The Raven hotel, Britain's energy system and GP contracts- This week's Bromsgrove and Droitwich Standard letters - The Droitwich Standard

The Raven hotel, Britain's energy system and GP contracts- This week's Bromsgrove and Droitwich Standard letters

Droitwich Editorial 31st Mar, 2023   0

The Raven Hotel

A LETTER to Wychavon District Council.

The Raven Hotel has now been empty for over 10 years, being a listed building.

Some six to eight weeks ago, planning permission was given for flats and a gin bar – to date, there has been no movement as when work will starts.




Normally building starts in two weeks.

If I remember planning permission was given to build on the car parks in 2017/2018 – to date, not one brick has arrived.


The large hole in the roof is still open to the elements.

Is someone turning a blind eye on this work until this listed building is beyond repair and the whole site is up for building on?

I cannot understand how you have let a listed building go for so long without making the owners do something.

C Smith

Droitwich

 

Britain’s ‘broken’ energy system

A LETTER to Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid.

As one of your constituents, I am asking you to support urgent and decisive action from the government to fix Britain’s broken energy system and protect those who need it the most.

People all over the UK, including here, are experiencing real hardship due to rises in energy and food prices. It has been reported food price inflation is at an all-time peak of 17.5 per cent, an annual average of £837.

Even with the government’s Energy Price Guarantee, millions of households are still living in fuel poverty in cold damp homes, unable to heat their homes and will face the same next winter.

The Energy Bill Support Scheme is ending, which means energy bills are still set to rise on April 1 by an average of £67 per month.

The only way to address this is for the government to act now to fix our broken energy system. As my MP, your voice is powerful.

That’s why I’m asking you to urge the government to:

* Rapidly expand home retrofit schemes

* Support the swift deployment of home-grown renewables to speed up the transition away from fossil fuels subject to a volatile international market

* Provide further support to the households who need it the most.

These are exactly the same priorities for Friends of the Earth Warm Homes initiative and the combined groups that are planning a mass rally around Parliament on April 21 to 24.

We know what the problems are and we understand the policies that would enact solutions.

But the Government is not listening.

There was nothing about this in the recent budget, just a tax give-away to the super-rich with the excuse of keeping hospital consultants in post (yet only 105 of them opted to retire in 2021).

Furthermore, Government is poised to give go-ahead to develop the huge Rosebank oil and gas field in the North Sea.

Not only would this decision do nothing for energy security and go against urgent action needed to counter global heating, but UK taxpayers would effectively cover almost all the costs of developing Rosebank by giving Equinor billions in tax breaks.

Chris Cooke

Sort out GP contracts

A LETTER to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Further to our meeting on March 2, you will be aware that on April 1, the contract changes proposed by DHSC and rejected by GPC England will come into force.

We are writing to you hoping that you will reconsider this imposition and sit back down with us to agree a contract we can accept.

At this time of unprecedented pressure across general practice, the imposition of such a contract will serve only to undermine further the confidence of the profession in the government to adequately deliver what is needed to maintain a safe and accessible general practice, for both GPs and their patients.

We are clear the contract as it currently stands is not fit for purpose.

To rectify this, it must include at a minimum:

• Support with practice expenses to cover minimum wage uplifts for practice staff, National Insurance contribution rises, and inflationary rises in energy and medical supplies. This could be funded by enabling QOF, IIF, and ARRS underspends to be utilised by practices to cove these expenses.

• Removal of the access clause from the GMS contract. This clause is unachievable without investment in workforce and infrastructure. We support the aim of this clause in the long-term, but believe the majority of practices will not be able to achieve this at this time.

• Pausing of the pay declaration requirement which will worsen attrition of the workforce and lead to worse patient care

• Retirement and payment protection of QOF and IIF to enable practices to focus on direct patient care

By using funding already allocated for general practice (QOF, IIF, ARRS funding), none of these requests comes at an additional cost to the government.

Accommodating these requirements would go a long way in demonstrating to the profession, that the government is prepared to work with us, and not against us, whilst preparing to agree a new contract for 2024 and beyond.

Not accommodating these requirements would further undermine the profession, who we have been engaging with, and who tell us they are ready to act if they do not see positive change.

I would be happy to meet at your convenience to discuss this further.

Co-chief executive officers: Neeta Major and Rachel Podolak

EDITOR’S COMMENT

GRASSROOTS football clubs, like many organisations which do so much good for their communities, are struggling in the cost-of-living crisis and have uncertain futures.

It was disappointing to find out delays by Bromsgrove District Council have put Alvechurch FC at risk.

With all the planning issues resolved, this situation should already have been avoided.

It should not take more than three years to determine this application and the council need to do everything they can as soon as possible to help the club.

We welcome your letters…..

What pressing issues do you feel need addressing in Bromsgrove, Rubery, Droitwich and South Birmingham? Send us your views to [email protected] or [email protected]

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