Thursday, 20 March 2014

Monthly Report by Cllr Sebastian Kindersley: Ambulance Services, Grants, and Papworth Hospital

Cllr Sebastian Kindersley

Ambulance Service

There are hundreds of vacancies in the East of England Ambulance Service which is somewhat concerning. We have been assured that 400 new paramedics will be recruited in the next 12 months. These trainees will learn on the job alongside qualified paramedics and will take just over 2 years to become qualified themselves. The number of highest emergency calls responded to in the required 8 minutes is still going down (just over 60%) but steps have been taken to improve this. Many residents use the service and we would welcome feedback from you especially 1) about the length of time it took to get to you and 2) how easy it was for the Ambulance to find you.

Home Improvement Top Up Grants

Do you need improvements to be made to your home because you are sick or disabled? South Cambs District Council has grants of up to £30,000 that you can apply for. Up until now, further top up grants have been available from the County Council if the District cannot pay the full amount. This is now going to change and only loans will be available from the County Council from now on. It is unclear how this new system is going to work or even if it is going to work at all. We are very concerned because it is requiring people to have exhausted all other means of raising money including equity release which in some cases has had a rather bad press. The Adult Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee has asked for the detail to be looked at again to ensure that the new system is fair and accessible to all.

Papworth Hospital

In 2005 South Cambs lost the battle to keep the Hospital at Papworth as – on clinical grounds – it was decided to move it to Addenbrookes. The Treasury – at the very last moment – has delayed this move on the basis that a better place for it might be to shore up the PFI hospital in Peterborough which is staring a financial abyss in the face. We proposed a Motion to South Cambs asking the Council to lobby the Chancellor to get a move on with the original plan and to stop mucking about.

What ought to have been straightforward unanimous support of this Motion then demonstrated Freud’s five stages of grief. Firstly the administration tried to get us to withdraw it before the meeting. They then proposed a Motion to Move ie no debate. We protested and asked why the administration were not supportive - the answer was they wanted Papworth to stay in Papworth - a battle already lost. Next came a wrecking amendment and further outcry from the floor. At that point one of their number said he was going to vote for the motion as it was - cue collapse by Administration and the vote proceeded to support the Motion.

So we saw denial, anger, destructiveness, resignation, acceptance....

Grant Grabber

If you are looking for a grant for a club or charity, you can go on the South Cambs DC website, type ‘Grants’ into the search engine and then click on Grant Grabber . This is a free search facility for anyone in South Cambridgeshire looking for grant funding.