Mary Creagh

Working hard for Wakefield

My monthly column for the Wakefield Express

The trial is finished. Thomas Mair, whose cowardice in refusing to plead guilty and forced those who loved Jo to relive her harrowing final moments, will never leave prison. The trial’s judge concluded that Jo was killed in a politically motivated murder, because of who she was, and what she stood for.

Jo will never be forgotten. She lives on in the hearts of her family and friends, her fellow MPs, and all those whose lives she touched. Her husband, Brendan Cox, said we must now unite “to fight against the hatred that killed her”. This means condemning all forms of extremism including far-right racism which has gained a foothold across our region. There have been at least seven marches by the far right in West Yorkshire over the past two years and a National Front demonstration in Wakefield in July 2015.

 

Last Friday was the United Nations’ International Day for Ending Violence against Women and Girls. I met with West Yorkshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable, Angela Williams and Yvette Cooper MP. This year there has been fall in domestic violence prosecutions, because of cuts to police forces, legal aid and support agencies. Victims must not suffer in silence. I know our first ever female Chief Constable for West Yorkshire Police, Dee Collins, will be a tireless champion for vulnerable women and children and I look forward to working with her on these issues.

 

Last week also saw the Chancellor’s first Autumn Statement of this Government and the first since the EU referendum. The Brexit black hole is worse than feared, £58 million pounds, and the squeeze on people’s incomes will be the worst since the 1920s. Borrowing is up, economic growth is down, the value of the pound is down, debt has skyrocketed and there was no mention of funding for social care or the NHS.

 

The hardworking people of Wakefield are paying the price for this Government’s failures. We need to remain within the single market when we leave the EU which will offer the best deal for jobs, wages, growth, and investment.

 

Where is the £350m a week for the NHS that the Vote Leave camp promised? The number of people waiting over 4 hours in Pinderfields A&E is higher than the national average, and local GP services are already under extreme pressure.

 

I’d like to say a huge thank you to the 1,500 people who have signed my petition calling on Wakefield CCG to save King Street GP practice in Wakefield city centre

 

The GP practice shares the same building, the same facilities and the same staff as the walk-in service at King Street Health Centre. In the last year the walk-in service saw almost 40,000 people, and over 3,500 patients are with the GP surgery.

 

Closing King Street GP practice would be a mistake and I will fight tooth and nail to keep it open. I had a great show of support from shoppers at my street stall this Saturday in Wakefield city centre, with hundreds pledging their support. I urge everyone else to sign via my website, www.marycreagh.co.uk

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