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NHS Bosses Opt For Sutton Site Against United Opposition

January 26, 2005 12:09 PM

The decision by local NHS bosses to press ahead with plans for a major new hospital on the Sutton Hospital site has been slammed by local MPs Paul Burstow and Tom Brake.

Both MPs attended and spoke at the Board meetings of the Epsom and St Helier Trust and Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust setting out their case for St Helier to be chosen as the preferred location for the new hospital.

Mr Burstow and Mr Brake pressed Board members to look at the evidence and listen to the public. The MPs are now seeking meetings with London Mayor Ken Livingston to discuss the planning issues and with Health Secretary John Reid to discuss the decision to press ahead in the face of public opposition.

Commenting on the outcome of the meetings Tom Brake MP said,

"This decision has received the thumbs down from nearly all the residents in the Sutton, Merton and Surrey areas. The key factors that influenced the Trust's decision such as planning, finance, education and training do not bear up to scrutiny. This decision will be face both popular and legal pressure."

Paul Burstow MP added, "The paper is based on a flawed analysis and a false premise. Despite the clear wish of residents in Sutton and Merton for St Helier to be chosen as the site of the new hospital this has been brushed aside. It is an amazing feat but this decision has managed to unite Merton, Sutton and Surrey in opposition to locating the new hospital on the Sutton site.

"The planning difficulties of the St Helier site have been overstated. The obstacles to getting permission to build on the Sutton site have been downplayed.

"I will continue to campaign for a rethink and will be pressing the Secretary of State for Health to take a close look at the grounds for the decisions that have been made.

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