AS Cllr McIntyre has expressed his concerns should a Labour MP be elected for Basingstoke (Letters, June 13), and putting aside the fact that he represents a ward in North West Hampshire, I thought I would add some counterbalance to the argument and express my concern for Basingstoke residents’ should Maria Miller and the Conservative Party be re-elected.

Recent history under the Tories has shown a worrying trend in the erosion of essential public services, increased NHS waiting times amongst a myriad of issues, all of which profoundly affect our community.

Under the Conservative government, Basingstoke has seen significant cuts to public services. Funding for local councils has been slashed by nearly 60 per cent since 2010, leading to the reduction or complete closure of vital community services. This has affected libraries, youth centres, and social care services, leaving the most vulnerable in our society with little to no support.

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The impact on the NHS has been particularly alarming. Since 2010, the average waiting time for elective surgery has increased from 8.4 weeks to 15.8 weeks in 2023. This causes distress and prolonged suffering for patients and places an enormous strain on our healthcare professionals, who are already stretched to their limits. There is also an added knock-on effect when people who want to work are unable to as they are waiting for surgery, pushing them into requiring the support of the welfare system. This isn’t just hypothetical, but a reality that I have seen with my own daughter who waited over a year and half for knee surgery, unable to work, and needed help through benefits payments.

In Basingstoke, the delays in getting timely medical care have become a matter of life and death for some residents, with waiting times for GP appointments often exceeding three weeks..

If Maria Miller and the Tories are re-elected, I fear these issues will only exacerbate. The residents of Basingstoke deserve better. We need a government that invests in our public services and ensures timely healthcare.

It is imperative that we, as a community, consider the implications of our vote carefully. Our future, our health, and our safety depend on it.

Cllr Alex Lee

Labour borough councillor

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

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