Front Line Care in Folkestone & Hythe

14-18 Now
October 10, 2018
Centenary of the end of the First World War
November 7, 2018

Last week I organised a meeting at the House of Commons with Cllr
Patricia Rolfe, the Deputy Mayor of New Romney, and the Health and
Social Care Minister Steve Barclay. We discussed a number of issues
relating to funding and delivering front line care in the Folkestone
and Hythe District, with a particular reference to the needs of people
living on Romney Marsh. There has been a substantial intervention from
NHS England to support GP services in New Romney, and in particular to
provide additional resources for the Church Lane surgery. They are in
the process now of awarding a new contract for the delivery of GP
services at this practise. For the longer term, we also discussed with
the Minister the benefits for local residents of funding a new clinic
and walk in centre for the community which could deliver not only GP
services, but also other minor treatments and procedures, and through
this help people to avoid unnecessary and expensive trips to hospital.

Along with the Hastings and Rye MP, Amber Rudd, I also met last week
with the Environment Minister, Therese Coffey, and the Environment
Agency to discuss the coastal flood defence scheme. There has been a
multi-million-pound investment by the government in new sea walls at
Dymchurch and Broomhill Sands, as well as other beachfront flood
defence schemes. One of the final areas of coast line where an upgrade
in the flood defences is required, is at Lydd Ranges. Here the
Environment Agency is planning a new scheme to protect this stretch of
the coastline from the risk of flooding from the sea. In order to
safeguard the whole of the Romney Marsh we need to ensure that at each
point around the coast we have adequate defences. As much of the Marsh
lies below sea level, any flooding from the sea could cause water to
gather inland at the lowest lying locations. This is something we have
to defend ourselves against. Both myself and Amber Rudd fully support
the Environment Agency’s plans and recommended them to the government.
I look forward to seeing the scheme proceed through its planning
application and being delivered as soon as is possible.

On Friday evening last week I attended the opening night of the
Folkestone Arts Society’s autumn exhibition at The Grand. This year
the society is also celebrating its 90th anniversary. Once again there
was a very high standard of entries from local artists covering a
range of disciplines, including painting, collage and sculpture. I
particularly enjoyed Philippa Goddard’s painting, entitled, ‘Black Dog
Red Hand’ which also won one of the prizes awarded by the society’s
President, Fiona Graham-Mackay. There was also an excellent display of
work from GCSE and A level students from local schools. It’s great to
see that we have so much creative talent for the future.

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