Andrew George will support demonstration for West Cornwall Hospital
The MP for West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Andrew George, will attend the demonstration in support of West Cornwall Hospital next Saturday morning (3rd December 2011) in Penzance. He is also backing those who have criticised Truro-based Cornwall Council’s apparent non co-operation with the demonstration.
Mr George, who successfully led the campaign 10 years ago to defend acute hospital services at West Cornwall, says that the local community should first safeguard and bolster existing services at the Hospital and then work to enhance them.
Mr George said, “This should be a demonstration of our support for the Hospital. We are not attacking the Trust. But we are making clear that, as a community, we are as determined as the Trust claims it is to first safeguard and then enhance the Hospital to provide a more active and local facing service in future. Local people are entitled to express their understandable anxiety about loss of services and the, albeit temporary, closure of one of the only two inpatient wards at the Hospital.
“We should also send a message to Cornwall Council who have clearly misjudged the situation and has apparently refused the organisers of the demonstration the right to gather in the forecourt at St John’s Hall. Again, decision makers in Truro have shown that their remoteness from the reality of life and the feelings of the people of our local communities is a handicap in the discharge of their duties. Their behaviour reminds me why I voted against the creation of such a remote and out of touch decision-making body for Cornwall.
“Whether they are petulantly claiming that they’d run a ferry from Falmouth to the Scillies if they couldn’t get their way at Penzance harbour, or incompetently making the helicopter service homeless before a new home could be found, closing or threatening to close Tourist Information Centres, toilets and libraries, it seems that they are now attempting to deny local people free speech and the right to public assembly.
“This is a demonstration of support for a much appreciated local service. Indeed, even if it were not, if it were the settled will of a full cross-section of organisations in the town to mount a demonstration of any kind then the public have a right of access to their public facilities.”