In the news story header image

In the news: January 2021

Throughout each month I am posting links to media coverage where I have had active involvement in the story or have provided comment and a Labour Party perspective. As an elected County Councillor I am often asked to provide local input on national stories and the socialist perspective on local issues.

Thanet isn’t ready for schools to reopen

News clipping from January 2nd

With the NHS reporting our hospital in Margate at its limits for caring for patients, I voiced my concerns over the Government’s plans for reopening schools this month. And I’m not alone. Many parents and school staff have contacted me with real worries about the spread of covid through schools.

Read the full story in The Isle of Thanet News.

More voices call for the PM to back down from Jan 18 school return

News clipping from January 3

On January 3 the Prime Minister was still saying that schools would be perfectly safe for pupils and staff to return to later this month.

Having written several times over recent days to share the deeply held concerns of more than 80 Thanet parents and teachers who have contacted me, I welcome KCC leader Roger Gough’s intervention with the Secretary of Education Gavin Williamson.

In this Isle of Thanet News article I again highlight the plight of a local NHS at capacity and the prospect of children spreading covid through schools in a tier 4 area.

Read the full story here.

Paul on Politics BREXIT SPECIAL

On 5th January, just a few days after the Brexit transition period came to an end, KMTV ran a special programme with many political guests answering questions from the public. This 4 minute clip shows some of my contributions.

The full programme can be viewed here.

The Government cannot cut Universal Credit

News clipping from January 16

This winter, food banks are expecting to give out an emergency parcel every 9 seconds, and yet the Government are set to reverse the £20 per week extra that has been paid in Universal Credit during the pandemic.

We are not out of this crisis and those who have suffered job losses and numerous other hardships are fearing what little they have will be reduced further.

In this local news article I talk about how the poorest families will lose 7 percent of their disposable income if this cut goes ahead.

Read the full story in the Isle of Thanet News.

Improvements welcome but more needs to be done

News clipping from January 21

East Kent Hospitals Trust has pledged to improve Thanet’s maternity services after the horrendous state of services were brought to light.

Whilst I welcome the Trust’s report, I believe the problems go further. Issues of deprivation in the community, cited in the report, cannot be fixed by the NHS. Our local MP, Craig Mackinlay must lobby his Government on many avenues including training, pay and conditions for midwives.

As a member of the Kent County Council Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, I had a lot to say in this article. Read the full story here.

Covid, congestion and staycation Kent

On 29th January I was invited back as a guest on KMTV’s political discussion show, Paul on Politics.

On this occasion we tackled the Government’s handling of the pandemic, the prospect of schools fully reopening on March 8, lorries on residential streets near cross-channel border facilities and what Kent has to offer this summer if foreign holidays are off limits.

This video is an edited version of the programme showing my contributions.

For the full programme visit the KMTV website.