Guest column: Pharmacy spending cuts will just hurt the vulnerable

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

Parliament debated Government cuts to community pharmacies this week, following my campaign.

David Mowat, the health minister, has announced that Government funding will be reduced by £113 million next year and a further £95 million the year after.

In February I put forward a Parliamentary motion against the cuts which was then co-signed by 20 MPs.

Having worked closely with local pharmacies for years, I know how important they are to communities for face-to-face healthcare.

These cuts will significantly hit rural residents who often use the pharmacy linked to their local surgery.

The Government should listen to healthcare experts and reverse their plans.

This week the Government also ruled out an independent inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave.

I have called for an inquiry for many years, not least because I believe that it is wrong for Westminster politicians to instruct police officers what to do.

We need to know the level of interference in events like Orgreave and how it has undermined trust and confidence in ordinary police officers.

We should know, for better or for worse, what senior politicians did and what pressure they brought to bear on the police.

My annual Parliamentary summer school allows the students to experience life working in some of the biggest and most prestigious firms in the country.

The week is designed to not only show them what careers are possible but it’s also a chance for them to demonstrate the skills and abilities they already have.

In previous years, I have helped students secure work experience with law firms, banks and even helped one student get the chance to work with the country’s chief veterinary officer.

For the past three years one of the week’s highlights has been the chance to work with Pentland Brands at their world headquarters.

Pentland Brands owns some of the biggest sporting goods companies in the world including Canterbury of New Zealand and Speedo.

This year Speedo offered the chance of a week’s work experience to two students.

Dulcie Hall, from Retford, and Jess Smith, from Worksop, spent last week with their commercial and human resources teams.

I’m sure that both of them had an amazing time working with the Speedo team.

I was also pleased to welcome another local school to Parliament this week for a tour.

If your school would like to come to see Parliament please get in touch with my office on 01909 506200 or email mannj@parliament.uk

There are also a number of places left on a coach tour on December 19.

The cost for the coach is £20 – the tour itself is, of course, free.

Next week I will be reporting on the growing scandal of car parking at Bassetlaw Hospital.