I’m concerned about the decline in NHS dental care.

It’s been reported 90 per cent of dental practices in England are now closed to new NHS routine patients, creating ‘dental deserts’ in many parts of the country, including Weaver Vale.

People must either sign up to an expensive payment plan or neglect their teeth if they can’t afford the fees.

But everyone should have the right to receive dental treatment when they need it; just as they should be able to get a doctor’s appointment.

Unfortunately, that principle continues to be undermined by this Government.

My constituent ‘Mark’ has lived in Northwich all his life but has found it ‘impossible’ to be taken on at any local dental practices. Last year he suffered painful wisdom teeth but had go out of his area for treatment.

“Can you please bring this dental problem up as this is happening everywhere?”, he implored in an email to my office.

On being turned away, Mark was told the problem was a shortage of dentists and yet, if he was willing to go private, he could get an appointment. I agree with him when he says ‘That, to me, doesn’t sound right. I got the feeling it’s all about money’.

Northwich Guardian: A lack of dentists is down to money according to the Weaver Vale MPA lack of dentists is down to money according to the Weaver Vale MP

Another constituent Kathy Townsend, from Hartford, told me about an experience with her young son Max.

Max required specialist dental treatment on the NHS because he has severe learning difficulties. He had to wait so long for treatment he ended up in terrible pain, with Max left struggling to understand what was happening to him.

Such cruel and inhumane treatment is unacceptable. In the end, Max had to have two adult teeth extracted as they were too rotten to be filled.

It’s just not good enough. I realise extra challenges have been caused by the pandemic. But NHS dentistry was in a mess before Covid.

We are one of the richest countries on the planet. Yet our public services are collapsing because they are not a priority for Johnson and his cabinet of millionaires.

Northwich Guardian: Weaver Vale MP Mike AmesburyWeaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury

• This week there’s disruption on the railways after RMT members overwhelmingly voted to strike over jobs, pay and conditions. But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps turned down the union’s offer of talks.

My suspicion is the Government has deliberately weaponised this dispute to foster division by trying to set worker against worker.