South Gloucestershire Conservatives last night voted down a Lib Dem amendment calling upon the Government to end the ongoing programme of austerity cuts to our local NHS and to allocate extra funding to help our Health Service cope with winter pressures. Instead the Conservatives voted through a self-congratulatory motion, misleadingly claiming that the NHS is receiving record funding from the Conservative Government.
Lib Dem Health spokesperson, Cllr Sue Hope said: “It’s bitterly disappointing to see the Conservatives rejecting our calls to end the harsh austerity cuts to our local NHS. It’s clear that Theresa May’s promise to end austerity at the recent Conservative Party Conference was nothing more than empty words – at least when it comes to our local NHS. The Tories also refused to support our repeated calls for urgent additional funding for the NHS to cope with extra pressures this winter. Without such extra funding we fear we will see a repeat of the thousands of preventable deaths we saw across the country last winter.”
In place of the Lib Dem amendment, the Conservatives voted through a motion congratulating themselves, stating: “The Conservative-led government is investing record levels of funding into the NHS.” Leader of the South Gloucestershire Lib Dem Group, Cllr Claire Young, said: “This is clearly misleading. NHS budgets nationally are increasing far slower than historical averages, and locally we are seeing spending cuts of £37million to our NHS CCG this year alone. The Conservatives are giving to our NHS with one hand but taking away far more with the other.”
Both Lib Dem and Conservative versions of the health motion called for additional and expanded services to be provided out of Yate MIU. Lib Dem councillor for Yate Central Sue Walker said: “the local Lib Dems have been pushing for improved and expanded service at the Yate MIU for many years. The Conservatives refused to support a very similar resolution from us last year, but we welcome their change of heart. Their support for our campaign on Yate MIU is better late than never.”