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Gillingham Life

Inside... When Doug met Andy

Fighting for fairness

Our anti-social behaviour hell



Harry's NHS Miracle He tells MP Paul of his two life saving ops Born in 1947, a year before the launch of the National Health Service, Harry would not be around today without the NHS. In 1958 Harry visited his GP and was told he had a heart murmur. “By the age of nine I realised I should’ve been growing,” Harry told local Labour MP Paul Clark.

He was referred for specialist examination to the NHS’s Royal London Hospital. Harry was diagnosed with Patent Ductus Arteriosus, a condition known more commonly as ‘hole in the heart’. “I would have been dead in my teens if it wasn’t for a Labour Government creating

the NHS,” says Harry, who now lives in Rainham. Thanks to the free service offered by the NHS and the committed team of specialists, Harry was cured and able to lead a normal life. “It was a massive relief,” he tells Paul as he finishes work on his new back garden! CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 >>

When Doug met the Health Secretary come and speak to the annual Labour Party Conference in Brighton. “I was shocked,” Doug says, “all I did was write a letter!” In September this year, Doug came to Brighton and not only talked with hundreds of gathered Labour Party delegates about his NHS experience, but he also met up with Health Secretary Andy Burnham.

Scouting Around Paul Clark MP visited the Scouts Association campaign at a recent event at Labour Party Conference. Paul has been supporting local Scout Groups in their campaign to ensure they aren’t paying excessive water bills

A Sure Start for Kids



Doug told Paul afterwards “It was an excellent experience” and he’s determined to make sure his treatment is given attention when so many negative c o m m e n t s a b o u t t h e NHS appear in the Rainham local Doug Baldock didn’t press. “Despite the pressures of work expect to be taking a trip to the seaside in September, until he received a and very long hours everyone works, they remain totally dedicated to the call from local Labour MP Paul Clark. individual needs of the patient”. In late 2008, Doug was diagnosed with When we asked Paul Clark about Doug’s cancer. “It was a total shock,” he tells c ase, he told us: “it’s such a great story us “and the first time you hear that a nd Doug certainly tells it well. It was a word you don’t quite know what to pleasure to have him come to Labour think”. But Doug’s treatment progressed P arty Conference to talk to the decisionquickly, being seen by a consultant m akers about his NHS experience.” Paul within days, and beginning treatment gives one final warning: “all I hear from just a few days after that. the Conservative Party and David Doug was so pleased that in November Cameron is how they want to cut back 2008, he wrote to the Medway Maritime NHS services and ‘trim’ down the support. This includes getting rid of the Hospital and local MP Paul Clark to c ancer treatment targets that have saved praise his experience of the NHS. so many lives like Doug’s. We have to make sure they don’t get the In a surprise call, Paul asked Doug to opportunity to make this happen”. >> CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

But tragedy struck in November last year when Harry received the devastating news that he had been diagnosed with bowel cancer. “I couldn’t believe it,” he says, “it was an incredible shock”. Again, the NHS came to his rescue and he received treatment at the Medway Maritime Hospital and the Maidstone Hospital. Promoted by Linda Miller on behalf of Paul Clark MP. Both at 122a Twydall Lane, Gillingham, Kent ME8 6JU

“Two weeks, that’s all it took from seeing my GP to getting a diagnosis from a consultant,” Harry tells us. “Then four weeks of preparing for treatment, and the chemotherapy and radiotherapy began. It’s thanks to the Labour Party’s investment in the NHS that I’m here today”.

The Sure Start Centre at Woodlands Road was visited by local MP Paul Clark to highlight the work that the Centre is doing to help families. Sure Start was created by the Labour Government and is used by thousands of families in Gillingham and Rainham. Sadly, the Conservative Party have refused to confirm their support for Sure Start Centres.

Get It Sorted! A new campaign has launched to find problem areas in Gillingham and Rainham. The campaign has a website, which allows residents to send in photos of problems on their streets. The problems could be anything like broken street lighting, uneven pavements, or blocked drains.

Fiona: "What a difference 12 years has made" bullying measures have made a real difference. 2. Labour has given help to hard working families, most recently through baby bonds and child tax credits. Why do you support their commitment to hard-working families? I believe that hard-working families need real help like this to get through the recession. Labour’s commitment to child tax credits gives families a boost in these tough times. The Conservatives don’t want to give child tax credits to families who earn a joint income of £50,000. This is not good news, especially in the South East where the cost of living is still high and the recession has threatened people’s livelihoods. 3. Daniel Hannan, Conservative member of the European Parliament for the South East, recently said that he thought the NHS made people 'iller' - what do you think about his comments? Our National Health Service is the envy of the world. It’s truly incredible. Since 1997 Labour has made huge improvements in the NHS. Labour’s guarantee to get you referred to hospital within two weeks of suspected cancer has saved lives. It must be a huge relief to know that guarantee is there and it’s a real concern that the Conservatives are threatening to scrap it. Improvements in the NHS with Labour are too long to list. Daniel Hannan represents the true face of the Conservatives and he’s opposed to the NHS. For more information about the work that Labour is doing in Gillingham and Rainham, visit or join the Labour Party online at

Tory Airport Chaos! Medway’s Conservative politicians have been plunged into crisis by the news that Conservative Mayor of London wants to go ahead with an airport in the Thames Estuary. A report from the Mayor of London says the airport should get the go ahead and Medway Council and Kent County Council have taken the plans so seriously that they are stepping up their campaign against the proposal. Unfortunately for the Conservative Party, their politicians are so muddled

Paul Clark signed up to the Royal British Legion manifesto to support all those serving in the Armed Services. The manifesto sets out priorities for the next Government to improve conditions for the British Armed Forces past and present and their families Kevin Shinkwin, the British Legion’s Head of Public Affairs, said, “We’re really grateful to Paul for taking the time to meet with us and listen to our concerns. Our message to every candidate standing at the general election is very simple: ‘It’s time to do your bit’.

Great new buses



Former GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips talks exclusively to Gillingham Life about why she believes Labour is the best choice for hardworking families. 1. Why are you supporting Labour? Because I believe in the many and not the few – I care about more than just my family alone. Over the last 13 years, the Labour government has made huge improvements by investing in education and the NHS. Through Labour’s Building Schools for the Future programme, my local schools have outstanding buildings and resources now and the teachers are a credit – so passionate about what they do. Labour’s Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls, has been driving real improvement in school standards. His anti-

Supporting the Armed Forces

that they have David Cameron refusing to say what he thinks one way or another, Boris Johnson firmly in favour of it, and Conservative-run Medway Council claiming to be against it! Labour’s position is much clearer: The Prime Minister is against it, the Transport Secretary is against it, the Aviation Minister and local MP Paul Clark is against it, our Councillors are against it, our candidates are against it, are Party is against it.

Call Paul Clark's hotline: 01634 574261

Paul Clark and Medway Labour Councillor Glyn Griffiths teamed up to launch a new fleet of buses for passengers in Gillingham and Rainham.

The launch took place at the Universities at Medway Parade Ground. The new Arriva buses are now in operation across the area and residents have given a lot of positive feedback about the new vehicles.

Queen Elizabeth Field Campaigners have praised local people for their support of the ‘Queen Elizabeth Field Campaign’ in north Gillingham. The campaign has been run by Paul Clark MP and supported by Moat Housing, the Activity Loft, and Word on the Street. More information can be found online at and news of a major funding boost for the campaign is due to be announced soon.

Gillingham Life

"We were just left to fend for ourselves" After years of trouble from a local resident, Marion Burton and her neighbours had simply had enough.

that we’ve got a bit of peace and quiet on the road, and really it’s all down to Paul’s hard work”.

“He was taking cars to bits outside my door, dealing drugs, you name it,” says Marion, who first started experiencing problems about three years ago. She complains that “initially Medway Council just weren’t interested, and our local Conservative Councillor didn’t want to know.”

Marion hasn’t had a run of the mill time as a mum. “It’s never easy and I don’t think there’s a mum out there who’d say it was,” she says “but with one of my boys having a disability, there’s always more complications”. When her son was unable to find a suitable school to give him the best education, once Life for Marion hasn’t been easy, but again Paul Clark stepped in to help. she laughs and says “we’ve always got by, you have to fight your “He was brilliant, really brilliant. My corner”. When the anti-social son wouldn’t have been in behaviour problems kicked off, Marion mainstream education now without got in touch with local MP Paul the work that Paul and his team did Clark. “He was brilliant,” she says, for us.” “Paul spoke to the Council and really got things moving. He even came When we asked Paul Clark about the down to the street and chatted to case he said it was “all too typical” us about how we wanted to resolve of the problems with Conservativethe problems”. run Medway Council. “The Tories around here don’t help people, they “I never expected much to be never have, it’s not in their blood. I honest, but Paul is so down to earth think I’ve got a reputation around and he really made the difference”. here as someone who really tries to Marion now feels much safer, “he’s focus on local people and their gone away now,” she says with a problems.” Paul is a local lad himself, smile. “I think we’re all just glad having been born in Gillingham.



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What would you like to see done in Gillingham or Rainham?

 Did you vote in the last General Election?  Who do you plan to vote for in the next General Election? Name Telephone Email Address

Postcode Please complete and return this form to: PAUL CLARK MP FREEPOST SEA 8593 GILLINGHAM KENT ME7 2BR

The Labour Party may contact you using the details you provide. If you do not wish to hear from the Labour Party, please write to: The Labour Party, 39 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0HA. Promoted by Linda Miller on behalf of Paul Clark MP. Both at 122a Twydall Lane, Gillingham, Kent ME8 6JU

Neglected by Medway Council

Violet Lennox has fought a brave battle against a long term health condition. “It is a struggle,” she says. We ask Violet what support she’s had to make things a bit easier. “I contacted Paul Clark when I needed some help fixing the pavement outside my house.” Violet’s mobility is affected by her heart condition and Paul

made sure that Medway Council stopped dithering and repaired the access to her home. With elderly residents tripping over the pavement and injuring themselves, it was a situation that couldn’t go on. “As soon as Paul got involved, it just got fixed,” she says smiling, “I really can’t praise him enough!”.

When we asked Paul about the case, he said “Nobody in Gillingham and Rainham should have to put up with a local Council taking ages to repair pavements, or not taking the right steps to combat antisocial behaviour.” Paul has even set up a website where people can report problems on their own streets, it’s

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