Thursday, October 28, 2004

Press round-up

Tories demand action on child health (PA News, 20 October)
Liberal Democrat Sandra Gidley said she was concerned that the NSF [the Government's National Service Framework (NSF) for Children, Young People and Maternity] did not seem to have targets, just standards.

"I'm a little bit worried that there won't be a political imperative to produce this," she added.

She said she accepted it was down to Primary Care Trusts to develop the services as they saw fit but "there's quite a lot of leeway".

The onus should be on the PCT to have a one or two-year plan for implementing NSF.

But, she added: "I very much welcome the support for normal childbirth ... I also particularly welcome the emphasis on women from disadvantaged communities."
Ampfield school supporters won't give in (Romsey Advertiser, 22 October)
Romsey's Member of Parliament Sandra Gidley is considering sending a letter of protest to Schools' Minister David Miliband over the impending closure of Ampfield Primary School.

Hampshire County Council's education executive member Don Allen last week decided to close the Church of England primary school after its numbers had dropped from 67 to 23 inside two years.
Commenting on Councillor Allen's decision, Mrs Gidley said: "Firstly, if he had already decided to close the school, was it worth having the consultation anyway? And secondly, what is the point of having a committee if it can be overruled by one person?" She described the county council as being "very opportunistic" in opting to close the school so soon after its numbers had dropped and before the effects of moves to improve it had been studied.

The team of governors, parents and staff involved in the recovery measures were, she said, very dedicated and she added: "I don't think they have been given a chance." She also took issue with Mr Allen's comments that there was alternative Church of England provision in the area and said that as far as she knew, they were all full. Mrs Gidley said she would be speaking to the school's chairman of governors, Tony Knight, with a view to writing to Mr Miliband "to see if the proper processes have been followed."
Rising menace of conmen who prey on elderly (Sunday Express, 24 October)
The number of elderly people falling victim to distraction burglaries by bogus callers has jumped by 20 per cent under Labour.
Liberal Democrat spokeswoman Sandra Gidley, MP, said: "It is shocking that so many elderly people are becoming targets of such a horrible crime. The Government must do more to raise awareness of this crime and promote security schemes for the elderly such as the British Gas password scheme."
Meter scam crime soars (Sunday People, 24 October)
Burglaries by crooks who pose as meter readers have shot up 20 per cent since Labour came to power.

Figures obtained by the Lib Dems show that distraction burglary cases have increased from 15,526 seven years ago to 18,664 last year.

And most victims are trusting pensioners who let in bogus officials.

Sandra Gidley, the Lib Dems' Older People spokeswoman said: "It's shocking."

She wants the British Gas password scheme to be expanded.
Additionally, various local and national papers detailed SG's expenses as part of tables of MPs.

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