Our Conference delegate, Bill Knowles sets off for Annual Conference in Brighton today, along with other Ipswich members attending as ex officio, staff or visitors.
Despite joining the Labour Party when Hugh Gaitskell was Leader, this will be Bill's first visit to Annual Conference. He takes with him, Ipswich Labour Party's motion to Defend the NHS.
Labour is proud to have founded our National Health Service in the face of strong opposition from the Tories, and this influenced us to choose this motion. Here is what we agreed:
DEFEND THE NHS
Conference notes the data released by the NHS on 10 August that shows the Government’s lack of investment and poor treatment of NHS staff, which has led to a further increase in waiting times and cancelled operations and to worsening working conditions for NHS staff.
Conference condemns the Tory government’s NHS pay cap and scrapping of the training bursary as key contributors to the staffing crisis now facing the NHS.
Conference applauds the Labour manifesto commitments to scrap the pay cap for NHS staff.
Conference demands the training bursary be reinstated and safe staffing requirements put into legislation.
Conference values the contribution of NHS and social care staff from the EU and calls to guarantee their rights and status, and improve the working conditions of all staff. Conference believes the NHS must continue to recruit from the EU and continued membership of the single market must not be ruled out.
- Tory privatisation of the NHS,
- Privatisation of the ‘NHS Professionals’ temporary staffing agency
- Tory cuts to the NHS including the Capped Expenditure Process
- The Naylor Report’s call for a fire-sale of NHS assets
- Tory cuts to mental health budgets
Conference welcomes Labour’s commitment to making child health a national priority, including investment in children’s and adolescents’ mental health services.
Conference calls on the next Labour government to fully fund the NHS, increasing investment to the European average and to invest at least £10 billion in its capital needs.
What next? There are a number of hurdles a motion needs to clear to be discussed at Conference. Each Constituency is allowed to table one Contemporary Motion. Once agreed by the local Labour Party and submitted, the Conference Arrangements Committee has to decide whether it meets the criteria as being "contemporary" - relying on new information since the National Policy Forum produced its report. Ours does meet this test. Only a small number of motions submitted can be debated at Conference, so the next step is for delegates to vote on which issues they would like discussed. Then all those with motions on similar themes get together to agree a "composite" motion made up of words drawn from each of the motions.
We'll see what happens next with our motion - But we already know, only Labour can be trusted with the NHS.