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Lib Dems take your Save Stepping Hill signatures to Downing Street

November 23, 2016 12:18 PM
By Charles Lawley


Mark Hunter and Lisa Smart at Downing Street

Lib Dem Councillors Mark Hunter & Lisa Smart deliver your signatures to Downing Street

The Liberal Democrats have taken a petition with 6,020 signatures opposing the ward closures and job losses at Stepping Hill Hospital all the way to Number 10 Downing Street. 1,700 of those signatures were of High Peak residents, collected by the local branch of the Liberal Democrats.

The local efforts were led by New Mills Councillor Beth Atkins, Whaley Bridge Councillor David Lomax and the council candidate for Chapel & Hope Valley, Charles Lawley.

The Lib Dems hope to put enough pressure on central government, ahead of the Chancellor's autumn statement that they secure enough funding that the decisions to close the B3 surgical ward, cut 420 staff and take measures like increasing the car parking charges for NHS staff at the hospital can be reversed and never need to be taken again..

Stockport Councillors Lisa Smart and Mark Hunter took the petitions to Downing Street on behalf of the Liberal Democrats in the High Peak and Stockport

Lisa Smart, Beth Atkins and David Lomax

Lisa Smart receives 1,700 High Peak signatures from Councillors Beth Atkins & David Lomax

Councillor Beth Atkins, the Lib Dems' spokesperson on Health for Derbyshire County Council said. "6,020 people, including 1,700 from the High Peak, share the Liberal Democrats' view that our hospitals need proper funding and measures need to be taken so that doctors and nurses don't lose their jobs and the ones that do aren't taxed for parking at work."

Councillor David Lomax, who led the petition in Whaley Bridge, Furness Vale, Buxworth and Chinley said "The Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Health Secretary have now been told this is not acceptable. Not just by me, not just by the Liberal Democrats, but 6,020 of us who need Stepping Hill. They have no mandate now to keep refusing to fund this and all of our hospitals properly."

Charles Lawley, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Chapel & Hope Valley, who led the petition in Chapel-en-le-Frith, Dove Holes and Hope valley and online said "I have been knocking on door after door with this petition, working tirelessly to get as many signatures possible and the amount of people so glad that someone is taking action and who speak so highly of Stepping Hill is overwhelming. We all love our NHS and we hope the government finally listens and gives it the funding it deserves. We are worried about its future and we simply cannot afford for it go the same way as our hospitals in Buxton."

Commenting outside 10 Downing Street, Cllr Mark Hunter said "Our demands are quite simple, we want the Conservatives to fulfil their election promises and ensure that our local NHS receives adequate funding. At present this is just not happening, and all indications are that things will get worse before they get better - unless there is urgent central government intervention. Local people deserve nothing less".

Cllr Lisa Smart added "We are determined to keep up the pressure on this important campaign - local health services are just too important for us to stand by and let the Tories starve them of adequate funding. We need to see action taken now to safeguard the future of our local NHS".