Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Ridge Lea Petiton - Last Day to Sign

Local author Andy Diggle has been in contact, noting Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust proposal to try to sell off Ridge Lea Mental Hospital to property developers and then build a whole new facility on a wholly inappropriate greenfield site, instead of properly redeveloping the existing location.

"The reason is that, unlike the regular NHS, Foundation Trusts are run like a profit-generating business, and they know they can make more profit by selling off the existing location that actually fixing the problem at source," says Andy. "It's a classic case of 'follow the money'."

There's a petition online, which closes today, 9th September, to bring this matter to the attention of the Prime Minister's office:

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Royal-Albert/

The result of the public consultation by the former Morecambe Bay Primary Care Trust (in 2004) was clearly in favour of new and improved facilities on the existing Ridge Lea site but unfortunately there was insufficient funding at the time. Now that the funding is available, locals feel that Lancashire Care should honour this conclusion, rather than consider a new, Greenfield site on Royal Albert Fields.

The petitioners arhue the proposed site will severely impact on traffic, is poorly served by public transport, and has no amenities (particularly shops) in the vicinity.

"We believe that a large amount of tax payers’ money is being wasted developing plans for a new facility that is poorly conceived, has opposition from residents, and the Head of Planning for the City Council," they says, "and should be developed on the land that already currently houses the Mental Health facilities."

The campaigners argue the Prime Minister should instruct the NHS Trust to build on the Brownfield (Ridge Lea) site.

Don't let them get away with it!

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