Thursday, April 29, 2010

Save our A & E!

My stance on the threats to close our local Accident and Emergency units is straightforward. I completely oppose their closure and I have been campaigning on this issue since the week that the plans were originally leaked to the press.

I've recently seen a leaflet from my Conservative opponent about the threatened closure of the local A & E departments at Ealing Hospital and Central Middlesex Hospital. I welcome that she, like me, recognises that this is a key issue in Ealing Central & Acton. However, I read on to see that she says, "Of course in time, new patterns of patient care may be developed, but it would be extraordinarily misguided to close these A&E departments before new services have been developed and people get used to them."

I think that the people of Ealing and Acton need to be secure in the knowledge that if they get ill, there is somewhere nearby that they can go to or by taken to by ambulance. It needs to be local because of the state of near-gridlock on many of our local roads. We all know that rapidly covering long distances in West London is difficult - even in an ambulance on a blue light. Also, if they need to stay in hospital overnight local people want to be treated somewhere that relatives and friends can easily visit.

I don't want our vital local health facilities to be sacrificed on the altar of "new patterns of patient care". The reason I oppose A&E closures is because they are wrong; not merely because the timing is wrong. It is crazy to contemplate a situation in which a borough the size of Ealing would have no A&E facility in it or on its boundaries. I stand up wholeheartedly for local hospital services. Sadly, my Conservative opponent's position is less clear.

If you support my campaign, please join my 'Save Ealing Hospital and Central Middlesex Hospital A & E Units' Facebook group.

Monday, April 26, 2010

"The Lib-Dems would win ... Ealing Central & Acton" - Evening Standard Poll

Today's Evening Standard reports a local YouGov poll predicting that I am set to win Ealing Central & Acton.

Under the headline, "Cleggmania sweeps across London with Lib-Dems set to take seats from Labour" the Standard today reports that "if YouGov's figures are echoed in actual voting on May 6 then out will go Labour's Glenda Jackson at Hampstead & Kilburn and Emily Thornberry, defending Islington South. The Lib-Dems would win both constituencies, along with Labour-held Ealing Central & Acton."

This backs up what we are finding on the ground: that there is a great groundswell of support right across Ealing and Acton backing the Lib Dem policies of fairness and our campaigning on local issues like the threat to close Ealing Hospital A & E.

But to make this historic victory into a reality on May 6th, we need more volunteers delivering more leaflets and knocking on doors and more people display posters to show to voters throughout the constituency - including those areas that have not been as strong for the Lib Dems in the past - that this time there can be change that works for the people of Ealing and Acton. If you can help me win, you can email me directly on, call my campaign office on 020 8752 1247 or DM me on twitter @jonball.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Making the surge to Nick work locally

Last nght's canvassing was fantastic. So many people said they'd seen Nick's performance on the debate and were going to vote for me because of it. They love our message of tax fairness and they agree with Nick!

On the opinion poll ratings we are now achieving, Ealing Central and Acton is one of the seats that is coloured gold on the swingomoter display behind Jeremy Vine's flailing arms. What we need to do to make that a reality is to get our message across to all those local people who didn't watch the debate. And that means continuing to deliver the message through local doors.

If you can help, please get in touch. The weather is lovely today for delivering leaflets. The current national surge to the Liberal Democrats represents a historic opportunity for us here in Ealing and Acton.  Let's seize it.