Labour’s hopeful sets out agenda

Originally posted in: The Press, here

HEALTHCARE could feature strongly in Paula Sherriff’s bid to oust incumbent Simon Reevell from the Tory marginal.

The feisty Pontefract councillor, 38, believes her own career is an example of what is happening to the NHS.

Her job as a dermatology service manager was handed to Virgin Care earlier this year under new Government rules.

Miss Sherriff, who is flat hunting in Mirfield, criticised the Tory-led coalition’s 2010 Health and Social Care Act.
She said: “My choice was stark. It was either be transferred to Virgin Care or my job would no longer exist.

“I believe it was down to the health and social care act, which changed how the NHS is regarded as the preferred provider.

“The service was put out to tender and Virgin Care were successful. It’s still early days as the service specification also changed.”

Glasgow-born Miss Sherriff, who grew up in Carlisle and came to West Yorkshire aged 13, switched so she could carry on serving the public.

But she added: “I’m absolutely clear about the fact that I’m in favour of NHS contracts being ‘re-nationalised’.

“I will fight for the NHS while ever there is breath in my body. It’s probably the country’s crowning achievement.

“And it’s also probably the Labour Party’s greatest achievement given it was opposed by the Conservatives at the time.”

Miss Sherriff, who calls herself on Twitter a feminist and trade unionist, is against cuts to services at Dewsbury District Hospital.

She also has strong views on the future of Dewsbury town centre in the wake of McDonald’s quitting.

The former victim support worker spoke out against the axe of Batley and Dewsbury Magistrates’ Court and the ‘bedroom tax’.

Miss Sherriff also vowed to be a full-time MP and said: “These are all subjects Mr Reevell should be on top of.

“But he’s too busy being a barrister when there’s enough problems in the constituency for this to be more than a full-time job on its own.”

Mr Reevell is defending a majority of 1,526 at the next election having unseated Labour minister Shahid Malik in 2010.

Miss Sherriff added: “The people of Dewsbury and Mirfield want someone who will stand up for them in parliament.

“We all know Mr Reevell treats being an MP effectively as his second job as he earned more last year as a barrister.

“And when you look at the number of debates he attends in parliament it’s well below average and that’s not acceptable.”

A NEW health budget funding formula would see North Kirklees hit by fresh cuts of £25m, a would-be MP has claimed.


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