§ Mr. Paddy Ashdown (Yeovil)
I beg to leave to present a petition on behalf of more than 1,500 of my constituents who express strong opposition to the Government's proposals on the National Health Service.
This follows the first ever full parish survey in Britain. It was conducted by the town councils of Yeovil and Yeovil Without on the issue of the local hospitals opting out, which is one of the main proposals in the Government's so-called NHS reforms. The poll was held to give local people a chance to express their views, which was specifically denied them under the provisions of the Bill. In the parish poll, 98 per cent. of those who took part voted against the local hospital opting out.
The poll and this large petition express clearly the opposition and anxiety of many, if not the vast majority, of my constituents over the Government's proposals on the NHS. They are worried, as am I, that the proposals are the first stage of what will become a part privatised Health Service, which will be divided to serve a divided nation. My constituents express their clear opposition to the proposals.
§ To lie upon the Table.