Tuesday, March 03, 2009


One could have been forgiven for thinking that someone had dialled the emergency number tonight at Stockton Town Hall. The mayor, Cllr John Fletcher, held a reception for representatives of the emergency services to thank them for their work in the borough. As leader of a political group on the council I was invited and very much enjoyed meeting the members of the health services, the police and fire services. I was pleased to hear people from the hospital talking about patient centred care with the same determination as there was at the Momentum consultation all those months ago. It was interesting to hear that the views of professionals don't always coincide and that some consultants don't want to see services delivered out in the community because they fear that standards will drop. There's a huge lot of trust and bridge building to go on before everyone can have, for example, their pre-operative assessments near to where they live or work rather than having to go to a hospital for them. If the people I met there are anything to go by it will happen though.
I suspect it's one of the most rewarding parts of being mayor, to be able to recognise the unsung heroes in this way and it seemed to be appreciated.
Driving home afterwards I was surprised to see the security fencing round the new health centre had been damaged and partly flattened by the wind. The security men were trying their best but it seemed to me and my fellow councillor that there was a danger of a serious problem on the road. A phone call to the council security centre made sure that someone came out and assessed the situation better than I could.

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