38 Degrees | Give the NHS more funding








Give the NHS more funding


Winter is nearly here and the NHS can’t cope as it is. That’s why I’ve just signed this petition calling on the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, to give our NHS the funding it needs to survive this winter.

Right now he’s deciding how to spend taxpayers’ money for next year. The Autumn Statemen will be out in a few weeks’ time, so we still have a chance to show just how much of a prioirty the NHS is for us.

So can you please join me and add your name to this petition now? It takes less than a minute and could mean that the NHS will surive this winter.

mother holding child's hand who fever patients have IV tube.
Mother holding child’s hand who fever patients have IV tube.

Give the NHS more funding

To Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Philip Hammond, Chancellor

Petition text
Please use the Autumn Statement to provide more funding for the NHS.
Why is this important?

The NHS has been there for all of us at some point in our lives. It brings our children into the world, treats us when we’re sick, and cares for us in our final days. But our health service doesn’t have enough funding it needs, so the services we rely on are at risk of closing.

Recently experts and even the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, have said that the NHS is headed for a crisis this winter unless it gets the funding it needs. Will you please use the opportunity of the Autumn Statement to give the NHS the funding it so desperately needs.



38 Degrees | Merci Wallonia!






Dear Paul,

The dodgy trade deal known as CETA has been blocked! [1] The deal was due to be signed this Thursday. [2] But yesterday, the parliament of Wallonia, part of Belgium, refused to sign. Instead, they sided with millions of us across Europe – a huge, people-powered roadblock.

It’s a plucky move to stand up for democracy in the face of corporate and EU Goliaths. The Walloons are blocking CETA because the deal could allow banned chemicals into our food and let big business sue our government in secret courts. [3] Here in the UK, the worst bits of CETA would still apply for 20 years after we leave the EU. [4]

The Walloons are the only parliament listening to their people on CETA. And they’re under HUGE pressure to crack. So let’s send them a big people-powered message of support, showing them they’re not alone against CETA. It will help give them the strength to hold firm as pressure is piled on them to sign this dodgy deal.

Here’s what the thank you message says (it will be translated into French):

We are UK citizens. We want to say a big thank you to the citizens of Wallonia, for having blocked CETA – the dangerous Canada-EU trade deal. Millions of people all across Europe support what you’re doing.


If we reach 100,000 signatures by tomorrow, we’ll deliver the message straight to the Embassy, and buy thank you messages in local Walloon newspapers.

Please can you sign the thank you letter to Wallonia? Click here to add your name with one click

CETA contains all the worst bits of its copycat cousin, the TTIP trade deal. The deal would undermine our environmental standards, our food standards, and local identities – even the ‘protected’ Cornish pasty is not safe from CETA! The deal would allow Canadian corporations to make our famous dishes, with banned ingredients, and sell them as ‘locally produced’ goods. [5]

Here’s what Belgium’s Walloon regional president had to say about blocking the deal:

‘We are not against a treaty with Canada. But we won’t have one that jeopardizes social and environmental standards and the protection of public services’ [6]

38 Degrees members voted in our thousands to say that after Brexit, Britain should negotiate trade deals that put people, not big business, first. [7] CETA would lock the UK into one of the very worst kind of trade deals. So we owe the Walloons a thank you!

Thanks for being involved,

Bex, David, Luke, Robin and the 38 Degrees team

[1] BBC News: Belgium Walloons block key EU Ceta trade deal with Canada:

[2] ITV News: Canada and EU on verge of signing trade deal after emergency talks:

[3] Here’s six reasons why CETA is almost a carbon copy of TTIP, another dangerous trade deal:

1. It contains many of the same dodgy terms, like allowing corporations to sue our governments if our policies and regulations dare interfere with their profits.
2. 80% of American companies have an arm in Canada, so this deal is TTIP by stealth. Those companies could start lawsuits against our government at the taxpayers’ expense.
3. Experts are warning CETA threatens regulations that protect our environment, food production, and access to affordable medicines.
4. Like TTIP, it’s designed to encourage privatisation wherever possible – in our healthcare, energy, water and transport.
5. Worst of all, if CETA passes easily it basically lays out a clearer path for TTIP to pass too.
6. The EU has quietly asked Canada to rework some of the thorniest bits of CETA – such as corporate courts – because officials are worried that public opposition is growing.

This is a good explanation of the story on CETA so far, and what the worst bits of the deal are.
War on Want: What is CETA?

Here’s another good guide to what’s in CETA:
Global Justice Now: What is CETA?

[4] Politics: The Canadian trade deal which will let in TTIP by the back door:

Clientearth Law Firm: Joint analysis of CETA’s Investment Court System (ICS) – Prioritising Private Investment over Public Interest:

Global Justice Now: Expert opinion concludes that CETA could bind UK for 20 years after Brexit:

[5] War on Want: CETA puts your food safety at risk:

[6] RT: Belgium’s Wallonia rejects ‘undemocratic’ EU ultimatum on CETA:

[7] 38 Degrees: DIY Brexit results, trade section:

38 Degrees | Fracking – Please speak out against this attack on local democracy

I have just received a number of e-mails from local residents on the issue of fracking organised by 38 Degress.







Please will you speak out against government plans to remove local councils’ right to stop fracking in their community?

The Government want to roll out a huge fracking industry in the UK over the next decade. And to do so, they want to change the law so local communities and councils won’t have the power to block fracking applications.

This is a huge attack on local democracy. Please will you do all in your power to stand out against these plans? Please will you write to Liz Truss, the Environment Secretary; Amber Rudd, the Energy Secretary; and Greg Clark, the Communities Secretary, to call on them not to go ahead with these undemocratic plans?


This is my response:

Thank you for asking me to speak out against government plans to remove local councils’ right to stop fracking in their community as part of the 38 Degrees campaign.

I find it inexcusable that the Tory Government are looking to change planning policy to prevent local people having  a say on the decisions that will affect their lives, countryside and environment.

If this goes ahead, I am concerned this will set a precedent for the Government running roughshod over local democracy on any decisions.

Just over a year ago, there was a debate in the House of Commons on fracking  during the Third Reading of the Infrastructure Bill  [see Hansard 26 January 2015]. The Bill received Royal Assent on 12 February and is now an Act of Parliament]

Although I was upset that they didn’t support a full moratorium, I was pleased that Labour MPs backed a ban on fracking all national parks and sites of scientific interest

Guardian Tories forced into U-turn on fast-track fracking after accepting Labour plans [26 January 2015]

Yet in December last year, the Government reversed this decision by sneaking new plans to allow fracking in national parking through the back door of Parliament after giving no time for Commons debate. As a result , the new rules allow fracking 1,200 metres below national parks and SSIs, as long as drilling takes place from outside protected areas.

Guardian Fracking under national parks approved by MPs amid acrimony [16 December 2015]

Here in Exeter [and indeed in the wider Devon area] we are lucky, as the geological make-up of the area makes it very unlikely that there will beany extraction of shale gas by fracking.

However, there is the wider threat that Devon might become a dumping ground for the toxic waste from fracking.

I have looked at the evidence of the environmental damage and pollution caused by hydraulic fracturing, and as a result  I am completely opposed to fracking.

The further extraction of hard-to-reach fossil fuels is not compatible with the UK’s national and international commitments and I believe that more should be done to increase the country’s renewable energy production.

This is of key importance here in the South West where there is enough renewable power to transform the area – reports have shown that the region has the renewable energy resources to meet more than 100% of its total energy needs.

I will continue to support the campaigns of Frack Free Devon.

Please feel free to contact me on this matter in the future.


Cllr Paul Bull
Labour and Cooperative Councillor for Cowick
Member Champion for Community Engagement

PS You can download a copy of Friends of the Earth’s Stop Fracking Action Pack here

TTIP | E-mail your MP NOW!

TTIP chalk


Later today, MPs are going to debate TTIP, the dodgy trade deal between the EU and US. [1]

There is a rare opportunity for us to make sure our MPs speak out against the deal in front of the government Minister responsible. Together, we can make sure our MPs, and the government, know that we’re still against TTIP.

TTIP is a danger to our way of life; it could affect our NHS, our environment and our democracy. Under TTIP, corporations could get the right to sue us if they don’t like our laws. [2]

Thursday’s debate has been called by a cross-party group of MPs who think parliament should have more of a say on TTIP – even MPs think the deal is too secretive! [3] Officials and diplomats across Europe and the US are likely to be watching closely. Together, we can show them that when David Cameron says he wants to put ‘rocket boosters’ under TTIP, he doesn’t speak for us. [4] If we can persuade enough MPs to turn up and voice concerns about TTIP, it could really rock the boat.

Just this summer, 38 Degrees members and other campaigners persuaded over half of UK MEPs (our politicians in the European Parliament) to oppose TTIP. [5] But we need to make sure MPs feel the heat too – and that means making sure they know we want them to speak up on our behalf at every opportunity. When we come together as a force, we can take on enormous challenges: the stakes are high with TTIP, so we need to do everything we can to stop this dodgy deal.

Picture this: At the debate, a stream of MPs take to their feet to tell the government that they’ve been inundated with emails from their constituents and the message is loud and clear – we oppose TTIP. The government will be left in no doubt that we see the deal for what it is: a sinister corporate power grab and a threat to our democracy.

But this all hinges on our MPs hearing from us. They need to know why TTIP is bad, and that we expect them to show up and represent our views. It only takes two minutes, so will you email your MP now?

Will you email your MP asking them to speak out, on your behalf, against TTIP? There’s some suggested text that you can use, so it’ll only take 2 minutes to send the email:

Will you email your MP now? It only takes 2 minutes
Tell your MP: oppose TTIP at Thursday’s debate

Thanks for being involved,

Amy, Rachel, Megan, Blanche and the 38 Degrees team

[1] This last-minute debate has been called by Geraint Davies, Zac Goldsmith and Caroline Lucas. They want MPs to be able to properly scrutinise TTIP.

We know that the more people know about this dodgy deal, the more likely they are to turn against it, so more scrutiny of TTIP can only be a good thing for our campaign to scrap it.

The debate is a backbench business debate, which is a chance for some MPs to call for a debate on an issue they care about or want extra scrutiny on.

Parliament UK: How the Backbench Business Committee works:

[2] TTIP will affect every aspect of our lives, from the NHS to democracy. It:

  • Threatens our public services
  • Transfers powers to big businesses and away from us
  • Weakens our safety standards
  • Lets huge corporations sue governments over regulations they don’t like
  • Weakens our employment rights

38 Degrees: The campaign against TTIP:

Information on TTIP:

The Independent: What is TTIP? And six reasons why the answer should scare you:

[3] Geraint Davies MP (Labour), Zac Goldsmith MP (Conservative) and Caroline Lucas MP (Green) have put forward the debate together.

[4] The Independent: G20 summit: Cameron promises to fire ‘rocket boosters’ under controversial EU-US TTIP trade deal:

[5] TTIP: people power is working:

Here’s my e-mail to Ben Bradshaw MP:

Dear Ben Bradshaw,

I hear there is a debate on TTIP happening in Parliament on Thursday. Please can you assure me that you will attend and voice your opposition to this dangerous deal?

David Cameron says he wants to put ‘rocket boosters’ under TTIP, but he doesn’t speak for me, hundreds more of your constituents, or hundreds and thousands of people across the UK. I think this is an important issue and as my MP I’d like you to take part in this debate.

In its current form, TTIP threatens our democracy because it:
– allows multi-national corporations to sue governments over policies they don’t like;
– puts US firms’ profits ahead of our safety regulations gives corporations more power over our lives;
– threatens the NHS by “opening it up to competition”;
– prevent consideration of environmental and social
factors when awarding contracts; and
– undermine any local authority that makes a decision to take services back under public control

More information about TTIP, and the dangers it poses, here:

Yours sincerely,

Paul Bull
5 Cranbrook Road

Thanks from 38 Degrees for TTIP Day of Action

38 Degrees Logo

Dear friends,

I’ve been out in my local area today to spread the word about a frightening trade deal our politicians are negotiating in secret right now: TTIP. The deal is like a wishlist for big corporations, but would be a disaster for ordinary people and our democracy.

This deal would:
– make it nearly impossible to reverse privatisation in our public services, such as our NHS or schools
– give big businesses the power to sue our government if it chose to make laws that would harm their profits, like raising the minimum wage or putting plain packaging on cigarettes.
– let thousands of currently banned nasty chemicals into our food and cosmetics
– put more bee-killing pesticides onto our fields

I don’t know about you, but I think this paints a terrifying picture for our future – and our children and grandchildren’s futures.

Fortunately, there’s a growing people-powered campaign to stop TTIP. More and more people across the UK and Europe are hearing about this dangerous deal, and getting behind the campaign to stop it.

If ordinary people shout loud enough in every town and city, our MPs and MEPs will have to listen. So will you join me and sign the petition against TTIP now?



PS. You can find out more here:

I’ve received the following e-mail of thanks from 38 Degrees Campaign HQ.

Dear Paul,

Walking down high streets across the UK today, it would be hard to miss the army of 38 Degrees members – out spreading the word about TTIP. Together, we’re making this trade deal a toxic word and getting hundreds of thousands more people behind the campaign. If you were out, thank you for being a part of it!

The politicians and corporate lobbyists behind TTIP are bunkering down, trying to make this deal even more secret. [1] But 38 Degrees members are doing the opposite: we’re shining a light on this huge threat to our democracy, our NHS, and our environment (including our bees!). [2]

It’s simple: the bigger the opposition, the harder it is for the dodgy deal to get through. So as one more push, to get the message out to as many people as possible, can you share what we did today on Facebook – or forward the email below on to five friends?

Our pressure is working, one conversation at a time. Here’s the latest from today’s events across the UK:

“I got 3 pages of names in 3 hours! I went around to local shops and explained the deal in terms of how their business could be affected by bigger fish. People shopping/drinking there heard me and added their names!” Edward, from Leyton

“The best comment I received today was “Thankyou, you’ve really opened up my eyes to things. I had never heard of TTIP.” Linden, from Staffordshire

“It was heartwarming to know that people who live near me are as worried about this trade deal as me – and are keen to do something about it” Rachel, from Hexham

A year ago, 38 Degrees members took part in the first ever day of action to stop TTIP. [3] We’ve come so far – over two million people across Europe have signed the petition against the deal. And we’ve persuaded over half of our MEPs to take a stand against TTIP. [4] Together, we’re a force to be reckoned with. Let’s keep it up.

Thanks for being involved,

Bex, Amy, Rebecca and the 38 Degrees team

PS: Please can you take a few minutes to fill in this short survey about today’s action? It will help make future of days of action even better:

PPS: Local papers across the UK are packed with stories about TTIP this weekend:



And together, we’ve got the message out on radio and TV. Listen to Rebecca from the staff team speaking about TTIP on BBC 3 Counties yesterday (from 2:10):

You can also click here to follow-up with your local press about how the day of action went in your area. There’s a template email, and it’ll only take a few minutes:

[1] The Independent: TTIP controversy: Secret trade deal can only be read in secure ‘reading room’ in Brussels:

[2] The Telegraph: What is TTIP and why is it so controversial?:

[3] Full Fact: TTIP’s “secret courts”:

[4] The Independent: British sovereignty ‘at risk’ from EU-US trade deal: UK in danger of surrendering judicial independence to multinational corporations, warn activists:

[5] 38 Degrees: TTIP Day of Action:

[6] 38 Degrees blog: TTIP day of action tomorrow!:

[7] 38 Degrees blog: MEPs who voted for what?

TTIP | Exeter takes to the streets to expose secret trade deal




Media release | Exeter takes to the streets to expose secret trade deal
Embargo: for immediate release

Campaigners from Exeter will be taking to the streets this Saturday to raise awareness of a secretive deal with the USA that is set to give more power to big corporations.

The day of action in Exeter is part of a nationwide effort coordinated by independent campaign group 38 Degrees. It will see local campaigners talk to hundreds of people about the dangers of this deal, and how it might affect their lives if it isn’t stopped.

Campaigners say the deal could force NHS trusts across the country to open up to American private healthcare providers, and could allow big businesses to sue the government if British laws dent their profits.

Volunteers will be assembling in Bedford Street in Exeter at 11am on Saturday 22nd August, joining thousands of other people who are also taking action across the UK. They’re calling on people to sign the petition against TTIP, which will be delivered to politicians in October.

Paul, a 38 Degrees member from Exeter said: “This secret deal gives too much control to powerful multi-national corporations at the expense of local enterprise.

“I am pleased that Exeter City Council was one of the first local authorities to speak out against the negotiations and since December 2014 has been a TTIP-free zone.

“But it’s not enough. Even if local services are exempt, there is a big threat to NHS services.

“Working with Keep Our NHS Public, campaigners recently delivered a 6000 signature petition to save our city-centre Walk-In Centre on Sidwell Street.

“Yet under TTIP provisions, the facility could be sold off in a privatisation deal. And once sold off, it would be well nigh impossible to bring it back under public ownership

“That’s not the NHS I want, and that’s why I’m against this awful trade deal.”

Amy Lockwood, campaigner at 38 Degrees said: “This Saturday, 38 Degrees members Exeter will be pushing TTIP, the dangerous trade deal, out of secret negotiating rooms and into the public spotlight.

“People in Exeter have a right to know that this dodgy deal is being hashed out behind their backs.

“From the NHS, to schools, to the food on our tables, TTIP could tear up the public services and protections that people fought hard for.

“Saturday’s day of action is all about the people of [area] sending a message to corporate lobbyists: we won’t sit back while you re-write the rules of democracy.”

The EU-wide petition against TTIP has almost reached 2.5 million signatures. It can be found at http://www.38degrees.org.uk/ttip



Paul Bull

Notes to editors

[1] 38 Degrees is one of the UK’s biggest campaigning communities, with over 3 million members. 38 Degrees brings you together with other people to take action on the issues that matter to you and bring about real change in the UK.

[2] TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – is currently being negotiated between the US and the EU. If it goes through without any changes, it’ll make privatisation of services like the NHS and National Rail irreversible. It’ll also allow big corporations to sue our government if they make changes to the law which affect businesses’ profits – like raising the minimum wage.

[3] 38 Degrees: Campaign against TTIP website:

[4] 38 Degrees: TTIP Briefing Document

[5] Daily Telegraph: What is TTIP and why is it so controversial [11 June 2015]

[6] Friends of the Earth: What is TTIP? And why worry about it?


Save Sidwell Street Walk-In Centre petition presented to NEW Devon CCG

Earlier today, I joined campaigners from Keep Our NHS Public (South West) to hand over the 38 Degrees petition against the planned closure of the Sidwell Street Walk-in Centre in Exeter to NEW Devon CCG

The petition was launched at Exeter Respect and KONP (South West) managed to get well over 6,000 signatures in just over three weeks.

KONP to present 38 to present the 38 Degrees petition against the planned closure of the Sidwell Street Walk-in Centre in Exeter to NEW Devon CCG
KONP members prepare to present the 38 Degrees petition against the planned closure of the Sidwell Street Walk-in Centre in Exeter to NEW Devon CCG

We met in the grounds of Newcourt House on the edge of Exeter, where the Eastern Locality Board were due to have a meeting.

Geoff Barr, Chair of KONP (South West), attended the meeting and afterwards he told me that the Clinical Commissioning Group Chair seemed unmoved by reason.

It seems that more pressure may be needed.

Some notes from Geoff Barr

Why keep the walk-in centre open?
Thousands of people want it open. We have collected well over 6,000 signatures on the petition to keep it open.

Where do the signatures come from?
– Respect Festival. The petition was launched here on 6th June.
– Anti-Austerity event on 13th June in Exeter
– Sidwell Street outside the Walk-in Centre – thanks to our team who spent many lunch hours attracting signatures. It was not difficult as the results show.
– Churches across the city from several denominations.
– Schools.
– Doctors waiting rooms.
– Community centres.
– Other places too numerous to mention.
– On-line collection thanks to 38 degrees and thanks to Andrew for organising this.

Behind this lies the feeling of the people of Exeter. We had less than 4 weeks to accumulate the names. We could not reach most of the population of our city.

Why should we keep the Walk-in Centre open?
This is not some conservative instinct to preserve an old service just because it is familiar. It is a service that has proved its worth in the many people we approached who told their own stories. One was the person working with people dependant on drugs and homeless people. He pointed to the need for a place that these hard to reach people could find health services. The Walk-in Centre is vital. The busy workers from out of town who cannot access their GP. The mums who find that a fortnight’s wait for a GP appointment is intolerable were another group. Then we saw some of poorest people in Exeter. They often had disabilities and the thought of going to the hospital meant a long trudge or an excessive bus fare. Several people needed dressings replaced. Their GPs were simply overwhelmed and could not do this work in time. Again and again we found that this centre offered a quick and efficient service.

Healthwatch Devon is the official voice of health service users in the county. It undertook an assessment of the two Exeter Walk-in Centres. It used a questionnaire and interviewed a number of users of the service in some depth. The result is the same as our less systematic finding. People value the service.

We note that the hospital has faced enormous pressures on its accident and emergency services. Indeed it has had periods when it failed to see every patient within the four hour target. Closing this Walk-in centre will pile more pressure on the hospital.

The service is popular; it is needed by patients and the health system of Exeter and east Devon. In a time when government NHS England and health professionals say that the voice of patients must be heard we insist that you listen and drop the plans to close this valued service.

Handing over the petition
Handing over the petition


Some responses to the petition against the closure of the Sidwell Street Walk-In Centre.

“It’s the finest thing – the staff have all been very good to me with my troubles.”

“It’s such a good place, really helpful people.”

“It’s disgusting, they shouldn’t cut down on people’s health. It’s accessible to all – young girls wanting help – the GU clinic – they don’t want an appointment with the GP which would take weeks, they can just walk in.”

“Even if the GU clinic stays it won’t be used as much because it’s stigmatising to be seen walking into one, whereas you can go into the Walk-In Centre and nobody knows what service you’re going to.”

“It’s really good, it’s really handy having it here. I can use it from work whereas I couldn’t get to the GP without losing time off work.”

“I can’t believe it!”

“Let’s hope it stays, it’s very convenient.”