York Outer Blog

York Outer's Labour Parliamentary candidate Joe Riches pledged to put keeping the NHS in York publicly provided at the heart of the General Election campaign, as shocking details of the scale of privatisation have emerged. In just three years since the Health and Social Care Act of 2012, £7 BILLION worth of contracts have gone to the private sector, including services in York. This is set to rise to £20 BILLION in the next few years. Despite the continued denials by the Conservatives that their reforms would lead to privatisation and fragmentation of services, it is already clear that the pace of contracting out NHS services is quickening.

Concern for the ability of a future government to reverse this has been heightened by the potentially damaging legal implications from the TTIP trade deal being negotiated between the EU and the United States. US health companies could have the right to sue a future UK government if elected politicians try to reverse privatisation. Labour's Joe Riches wants the NHS and all public services excluded from any deal on TTIP. Meanwhile the Conservatives and Julian Sturdy MP claim there is no need for this. They are the same people who say the NHS isn't being privatised, when the clear evidence of increasing private contracts shows that it is. At this rate, there will be no meaningful publicly provided NHS left in 5 years time - without a change in government.Joe Riches commented ''The evidence of increasing privatisation and fragmentation is there for all to see.

Only this month, the government announced the biggest privatisation deal yet worth £800m and a leaked report found plans for an even bigger deal to privatise cancer care in Staffordshire. This is happening all over the country now and York and North Yorkshire will not be able to hold back the tide if it continues under the Tories.'' Labour's Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said ''It is outrageous that large chunks of the NHS are being parcelled up and sold off without the permission of a single person in this country.” “Jeremy Hunt tries to claim that ‘privatisation isn’t happening’, but the truth is it is happening at speed and scale,” he added. A Labour government would reverse the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, ending the selling off of the NHS and say no to the NHS being within the TTIP trade deal.

NHS further threatened by TTIP trade deal

York Outer's Labour Parliamentary candidate Joe Riches pledged to put keeping the NHS in York publicly provided at the heart of the General Election campaign, as shocking details of the...

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Julian Sturdy backed the bedroom tax then claimed £22,936 in accommodation expenses. The Conservative/Lib Dem coalition introduced the bedroom tax, hitting thousands of people across York, many of whom are disabled. This heartless and ineffective policy has driven people into poverty or forced to move home because they can't afford to stay. York Outer's Conservative MP Julian Sturdy was high up on the list of the Conservative and Lib Dem MPs who voted for it and claimed over £20,000 in accommodation expenses in the same year.A Labour government would scrap the bedroom tax immediately. Labour's Joe Riches will fight for people hit by the unfair impact of welfare reform, disproportionately hitting York because of Tory changes to local housing allowance and the abolition of council tax benefit.

Sturdy backs bedroom tax ... then claims £22,936

Julian Sturdy backed the bedroom tax then claimed £22,936 in accommodation expenses. The Conservative/Lib Dem coalition introduced the bedroom tax, hitting thousands of people across York, many of whom are...

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Labour Parliamentary Candidate Joe Riches welcomed the support of University of York students for the campaign to make the University a living wage employer. The living wage, set at £7.85 an hour, is calculated on the basis of how much people need to afford a basic standard of living. York has a strong take up of the living wage amongst many public and private sector employers, including Labour run City of York council. Students supported the policy in a campus referendum..Joe said "I am pleased to see students making their voice heard to support staff at the University who should be being paid enough to live on. York is a wonderful place to live but the cost of housing is high. Given the large number of public and private sector employers embracing the living wage, it seems strange that the University has continued to drag its feet. I call on the Vice-Chancellor to engage with staff and unions and agree to a timetable to bring in the living wage for all."

Labour candidate backs living wage at the University of York

  Labour Parliamentary Candidate Joe Riches welcomed the support of University of York students for the campaign to make the University a living wage employer. The living wage, set at...

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York Outer Labour Parliamentary candidate Joe Riches is calling for a radical change to government policy on housing that is letting down people in York. The grain store site in Clifton Moor has a proposal to build 200 houses, none of which have to be affordable to local people.

The council suggested 25% affordable should be built, but the central government-appointed Planning Inspector ruled against.

Joe said: "The idea that a developer can get away with building no affordable housing whatsoever will shock local people stuck on waiting lists and unable to escape rip off rents. We need to get back to building serious numbers of council houses again and end runaway house price inflation.

Labour will build more houses people can afford, giving local people a chance in the housing market again. Julian Sturdy has been on the side of the developers, calling for lower proportions of affordable housing to be built. If he thinks the developers can't afford it then his government need to put much greater investment into social housing, because we need these homes desperately."

Joe Riches

Labour's York Outer candidate

Local housing needs, not developer profits

York Outer Labour Parliamentary candidate Joe Riches is calling for a radical change to government policy on housing that is letting down people in York. The grain store site in...

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Labour candidate Joe Riches has pledged to fight to keep York and its villages 'frack free' in the face of David Cameron's drive to support the shale gas industry. Large areas of the western side of the York Outer constituency have been identified as potential sites for fracking.City of York council recently passed a motion moved by Labour councillors Anna Semlyen and Joe Riches, to support the opposition to fracking in the city.

However, because of the Conservative led government's determination to tie the hands of council's decision making on this issue, local people remain concerned.

Joe Riches said: "Fracking is hugely environmentally damaging and subsidising its growth is entirely the wrong strategy. I do not believe fracking should take place in York or anywhere else, for that matter. We need to make serious investment in renewable energy and this is a deeply worrying deviation from that goal."

"A Labour government would put severe restrictions on the industry and divert resources to cleaner sources as part of an energy mix."

"Julian Sturdy needs to make his mind up on this. He cannot go round supporting Cameron's drive to frack everywhere and then oppose it in his backyard. I believe in a balanced approach to solar farms and wind turbines. In the right places we should accept them, even in the Green Belt. Julian's blanket opposition to renewable energy in his constituency is irresponsible."

Joe Riches

Labour's York Outer candidate

The Tory fracking threat to York Outer

Labour candidate Joe Riches has pledged to fight to keep York and its villages 'frack free' in the face of David Cameron's drive to support the shale gas industry. Large...

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