Green Party County Councillor Chris Coates has called for Lancashire Care Trust (LCT) to scrap their plans for new mental health unit at Royal Albert fields, off Ashton Road in Lancaster, and to start the site selection process again.
The call came after a Task Group presented a damning report on the LCT public consultation to the County Council's Adult Social Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, at their meeting on Tuesday 23rd September.
"This is one of the most damning reports on a public consultation exercise I have seen," commented Chris. "Lancashire Care Trust should go back and completely reconsider the location of the unit."
The Task Group report looked into irregularities concerning a public engagement exercise carried out by the Care Trust last year after Coun Coates passed on complaints from local residents. The Task Group report concludes by stating that given the shortcomings in the whole consultation process the Trust "should accept the need to review the degree to which the outcomes of the process are valid, and that if LCT maintains Royal Albert Fields as their preferred site, that there should be no implication that this preference is as a result of, or supported by, the engagement activity referred to in this report."
"The Royal Albert site is not the most suitable location for this new unit and the plans should be scrapped," feesl Chris. "I believe that the Trust should seriously consider extending their existing unit at Ridge Lea, especially since they have made considerable investment there in recent years. It is more sustainable to re-use a previously developed site than to build on green fields."