HARTLEPOOL MP Iain Wright has vowed to go to a public meeting where the future of the town’s hospital will be discussed after a councillor urged him to attend.
Bosses from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust have confirmed they will attend the meeting on Monday, which will be held in the Town Hall Theatre in Raby Road.
The meeting, which gets underway at 5pm, will be open to the public and the 390 seats in the venue will be filled on a ‘first come first served’ basis after doors open at 4.30pm.
After trust chief executive Alan Foster and chairman Paul Garvin have completed a 30-minute presentation, the public will then be able to ask questions before the meeting finishes at 6.45pm.
Independent councillor Paul Thompson, who called for a meeting to be held just a day after it was announced plans for a new hospital at Wynyard were being shelved, asked Mr Wright through the Mail to attend the meeting and the MP was quick to confirm he would be there.
Coun Thompson said: “There are two reasons I feel Mr Wright should attend, firstly to offer an opinion on what he plans to do to represent us, and secondly so he can feel the strength of feeling that there is across the town on this matter.
“This has to be the single most important issue facing the town in recent history.
“I’m delighted he has accepted the invitation.”
Mr Wright has backed calls to bring services back to Hartlepool amid fears that everything will be merged at North Tees.
He said: “I am aware of the meeting on Monday, and if Councillor Thompson wants me to attend then I am more than happy to do so.”
Once the initial meeting is completed, councillors will take to the stage for an extraordinary meeting commencing at 7pm to continue the discussion and offer their opinions on whatever was said in the earlier presentation.
Mr Foster and Mr Garvin both came under fire at a meeting on Monday which was held in the Central Library to discuss the same issue, and it is likely they will face a similarlarly hostile welcome at the Town Hall.
More than 9,000 residents have signed the Mail’s ‘Bring Them Back’ petition to urge the trust to restore services to Hartlepool’s hospital.
To add your name to the petition, log onto www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk or call into our office in Wesley Square between 10am-2pm Monday-Friday.