Colne health centre fight gets all-round support

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ALL parties on Pendle Council have backed the fight to get a new health centre created in Colne.

The issue was raised by Liberal Democrat Coun. Tony Greaves at the council’s annual budget meeting.

The motion he proposed noted the NHS East Lancashire Primary Care Trust board had resolved that reserves of over £10m. would be used for new health centres in Colne and Great Harwood and a community hospital in Clitheroe. But the board is no longer functioning.

The motion said: “This council therefore resolves to seek assurances from the NHS Lancashire board and North of England Stategic Health Authority, and the Secretary of State, that this capital reserve will be used for the purposes intended by East Lancashire PCT. It asks for an explanation of where the money is currently held and which body is responsible for a decision on commissioning the three health facilities.

“This council further resolves to send a copy of this resolution to the MPs for Pendle, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, and to the shadow Clinical Commissioning Group for East Lancashire, and to seek their support and assistance in securing the use of this money for work to start on the new health facilities in Clitheroe, Colne and Great Harwood.”

Coun. Greaves said: “The question is who is going to decide how this money is going to be spent.” He quoted an NHS comment which appeared in the Colne Times. And he said: “It is all very confusing and really quite concerning.”

Labour’s Coun. David Whalley supported the motion, and Conservative council leader Mike Blomeley added: “In general terms, I think Coun. Greaves raises a good point here.”

He felt it was confusing where the money was going and said: “I still think we have strong opportunities to influence the procedure. I have no problem supporting this motion. We must push as hard as we can do in the new structures and get an opinion on this.”

The motion was passed unanimously.