All the news at the moment seems to be about the forthcoming General Election.
Yet we have the County Council Elections first.
The Leader Column and one of the letters in the Herald last week both talked about the concern over the lack of funding for the expansion of the Wantage Health Centre.
Another article in the Herald talked about GP services across the County being on the brink of collapse.
The state of the Health Service is an issue that we would hope to see addressed in the manifestos of the political parties in the General Election.
Yet it was a major plank of the existing Government and they don’t seem to be maintaining the level of service at the moment so how can we ensure that who-ever is in power after 8th June keeps their promises?
In the same way, our County Council has responsibility for funding social care. This includes Children’s Centres, Day Centres and care for the elderly.
The funding for all of these services has been and will continue to be cut, yet our current Council seems unable to do anything about it.
I’m sure that the majority party after 4th May will make tough decisions on our behalf, but the way they have not managed to influence the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group suggests that either they don’t have the will or they don’t have the power.
Once again, how can we ensure that they keep their promises?
In late March the Herald revealed that bickering council leaders insisted £400,000 spent on a war of words about a 'super council' had not been wasted.
That £400,000 could have been spent on funding social care.
The Country is talking about Brexit and the County is talking about Unification so all levels of government are talking about spending large sums of money on these reorganisations.
Will the need to focus on maintaining the infrastructure of the country in terms of roads, schools, health facilities, care facilities etc. get lost in the focus on reorganisation?
We hope that any re-organisation will include a refocusing of funds but by then it may be too late - once services have been cut it is usually very difficult to rebuild them. Knowledge, expertise, and goodwill have all been lost.
This has already happened to the in-patent nursing care at our Community Hospital, it may soon happen at our Day Centre. What will be next?
The first thing we can do is vote, both in County and General Elections.