Decision overturned to set up Ottery Hospital working group
PUBLISHED: 18:00 07 February 2019
A proposal to create a working group to safeguard Ottery Hospital has been overturned following more heated debate over how to save it.
A motion was submitted on January 24, signed by councillors Glyn Dobson, Ian Holmes, Anne Edwards and Lynn Harding, to re-examine the decision to support or rescind a motion to set up the group.
The proposal was passed in November, with many councillors abstaining due to a lack of information or because they felt it would duplicate the work of the town’s health and care forum.
Residents had their say at an extraordinary meeting on November 29, when a motion was first made to re-examine the motion.
The decision was deferred until February to allow organisations involved in saving the hospital to meet and gather information.
Speaking at Monday’s town council meeting, Councillor Roger Giles, who supported the group, said: “The purpose of the working group was to bring all sorts of organisations and good people together to embrace the skill and expertise and energy of the LOF (League of Friends).
“I really can’t see why we are not doing something – we need to campaign, we need to get as many services as we can in Ottery Hospital.
“Fill it up, get it used to capacity, and ensure its future. That’s the essence of what I am trying to achieve.”
Adrian Rutter, chairman of the hospital League of Friends, said everyone had the same aim but did not share a way of working together.
Mayor Paul Bartlett offered to meet representatives from the health and care forum and League of Friends to discuss any problems between the two groups.
Members voted to rescind the group by five votes to three.
Following the vote, Deputy Mayor Paul Carter said he was ‘disappointed’ members were failing to pull together.
He said: “If you have expertise that can help what’s already happening, why not help and join in?
“I cannot believe we’re all grown-ups down this table and we keep going down different avenues.
“I would very much like, going forward, to try and pull together and look down the same road.”
He added: “We do not need to be going on independent routes to be a collective and a team.
“I always say we’re stronger together.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.