I’M happy here to confirm my quotation (Mail, August 31) in which I remembered the Mayor saying at our first ever Save Our Hospital public meeting that he had nailed his colours to the mast and would thereby always fight to keep the University Hospital of Hartlepool open.
Being from a maritime town I’m certain that all Mail readers will recognise the reality that the old saying comes from a traditional Royal Navy principle of never surrendering because they were unable to lower flags which were “nailed to the mast”.
However the Mayor is now proclaiming that he has somehow prised out those nails and principles and is proud to be in support of a Hartlepool hospital which isn’t in Hartlepool.
In order that I may circumvent any geography lessons regarding where the town’s boundaries lie, on a map, I’m confident that all sane minded real world people will agree that Wynyard simply isn’t in our town.
I’m even more confident that our South-East Durham neighbours will recognise that immediately they are faced with doubling their journeys to hospital.
I have no doubt that the trust will “find” the money to borrow because any money lender will recognise a very attractive copper bottomed (to continue the maritime theme) deal which is underwritten by central Government as a big earner for land sellers, builders and a built-in guaranteed 25 year maintenance contract.
Like all PFI deals, as I see it, it is designed for desperate people who are determined to spend money which they don’t have and leave the bill as an inheritance to their children.
However the fundamental flaw, indeed missing link, is who actually gave the trust the permission to borrow money to build a hospital which no-one wanted in a position where no-one wanted it?
To come back to the Mayor’s colours, perhaps he nailed them to the mast of one of the visiting tall ships which then sailed away with his flag and our money.
He should also consider if or when he contemplates having another tall ships event that if he suggests holding it in Park Road or in Wynyard the captains will all agree that he may well be offering nice new venues but they can’t get there and they would much prefer using the tried and tested facilities in their current universally accepted locations.
Save Our Hospital (Hartlepool).