Health issues are top of our agenda

Sir – I am writing to you concerning the concerns being expressed by your newspaper and by certain residents about the council s funding for health work in the borough. Can I start by assuring you that the council takes the question of health matters aff

Sir - I am writing to you concerning the concerns being expressed by your newspaper and by certain residents about the council's funding for health work in the borough.

Can I start by assuring you that the council takes the question of health matters affecting our communities very seriously indeed.

To this end we have set aside £5,000 in the budget towards the possibility of a judicial review, if that proves to be the correct way to proceed.

Additionally, I ensured that considerable resource was directed towards the work of the Council's health working group (a cross party group of three health champions) in undertaking a huge amount of work for the consultation exercise recently carried out by the primary care trust.


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However, as everyone will know, despite the extremely hard work and dedication of our councillors and other community members, the results recently issued by the health authorities was hugely disappointing for the communities of Welwyn Hatfield.

If the health working group members or any other leading local politician can convince me that there is the remotest possibility of resurrecting the superhospital in Hatfield or of maintaining a full health service at the QE2 Hospital, I will happily restore the full funding for health work at the previous levels immediately.

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In the meantime, I feel we should be fighting hard to try to get the best possible services and the most that we can out of the PCT for our local general hospital.

Our three health champions will continue to work hard on these issues on behalf of our community.

Can I assure all the residents who have taken the trouble to send me emails or who have written to the press that this administration is very aware of the important health issues that are at stake.

The council's health champion, councillor Andrew Canter, will continue to work hard on the health scrutiny committee of the county council to ensure that the best possible deal is struck for the residents of Welwyn Hatfield.

Finally, I am giving further consideration to the question of funding for health matters by the council and I invite members of the health working group to contact me to open discussions about funding at the level suggested by them publicly last week.

Cllr John Dean,

Leader,

Welwyn Hatfield Council.

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