Mayor ‘going against’ his earlier views’

Geoff Lilley (left) and Keith Fisher
Geoff Lilley (left) and Keith Fisher

HEALTH campaigners have reacted angrily to Mayor Drummond’s stance on the hospital.

Hartlepool Borough Councillor Geoff Lilley, who is vice-chairman of the Save Our Hospital campaign, said: “For many years, Mayor Drummond made it very clear – he did call on all councillors to nail their colours to the mast and support the hospital.

“A lot has changed since then.

“If he wants to take that position, that’s fine.

“It’s a great shame he has waited all these years.

“I honestly think the people of Hartlepool want a Mayor and a leader who would have led on this from the beginning in 2003.

“I think being a leader on the council should be about fighting hard for what the people want.”

Coun Lilley vowed to continue the campaign to keep services in Hartlepool.

He said: “I have no intention of rolling over and playing dead until such time as they start laying the first foundations of the Wynyard hospital.”

Chairman of the Save Our Hospital Campaign, Keith Fisher, said: “If the Mayor is in favour of a new hospital then he is going against what he said because the new hospital is in a place where none of the three communities - Hartlepool and east Durham, Wynyard or Stockton want it.”

Mr Fisher called for those against the plans to attend an extra-ordinary meeting of Hartlepool Borough Council, at 7pm on September 8, when the closure of the University Hospital of Hartlepool’s accident and emergency department will be discussed.

Hartlepool Borough Councillor Edna Wright, who last month vowed to quit her role on the local authority if Hartlepool loses its hospital, branded the Mayor’s views as “disgraceful”.

She said: “He has jumped ship from ‘pinning his colours to the mast’ to now supporting a hospital that might never be built. If it does come to fruition, who’s going to pay for it?

“There is nothing wrong with what we have got.”