Banbury Town Council is standing shoulder to shoulder with ‘Save the Horton’ campaigners in a bid to prevent savage cuts to services at the town’s hospital.
To show their support and the depth of feeling that this issue generates a protest banner has been erected on the town hall balcony.
Conservative and Labour councillors are working hand in hand in an effort to stop Oxfordshire University Hospitals Trust from closing the Horton’s maternity ward, the 24-hour children’s ward and cutting accident and emergency services.
Kieron Mallon, leader of the town council and Tory group leader, said: “This isn’t the first time that services at the Horton have been under threat.
“Nearly 20 years ago the town came together to fight similar proposed cuts at the Horton and in 2008, after a long-running battle, we prevented the trust from carrying out its plan.
“Now, the trust is trying again to take major services away from the Horton and force local people to travel to Oxford for treatment.
“Banbury is the biggest town in Oxfordshire and a fully-serviced hospital is a necessity, not a luxury.
“This council will do everything it can to make the trust understand this.”
Steve Kilsby, Labour group leader, said: “The proposed cuts make no sense and will put the health and safety of townspeople and village residents at risk.
“Even the trust’s own medical staff are saying the planned cuts are a bad idea.”
“The council is united in its support for the Save the Horton action group.”
The head of the Save the Horton group, Keith Strangwood said: “The support of the town council is a big positive for the campaign. Knowing we have the active backing of our local council gives everyone a boost and can only help in our fight to keep essential services at the Horton.”
The banner will remain on the town hall for the duration of the campaign to halt the proposed downgrades to services.