From April, more than 20m working people will be paying £600 a year less than they were under Labour as the tax threshold rises to £9,440. Someone earning the minimum wage will have seen their Income Tax bill cut in half.
The Northern Ireland Liberal Democrats have received expressions of concern from a number of stakeholder parties at uncertainties over the future of Causeway Hospital in Coleraine, currently under review by the Department of Health at Stormont as an aspect of the Transforming Your Care programme.
The difficulties at Causeway are acknowledged by all, and constitute a major impediment to the delivery of healthcare to North Antrim and the North Coast. These stem principally from an inability to recruit and retain senior Medical and Surgical professionals at Causeway, especially in the areas of Emergency Medicine and Maternity.
Causeway Hospital currently operates within the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, and as such, it shares many services, including the services of many Consultants and an entire spectrum of less-visible activities such as nursing, supply, Biomedical Science services, etc with other institutions of the Northern HSC Trust including Antrim Hospital. One possible “solution” mooted for the senior staffing difficulties is the transfer of Causeway from the Northern HSC Trust to the Western HSC Trust. The principal motivation being suggested for such change is the potential for new multi-centre working arrangements between Causeway and Altnagelvin Hospitals.
We are seriously concerned that such a proposal does not adequately acknowledge the existing multicentre arrangements from which Causeway benefits in the Northern Trust. Many of these arrangements have been put in place at considerable cost in recent years following the merger of the former United Hospitals, Homefirst and Causeway Trusts.
It should be pointed out also that within the current
fourfive-Trust [thanks @Alanlaw] structure in Northern Ireland, community and acute services reside within the same Trusts. Thus, any transfer of Causeway would have to be accompanied by a transfer of community medical, mental health and social care provision in North Antrim and on the North Coast. We suggest that this depth of change to healthcare in the Causeway area is an unnecessarily disruptive answer to the difficulties at hand.
Again, we do not seek to deny the seriousness of the shortfalls at Causeway, or the difficulties faced by the Department of Health in trying to put them right. We acknowledge that provision here has been overly territorial and insufficiently collaborative as many within healthcare in Northern Ireland will admit. However, that surely points to a possible alternative pathway — The further development of Causeway Hospital need not be a zero-sum process. — Even at a time of comparative scarcity in the NHS, we feel that there is potential within both Trusts for the Department to find, even perhaps to pioneer, better networking arrangements which enable Causeway’s existing strengths and relationships to continue as new capabilities are created for the benefit of all in North Antrim and on the North Coast.
Sometimes words are not just enough, pictures and graphics assist us in telling you what Liberal Democrats believe.
with thanks to Mark Pack.
Orginally published at http://www.markpack.org.uk/libdem-beliefs/
In case some of our Northern Irish readers haven’t seen it, Eric Avebury has written an article published on LibDemVoice raising the issue of the nuclear legacy of the United Kingdom.
Of course, here in Northern Ireland, we Liberal Democrats don’t stand [currently] despite Nick’s telling us that we (LibDems) would be standing everywhere in the UK at the next general election at conference a couple of years ago. But we get his message from yesterday about what is being achieved by the Parliamentary Party in Westminster. [Not of all it is really liberal of course, but that’s another story.]
It is not often that a member of the Northern Ireland local party speaks to the United Nations, but that is what has happened this week. On 13 September, John, Lord Alderdice spoke to the United Nations General Assembly on the Role of Mediation in Conflict Prevention and Resolution, highlighting some key issues in mediation work with groups in violent conflict.
- The power of the past – with repetitions and reactions to hurts over centuries, not just years.
- The impact of the emotions – I react not out of rational self-interest but emotionally, and often to my cost.
- The toxic effects of injustice and humiliation – resulting in devoted actors, who, if they find no other way may react with self-destructive violence in what they perceive to be a higher cause. If you humiliate me, I will remember it forever and find it hard ever to forgive you.
- And finally the need to construct a robust process through which I begin to relate directly to ‘the Other side’ as human beings with good in them as well as bad, and recognizing the faults on my own side in the past and the present
Stephen Glenn, local membership development officer for the Northern Ireland Liberal Democrats,has just sent an email to Lib Dem HQ and the Party President Tim Farron MP, following the members’ survey highlighted yesterday:
Much as many of the Northern Ireland local party members (Branch 900 for your info) would love to take part in your recent survey on survey monkey you have neglected to include us as an option for location.
We do not fit into any of the English regions, nor are we Scottish or Welsh. We must certainly are part of the UK and not outside the UK, despite some of your team sending us information as if we were in recent months on how we can keep our Westminster votes (something we do in fact have with 18 MPs).
Can you please remember us in future. It is hard enough trying to keep our members here without Great George Street sending out all member mailings that neglect this fact.
As you can see from the above picture, Stephen has spoken [many times!—Ed.] at Federal Party conference, and most recently he has spoken as a Northern Ireland party member. Has the Party forgotten this?
Dear LibDems HQ,
We pay our membership fees to the Federal Party, we send our representatives to Federal Conference when we can, we contribute to many Party bodies, and we fill in the information that is required under PPER as we are asked to do.
Why is it, then, that the Federal Party constantly fails to recognise that we exist?
The latest incident was highlighted to me by one of our local members. She had been asked to fill in a Members’ Survey. The survey asks for your Location…
Once more we in Northern Ireland are left out.
Should I, as local party treasurer stop filling in the PPER forms? Would that get us noticed by Great George Street?
Thankfully the evacuation of Omagh Police Station last night was due to a hoax device. Sadly, even hoax devices can be used to create terror in the lives of our police and of our communities across Northern Ireland. I call on anyone with any information about those who plant hoax devices and real devices to contact the PSNI about this. It is essential that those responsible are brought before the courts for justice.
The PSNI can be contacted on 0845 600 8000 for non-emergency reporting. In an emergency do phone 999.
Originally published on Michael Carchrie Campbell
How do you define abroad?
For some, as we are an island state, the term is often interchangeable with overseas. But seeing as we are the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland those of us in the Northern Ireland branch of the Liberal Democrats didn’t think the term applied to us.
Yesterday myself and other members of Northern Ireland Liberal Democrats received the April newsletter from Liberal Democrats Abroad much to our surprise. Now we know that the Assembly Commission are going to be considering whether to fly the Irish Tricolour alongside the Union Flag at Stormont.
But we think that as election and referendum geeks we might have noticed a referendum for the people of Northern Ireland to determine if they were part of the UK or Ireland or independent. Indeed many of the local party would probably have been heavily involved in campaigning during such a self determination referendum.
Scarily also considering there are local elections next month in parts of England, and all councils in Wales and Scotland the only request for telephone canvassing is London.
Maybe, just maybe, this may be another instance of party members in charge of various sections of our party based in London not realising that the Northern Ireland Lib Dems are part of the Federal Party, part of the UK. Or maybe we are just part of them ignoring the needs of the party outside the M25.