Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Crime, Immigration and the NHS

I'm fed up with MPs who just moan about problems - I want to be an MP who sorts problems out!

Between now and the open primary in Basildon and Thurrock I promise to meet as many local people as possible so I can understand their problems.

At Basildon hospital I met Val and her twin sister. They had been visiting Val's husband who has just had a major operation. They were full of praise for the doctor but say parking at the hospital is a nightmare. Val has a disabled badge but there is never a disabled place available for her to park in. The car park costs £2 each time they visit. Many pensioners these days just can't afford that sort of money. The NHS finances are in a complete mess so the hospital is trying to make ends meet by charging for parking. Last year Basildon patients paid over £1 million in car park fees. It is outrageous. Gordon Brown has poured money into the health service. Where has it all gone?

In Horndon-on-the- Hill I met Pat. She is concerned about local businesses. British businesses used to be top of the world. Too many of them have folded. I believe we should support our own companies.

Pat was also concerned about immigration - I agree. How can you possibly run a country when you have no idea how many people there are in it!

In Pitsea I spoke to the Community Safety Officers. It is good that they are around. They were looking out for children playing truant - but if they spot one they aren't allowed to march them back to school. They aren't even given a camera so they can identify kids later. If we dont make sure our children get a decent education then how are they going to be able to cope when they grow up? We talked about anti-social behaviour. Its a huge issue. I think Community Officers should be given powers like real policemen.

I stopped in the market to buy some fruit. I was warned to keep a tight hold on my purse as there have been a lot of pick-pockets. There should be more police on the streets.

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