Faced with a Judicial Review hearing, Herts Valleys NHS Clinical Commissioning Group has backed down on its plans to close Nascot Lawn Children's service in Langley Road, Watford. Read report. But campaigners warn that the reprieve may only be temporary as the CCG has to find £45 million cuts imposed by the government. Campaigners praised Labour councillors Nigel Bell and Asif Khan for their support. Nigel Bell said, "I call on both the Herts Valleys CCG and the County Council to seize this opportunity by finally come together, working constructively and creatively to find the money to keep Nascot Lawn going to at least March 2019 and beyond." Read Labour's Press Release and more about Labour's campaign here. Read newspaper report here
Watford Labour Party has slammed The Council's decision to support a pilot scheme to require voters to present identification to get a ballot paper in polling stations for the Mayoral and Local Council elections in May 2018. Labour's Election Agent Mike Jackson said, "This is a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. There is no evidence or suggestion of election fraud in Watford. The bigger risk is that many voters will be disenfranchised." Read Labour's full statement
Nominations open to select Labour mayoral candidate for Watford
The local Labour Party has started the process of selecting a candidate for the May 2018 mayoral election in Watford. Applications are invited from anyone who has been a member of the Labour party resident in Watford for at least 12 months. Selection will be by an all-member ballot. The outcome will be announced towards the end of October. Anyone seeking nomination should email email@example.com
Mayoral race - Tories select failed career politician - 4 time loser!
Watford Conservatives are so short of local talent that have resorted to selecting a failed career politician with no connections with Watford as their mayoral candidate. George (Jaber) Jabbour has stood in recent years in Doncaster, Belfast, Bridgend and Inverclyde, in most cases producing a reduced vote for the Tory party. Now he has been parachuted into Watford and can expect the same result. Mike Jackson, Watford Labour's Election Agent said, "The mayoral race will be a straight fight between Labour and the Liberal Democrats - between Labour who want to see change and those who want the same old boring Lib Dems who get the priorities all wrong in our town."
rrChris Ostrowski and Labour councillors are backing the campaign to save Nascot Lawn. Chris said, "This is a vital respite service for children and its threatened closure is as a direct result of the government's under-funding of Watford's health service." And now Watford Council has unanimously passed a resolution calling for Nascot Lawn to be saved. Labour's Asif Khan said, "The £45m cuts forced on the CCG by the Government are the reason for this decision." The resolution also called for action by Watford's Tory MP to secure funding to keep the service open and avoid further local NHS cuts.
Sign the on-line petition against closure here.
Sign Labour's local petition here
Read Asif Khan's speech here
On 18th July, the Herts County Council unanimously backed a motion to save Nascot Lawn. Read Nigel Bell's speech here. Nascot Lawn has been reprieved until January but the fight continues.
Emily lends a hand - Watford anti-austerity protest - No mandate for cuts
Emily Thornberry, Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary joined Chris Ostrowski and Labour members in Watford High Street as part of the party's national campaign day against the Tories austerity policies. Chris Ostrowski said, "The Tories failed to win a majority and have no mandate to maker further cuts to our NHS and public services. This has to stop."
The Conservative MP has hung onto Watford by his fingernails as Labour' slashed his majority from 10 to 2 thousand as the counting finished at 3am on Friday the 9th June. A massive 16% increase in the Labour vote, the best result in Herts, was not quite enough to win the seat for Chris Ostrowski. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats lost half their votes collapsing to their worst local result in decades. See full report and results here.
Despite a Lib Dem challenge, popular councillor Nigel Bell romped home in West Watford polling 1,300 votes more than his nearest challenger. In one of the hardest political battles in many years in North Watford, Labour's Asif Khan retained the County seat whilst new candidate Richard Smith won the Leggatts by-election. In both cases, the Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate who was also standing in these Council elections,was defeated. Further reports. Full Results
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