Lead story

Bailiffs seize ambulances

by Daphne Liddle

THE GROWING crisis in our ambulance services throughout England was highlighted last week when bailiffs in Sussex seized five ambulances belonging to a private contractor working under the NHS logo.

Creditors sent bailiffs to sites in Worthing, Bognor Regis and Alton on Wednesday 15th June, recovering five vehicles as payment for Patient Transport Service (PTS) provider VM Langfords’ debts. Peter Hall, the insolvency administrator appointed to oversee VM Langfords, has protected them from having further assets reclaimed and to allow service provision to continue in West Sussex in the immediate future. He is hoping to sell the company.

GMB, the union representing the ambulance staff, called on the Health Select Committee last Friday, 17th June, to investigate the growing crisis in Sussex PTS after the news that VM Langfords had gone into liquidation.

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Bailiffs seize ambulances

Axe the Housing Act protest

by New Worker correspondent

HUNDREDS of London residents, many of them tenants in council estates threatened with demolition, marched through London from Hyde Park Corner to Trafalgar Square to call for the axing of the Housing Act passed last month.

Shelter has predicted that councils and housing associations could to be forced to sell up to 40 per cent of their homes. Tenants will also be punished for doing well through the Tenant’s Tax forcing rent increases for households earning over £40,000.

The Act has left Parliament with many issues relating to its practical implementation still to be resolved. The role of local councils, housing associations and landlords will be critical as the Government tries to force them to do its dirty work of breaking up council estates and ending the supply of housing that low-income workers in the capital can afford.

This is why activists are continuing to campaign at a local level, to build a broad alliance of opposition uniting tenants from all tenures (council, housing association and private) with trade unions, housing activists, housing workers and politicians who support their aims. Together we can make the Housing Act this government’s Poll Tax.

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Axe the Housing Act protest

Editorial

In the aftermath of the referendum

THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU) referendum campaigns are now over, and although the results are still not known it is time to reflect on the way the campaigns have been conducted and to learn what we can.

The whole issue has shown up a vast rift amongst the ruling class — one that most of them would have liked to keep under wraps. David Cameron certainly did not want this referendum, which has split his party apart. But promising it was the only way he could keep enough of his flock from voting UKIP to get a majority in the House of Commons — and a very narrow majority it is.

Reneging on his promise would have blown Cameron’s majority away and his government would already have fallen. As it is, he has had to duck and dive and back-track on a score of issues just to hold on this long.

Ironically one of his best allies in pushing voters towards the Remain camp has been Nigel Farage, who, like so many of the ruling class, made the mistake of believing their own propaganda that the working class in Britain is deeply and inherently racist.

The Islamophobic English Defence League (EDL) also learned this the hard way. Ten years ago they were convinced that the majority of working class England supported their campaign of hate and fear against immigrants. But they were continually disappointed, and felt betrayed when up and down the country local people turned out to repel their vile invasions and the violence and hatred they brought with them. The truth is that most working class people in a town, wherever they may have been born and whatever faith they follow, face the same problems. They just want to get on with their lives, make a good future for their children and live peacefully with their neighbours. On the whole migrants and locals get on well together.

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In the aftermath of the referendum