It’s an all-consuming, energy-sapping, shambles. Nothing else is happening. Parliament is log jammed.
- Steve Baker, Wycombe’s MP, ex-Brexit Minister and Deputy Leader of the European Research Group, continues to reject the Prime Minister’s deal in favour of a no-deal. -
- Dominic Grieve has rebelled against the Government (at last) and might even leave the Conservative Party.
- Cheryl Gillan is still on her rose-coloured Brexit planet.
- David Lidington does …..well whatever the Government tells him to.
- EU citizens are leaving the NHS in Bucks.
- No-one has a clue about the impact of Brexit on Bucks. Presumably someone is doing some contingency planning??
- Bucks County Council is still broke, running up a deficit year after year.
- BCC’s Plan A - to borrow deeply to play the market – is not going well; it is heavily in debt.
- Plan B – to make money by setting up commercial companies – failed. The companies all went bust with a loss of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.
- Plan C - to unify all the councils in Bucks and cover its debts with the reserves of the district councils - has run into problems. The district councils are taking the Secretary of State to court and the legislation may not get through Parliament (see Brexit above).
- Council tax is going up.
- Schools continue to be underfunded. Academies struggle to stay solvent and some are starting to close.
- The discredited 11+ carries on, discriminating against the poor, but grammar schools are expanding.
- Children with special educational needs still struggle to get support.
- Children continue to be excluded from school.
- Local authorities continue to have responsibilities for education but no power.
- Bucks County Council (BCC) still fails to scrutinize any of this.
- Child poverty is increasing in Bucks
- BCC’s children’s services still need improving 5 years on from OFSTED assessing its services as inadequate.
- BCC still plans to cut millions of pounds from the budget for early help to vulnerable children and young people and to close all its children’s centres.
- Over half the children looked after by BCC are still being sent out of county.
- There is still not enough money to protect our children from sexual exploitation.
Adult Social Care
- There is no public information on the adequacy of BCC’s adult social care.
- Many vulnerable adults have no valid assessment or care plan.
- BCC still plans to close the only respite centre in Bucks for vulnerable adults. The replacement will exclude all but those with very serious and complex needs.
- Cuts to disabled people have left many destitute and isolated.
- BCC has set up a “transformation” project to find yet more ways of cutting adult social services.
- About a third of care homes in Bucks are still inadequate or require improvement.
- Targets for waiting times in Bucks for A&E, cancer diagnosis, and planned operations haven’t been met for years and are getting worse.
- The GP surgeries are struggling and not carrying out all their functions.
- The Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust is still broke and still has to make further massive cuts.
- Bucks is a pilot for privatising even more of the NHS.
- Ambulances are still not getting to critically ill and injured patients fast enough.
- Bed blocking is still a problem in Bucks but community beds continue to be taken out of service.
- None of the local Conservative MPs seem to care what is happening.
- BCC fails to fulfill its statutory duty to scrutinise the NHS in Bucks.
- Wycombe District Council sold 6000 council homes to Red Kite for £54 million in 2011. It was a £1.6 billion rip off.
- WDC has still failed to spend one penny of the £54 million it got on new social homes.
- Red Kite Housing Association has still failed to build even one social home. It now proposes to sell off and rent some of its homes at commercial rates.
- The number of families in temporary accommodation is going up.
- Universal credit has arrived in Bucks.
- Developers plan to build even more homes (not affordable) on greenfield land.
- Potholes are here to stay. So are broken pavements and blocked footpaths.
- BCC has virtually no money for its work to encourage children to walk to school.
- BCC still hasn’t accepted a single refugee from any of the Government schemes.
- BCC continues to cut its library service budget and closed its mobile library service.
- BCC continues to outsource and cut its youth service, public health services – and anything else which isn’t nailed down.
- Crime, particularly violent crime, continues to increase.
- The Police and Crime Commissioner blamed it all on Eastern European gangs.
- Conditions in local prisons are still appalling.
- The local probation service, owned by Spanish and American companies, still needs improvement.
- Access to legal aid in Bucks is very, very limited.
- The court service is failing.
- Cuts to the budgets of every part of the criminal justice system in Bucks continue.