David Ruffley MP reveals new dementia figures
David Ruffley MP is concerned about the increasing difficulties of caring for patients with dementia within Suffolk Primary Care Trust (Suffolk PCT). Revealing new figures, David Ruffley said: "There are 3,235 people suffering from dementia across the Suffolk PCT which is one of the highest rates in the country (Suffolk comes 17th out of 151 PCTs).
Alzheimer's disease has a devastating effect on people's lives - patients, carers and their families. There are now recommended treatments available that will benefit their condition and it is essential that the local trusts work with patients to ensure they have the best treatment available.
Despite having one of the highest rates of demen- tia, currently only 1.4% of the Suffolk PCT budget is currently being spent on dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Suffolk has one of the highest proportions of indi- viduals over the age of 65: 19% of the population (23rd out of 151 PTCs). I am concerned that an age- ing population means that the burden of care will increase as subsequently the estimated annual cost of treating the full spectrum of Alzheimer's will increase by £272,950 this year in Suffolk.
I have written to the Chief Executive of Suffolk PCT, Dr Paul Watson, to find out what measures are being taken to ensure that Suffolk patients with dementia are being given the best possible treat- ment."
David Ruffley MP comes out against rise in Suffolk council tax to fund police in House of
Commons speech David Ruffley MP was the leading backbencher to speak in a recent Police Grant debate in the Chamber in the House of Commons.
David Ruffley said: "The police budget increased by a colossal 20% in real terms from 2000 to 2008, and it made the British Police Force the best resourced it has ever been in the history of this country. It is true from these historically high levels of police funding the Coalition Government has been forced to make funding reductions in order to help pay off the huge debt left by the last Government.
At 31 March 2009 Suffolk Constabulary had 1291 uniformed officers; in March 2010 1246 and in March 2011 1241.
The Constabulary project that by March 2015 there will be a fall from this level. This will depend on the big decision that the Suffolk Police Authority will be taking on 20 February which is fast approaching. If they decide to raise the police precept - that is raise Council Tax - by 3.75% this year the reduction in officers will be small - a loss of 9 uniformed officers to 1232.
On the other hand, if on 20 February they do not raise council tax by 3.75% the total number of uni- formed officers will fall to 1189 - a loss of 52 offi- cers. I would urge the Constabulary to look again at what further savings it can squeeze out of its budg- et so that such a reduction is not necessary. Given
that the total Police budget for Suffolk is £129 mil- lion they have outlined modest cost savings in 2012/2013 of £7.3 million; in 2013/14 of £3.7 mil- lion; in 2014/15 of £2.3 million; and in 2015/16 of £0.9 million on a total turnover of £129 million. Such savings are modest by comparison with what private sector organisations can achieve.
In any event, as I said in the House of Commons, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has said that in Suffolk at any one time only 11% of police officers in the county are available for "visible policing". It's not the total number of officers employed in the force that is decisive, but rather how many are actually visibly on the front line. The two things are very different. If more officers are moved from middle and back office roles to the front line there is no reason for this spending settle- ment to damage police visibility.
Consultation on the Bury St Edmunds conservation areas
St Edmundsbury Borough Council is asking for peo- ple's views on proposed changes to the Bury St Edmunds Town Centre and Bury St Edmunds Victoria Street Conservation areas in a consultation which begins on Wednesday 29 February and lasts until Monday 30 April 2012.
The consultation about proposed amendments to the area boundaries can be viewed online and at three drop-in events when conservation officers will be on hand to talk through the proposed amend- ments and answer any other conservation queries. These are on:
Tuesday 6 March from 2 to 7pm in the Bury St Edmunds Library in Sergeants Walk Saturday 17 March from 10am to 4pm in the Apex, Charter Square Tuesday 3 April from 2 to 7pm in the Theatre Royal, Westgate Street
The session on Saturday 17 March in the Apex is also an opportunity for the owners/occupiers of tra- ditional buildings within the two Bury St Edmunds conservation areas to get advice and information from officers about repairs, alterations and improv- ing the energy-efficiency of your property.
The draft documents can be viewed at the council's offices in Western Way, at the Bury St Edmunds Library and online at www.stedmundsbury.gov.uk/conservation
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