of people here are owner-occupiers. Both of those statistics are significantly higher than the national average.

So East Devon will be particularly hard hit by this misguided policy. Our local pensioners, who’ve paid into the system for decades, are being deserted by the government.

Meanwhile Hugo Swire, the Conservative candidate, is tweeting about Brexit and refusing to come to hustings.

“Theresa May talked about ‘Mainstream Britain’: that’s precisely what she’s attacking right here in East Devon!”

The Conservatives plans have been questioned by politicians and others across the spectrum.

Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative MP for Totnes raised concerns. The National Pensioners Convention is worried, and the term ‘dementia tax‘ seems to have caught on.

Even the Bow Group, the oldest Conservative think tank in the country, has described the proposal as “the biggest stealth tax in history”.

Claire continued: “We need to pick up the Dilnot Commission’s proposal from 2011, for a cap on what an individual would have to pay on care in their lifetime. The Commission was appointed by the coalition government, and proposed a cap of £35,000.

“Implementing this would ensure security for our pensioners: thousands of people in East Devon who deserve better.”

“If I’m elected to parliament on June 8th (and that’s looking increasingly likely), this is precisely the kind of assault I will stand up against.

I will work with MPs in other parties, just as I’ve been working with councillors from other parties for the last six years. I will do my best to protect ordinary people here in this beautiful constituency from the ravages of the Conservatives.

Unlike other MPs who have to follow the whip and worry more about their party leaders than the people who put them there, my focus will always be the welfare of the people of East Devon.”

Source: press release

Tories “paying for Google ads to lead people away from negative ‘dementia tax’ stories”

“The Conservatives are buying up Google ads to stop people reading about the controversy around its “dementia tax”.

The party has come under huge pressure over its new care plan, which will see older people have to pay for the services they use. The controversial policy has been called a dementia tax, since it means people who need care as they get older will have to pay far more than they did before.

Now the party appears to be attempting to limit that controversy by stopping people reading about it. It is spending probably thousands of pounds to keep people from reading about the widespread opposition to the party – and encourage them to click on its own website instead.”

Ads are being placed at the top of Google searches for “dementia tax” to direct people onto a special page on the Tory website.

Underneath the ad shows an array of stories about the dementia tax, all of them negative. The three top stories at the time of publication was a piece in The Guardian reporting that Theresa May is “under pressure” over the plan, a Financial Times report on the fact that senior Tories were “kept in the dark” over the dementia tax and an article in The Independent on Liberal Democrat claims that nine out of 10 homes would be sold to fund care costs under the policy.

The Google ads are unusual in taking on the terms defined by Labour, which first referred to the policy as a dementia tax. The Tories have mostly referred to the policy as its “social care plans” – which is the way it is defined when people click through on the ads.

The ads presumably reflect growing concern that the dementia tax is losing the Tories votes. The page attempts to stem those concerns, arguing that the policy is required because the country is getting older and claims that the policy emerged because the Tories “have chosen to act, in the national interest”.

It has been blamed in part for the shrinking lead that the Tories have over Labour. That has been cut into single figures since the Conservative manifesto and the dementia tax were announced.

And the policy has even been criticised by Conservative candidates, who say that it is playing badly during campaigns. Senior Tories were not even told about the policy before it was announced, according to the Financial Times.”

Criminal damage and theft of Claire Wright publicity boards

Several people are reporting that boards supporting Independent Parliamentary candidate Claire Wright are being torn down and taken away during the night, particularly in Newton Poppleford.

This is criminal theft, criminal damage and, perhaps, also trespass.

Board owners might wish to train their webcams on their boards – just to see which raptors alight on them, of course.

Someone very, very frit of the lady – wonder who?

Turning GP practice private increased costs by 64%

“The procurement of an APMS contract to a private provider – after the closure of a GMS practice – meant costs to the NHS increased by 64%, shows figures obtained by LMC leaders.

Partners at the St Lawrence Medical Practice in Braintree, Essex, were forced to hand their GMS contract back after they were unable to recruit more partners, and NHS England replaced it with an APMS contract run by Virgin Care.

An FOI to NHS England, revealed by Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer from Hertfordshire LMC at the LMCs Conference in Edinburgh, showed that the first year of the Virgin Care practice contract cost 64% moreq than the final 12 months of St Lawrence’s GMS contract.

The FOI, seen by Pulse, also revealed that the Sutherland Lodge practice in Essex was replaced by a Virgin Care APMS practice that increased costs by 16%. Sutherland Lodge had earlier been awarded an ‘outstanding’ rating by the CQC but was forced to close due to the PMS reviews.

The figures were announced as part of a debate on NHS England’s decision to put all new GP practices contracts out to tender under APMS – first revealed by Pulse.

Local leaders voted in favour of the motion, which called on the GPC to take legal advice to ‘challenge the notion that only APMS contracts may be awarded when procuring general medical services’.

Dr Bramall-Stainer told delegates: ‘There was the case of the “Outstanding” Essex practice that was forced into handing back their contract last year due to the enforced PMS contract review.

‘This undermines the whole ethos of long-time continuity of care.’

The FOI response from NHS England said: ‘The budget for the current APMS contract (which commenced on 1 June 2016) will exceed the actual expenditure within the last twelve months of the former GMS partnership (1 June 2014 to 31 May 2015).

‘Following the procurements of the current APMS contracts for the St Lawrence and Sutherland Lodge practices we can confirm that the procurements resulted in the following approximate percentage increases in contract value rates compared to the GMS and PMS arrangements previously in place; St Lawrence: 64%; Sutherland Lodge: 16%.’

Pulse revealed earlier this year that more practices closed in 2016 than ever before.

Virgin Care was approached for comment, but did not respond in time for publication.”