This week in Denton & Reddish
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Dear Constituent,

Hello and welcome to this week's edition of the Denton and Reddish weekly news. 

I hope you're looking forward to tomorrow's quarter final clash between England and France in the World Cup. I know the team will do us all proud.

Last week I announced the winners of my Local Business Awards (click the video below for more info!) A huge well to all the winners and to every single business that was nominated. 

Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has criticised the Government after new data from the NHS revealed that over 1,500 people across Denton and Reddish faced a wait of 28 days or more to see a GP in October.

Nationally, more people are waiting a month for a GP appointment than at any other time since when records began in 2017. In addition to those waiting more than a month in Denton and Reddish, 4,439 people were waiting more than 2 weeks to see a GP in October.

Almost two million people in England had to wait more than 28 days in October, while a further 4.3 million had to wait more than two weeks.  At the same time, the number of GPs has fallen to a record low, leaving patients in a desperate scramble to be seen. Since 2013, 4,600 GPs have been cut.

The findings come as MPs prepare to vote on a motion proposed by the Labour Party to abolish the non-dom tax status, which allows some wealthy people who live in Britain to pay their taxes overseas, to pay for training a new generation of NHS staff. Labour’s plan would:

  • Double the number of medical school places, training 15,000 new doctors a year
  • Train 10,000 additional nurses and midwives every year
  • Double the number of district nurses qualifying each year
  • Train 5,000 new health visitors

Labour’s plan will see patients guaranteed a face-to-face appointment with a GP if they want one. While some patients prefer to hold appointments over the phone, many are frustrated at not being able to see their doctor in person, and just 22% of patients are given a choice in the type of appointment they have. One in seven people who try to speak to a nurse or GP were unable to get an appointment at all last year.

Labour is also pledging to bring back the family doctor, so patients can see the same GP each appointment if they choose to. Patients are increasingly unable to see the doctor of their choice, with two in every three patients rarely or never speaking to their preferred doctor, up from just half in 2018. Under Labour’s plans, GP practices will be provided with incentives to offer patients continuity of care, so doctors must take into account patients’ preferences.

Commenting, Andrew Gwynne, who also serves as Labour’s Shadow Public Health Minister, said:

“These figures are really shocking. People right across Denton and Reddish are finding it virtually impossible to see a GP when they need to. That means conditions are being diagnosed late, and the opportunity for potentially live saving interventions being missed.

12 years of Conservative failure to train the staff our NHS needs has left it with thousands fewer GPs, and patients are paying the price. Meanwhile the Conservatives are protecting the non-dom tax status, allowing people who live in Britain to pay their taxes overseas. We need doctors and nurses, not non-doms.

Labour will train a new generation of doctors and nurses, paid for by abolishing non-doms. Patients need doctors’ appointments more than the wealthiest need a tax break.”

Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has urged the Government to deliver good-quality homes for those serving in the armed services.

Gwynne’s intervention comes after MoD data uncovered by Labour revealed that over 36% of service personnel in Greater Manchester were living in the lowest grade of service accommodation.

Across the country, 40% of personnel living in Single Living Accommodation occupy ‘Grade 4 accommodation’ – the lowest rating given by the Ministry of Defence.

A further 4,360 personnel live in accommodation so poor that no rental charge is levied. Just 21% live in the top ‘Grade 1’ accommodation, the lowest proportion since 2018.

The Ministry of Defence awards grades to its Single Living Accommodation based on ‘deficiency points’ allocated across 14 categories. Points are apportioned for the condition of bedroom decoration, fixtures and fittings, adequacy of heating systems and the proximity of toilet and washing facilities, among other factors.

There is currently no minimum quality standard set for Single Living Accommodation and no minimum acceptable conditions that service personnel should expect. A 2021 National Audit Office report on Single Living Accommodation exposed ‘decades of underinvestment’ and ‘problems with heating and hot water.’

The Armed Forces Continuous Attitude survey reveals that 41% of tri-service personnel live in Single Living Accommodation during the working week.

The same survey shows 40% of tri-service personnel were dissatisfied with the overall standard of their accommodation. A majority of 52% said they were dissatisfied with the responses to maintenance request and repairs.

Commenting, Andrew Gwynne said:

“Our Armed Forces personnel are heroes, and they should have access to good-quality accommodation that reflects their exceptional work.

“It is scandalous that after 12 years of Tory rule, the condition of housing for service personnel has plummeted.

“I’ll do everything I can to press the Government to do more and ensure that personnel get the standard of accommodation they deserve.”

Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey said:

“The Conservatives are failing in their duty to our Armed Forces, who are forced to live in discomfort as properties fall into disrepair.

“The standard of accommodation has been consistently low and getting worse under this government yet nothing’s changed. These conditions wouldn’t be acceptable in civilian life, and they certainly aren’t acceptable for actively serving personnel.

“The government must deliver homes fit for those serving our country.”

Click here to read more of this week's stories
Andrew in the constituency

👨🏻‍🎓 A visit to Broadstone School in Reddish 

Thank you to Broadstone School in Reddish for inviting me to look around your site at Lambeth Road, see some of the great vocational provision you provide to young people, and to learn about the exciting plans you have to expand for the future.

🎁 Tameside Toy Appeal

🎄 Thank you to DCC and Action Together for inviting Allison and I to show support for the brilliant Tameside Toy Appeal.

It’s great to see the community pull together to ensure all children get a great Christmas. Thank you to all who donated! 🎁

It was also great to drop into Mi Amour by Sarah Connor in Audenshaw who have been a drop point for toys.

A huge thank you to Sarah and the team at the salon for supporting the cause and an even bigger THANK YOU to her customers and the people of Audenshaw for their generosity! 🎅🏻

🇬🇧 🇫🇷 A visit to Denton's Twin Town

   Last weekend I travelled over to Denton’s twin town, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, near Versailles. I was invited as President of Denton Town Twinning Association for the opening of the Marché de Noël.

2022 marks 30 years of town twinning with Montigny (and 10 with our shared German twin town, Kierspe, which is near to Cologne).

The Christmas Market is an amazing event. The downside is you’re compelled to try something at every stall. However, I had the help of the Mayor of Montigny, the new MP for Montigny and Verseilles, and the Senator! 😂

It’s great to see so many friends here from Montigny and Kierspe, and to stay with Jean-Luc and Danielle again. They always make me feel like I’m a part of their family.

Anyone can join Denton Town Twinning. It’s £5 a year to be a member. Contact George Newton for more information!

Bonsoir et a bientôt! 🍷 🧀 🥖 🎁

Andrew in Parliament

📺 WATCH: The Government has ditched a number of its flagship public health plans around inequalities, smoking and obesity because of Tory infighting.

At Health Questions, I ask the Minister if he plans on reviving any of these strategies.

Another non-answer. I'm beginning to wonder whether the Minister actually knows what's going on in his own department...

Andrew in the media

📰 READ: Thanks to the Tameside Reporter for covering the results of this year's Local Business Awards. 

Every business who received a nomination is a winner in my eyes. A big thanks to everyone who nominated their favourite local business, and to all the businesses who go above and beyond! 

Read the full piece here

📰 READ: Thanks to the Manchester Evening News for covering the Friends of Reddish South Station campaign to get more trains coming through the Reddish South and Denton stations, and my comments on it. 

I've been successful in the third round of his ‘Restoring Your Railway Fund’ bid, which if successful would see the reopening of a passenger line from Stockport through Reddish South and Denton to Ashton Moss and then on to Manchester Victoria, as well as link Rose Hill (Marple) to Stockport via Reddish South.

Read the full piece here

A Tribute to Alderman Margaret Downs

I was so sad to hear the news that Alderwoman Margaret Downs has passed away.

A Denton South Labour Councillor from a 1992 by-election until her retirement in 2017, when she was bestowed one of the highest honours of the Council to be appointed as an Honorary Alderwoman of the Borough.

Margaret was so active in the local community of Haughton Green and Denton and especially at the Haughton Green Forum. She was a good friend and a massive supporter of mine.

Thank you Margaret for being brilliant. You’ll be greatly missed. RIP x 

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Andrew Gwynne · 139 St Annes Road · Denton · Manchester, Greater Manchester M34 3DY · United Kingdom

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