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Residents Party withholds support from Hospital Campaign

March 3, 2006 6:58 PM

Moves for Epsom & Ewell council to join with other local councils in challenging the Government decision to build the proposed new Critical Care Hospital at St Helier were blocked by the ruling Residents Party at the recent meeting of the Borough Council. Despite various attempts by Lib Dem Councillors Lionel Blackman and Jonathan Lees to debate the issue, rules of procedure were used to prevent the matter being discussed.

Lionel Blackman said afterwards "We will place the matter on the next council meeting agenda and won't give up. We believe a court challenge is merited. It does not automatically follow that a successful court challenge would lead to the new hospital being built in Sutton (though that would be preferable when compared with the St Helier site)".

"A court challenge would give Epsom the opportunity to re-argue the compelling case for centring critical services at the current Epsom site", he concluded.

Regrettably, the Residents Party leaders authorised a council press release just before the council meeting saying that they would not support legal action designed to restore the Critical Care Hospital site to Sutton.

However, it has subsequently been announced that Reigate & Banstead council are seeking legal advice about a judicial review. Surrey County Council's executive have also agreed to challenge the decision and to consider applying for judicial review.