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A YMCA homeless hostel was visited by Labour Shadow Minister for Housing Emma Reynolds MP on Tuesday, joined by Bedford & Kempston parliamentary candidate Patrick Hall.

The centre, in Spenser Road, Bedford, runs a programme called Beds for All, which gets homeless people back on their feet after being discharged from hospital.

Paul Kellett, specialist housing officer, said: 'Instead of them being discharged onto the street or a night shelter where they can usually only spend one night, we take them in here and help them recover. We've had people who have suffered strokes or had a hip replacement, where obviously the streets are no place for.

It also significantly reduces the cost, compared to keeping them in hospital over night. Financial costs are covered by £233 in weekly housing benefit, compared to £255 per night in bed. It also gives us a chance to engage with them and help them prepare for life after they leave the hostel'.

Emma Reynolds observed, 'The support they get here is brilliant -- both from staff and the supports which the residents give to each other'.

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Original version of the article appeared in the Bedfordshire on Sunday (25/1/15) by Nick Smith

There's Beds for All down at the YMCA

A YMCA homeless hostel was visited by Labour Shadow Minister for Housing Emma Reynolds MP on Tuesday, joined by Bedford & Kempston parliamentary candidate Patrick Hall. The centre, in Spenser...

North East Beds MP Alistair Burt criticises a Labour minister for leaving a note saying 'there is no money', but I wonder how different things would have been if we had had a Conservative government before 2010? The financial crash was caused by the deregulation of the financial system, which began under Mrs Thatcher. George Osborne as shadow chancellor was always calling for even more deregulation.
 
If you choose to believe that Labour’s public spending was another factor, then the Conservatives were promising to match that, so either way it seems that the crash would have been at least as bad if the Conservatives had been in power.
 
Martin Wolf, the most respected  Financial Times journalist writing on the crash and its aftermath, concludes that Gordon Brown’s government reacted correctly after the crash by providing a stimulus to get the economy moving, but considers the coalition’s idea of balancing your budget in the middle of a deep recession as madness (and deeply unfair on the poor).
 
I expect Mr Burt would want to point out that the economy is growing now. Yes, but it is not the export-led recovery which George Osborne promised. It relies far too heavily on house price rises and increasing public debt – both features of the last crash. As Lord Turner, former head of the CBI and the FSA has said “It is as if we have had a cracking great hangover, had a stiff drink and off we go again”. Perhaps we should stop passing the blame for the last crash and start to change policies which both Wolf and Turner fear may cause the next one!

Labour's response to crash praised by top economists, Tory response criticised

North East Beds MP Alistair Burt criticises a Labour minister for leaving a note saying 'there is no money', but I wonder how different things would have been if we...

As local borough councillors for Kempston Central & East ward, James Valentine and I have received many complaints from local residents, especially elderly people, that there are not enough post boxes in the area.

At the junction of Whitbread Avenue and Bedford Road, there used to be a post office. Since it closed the postbox has been sealed up. There are other postboxes in the area, but they are too far away for elderly people to walk to post their letters. I shall be trying to get this particular postbox reinstated or another installed in the area.

There are many elderly people who do not use the internet and e-mail, and they still reply on the postal service to pay bills, order goods, and write to friends and family. At a recent councillors' surgery at Sainsbury's in Kempston an elderly resident was very angry and upset that this Christmas she had been unable to post her Christmas cards and other letters.

Since the Conservative Party came to power, they have steadily privatised most of the valuable services people used to rely upon --- and at a scandalously cheap share price, in the case of the Royal Mail.

As a consequence, vulnerable people are having difficulties doing things in their day to day life as services they used to rely upon are being cut back.

Cllr Mohammed Nawaz

Borough Councillor for Kempston Central & East

Tories' Royal Mail privatisation hits elderly hard

As local borough councillors for Kempston Central & East ward, James Valentine and I have received many complaints from local residents, especially elderly people, that there are not enough post...

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