Mary Creagh MP

Working hard for Wakefield

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The NHS is a credit to our country, but it is under pressure like never before. 

The crisis in adult social care has put huge pressure on hospital services, with patients left on hospital trolleys, sometimes for more than 24 hours, routine surgery postponed, and staff at breaking point. The latest figures show that only 78% of patients are seen at Pinderfields A&E within four hours, well below the current national target of 95%. Yet the Government’s response to the NHS winter crisis has been to suggest downgrading the four-hour waiting time target at A&Es, set by the last Labour government. Whichever way Jeremy Hunt spins it, back-tracking on Labour’s A&E targets is an admission of failure.




That’s why King Street walk-in centre is so important, helping to ease pressure on Pinderfields hospital. I’m disappointed that despite strong local opposition, and a 2,000 strong petition to Parliament, Wakefield CCG are going to close the GP surgery at King Street. This decision could harm the walk-in centre, which shares the same staff, facilities and building. The contract is up for renewal in September 2017, and I’ll be fighting tooth and nail to make sure Wakefield CCG do not close it.

It’s important we engage young people in politics, and last month, I was delighted to meet with students from Netherton Junior and Infant school and Wakefield City Academy. I’m concerned about the Government’s new education funding formula, which will cut funding to every school in Wakefield. I have written to Wakefield Council urging them to respond to the Government’s consultation, and I spoke out against these plans in Parliament. Because when education funding is cut, so are the life chances it brings.  

I voted against triggering Article 50 last Wednesday. I know that some people disagree with that decision, and others support it, so I would like to explain. 

In the referendum people were promised more money for the NHS. Last week, the Government admitted that the NHS’s budget per person will be cut in real terms next year.  In the referendum, people were promised controls on immigration. Yet former Cabinet Minister Stephen Crabb warned there's "nothing to suggest reduction in immigration is achievable" post Brexit.

In the referendum, people were promised we wouldn’t leave the Single Market. Now the Prime Minister has announced she is taking the UK out of the Single Market, the biggest free trade area in the world, where 44% of our exports currently trade, tariff free. George Osborne warned that her decision was not prioritising the UK economy in the negotiations.  That decision has put thousands of British jobs at risk.  

It is my duty as an MP to use my judgement to make decisions in the best interests of people in Wakefield, not reduce the funding for public services, destroy jobs and businesses and make people poorer. In the end, my conscience could not support the Conservatives’ hard Brexit.

My monthly column for the Wakefield Express

The NHS is a credit to our country, but it is under pressure like never before.  The crisis in adult social care has put huge pressure on hospital services, with...

I have supported plans for a new community stadium at Newmarket since I was elected in 2005. My most recent copies of correspondence on this issue are below. In addition, I have met with the Wakefield Wildcats Community Trust 4 times since my re-election in 2015: 

12 June 2015 

25 September 2015 

15 January 2016 

8 July 2016 

 

See my correspondence here

Leigh_Stadium_Newsletter_Picture.jpg

Wakefield Trinity Stadium

I have supported plans for a new community stadium at Newmarket since I was elected in 2005. My most recent copies of correspondence on this issue are below. In addition,...

I have always sought to act in the best interests of people in Wakefield & defend Labour’s values. My speech to Parliament on why I voted against Article 50: 

 

Mr Speaker the European Union is a bureaucratic,cumbersome, imperfect system.

But it is the longest and most successful peace process the world has ever seen

It has transformed historic enemies into trading partners, allies, and friends.  

It gave hope to those labouring under the yoke of communism.

It has protected the UK’s workers, consumers and environment, supported the Northern Ireland peace process, and driven Britain’s economy, innovation and prosperity. 

I did not vote to hold the referendum.

I campaigned to remain.

But people in Wakefield voted to leave.  

The Labour whip says vote to trigger.

But my Labour values, solidarity, internationalism, social justice, say something else.

Because I see the Prime Minister talking about free trade, but walking out on the largest free trade area in the world.

To chase an imaginary trade deal with Donald Trump.

Populism and nationalism lead to protectionism. Protectionism destroys trade. People get poorer. People blame someone. We turn our back on openness, on tolerance, on other people. We forget they are people like us. 

A trade deal with the USA is a distraction.

The most important trade deal is the one we negotiate with the European Union.

That deal will determine whether Esseco UK in Wakefield face tariffs on the sulphites they export to wine makers in the EU.  

Or if Wakefield farmers face tariffs on the lamb they export to Belgium.

The Prime minister has a weak negotiating hand.

But she has thrown in her cards before the other players have sat down at the table!

She has rejected staying in the Single market, where 44% of the UK’s exports currently go, tariff free.

This hard Brexit

was not what Leave campaigners told people in the referendum.

The UK’s access to the largest free trade area in the world will be worse after 2019.  

That puts thousands of British jobs at risk. 

An open society, without discrimination, is the founding pillar of our British and European identity.  

Since the referendum, hate crime is up.

There is fear and uncertainty for thousands of our teachers, nurses, carers, our co-workers, neighbours, and friends.

My father Tom died in October.

The last vote he cast was to remain in the EU.  

He came to Britain from Ireland, in 1962, to earn his living, meet his wife, get his degree, raise his family, work and pay his taxes here.  

After Brexit, someone like him, without a degree, say, from Eastern Europe, will no longer be welcome.  

I hope we are better than that.

This vote means our children will have fewer rights to live, work, and study in Europe than we had.  

Their wildlife, and countryside will suffer when we lose the EU’s environmental protections.

This vote diminishes Britain’s place in the world.

To the people of Wakefield, I say, I have always sought to act in your best interests.

My duty is to use my judgement to make your lives better.  

You did not elect me to make you poorer.

To destroy your jobs and weaken your public services.

My judgement, as someone who lived in Belgium and Italy and who worked with entrepreneurs for 7 years;

as an elected public servant for the last 19 years;

my judgement is this vote will make people in Wakefield poorer, will destroy jobs and businesses, remove social, consumer and environmental rights, and reduce the tax base that funds our NHS, schools and council services.

It helps the right wing of the Conservative party and it is the wrong future for our country.  

History has its eyes on us today. So here is my answer.

I can no more vote for this than I can vote against my conscience.

I can no more vote for this than I can vote against my Labour values.

I can no more vote for this than I can vote against my own DNA.

I did not vote to hold the referendum. And I will not vote to trigger Article 50 today.

My speech to Parliament on the Article 50 Bill

I have always sought to act in the best interests of people in Wakefield & defend Labour’s values. My speech to Parliament on why I voted against Article 50: 


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