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‘Save our NHS’ petition presented to MP candidates

A petition to save the National Health Service was presented to local candidates vying to be the area’s next MP, in the run up to this week’s election.

The petition signed by 1,750 people, potential voters in the Somerton and Frome constituency and online campaign group 38 Degrees, was presented to MP candidates for the area on Saturday 25th April.

Ann Flenley, who helped organise the handover at the Cheese and Grain said, “Our petition called on the MP candidates to do everything they can to protect the NHS from funding squeezes, privatisation, and the TTIP trade deal if they’re elected.

“Campaigners also challenged their MP candidates to answer questions on exactly how they will protect the NHS if they’re elected on Thursday 7th May.

“Our NHS has always been there for me and my family when we’ve needed it. Not only the thought of my family being cared for by profit-making companies really scares me but also because the time before we even had a NHS, the doctor who came to see my grandmother who was seriously ill in bed, would not go up the stairs until my mother had paid him.

“My grandfather was away fighting in the First World War.  My mother was only nine years old at the time and also looking after her younger sister.  She never forgot that doctor, and was angry all of her life.  That is why I am so passionate about fighting to save the NHS.

“Aneurin ‘Nye’ Bevan was my mother’s hero; he was the Minister for Health in the post-war Attlee government from 1945 to 1951.

“A lifelong champion of social justice and a Minister of Health,  he spearheaded the establishment of the National Health Service known as the NHS and my mother who never forgot the experience with the doctor at the age of 9  would now be saying ‘please, please  fight for the NHS and to stop the privatisation.’

“Making sure that can never happen again is why I was so passionate about taking the message to protect our NHS from privatisation and funding freezes straight to every MP candidate standing in the Somerton and Frome area.”

David Babb, executive director of 38 Degrees said, “We’re sending a clear message to our local MP candidates; you’re being watched by hundreds of us, and we all want you to protect the NHS.

“Politicians can’t sit on the fence about the NHS. If they want our votes, they need to promise to keep the NHS safe from private companies and funding freezes. We won’t stand for another five years of the NHS being broken up or squeezed to breaking point.

“The petition delivery event was all about the people of the Somerton and Frome area telling our next MPs exactly what we want for our NHS.”

The campaigners extend their thanks to the prospective MPs who attended the handover; Ian Angell (Independent), David Oakensen (Labour), David Randel (Lib Dem), Theo Simon (Green Party) and David Warburton (Conservative).

Apologies were accepted from Alan Dimmick (UKIP) who could not attend due to an appointment elsewhere.

38 Degrees is one of the UK’s biggest campaigning communities, with over 3 million members. 38 Degrees brings you together with other people to take action on the issues that matter to you and bring about real change in the UK.

The petition is a local branch of a national campaign. You can sign at