Only seven councillors attend important briefing on the future of health and care provision at North Cambs Hospital in Wisbech

North Cambs Hospital entrance

North Cambs Hospital entrance - Credit: Archant

Only seven councillors - and just three from Wisbech - turned up for an important briefing on the future development of healthcare provision at the North Cambs Hospital.

at the North Cambs Hospital, Wisbech.

at the North Cambs Hospital, Wisbech. - Credit: Archant

Kev Adams, assistant director estates, performance and planning for Cambridgeshire Community Services (CCS), sent invites to every district, town and parish councillor across Fenland for the yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon’s briefing at Fenland Hall in March.

However, only seven councillors turned up, among them Councillor Virginia Bucknor, who said: “It was just so embarrassing. The council chamber was set up with around 100 chairs to accommodate anyone who attended.

“But by the start time there were only seven of us and the organisers were looking round wondering whether to begin the meeting or to wait.”

The other councillors present were: Michael Bucknor (Wisbech town and district councillor), Steve Tierney (Wisbech town and district councillor), Mike Cornwell (Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder for community), Steve Count (leader of Cambridgeshire County Council and district councillor), Anne Hay (Chatteris town and district councillor) and Will Sutton (Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder for neighbourhood planning).

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Cllr Bucknor said the plans outlined by the CCS are “really big and will have a massive impact on Wisbech and the area” but said they had been asked not to give too much detail as they are still in the early stages.

She said: “They have to consult some 22 stakeholders before drawing up final plans, so they have asked us not to make too much public at this stage, because it could change.

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“This is really early consultation. The CCS is doing the right thing and asking local representatives for their input at this early stage - something we are always asking for. But then no one bothers to come.

“These plans are really exciting and are so positive for Wisbech and it is right they are consulting us now. These plans will be a huge boost for the Wisbech economy with such a massive commitment, it ticks so many boxes. I asked if it was right to assume they had the funding for what they are proposing and they said yes. It will be absolutely fantastic.”

In a statement today Mr Adams, explained: “Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust is the landlord for the North Cambridgeshire community hospital in Wisbech.

“We are at an early stage in developing with partners plans to ensure the long term sustainability of the community hospital. This is a really exciting initiative and our aim is to improve the facilities on the site and ensure it provides a thriving community hub and high quality public services.

“This week we held a positive meeting with Fenland District Councillors to seek their initial views on the future of this site.

“It is early days but we will seek the views of all stakeholders including clinicians, partners (including the district council) and the local community as this work progresses. We anticipate being able to share initial plans in Spring 2017.”

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