Michael Sobell hospice: update

We have received the following update from Terry Dean on behalf of those co-ordinating the campaign:

The petition will be delivered to a representative of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust on the land just outside the gate 3 entrance of Mount Vernon Hospital on White Hill from 9 to 9:30am on Monday July 9th. I have cleared this with the police and invited them to join us.

I will be accompanied by Dr. Elaine Laycock MBE. Dr Laycock was one of the first doctors to work at the hospice soon after it opened. She used some of her time at MSH to help create the first Palliative Care Centre in Serbia which opened in 2013. She took staff from MSH to Serbia to teach them, and brought Serb doctors to MSH to learn. There are now two hospices in Serbia both based on the Michael Sobell model; it is ironic that there may soon not be one in Northwood unless we stand up for it. Dr. Laycock gained support from the Queen Mother who sent her a signed photograph (something almost unheard of) and also some cut-glass which raised a useful amount for the hospice when it was auctioned. Dr. Laycock also met the Duchess of Kent twice in her capacity at the hospice. Dr. Laycock instigated the original sponsored walk, the water garden at the entrance, and a butterfly cage which eventually became the aviary. Her son even designed the logo which is still in use.

Dr. Laycock and I will be meeting with Nick Hurd next week to discuss this campaign. I have in my possession a letter from Mr Hurd stating that he welcomes the Department of Health’s End of Life Care Strategy which encourages the development of specialist palliative care and hospice provision. If we are able to reach a target of 10,000 signatures we may be able to force a response from Westminster. At this stage we only need everyone who has signed so far to get one more signature! So please share this link if you have not already done so.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-the-michael-sobell-hospice

Finally I have received a message of support from a relative of Michael Sobell.

To remind yourself what we are striving to save please paste the address below into your browser to watch a short video made last year by media students of West Herts College.

https://youtu.be/JxoOXs6i9gI

Thanks for standing up for compassion and the need for members of society to care for each other.

 

HS2 vs LBH 3rd July 10am public hearing. Can you come?

Can you get to a public hearing in the Civic Centre on July 3rd starting @ 10:00 to consider HS2’s Appeal against LBH for refusing to approve its wetland mitigation proposal?

HS2 is attempting to mitigate bulldozing 27ha wet woodland and chalk rivers, home to over 2400 species, by replacing it with a 0.85ha pond and basking bank set up for great crested newt and grass snake.

It claims NO NET LOSS to biodiversity. Hopefully the image below will help set the perspective.

Please come if you can and support the Council and everyone wanting to preserve this special area.

Thanks

HS2 despoilation

Breakspear Road South lane closures

HS2 ‘ Early Works’ programme to create a construction site for the bridge over Breakspear Road South requires northbound lane closures on this road north of the Chiltern line bridge. These are planned to take place in January 2018 (3 weeks) and May/June 2018 ( 6 weeks)….we have asked that they do not take place at same time as lane closures on Harvil Road so these dates may change slightly. There will be traffic light controls.

Response to “Cancel HS2” petition

The Government has responded to the ‘Cancel HS2 immediately and repeal the 2013 and 2017 High Speed Rail Acts’ petition, which runs until March 21 2018. It promises that, “At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.” (My italics.) Right now, 16,958 people have signed the petition.

Here’s the official response:

HS2 will provide new rail network capacity, drive economic growth, create jobs and investment, train the next generation of engineers and better connect our major cities. It is on time and on budget.

New Railway

HS2 will form the new backbone of our national rail network, providing new capacity and better connecting our major cities, while creating more space for commuter and freight trains on our busiest lines. This will create better connections and more seats for passengers and allow more goods to be moved by rail, which will also help to improve air quality.

Opening in 2026, the HS2 network will serve towns and cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Crewe, Nottingham, Derby, York and Newcastle, with trains running on to Scotland. By 2033 up to 18 trains an hour will run in both directions, carrying up to 1,100 passengers each.

HS2 is a major investment but an essential one. HS2’s total budget is £55.7bn. Over the current Spending Review period spending on HS2 will equate to 0.14% of GDP. We are keeping a tough grip on costs and are determined to deliver HS2 on time and on budget.

Benefits to the North

We are delivering unprecedented investment in infrastructure in the North, to redress the historic imbalance in infrastructure investment between north and south. The Northern Powerhouse is a key priority, and our substantial investment will boost the northern economy and reduce the prosperity gap with the South that has existed for far too long.

We are also working to future-proof HS2 by including provisions for new junctions in the North and Midlands, which will help ensure that the infrastructure can accommodate the Northern powerhouse. HS2 will transform capacity and connectivity for millions of people across the north. With HS2 stations in Manchester, Leeds, Crewe and Sheffield, the north will be the principal beneficiary of HS2.

HS2 will underpin the plans of local areas to grow their economies, in places like Leeds where the South Bank regeneration project around Leeds station is expected to support 35,000 jobs across key sectors and 4,000 new homes. HS2 will generate around £25 billion of contracts and represents a major opportunity for businesses across the whole of the UK including small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Government has committed £60m to take HS3, or Northern Powerhouse Rail, forward and we are working closely with Transport for the North to develop a business case for the project by the end of 2018. The Government is investing over £13bn in the north of England’s transport infrastructure, including on roads and railways, to deliver faster journeys and increased capacity. That work will continue apace and is a key priority for the Department.

This includes dramatically improving journeys for passengers across the north with the Great North Rail Project. By 2020, as a result of this ambitious and comprehensive upgrade, passengers will benefit from faster and more comfortable journeys, as well as new direct services across the north and beyond. We are also developing options for the Transpennine Route Upgrade, to increase the number of seats, and reduce journey times, allowing journeys such as from Leeds to Manchester in 40 minutes.

HS2 is key to the future of our transport system and the relationship it has with our existing network is a vital part of our planning. It is not a case of “either/or” but rather one of joined up and complementary delivery. Over £38 billion is being spent on improving the existing rail network for the five years between 2014 and 2019. This investment is funding projects to increase capacity on the existing rail network and improve journeys for all passengers. There is also potential for HS2 to increase the amount of freight transported by rail – meaning fewer cars and lorries on our roads, cutting congestion and carbon.

Creating Jobs and skills

HS2 will support growth in the wider economy, worth an additional 100,000 jobs. 70% of all jobs created by HS2 will be outside of London. But this isn’t just about when the new railway opens – jobs and skills are being created now.

Several contracts have already been let and major contracts for up to £11.8 billion worth for the civil engineering work will be let this year. HS2 is working with businesses across the UK – including many small and medium-sized firms – to ensure they are well prepared to bid for work on HS2. HS2 will generate around 25,000 jobs during construction as well as 2,000 apprenticeships.

And HS2 is about upskilling: a more skilled workforce is vital for the country as we forge a bold new positive role for ourselves in the world. The National College for High Speed Rail, based in Doncaster and Birmingham, will open its doors later this month. The College will train young people to build HS2 and other world-leading rail projects.

Department for Transport

Click this link to view the response online:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200793?reveal_response=yes

The Petitions Committee will take a look at this petition and its response. They can press the government for action and gather evidence. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the Committee will consider it for a debate.

The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government. Find out more about the Committee: https://petition.parliament.uk/help#petitions-committee

Thanks,
The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament

 

 

 

Environmental strategy: tell the Mayor what you think

This is blatantly nicked straight from the City Hall site:

London Environment Strategy consultation

In many ways, London’s environment is improving – but in other ways it is far from what it should be. Toxic air, noise pollution, the threat to our green spaces and the adverse effects of climate change all pose major risks to the health and wellbeing of Londoners.

We’ve been discussing environmental issues here on Talk London in recent months, and gathering your views through surveys too. Insight we’ve gathered so far has helped to inform the Mayor’s draft London Environment Strategy – proposals include measures to tackle London’s toxic air, make London the world’s first National Park City – with more than 50% of the city being green space, and reduce plastic bottle waste – and now we’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Help shape the strategy by having your say in these discussions and surveys before 17 November. Just register or login to take part. If you represent an organisation, see this additional information.