Worcester News

I’m getting more and more letters and emails about been how spending cuts will affect individual families in Worcestershire.
To take one example, many civil servants are writing to me to express their concern about the security of their jobs, the civil service compensation scheme for redundancy and the future of their pensions. The only absolute reassurance I can give is that the pension rights that have already been earned will not be touched.

Everyone is concerned about their own issue and above all about their own family - and rightly so. But the country is struggling to cope with the largest deficit of any major economy in the world. The last government’s over spending means we are borrowing one pound in every four we spend and heading for bankruptcy
Tough decisions have to be made and some of them will be painful. But these are Labour’s cuts – and doing nothing is not an option. How we will do it will be revealed on October 20th.

It wouldn’t have been right if all the ideas had come from the top. The Coalition launched the Spending Challenge to give the public a chance to voice their suggestions and we got thousands of them. I’m really pleased that one of the successful ideas builds on what we’re already doing in the Ministry of Defence, where I am a minister.

We set up a website some time ago now to dispose of the things we didn’t need any more – a bit like a government e-bay. Now, thanks to an idea from Spending Challenge, the scheme is being rolled out across every government department and that should generate millions of pounds of extra income. The simple ideas are often the best.

By making these changes now, both big and small, we can be sure that the British economy will be stronger and healthier in the future.

But just because we have to make difficult and painful decisions, that doesn’t mean that Worcestershire can’t have better public services. Look at the NHS. The health service is changing for the better, with GPs being given more control.

I was very worried, though, by proposals from NHS Worcestershire to reorganise community health services – including how Evesham’s much-loved hospital would be run. I joined forces with the five other Worcestershire MPs to call for a total rethink on the options to stop our hospital being run by the Acute Trust in Worcester. It looks as if we are making progress, but I’m not sure we’ve got it right yet.

Back to Articles