Banbury hospital campaigners ask where councillors were at meeting about the Horton General Hospital’s future.

Keith Strangwood, chair of Keep the Horton General Campaign
Keith Strangwood, chair of Keep the Horton General Campaign

Banbury’s hospital campaign group has demanded to know why ‘pro-Horton’ councillors missed a meeting on its future.

Keep the Horton General turned out in force at last Tuesday’s meeting of the North Oxfordshire Locality Group where experts gave presentations on the future of hospital, health and social care services.

After the meeting the group issued a statement on its disappointment that local councillors appeared to have ignored the event.

“Before the meeting I contacted Barry Wood, leader of Cherwell District Council, who pledged to contact Kieron Mallon, Banbury Town Council leader, to forward the details of the meeting to all district and town councillors,” said KTHG chairman, Keith Strangwood.

“I have no doubt Barry did what he said, so why did only two of a potential 72 councillors attend the meeting?

“What issue could be more urgent than the future of our local hospital? I have already received one electioneering leaflet where the relevant councillor claims the Horton is of huge importance to them. Why weren’t they at the meeting then?

“Elections are on the near horizon and I suspect that a great many of those involved will name the Horton as a key issue. I would like to take this opportunity to invite all councillors to attend one of our meetings and appraise KTHG of their plans to ensure that full services are maintained at our Horton General Hospital.”

Mr Strangwood warned against public apathy.

“I am certain there will be a massive public outcry as and when services are cut. The Community Partnership Forum received a very clear message from the Oxford University Hospitals Trust that the price for developing the existing site could be losing obstetric and paediatrics.

The Banbury Guardian asked Cllrs Wood and Mallon for comment but had not received a response by deadline.