Thursday, July 25, 2024

Cancer-stricken Labour councillor upset at Tory accusations of scaremongering over treatment cuts

A CANCER-STRICKEN councillor described as “highly insulting” an accusation by a senior Tory councillor that a decision to cut care that “has helped her to keep her alive” was “scaremongering”

The controversial exchange between Stifford councillor, Diana Hale  (Lab) and Corringham councillor, Mark Coxshall (Cons) occured at last weeks full council meeting during a question and answer session with the portfolio holder for adult social care, cllr Barbara Rice.

Cllr Hale asked “Can you assure me that the Cancer Networks, that have done so much to keep me alive, are secure under the new NHS?

Cllr Rice indicated that she could not give an assurance and then read from a recent newspaper articles which stated that

“Hundreds of specialists in cancer, heart disease and strokes face being made redundant as a result of the new NHS commissioning board’s decision to shrink the number of clinical “networks” which are intended to drive up standards of treatment in hospital and help patients affected by those three conditions.

The board, the powerful new body that will take over running the NHS in England from next April, has decided to replace the 28 cancer networks and 28 combined heart and stroke networks with 12 of each. But the successor bodies will have far fewer staff and smaller budgets than the existing groupings of experts

“The rationalisation has prompted fears that it will affect patient care and set back the NHS’s efforts to improve how it treats cancer, heart disease and strokes, which account for six in 10 of all deaths.”

Clr Rice also quoted from Basildon and Billericay MP, John Baron (Con) who praised the network and said: “Cancer networks provide a valuable service to patients. Their expertise provides support where necessary. This allows clinicians to spend more of their time on what is most important – their patient. It is essential that this expertise is retained within the NHS, yet we risk losing it.”

At this point, cllr Coxshall spoke.

Cllr Coxshall, “Other than the scare-mongering that you are doing, it is absolutely outrageous. You are worrying someone for no reason. It is just the Labour Party talking it down.

A visibly shocked cllr Hale, who is undergoing chemotherapy at the moment responded:  “I really do object because it is very insulting and I will show you the docments.

Cllr Hale was supported by the former mayor, cllr Charlie Curtis, who has suffered from cancer. Cllr Curtis said: “It is alright Diana, you don’t have cancer.”




  1. It’s as regular as clockwork with these Tories isn’t it ?. Opponents of theirs fall on Ill health and there they are twisting the knife in.

  2. Descamisados
    Lets all pray that this awful illness never stricken you down,
    What a despicable person you are.

  3. In the first instance I’m not sure how a local Councillor is supposed to give assurances on central government policy when he probably doesn’t have a clue what the government are going to do. Secondly the Councillor didn’t need to personalise this in referring to the services in question as the services that have kept her alive. If you are going to start personalising things you should expect a personal response. An experienced Councillor such as Councillor Hale is should know this. I’m not sure why people should start acting all prissy about this. It’s something that will affect a third of the population at some stage in their life. As I said, if you don’t want to be offended, don’t personalise it.

  4. I should think anyone who has suffered or is being treated for this type of illness has every right to talk about it whether sharing their experience or receiving treatment from the medical industry ?. But as for the two idiots (above), who are attempting to defend the offensive comment made by coxshall, perhaps you would clarify as you often have plenty to say for yourselves whether your view is endorsed by your political party.

  5. Some people go in to politics/ the volunteer services as they truly want to make a difference to others. My point is the councillor used her own distressing circumstance, to ask questions which will have an impact on many other people.
    However as per the norm we see some people having to scoop so low as to making a political point in return. The councillor who made the scathing attack also works for both the MP’S in our borough. I wonder than if the editor of your thurrock should ask what their feelings are on such an emotive subject.
    no voice in answer to your statement people will always get pissy about this subject, as you have researched it so very well,you know the answer to how many of our residents will suffer from such a cruel illness, on top of those people add on the number of the distressed family members PISSY what a piss poor regard you have for life

  6. If you actually read it properly I said prissy. Personally I think you’re blowing this out of proportion. My mother and father both died of cancer. Two good friends of mine have recently been treated for cancer. Neither myself nor my friends go on the defensive when anyone talks about cancer. They don’t act like they’re the only people in the world that have suffered from it. You are jumping up and down like children who’ve been called a name in school and want the headmaster to do something about it. The Coucilllor in question is naive and probably a prat for what he said. Councillor Hale should still know not to personalise matters like this. It isn’t her service it’s everyone’s and asking a question of a Councillor about a national issue which he cannot know anything about is scoring points. If she hadn’t connected it to herself personally there could have been no personal inference taken in what the Tory Councillor said. Your also way off the mark in assuming I’m a Tory supporter. I used to be a dyed in the wool Labour voter until the last Labour government took a wrecking ball to this country. I’d rather vote for Robert Mugabe to run this country than I would Labour. They bang on about the Tories being the nasty party when it is they that have destroyed the aspirations of a generation through policies they didn’t even have the guts to admit to.

  7. While I hope Cllr Hale gets better soon it was wrong of her to bring this up at a council debate. If she wanted to know about any cuts to life saving cancer provision then she should have emailed or shot a letter off to the Secretary of State for Health, contacted the management at Basildon or wrote a letter to her local MP to find answers for her. There was no need to bring this up at a council debate . It’s time Labour start concentrating on what they can do to improve our local area rather than trying to throw the fear of ‘cuts’ into everything. Yes cuts are being made and many more will be I’m sure, but there is very little that the local Tories can do.

  8. Oh no voice many apologies I didn’t have glasses on,yet you still don’t hear my message, I do not support Labour either, What I do object to is some two bit councillor ( who happens to work for both our MPs ) thinking its alright to insult another councillor who is. Under going the. Most awful illness there is,and for what ? As I say political gain. I will say again come on councillor Coxshall what do your employes feel about this

  9. I am not connected to a political party, and thus my comment is not endorsed by one. I, like everyone, am a resident with an opinion. And my opinion is not offensive at all.

    If you are a senior politician and you make a political point in a political arena, other politicians are going to respond politically. This is the nature of democracy.

  10. Sallyb you seem more intent on trying to force a local Councillor to give you answers on national public policy than you have any desire for the same person maybe to explain what he said and maybe admit that he probably used insensitive wording given the circumstances. Your anger appears to be focused on the fact that he’s a Tory and works for Tories, amazingly, than it does about any personal feeling of distress the comments may have caused Councillor Hale. Crocodile tears Sallyb. Nil point for your efforts on political points scoring.

  11. Whilst I admire Cllr Hale for continuing her work as a councillor whilst undergoing chemotherapy, she was asking for assurances on something that is the remit of national Government, a subject that cannot be decided at local level. Right question, wrong forum.

    That said, using her own experience is not political point-scoring, it’s putting the case for a member of the electorate who just happens to be herself. No point-scoring, just making a point.

  12. Hot press, is that really your contribution to the debate? It’s moronic. In fact, Mr Casey, if you read this, take Hot Press’s comment down, YT deserves better than that.


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