LABOUR candidate for Thurrock, Polly Billington is demanding a proper response from government minister Anna Soubry to the concerns of Thurrock people to drastic underfunding of public health.
Polly says: “She has shown utter disregard for Thurrock people by her failure to respond to Thurrock’s public health funding crisis.”
Polly Billington, Labour parliamentary candidate for Thurrock, wrote to Anna Soubry, the Conservative minister for public health asking her to explain why Thurrock’s funding had suffered such a shortfall. There was no response from the minister, only a stock letter sent from a civil servant that makes no reference to the situation in Thurrock.
The snub comes a week after Thurrock councillors unanimously passed a motion to get the extra allocation.
Public health was returned to local authority control by the coalition government, but an error in the formula used to calculate the allocation of public health funding has left Thurrock around £1 million short.
There are concerns that to meet the shortfall, cuts to staff and expertise will have to be made.
Polly Billington, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Thurrock said:
“When I wrote to the minister responsible for public health calling for Thurrock to get its correct allocation for funding I was hoping that this silly error could be cleared up quickly.
“But to get a cut and paste response from a faceless civil servant that doesn’t even mention Thurrock is disrespectful to the people of this borough.
“People in Thurrock know that we need this money. It’s time for the department for health to get its act to together and give it to us.”
Cllr Barbara Rice, Thurrock’s cabinet member for health and adult social care said:
“I was proud that politicians of all parties came together in the council chamber to support my motion demanding that Thurrock gets its fair share.
“We need national government to step up to the plate and ensure that lives are not irreparably damaged in our borough by this error”