The Cheam Charter Fair happened today (14/05/2016) and KOSHH campaigners were there to deliver leaflets and speak with the people about the threats faced by St Helier, Queen Mary's, and Epsom hospitals.
Hundreds of leaflets and window signs were given out, and people were very interested and concerned for the future of our hospitals, and what it would mean for the future of our community if we were to lose our local hospitals.
One group of people who seemed to be very interested were the Mayor (Cllr Muhammad Sadiq) and Mayoress of Sutton, and former Mayor, Cllr Arthur Hookway:
Representing the Rotary Club at the Cheam Charter Fair today was Councillor Mary Burstow. Mary Burstow is the wife of former MP for Sutton and Cheam, Paul Burstow, and crucially since the 22nd of February 2012, she has been the chair of the South West London Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
As this region happens to coincide with the forthcoming Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) "footprint" of South West London, the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee will doubtless be charged with the very important role of overseeing the process of submitting the STP for our area.
A KOSHH campaigner offered her one of out pretty “Keep Our St Helier Hospital” window signs, which she appeared grateful to receive, but then:
“And congratulations to your husband for working so hard to guarantee the destruction of our local NHS”
“Who wants to keep that grotty old building anyway!”
For the record:
- The state of the building is the result of lack of the same kind of routine maintenance and repairs that owners of homes of a similar age to St Helier Hospital do carry out as a matter of course.
- Paul Burstow was renowned as a “Save St Helier” campaigner and won elections mainly as a result of that reputation
- His reputation, just like Tom Brake’s and Siobhain McDonagh’s, rested on little more than him occasionally posing for photo-opportunities in front of hospital campaigners and printing rather plain “Save Our St Helier” signs for people to display
- While fostering that undeserved reputation, and while a Minister in the Tory:LibDem Coalition Government, he led through Parliament and secured the enactment of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act
- That Act abolished the Government’s duty to provide a national health service, thereby technically abolishing the NHS, and enforced competitive tendering for and privatisation of NHS services
- Amazing how, in about 12 months of her husband being kicked out of Parliament, Mary Burstow’s public attitude towards our local hospital can have become so emphatically reversed - especially worrying given her role on the South West London Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.