Labour and Green members of Leeds City Council have lent their support to the ‘999 for the NHS’ call.
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In July Councillor Lisa Mulherin proposed a motion which asked the council to support the founding principles and values of the NHS, and also called on the government to take the following immediate action:

• Repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and bring commissioning back together under local Health and Wellbeing Boards.
• Re-establish the Secretary of State’s statutory duty to provide and secure a comprehensive health service.
• Remove the infrastructure which imposes competition on the NHS and which leaves it open to threat from the free market.
• Ensure that decision-making at all levels in the NHS is open and transparent and that patients and the public are involved in designing services for the future.

The motion passed with the full backing of all Labour and Green Councillors on the 2nd July,

Just over a month later, thousands of campaigners will come together to recreate the historic 1936 March from Jarrow to Parliament. They plan to present a petition to MPs asking them to halt the dismantling and privatisation of the NHS. Marchers will leave Jarrow on the 16th of August and arrive outside Parliament on the 6th September.

The campaigners’ route will pass through Leeds – on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd of August. The march sets out from Harrogate on the 22nd August, and leaves Leeds the following morning around 9.30am to go on to Wakefield. It goes through North Leeds, including Headingley. A number of campaigners intend to complete the route in full from Jarrow to London. You can get more details of the Leeds phase and how you can support it here.

Speaking for her Motion Councillor Mulherin said

“this government’s reforms put private profit ahead of patient care, tying the NHS up in competition law, paying lawyers instead of putting money into patient services. Despite damaging headlines of failures in different parts of the system in recent years, the nation is rightly proud of the NHS, a publicly funded health service that provides universal care free at the point of need”

“People want an accountable NHS where resources go into improving outcomes and patient experience, not into private profits”

Councillor Truswell also expressed worry over the growing role of the private sector in the NHS.

“Research shows that private providers have won 70% of tenders for NHS services since the Act took effect and some CCGs have even contracted out their contracting staff. It is no wonder that Dr Mark Porter, Chair of the British Medical Association, the GP body, recently warned of a bumper year for multinationals and market lunacy diverting money away from patient care into the cost of contracting out services.”

Like the local branch of Keep Our NHS Public, we in Leeds NW Labour have been backing this campaign from the start.

Alex Sobel, our Labour candidate, will walk with the marchers from Harrogate, and formally welcome them to North Leeds.

As he says

“Joining the March isn’t a choice for me. It’s really an obligation for everybody that needs the NHS now and in the future.” [You can read his views in full here.]

Remember Nye Bevan’s words
‘The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it.’

The Labour and Green members of Leeds City Council have that faith. The Jarrow marchers have that faith. So does Alex.

We hope you’ll join them.

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