Local Conservative councillors were scared to have their individual votes on community hospital closures recorded at yesterday’s County Council meeting
The big question about why the Tories were so determined to add ‘where appropriate‘ to my amendment that the County Council should work to save ALL Devon’s community hospitals is: Which hospital do they NOT think it is appropriate to keep as a community health and wellbeing centre?
I mentioned in my speech that East Devon councillors like Phil Twiss (Honiton) and Ian Hall (Axminster) had made it clear that their hospitals should be kept. And not one councillor popped up to make it clear that, yes, their hospital was the exception.
Tory leader John Hart told me that Teignmouth was a case, because the CCG was funding a new health centre there. But Teignmouth people are up in arms about the closure of their hospital and Teignmouth councillor Sylvia Russell was certainly not volunteering to support its closure.
Yet as far as I know all these councillors, and East Devon Conservatives like Stuart Hughes (Sidmouth), Richard Scott and Jeff Trail (Exmouth), Sara Randall Johnson and Ray Bloxham (Exmouth), voted to add the ‘where appropriate’ get-out (which presumably they think may be used for someone else’s hospital).
I say ‘as far as I know’ because the Tories also voted not to have their votes recorded on my amendment. As far as I know, all those mentioned also voted for this suppression of information, too! If I have inadvertently maligned anyone, in the absence of this information being recorded, please let me know.
The only Conservative who did not support the get-out was, as I said in my last post, Dartmouth councillor Jonathan Hawkins, who spoke movingly about the plight of his community since their hospital was closed.