Nick's Week

Just as one key consultation on local public services ended this week, on the future of our local hospitals, another one began on Post Office branch closures.  I was relieved that more branches weren't scheduled for closure, but that is no consolation to the villages of Slindon and Washington.  I will be doing whatever I can to help them keep their branches open.

In my submission to the Primary Care Trust on ‘Fit for the Future', I repeated that all three of its original options are flawed, and called for them to be formally abandoned without further delay.  Whether it is in relation to hospitals or post offices, I believe that people have paid their taxes and are entitled to high quality local services.

I'm attending a number of events in aid of causes close to my heart this week.  On Wednesday I joined Labour's Frank Field MP to speak at a fundraising dinner in London for the 'I Want a Referendum' campaign on the EU Constitution.  My point was simple: the Government promised the people a say, the new treaty is 97 per cent the same as the original constitution, and the promise should be kept.

On Thursday I attended a fundraising event at Barts' Hospital for TB Alert.  This was timely because at the weekend I addressed an international conference in Cape Town on the issue of tuberculosis, which still kills - quite unnecessarily, since it is easily and cheaply curable - 1.6 million people a year.

On Saturday evening I'll be attending the 10th Anniversary celebration in Brighton of the Shine children's theatre group, which is based at Hurstpierpoint.  It's a marvellous charity which gives opportunities for performance to children with special needs.

Then on Sunday I'll be at Fontwell Park's race day which is supporting all three of our local hospital campaigns.

Michelle Taylor