The state of our local roads is a growing issue in my postbag and email inbox. “Some of our local roads are a nightmare,” a woman from Tingley told me recently.
I totally agree. Some of our local roads are in a shocking state. For some time I’ve been calling for investment to repair them, to get our construction workers back to work.
And now we learn that not only has road investment been scaled back, but drivers in the Morley area and across Leeds and Yorkshire have been shortchanged in favour of those living further south.
Across the north of England we have missed out on £125 million of Government cash for road repairs in the last three years. That’s enough money to make some real improvements to our roads and to provide jobs for local construction workers.
And that’s not the only example of national Government funding policies hitting our area harder. It now seems that money for healthcare is set to be moved from the north of England, to areas further south.
Local people are already genuinely worried about the direction our health service is taking. Taking money away to give more to patients in more affluent areas would be totally unacceptable.
In my recent survey of 35,000 local people, over a third said they were waiting longer for a GP appointment. A third said the quality of care had got worse and almost half said they were waiting longer for hospital referrals or test results. Our NHS is Labour’s proudest achievement and I take people’s concerns about the impact of recent changes extremely seriously.
Whether it’s our roads or funding for vital services such as healthcare, local people must have their fair share. I’ll be keeping a very close eye on changes to funding for our area. And rest assured I will take up any discrepancies with the Government.