Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    M.P. Peter Lilley?s Petition is Delivered as The Red House Consultation Period Closes.
    On Thursday 20th July, Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden presented a petition containing almost 9,000 signatures to Parliament calling for the Government and the St. Albans and Harpenden Primary Care Trust to keep the ward at Harpenden Memorial Hospital open.
    On Thursday 27th July, at the end of the 30 working day consultation period, an enlarged copy of that petition, containing 9,959 signatures, was presented by Cllr. Bert Pawle to Mr John Bennett, Chairman of St. Albans & Harpenden Primary Car Trust.
    Commenting on the petition Peter Lilley said, “The huge number of signatures collected in so short a time reflects the near universal belief that The Red House should continue to provide palliative care for local residents.?
    The petitioners say that “the relatively small savings achieved by closing the ward are overshadowed by the huge impact on the care provided at the hospital for the most needy, frail, elderly and terminally ill people in the Harpenden area.? They say that “the closure is a breach of promises made at a public meeting in September 2005 when the people of Harpenden were told by the Primary Care Trust that closing or running down the hospital would be bad for patient care and financially disadvantageous.?
    The petition, proving the strength of public opposition to the proposed closure, will be laid before the next Primary Care Trust Board Meeting on 1st December, when a decision on the future of the Red House will be made.
    In the meantime, a March to further demonstrate the strength of opposition to the threatened closure has been arranged for Saturday 5th August. The March, led by the Mayors of St. Albans and Harpenden, will leave from The Common outside Harpenden Public Hall at 10.30 am.