Labour’s leader on Cherwell District Council Sean Woodcock (above) has called on Banbury’s re-elected Tory MP Victoria Prentis to “hold the government to ransom” in order to save services at the Horton Hospital.
Councillor Woodcock, who was the Labour candidate in the recent general election as well as in 2015, said “In her victory speech just two weeks ago; Victoria Prentis said that she wanted to work with Labour in order to protect services at the Horton. Well I am asking her to listen to Labour now and hold her government to ransom if necessary in order to protect the services there.”
Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) held a meeting this week to discuss the first phase of the consultation, which ran earlier this year and included issues such as Maternity services. The OCCG board are set to make a final decision on the 10 August.
He continued, “Victoria is right to raise concerns about the process and findings of the consultation run by the OCCG. Yet behind this consultation is the Sustainability & Transformation Plan (STP). And the primary driver for the STP is under-funding of health and social care in the face of increased demand.
Since being elected two years ago Victoria has supported Conservative budgets which have implemented cuts in these areas, voted consistently against motions to give more money to the NHS and social care and voted against the STPs being open to greater public consultation.
We now have a hung parliament and a weak Prime Minister scrabbling around to do a deal with the Democratic Unionists. So Victoria has potentially more influence than any Banbury MP for a number of decades. She must be very clear that her support for the government, and her vote, is conditional on retaining key services like maternity, at the Horton Hospital.”