Rural communities and elderly will be hard-hit by cashless society

As banks and cash machines are being closed in rural areas, and where broadband for internet banking may be poor, people will struggle:

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/mar/06/uk-cash-system-on-the-verge-of-collapse-report-finds?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Ambulances not reaching rural areas quickly enough

The article includes a postcode checker to show the situation where you live.

“Critically injured patients in rural areas are at risk due to the time it takes the ambulance service to reach them, a BBC investigation has found.
Some rural communities wait more than 20 minutes on average for 999 crews or trained members of the community to reach life-threatening cases such as cardiac arrests and stab victims.

A response should come in six to eight minutes, depending on where you live.
Experts said delays could make the difference between life and death.
This was particularly the case for cardiac arrests where “every second counts”, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) said. …”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-47362797

“Tory MP complains that Government isn’t giving Brexit bribes to South West MPs – because the region voted Conservative!”

From the blog of Independent DCC Councillor Martin Shaw, East Devon Alliance:

“The Government has announced its bribes to towns in order to persuade MPs, mainly Labour, to vote for its miserable Brexit deal.

Although it claims to have used a “need-based formula,” the South West is to receive the second-lowest allocation of cash (£33 million) despite being among England’s most deprived regions.

Coincidentally, it also has very few Labour MPs — and Sheryll Murray, the Tory MP for South East Cornwall, appears to have spotted the discrepancy.

“The fact this money appears to be directly routed to Labour-voting areas smacks of pork-barrel politics, and the public will know that,” Murray complains to The Times.

“It would be a crying shame if Conservative-voting communities were being disadvantaged because of the way they voted.”

Tory MP complains that Government isn’t giving Brexit bribes to South West MPs – because the region voted Conservative!

“Social care ‘near collapse’ as 1 million denied vital help”

Theresa May has been warned that social care is “on the brink of collapse” with more than one million older people denied help with basic tasks.

Increasing numbers are being left without support to get out of bed, dress, wash or go to the lavatory, according to the letter to the Prime Minister signed by a coalition of leading NHS and health leaders, with millions more relying on unpaid care from relatives and friends.

The four-page letter, seen by The Sunday Times, is the first time such groups have united to raise concerns over social care and states that the “perilous state” of the sector had become a “national disgrace”.

The Government is being urged to act after promising a solution to the crisis, with a green paper setting out how to fund social care delayed several times.

Signatories include leaders of the Royal College of Physicians, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the Royal College of General Practitioners.”

Source: Times page 2

“Universal Credit staff now visit hospitals to make patients ‘prove they are unwell’ “

“Universal Credit workers have been visiting sick patients in hospital to check they are actually unwell, a damning new review into the roll-out of the welfare system has revealed.

Department for Work and Pensions chiefs were found to be interviewing people awaiting NHS treatment to ensure they were on the right money and not abusing the system.

The practice has been condemned as ‘grotesque’ by a council scrutiny panel in London, where it has emerged hospitalised Universal Credit claimants have received shock visits from the welfare state police.

In one instance, DWP officers visited a person in hospital awaiting an operation because they had missed an appointment.

The behaviour was uncovered as part of a review by Islington’s Policy and Performance Scrutiny Committee, which has been tracking the full rollout of Universal Credit in Islington since June, reports the Islington Gazette. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/universal-credit-nhs-hospital-visits-2593477

Trek to new EDDC HQ in the evening if you want to be a councillor …

Just one small point. If you don’t have a car and no buses are running in the early or late evening (as happens now) how do you get to Blackout House (sic) for this meeting (or any other meeting for that matter) from Exmouth, Axminster, Seaton, Colyton or any outlying villages? Only Cranbrook and Sidmouth are served by late (after 5 pm) direct buses, and a train journey would be horrendously expensive.

Why do the people have to go to the Election Officer in the evening? Why isn’t the Election Officer going to ALL the people daytime and evening(so far Owl has heard of only one other town meeting in Ottery St Mary)? And making all those meetings accessible to disabled people?

Anyone would think people other than those in the very well represented Tory Party were being discouraged from standing …

“Representatives from East Devon District Council (EDDC) will be available on Monday (March 4) to discuss what the role involves and how residents can put themselves forward for the election.

The East Devon district is divided into 32 electoral wards, represented by 59 councillors who are elected for four years.

The next election for parish, town and district council positions will take place on Thursday, May 2.

The drop in session on Monday will be held between 4pm and 7pm at East Devon District Council’s new headquarters at Blackdown House in Honiton.

In attendance will be the returning officer, deputy returning officer and electoral services manager. They will be able to discuss the process, as well as whether a prospective candidate is eligible to stand.

Nomination packs will be available on the evening.”

https://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/drop-in-session-for-prospective-election-candidates-1-5910780

“Tory councillors give themselves 300% pay hikes in homelessness hotspot”

“Tory councillors have awarded themselves pay rises of more than 300% in an area blighted by homelessness and food banks.

Matt Dormer, the Conservative leader of Redditch Borough Council agreed to a whopping 150% pay rise for himself.

And councillors with special responsibilities will get an extra £5,000 – a staggering 326% pay increase.

The Tories took control of the council last May and are in charge of their own pay for the first time in years.

Labour had previously frozen pay for a decade and its councillors voted against the new rises.

One said: “At the first opportunity these greedy ***** have taken money from council tax to put in their own, in some case already fat, wallets.”

Another councillor was so horrified she wheeled a trolley into the council chamber containing items destined for a food bank.

A source said: “It was a way of pointing out the absurdity of giving themselves more cash when there are people literally starving.” …

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tory-councillors-give-themselves-300-14065345