£100,000 of TAXPAYERS’ money blown on empty NHS advice centre and taxpayers will pay for it for a further EIGHT years unless a new tenant is found
NHS bosses have wasted more than £100,000 of taxpayers’ money renting an empty dilapidated building for five years, it has been revealed. The Department of Health has been paying for the three-storey building in Colchester, Essex, and will continue to do so for another eight years unless a new tenant can be found.
The property was used as an NHS advice centre which shut in 2003 before being sub-let as a shop which closed five years ago and has fallen into a state of disrepair.
The run-down shop is in the heart of the town’s so-called Cultural Quarter – which is undergoing a regeneration project led by Colchester Borough Council and Essex County Council. The 5,000sq ft premises have stood empty at a cost of at least £21,000 per year. The rate of £21,000 dates back to 1995 and it is feared that the current rent could be as high as £50,000.
Steve Miller, spokesman for the shop owners in the area, fumed: ‘It is disgusting. How many operations could that have paid for? ‘I would support it being knocked down and the area being opened up so the nearby priory and church can be seen.’
The Department of Health has another eight years left on the 25-year lease.
Ron Levy, secretary of Colchester Retail Business Association, said: ‘It is public money. ‘If it was a private individual then we couldn’t dictate to them, but we are talking about public money and they have a powerful responsibility not to waste public money. ‘We are concerned it does rather blight the area and make it look very run-down.’
Laurence Franklin, owner of nearby Franklins sewing shop, said: ‘The advice centre was only open for a short time and they had it all refurbished and spent a lot of money on it. ‘I don’t want to think about the amount of money that was wasted.’
The building has room for two shops on the ground floor and office space on the first and second floors. The site has recently been taken on by property consultants Whybrow, which has been asked by the building’s owner to find a new tenant.
Ewan Dodds, managing director, said: ‘Essentially taxpayers’ money is going right down the drain. ‘I am hopeful something might come out of the marketing campaign that may be productive and useful – it is in quite a vibrant area. ‘We will have to watch this space and see if we can generate something.’
A Department of Health spokesman said: ‘The lease for this property transferred to the Department of Health after the North East Essex Community health council vacated it in 2003. ‘It was then leased to a business until 2008, when the business ceased trading.
‘Since then it has not been occupied, but surrendering the lease would have cost the Department more than continuing to market it. ‘We are in negotiations with an interested party on the lease of this property.’
‘Just pull yourself together!’ What doctors said as patient fought allergic reaction – minutes later he was dead
It sounds like he was another victim of a useless “overseas trained” doctor. The NHS is full of them. “Ajawan” seems to be either an Indian or Indonesian surname
A dying man was told to ‘pull himself together’ by a doctor when he began struggling to breathe during a severe allergic reaction, his grieving family said yesterday.
John Haworth, 58, was taken ill after eating a meal of chicken and chips. But following a series of blunders during which hospital staff were said to have ‘stood by and done nothing’ he died.
Fit and healthy Mr Howarth, an MoT tester, had initially experienced only a sore throat after the meal in March 2009. But when his condition worsened an ambulance was called to take him to Royal Blackburn Hospital.
On arrival at the accident and emergency department at 1.40am, he was struggling to breathe and being sick. However, he and his wife Gloria were left waiting for an hour. When she pointed out her husband’s breathing problems to the receptionist she was told ‘the doctor will see you when it is your turn’.
‘He was getting worse and worse yet they just told us to wait with people who had a broken leg, or who were drunk,’ Mrs Haworth said yesterday. ‘It just felt wrong.’
Eventually the couple were moved, but were wrongly sent to the urgent care centre where Mr Haworth saw a doctor after a 90-minute delay – but the treatment he received shocked his wife.
‘John couldn’t speak, his throat was so swollen – yet the doctor was asking him basic questions about his name and age,’ she said. ‘He left the room and threw an oxygen mask at John saying, “Here, put this on”.’
Shortly afterwards the doctor – Immanuel Ajawan – returned and asked him to lie down. ‘I told the doctor he couldn’t, because he couldn’t breathe,’ said Mrs Haworth. ‘The doctor thought he had a throat tumour – he hadn’t a clue. He was so rude.
‘I said John looked as though he was having a heart attack but the doctor said, “I can see that, but he will have to pull himself together”.
‘The doctor then put a wooden spatula down John’s throat. I remember John gagging and jumping up, it was awful, he kept mouthing “Help!” to me. ‘He was choking yet the doctor disappeared again. I just ran out screaming for help, the nurses dragged me away, and put John somewhere I couldn’t see him.’
She was left in a room by herself. The father-of-two was pronounced dead at 3.21am. Tests later confirmed he had suffered an acute anaphylactic reaction resulting in a heart attack, although the cause has never been determined.
Yesterday his widow said the hospital was a disgrace. Mrs Haworth, 68, who ran a cleaning firm in Altham, near Blackburn, accepted undisclosed six-figure damages in an out-of-court settlement.
‘John could have and should still be here today were it not for the conduct of the hospital staff,’ she said. ‘He was my soul mate. ‘It’s unbelievable how much the hospital has messed up my life and they probably haven’t even lost one night’s sleep over it.’
At an inquest, Dr Ajawan said he had left the cubicle twice, once to get his stethoscope and the second time to get some adrenalin, standard treatment for anaphylactic shock. The inquest recorded a narrative verdict. East Lancashire Hospitals Trust has admitted that the care provided by its staff fell below ‘expected standards’.
It admitted Mr Haworth was sent to the wrong unit. Medical evidence confirmed that when the doctor placed the spatula on Mr Haworth’s tongue, it caused his airway to close – a mistake which probably wouldn’t have happened in A&E.
Pam Roberts, of Woodcocks Solicitors, which represented Mrs Haworth, said no amount of money would have compensated for her loss. The trust has apologised and said it had made major changes to its emergency care. [Hah!]
Black British Leftist caught lying to her party
But they still love her. They prefer myth to reality. Rather like the American Left’s belief in forged documents being “fake but accurate”
It was among the most emotional speeches at last year’s Labour Party Conference. A young anti-crime campaigner, Narraser Gordon, was given a standing ovation from MPs including Tessa Jowell and Yvette Cooper when she movingly told how eight members of her family had been murdered.
But now it has emerged that most of the ‘victims’ the campaigner claimed had died are in fact alive and well.
After Miss Gordon was forced to admit using ‘misleading’ words in her speech, Labour officials were criticised for not checking her story before she was presented to the conference last September.
The 24-year-old, a member of the Bristol West Labour Party, took to the stage in Liverpool to address the party faithful and accused the Coalition Government of carrying out PR stunts rather than tackling the important issues.
She told the audience last September: ‘I am here to talk about why our young people are dying before they can see the age of 21. ‘We are here to challenge young people in asking the important question: Why join a gang, use a gun, or use a knife?’
She continued: ‘This is an issue that is causing a huge problem across the UK, including London, Liverpool, Nottingham, Birmingham and in my own area Bristol – with eight of my family members being murdered there. I am not a celebrity, I am simply a young person who has had enough of seeing family members, friends and other lives being taken before they can succeed in life.’
In a subsequent newspaper interview, Miss Gordon, of Easton, Bristol, gave two examples of genuine victims to whom she had links. One, Leon Plummer, who was stabbed to death in the city in 2002, was her cousin, although the pair had never met. She said another, 17-year-old Shevon Wilson, who was killed in September 2009, was a friend of hers.
But a BBC current affairs team making a documentary about Miss Gordon’s work began investigating her claims to have lost eight members of her family to knife and gun crime, and say it emerged that most of the people she claimed had been murdered were actually alive. They claim she was also found communicating on Facebook with some of the people she had insisted were dead.
When questioned by the BBC, Miss Gordon admitted that the majority of the people she told them about had not been murdered. Yesterday she said she ‘may have used words which could be seen as misleading’ and expressed ‘regret’.
She told the regional Inside Out programme, broadcast last night on BBC One: ‘I have lost three family members and five very close friends who I consider as family. ‘I realise I may have used words which could be seen as misleading and I do regret this.’
She then bizarrely claimed that she had changed the names in her story to shield the families of the ‘real’ victims, explaining: ‘I do admit that the names originally given to [the BBC] were false. This was done to protect the families of my friends that I have lost.
‘But I was not corresponding with anyone on Facebook, I rarely talk to people on Facebook.’ Miss Gordon, who met Labour leader Ed Miliband when he came to Bristol after last summer’s riots, stood for the party during the 2011 local council elections.
She was said to be in London yesterday and is currently working on a campaign calling for more funding for community activists.
Last night Phil Gaskin, regional director of Labour South West, said: ‘She has not been suspended and we will not be making any further comment on the matter.’
The ‘star’ of the same Labour party conference at which Miss Gordon spoke last year was 16-year-old Rory Weal. The schoolboy was feted as a ‘hero’ after his impassioned speech telling how the welfare state saved his family from ruin.
But the Daily Mail revealed that he was actually the privileged son of a millionaire property developer, and attended private school until his father’s business went bust.
More than one in 10 rape allegations is being dismissed by British police
Just to secure a higher conviction rate and meet their famous bureaucratic “targets”
The Criminal Justice Joint Inspection study claims that in some cases, officers are wrongly recording that “no crime” had been committed. It warns that target cultures have put forces under pressure to keep recorded crime to a “minimum”
The report states that the “performance management regime of the past” overvalued what could be measured, with forces asked to concentrate on producing figures on the proportion of rape allegations solved.
It is suggested that this could lead to genuine reports of rape being written off as if they had never occurred.
The study says police should only end an investigation with a “no crime” classification, removing the allegation from records, if they receive additional evidence that it did not take place. “If there is any doubt, the crime remains recorded.”
The report by HM Inspectorates of Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service states: “If crimes of rape are incorrectly removed from crime figures, services to victims are reduced and offenders left at liberty to commit further offences.”
But Home Office figures show 2,131 rape claims were “no crimed” in 2010-11 – nearly 12 per cent of the total. In Kent the figure was 30 per cent. By contrast, just 3 per cent of GBH [Grievous Bodily Harm] allegations were later re-classified as no crimes.
The inspectors looked at about 100 records of various crimes in each police force and found that 11 per cent of them had been “incorrectly ‘no crimed’”.
The ACPO lead for rape and serious sexual offences, Chief Constable Dave Whatton, said: “This review rightly acknowledges improvements in recent years to the way victims of rape are treated. Improvements in specialist training of officers, introduction of early evidence kits, better access to sexual assault referral centres and significantly improved crime recording practices have assisted the policing response. But we know that there is no room for complacency.”
Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary, said: “The Joint Inspectorate’s report shows how important DNA evidence and forensics are for solving rape cases, and how they should be used more to improve conviction rates.
“Why then is the government going in the opposite direction, taking 17,000 rape suspects off the DNA database and closing the forensic science service with no proper service in its place?
The attack on FreeFaith.com shows the intolerance of religion’s enemies
By Cristina Odone
When I was 30, and the new editor of the Catholic Herald, I went to interview the – now late – Auberon Waugh at his club, The Academy. In the course of a long dinner and many many glasses of excellent wine, I told him I didn’t think I’d stay in journalism for long: I wanted a nice easy life, and I’d probably drift into writing novels sooner rather than later. Bron didn’t believe a word of it, needless to say. He assured me that I could have a very easy life as a hackette (those were the days when the industry was still thriving): “Just don’t stick your head above the parapet.”
Easier said than done. Over the years, I’ve grown more, not less, passionate about certain issues; keeping schtum has grown impossible. Unfortunately for me, the positions I hold on a whole gamut of issues (abortion, gay marriage, faith schools) run counter to the liberal establishment. This has pitted me against the likes of Polly Toynbee (you can listen to our ding-dong on the Today programme), Richard Dawkins, the National Secularist Society and – most viciously of all – Johann Hari.
I’ve recovered from having my Wikipedia entry manipulated by Hari (still no apologies from the discredited hack) but now I face a new foe: a sophisticated hacker who has disabled FreeFaith.com, my website promoting (irony of ironies) tolerance.
Like so many Britons, I have taken tolerance for granted. It’s everywhere, after all: in the legislation establishing gay rights and in the laws protecting faith schools.
Suddenly, though, a BA employee was banned from wearing a cross to work; Catholic adoption agencies forced to accept gay adopting couples; an elderly couple banned from fostering because of their views on homosexuality. Tolerance was suddenly no longer a given, but a battle: atheists wanted to impose their views on the rest, and persecute anyone who disagreed.
The tone of the debate made me uneasy: with every intervention, the anti-religious, and in particular anti-Christian, tone grew more strident. I decided I couldn’t sit by as a cherished principle was trampled; yes, I could write about the new intolerance in this blog, and in the paper; but I wanted to dedicate more time and energy to the defence of faith.
I approached Tim Montgomerie, founder of ConservativeHome, last summer with the idea of setting up a website to defend tolerance of and between the faiths. Tim, the most inventive and generous of intellectual entrepreneurs, immediately assured me of his support, organised meetings with Paul Goodman (editor of ConHome) and Paul Waugh (editor of PoliticsHome), and taught me the basics of website design. He aso came up with a name for the site.
In the website I covered the obvious issues – anti-semitic attacks in Britain, anti-Christian court cases, the plight of Egyptian Copts, the martyrdom of Christians accused of apostasy in the Middle East. It generated some traffic. Most comments were viciously anti-religion, but I didn’t mind: at least someone was reading it.
Now, they can’t. Last Friday, a sophisticated hacker embedded a malicious code in my FTP access, and disabled FreeFaith.com. I’m not pointing any fingers, but a review of the Tweets my appearance on Question Time prompted, reveals that my faith earns me some vicious enemies. The programme did not raise any religious questions; nor was I introduced as a Christian or even as the ex-editor of the Catholic Herald; yet the tweets are all about my being a “theocrat” and a “Christian apologist”. As such, I must be condemned – and silenced. So much for tolerance. So much for an easy life.
Nasty British teachers refuse to help five-year-old girl rub eczema cream into her back over “child protection fears”
What they say makes no sense. They just don’t want to help the little girl
A school has refused to rub eczema cream on to a five-year-old’s back because staff say they’re not allowed to touch her over child protection fears.
Leah Johnston, a pupil at at Woolston Infant School, near Southamton, Hampshire, has such a severe form of the condition that she has to apply the medication to her entire body four times a day. If it goes untreated, specialists say the schoolgirl’s sores can become badly infected, meaning she has to apply the cream during the school day at least once.
Naturally, she can’t cover her own back but the school’s head teacher, Julie Swanston, says staff can only supervise her because their child protection policy makes it ‘inappropriate’ for them to help apply the cream.
Leah’s mother, Kerry Webb, has described the decision as ‘crazy’ and wants the school to show some common sense. The 24-year-old, from Woolston, said: ‘Leah is really good at remembering to rub the cream in. She is able to do it herself over her arms and legs and chest but she physically cannot reach her back. ‘She is just five years old. All I am asking for is a bit of common sense for them to just help with her back.
‘I can’t understand them saying they can’t touch her, it’s crazy. What happens if a child falls over or needs some other sort of treatment. Would they not touch them too?
‘Leah also suffers from asthma and needs to use inhalers at school every day – a process that is overseen by staff.
‘It has been suggested that a simple solution would be to have a second member of staff supervising as one applies the cream. ‘This is a policy used at other schools when child protection is an issue.’
The National Eczema Society has also called for the school to take a ‘sensible approach’ to Leah’s situation. Chief executive Margaret Cox said: ‘Unfortunately we do hear of such cases where schools have a ‘non-touch’ policy. ‘This is a serious problem for eczema sufferers who really do need this medication applied. I would call for a sensible approach here so that in such cases the rules could be relaxed to allow for the medication to be given.’
bitch teacher Julie Swanston said: ‘There have never in the past been any issues or concerns from any parents, pupils or teachers in how we help to administer medication to children.
‘In this particular case we have supervised the child putting on her medication and have been in regular communication with the child’s parents and doctor.
‘In normal circumstances when administering things like creams we would either ask the parents to administer them or, like in this instance, we would help the child to administer it themselves under our supervision, as long as we get prior agreement from the child’s parents. ‘I’m very sorry to hear there is some concern, and we will continue to ask the parents to come in and talk to us to see how we can address those concerns.’
Wicked web of British university funding
Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive
The tangled web that has become university funding in the UK is already throwing up early evidence of what a fraud the whole thing will prove to be.
In last week’s Times Higher Education, an article purports that students would be foolish to repay their loans early, even after the government’s scrapping of early-repayment penalties. It quotes Tim Leunig of CentreForum and a lecturer at the London School of Economics as saying graduates should think twice about paying off their debts early because most will never repay the full amount within 30 years, after which time arrears are written off.
He’s quoted as saying “Every penny of their early repayment is a gift to the government.” A gift to the government!!! That heavenly body showering us all with free goodies? What he really means is that failing to repay is a good kick in the ass to every hardworking taxpayer now stumping up the cash.
Putting yet another boot into the taxpayer is Liam Burns, president of the National Union of Students who’s quoted as saying “Ministers must come clean on student finance that those on low and middle income are not duped into chipping away at their outstanding debt.” Duped!!! Doesn’t he mean reneging on a promise?
So the government whips up a scheme for which it has no plans to fully collect unpaid debt, a teacher of our young advises against doing so and a student leader fans the flame of irresponsibility.
How morally bankrupt our body politic has become.
British Conservative politician denies claims of ‘Cymru-phobia’ after he is rebuked over ‘welshed’ remark
“Michael Gove yesterday denied being guilty of ‘Cymru-phobia’ after using the term ‘welshed’ in Parliament. The Education Secretary used the verb, meaning to fail to honour a deal, as he faced MPs at Commons’ questions.
Some Welsh people find the term offensive, claiming it implies they cannot be trusted.
Mr Gove, a Scotsman, was rebuked by Speaker John Bercow, who urged him to choose another word.
The clash came after Mr Gove admitted he had agreed to visit Stoke with the city’s Labour MP Tristram Hunt, but never went. Mr Gove told Mr Hunt: ‘I have a confession to make: you invited me to the Potteries and I welshed on the deal.’
The Speaker rose to his feet, telling the Education Secretary: ‘I think you meant “renege”.’
After consulting with colleagues a puzzled Mr Gove, whose wife, Times journalist Sarah Vine, was born in Wales, thanked the Speaker for ‘correcting my vocab’. He added: ‘I would hate to be thought guilty of Cymru-phobia, especially as someone married to a Welsh girl.’
At least the discussion was good-humored. Cymru is the name for Wales in Welsh (a Gaelic tongue).