Posted by: eyespie1 | July 10, 2010

Reply to Jim Whitfield. Who wants the new hospital?

Jim Whitfield’s letter of 2nd July 2010 to the Beverley Guardian can be found here.

It is always a positive sign, when you see your name mentioned by Jim Whitfield in the local press. It usually means that any views you have voiced on a particular local matter, usually one involving the ERY Council, are gaining public support. Unfortunately, councillors and strategic planners think they know what is best for us!

In response to Jim Whitfield’s letter of 2nd July, Beverlonians want a new hospital, we would have liked him to be more specific about who all these Beverlonians are? Was he out and about talking to the people on the streets of Beverley, Driffield and Hornsea, with a petition, as we were? I doubt it!  Not only is the No Swinemoor Hospital campaign supported by hundreds of local residents, the people who will be mainly affected by the additional traffic and potential parking problems on Sigston Road, but if he cares to read our blog, then he will see that residents from Hornsea and Driffield, whose local hospitals are soon to be replaced by walk-in ‘clinics’ and others who are concerned about building on Greenfield sites, about wildlife and who understand the cost, financial and otherwise, of building on high risk flood land, also support it.

Jim Whitfield says, and I quote, “the opposition to this major investment and new direction for health strategy, boils down finally to purely local and partial concerns, which may be understandable, but is by no means universal”. The opposition to the new hospital Mr Whitfield, does not need to be universal, but to come from those who will be most affected by it – and it has! There have been two signed petitions and letters of support and other facts have been published on our blog for the public to see. People living in Driffield, Hornsea and Bridlington told us that they wanted easier access to doctors in an Accident and Emergency department, not community nurses. As we live in the world’s 6th richest economy and with a National Health system, we don’t think this is too much to expect!

If this hospital is such a major investment, why are there to be no resident doctors, why are the social services team, who should be integrated into community care, not going to be based at this site and why are there now doubts about the presence of the Hull York Medical school, as were originally planned ?  Perhaps the major investment he mentions, is the price paid for the land and the cost of preventing it from flooding?

We hear little from Councillors or from the ‘strategic’ groups who make the decisions on the future of our towns and countryside, until they receive opposition to their plans. It was our campaign that made public the plans to build either ‘luxury’ apartments, or a ‘boutique style’ hotel on the Westwood Hospital site. Why didn’t they tell us?

What we were told, is that the Swinemoor Lane site was chosen, (rather than the preferable Ambulance station site on Driffield Road with easy access from Driffield by road and with the only public transport bus) to serve the ‘more deprived part of town’. Funny that, as most of us have cars and for those who don’t, there is a regular Little Bus service running from Sigston Road to the town centre, with a short walk to the Westwood hospital. As for our health needs, all my retired neighbours are over 80 and do their own shopping and gardening!  The question is, will the next generation be as healthy, having been forced to live in between the massive Flemingate and possibly Grovehill developments and Swinemoor Lane, which will undoubtedly become one of Beverley’s busiest roads?

So the only consultation meetings that we are concerned with Mr Whitfield, are local resident’s association meetings and the Community Hospital liaison meetings, which I have attended and even those minutes did not accurately record the amount of opposition to the new hospital. We await our fate, to be decided at the Reserved Matters Council meeting next month.

Sally DeBono, Spokesperson for the Swinemoor and Sigston Road Residents

Beverley Guardian Friday 9th July, 2009

NSH says: We want everyone to have their say and now is your last chance.   Go to the ERYC’s Public Access Portal . This link should take you to the appropriate page for the hospital. If not the Planning Reference is: 10/02411/STREME

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