Wednesday, October 06, 2004


So much to catch up on! Let's see what the press has been writing about Sandra.

Top Gear ball brings in the cash (Southampton Daily Echo, 4 October)
BOSSES at a Hampshire charity are hoping their latest fundraising drive will put their leukaemia research on the home straight to success.
Among the luminaries were Southampton MP Alan Whitehead and Romsey MP Sandra Gidley. The guests were treated to a delicious dinner followed by music from Capital Radio DJ Mike Osman.
All money raised will go towards the charity's Cure for ALL campaign, which takes its name from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and aims to find a cure for the 25 per cent of children with currently incurable forms of leukaemia. Scientists funded by Leukaemia Busters have developed new antibody-based targeted drugs that are now undergoing clinical trials in children's cancer centres across the UK.

Party promises to raise pensions by breaking link with national insurance (Community Care, 30 September)
The party also aims to help pensioners by replacing council tax with a local income tax that it says is based on "people's ability to pay" rather than the size of their home.

"Council tax is increasing at more than double the rate of pensions," said Sandra Gidley, Liberal Democrat spokesperson on older people.

"This means that most pensioners are spending a larger proportion of their income on council tax than ever before, leaving less cash for essentials."

Meanwhile, the party reiterated its pledge to provide free personal care for all older people and disabled people, claiming the policy would break down "artificial barriers" between the funding of health and social care. Personal care is currently free only in Scotland.

Gidley said: "The state provides all health and personal care for someone with an acute illness in hospital.

"It is absolutely unfair to deny that right for someone in a nursing home with a long-term condition."

Lib Dems lash care closures (This Is Lancashire, 24 September)
Spokeswoman on older people Sandra Gidley revealed that 19 000 homes had been lost across England and Wales between December 2001 and April this year.

And she said that figures produced by care experts Laing and Buisson revealed that 3 800 had been lost in the North West more than 600 as results of the controversial closure of 32 care homes by Lancashire County Council. Seventeen of those were in East Lancashire.

Mrs Gidley said that the closures had left the care system "close to meltdown."
Mrs Gidley said: "Ministers have had their heads in the sand for far too long. The loss of care homes has been unforeseen unstructured and unplanned.

"The shortage of places leads to an increase of vulnerable older people stuck in hospital increasing their risk of infection places extra strains on the families and can lead to older people being put in a care home miles away from their family.

"The clock is ticking and unless action is taken to restore confidence in the care home sector more homes will close.

"The warning signs have been there for a long time. Low fee levels increases in the older population and poor long term planning have left the care system close to meltdown.

"Some of the most vulnerable people in our society are forced to suffer the consequences."

New deal promised to help pensioners (Aberdeen Press and Journal, 23 September)
Sandra Gidley, the party's spokeswoman for older people, said it was unfair that hundreds of thousands of pensioners were too poor to heat their own homes properly or eat healthily.

Party platform is aimed at elderly (Derby Evening Telegraph, 23 September)
The Lib Dems yesterday backed the scrapping of council tax and personal care charges in a pitch for the "grey vote".
Sandra Gidley, the party's spokeswoman for older people, said it was unfair that hundreds of thousands of pensioners were too poor to heat their homes properly.

"Older people have been pushed around and treated as second-class citizens for too long," she said.

Council tax was rising at more than double the rate of pensions, leaving less cash for essentials, she said.

She said the state currently provided all health and personal care for someone with an acute illness in hospital, but not for those in a nursing home with a long-term condition.

Plan to scrap council tax (Western Daily Press, 23 September)
Sandra Gidley, the party's spokesperson for older people, said: "Older people have been pushed around and treated as second class citizens for too long."

Father facing deportation after Home Office blunder (Southampton Echo, 22 September)
Romsey MP Sandra Gidley has pledged to look into the case, after hearing of the Clewlow's plight. She said: "I'm quite happy to have a look at the issue and take it up with the Home Office. It seems quite unfair if they have sent off the papers on time yet they were sent the wrong ones.

"Sadly, I'm aware there are similar instances in other parts of the country. It is a huge blow to the families involved.

"I will investigate the case and look at raising questions with the Home Secretary."

Lib Dems: older people get "raw deal" under current government (Community Care, 22 September)
Sandra Gidley MP and the party’s spokesperson on older people said the government shared the blame with the last government for forcing thousands of older people to sell their homes to pay for long-term care.

“It is nothing less than a scandal that people who have contributed to society all their lives, expecting to be looked after in old age, are being deprived of their life savings by Gordon Brown,” she said.

Gidley added that council tax was also having a “hugely damaging” impact on older people and called for the “regressive Tory Tax” to be abolished.

Party has no "no-go" areas (Birmingham Post, 21 September)
Sandra Gidley, who first snatched her Romsey seat from Tories in a 2000 by-election victory, said Labour and Tories had 'squandered' people's trust and would pay for it.

But she warned that Liberal Democrats still faced an uphill struggle to convince voters that they could be trusted with the 'bigger picture'.

Ms Gidley, spokeswoman for women and older people, told delegates her victory had proved the party could win seats from Conservatives and was the launch pad for the 2001 General Election campaign.

'There are no no-go areas for the Liberal Democrats. Conservatives are going nowhere and we are still in a position to take seats from them.'

MPs concern over security in schools (This Is Hampshire, 20 September)
MPs, themselves embroiled in security issues at the House of Commons, said schools should challenge uninvited individuals but warned against turning them into "fortresses."

Romsey Liberal Democrat MP Sandra Gidley said: "It would be a shame if playgrounds were locked and schools became fortesses but clearly, if you see uninvited individuals walking around they should be challenged.

"We have to change the culture where people feel more comfortable about challenging something that is not right.

"If you are in charge of pupil safety you have a duty to wonder who that is rather than get on with what you are doing although most of the time it is perfectly innocent."

It's been a good while since our last check on which Early Day Motions SG has put her name too. Fortunately, there's only been one:

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