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MP blasts health committee's complacency

September 16, 2008 2:08 PM

Local MP Tim Farron has blasted the complacency of the Cumbria Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee following its meeting on Friday.

At the meeting, Conservative and Labour councillors from across Cumbria rallied to support the Conservative chair Bert Richardson, despite his refusal to allow a proposal to be debated at the last meeting which could have saved acute medical services at the Westmorland General Hospital.

The local Primary Care Trust were forced to report at the same meeting that they have been unable to put together the independent clinical panel which was supposed to be overseeing the changes at the Westmorland General on behalf of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Tim said: "I am very angry about the way that this committee is handling this process. Instead of standing up for local people and properly scrutinising the cuts, these Labour and Conservative councillors seem to be more interested in patting themselves on their backs.

"In my complaint to the county council's chief executive I asked him to take urgent action to deal with the way this committee is working. If this carries on much longer I will be forced to go to the Local Government Ombudsman."