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Councils clash over hysterical’ reaction jibe

PUBLISHED: 14:53 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:26 25 August 2010

A COUNCIL S attempts to save its accident and emergency unit from closure have been labelled hysterical.

A COUNCIL'S attempts to save its accident and emergency unit from closure have been labelled 'hysterical'.

A motion for Greenwich council to reject A Picture of Health's proposed 'cuts' to services in south-east London was voted against at last Wednesday's full council meeting.

Labour councillors voted out the motion after David Grant, cabinet member for health, claimed the council should not try to influence the consultation.

Mr Grant said: "I can understand to some extent some of Bexley's concerns.

"What I don't like is the hysterical way Bexley council is approaching it."

Last Saturday Bexley councillors joined thousands of residents in a march through Sidcup to Queen Mary's Hospital, calling for the A&E unit to be saved.

Mr Grant added that there would be "tremendous benefits" to infection control if planned surgery were separated from emergency units.

But Sharon Massey, cabinet member for health at Bexley council, said Greenwich's leaders are "out of touch".

She said: "It is our job to represent what the public think. My post bag has been full of people screaming out against the proposals.

"It just shows that the leaders in Greenwich have not really spoken to their residents about what is happening."

Last Wednesday's motion was tabled by Eltham councillor Spencer Drury and other Conservative Greenwich councillors.

Mr Drury said: "While Labour are sticking their heads in the sand, Conservatives in Bexley are fighting hard for their hospital and residents.

"If Labour continue to run scared of standing up for this borough, we could lose even more services."

A Picture of Health's consultation finishes on April 4.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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