Banbury Town Council has thrown its weight behind the fight to keep acute services at Banbury’s Horton General Hospital.
The council endorsed leader Cllr Kieron Mallon’s motion calling on town, district and county councils to ‘prepare a case that looks to particularly protect consultant-led paediatrics and maternity provision at the Horton’.
His plea came in the wake of plans aired by Oxford University Hospitals Trust which include two options to downgrade services at the Horton.
One involves replacing consultant-led maternity with a midwife-only service and loss of the 24-hour children’s ward. Another would also mean the loss of A&E.
Mr Mallon said: “Threats to our hospital go back a long way; governments of all colours come and go but the threat continues. Unity amongst local politicians has been key in supporting the Keep The Horton General campaign. We must be prepared.
“I propose this motion as the launch pad for local government to get behind this latest campaign to protect services at the Horton.
“We call on local GPs to join us. We will support the Keep The Horton General campaign as we did 12 years ago. United we won before, united we must win again.”
Leader of the Labour group Cllr Steve Kilsby said: “We will join in a united political front to fight these proposals in Banbury.”
The council discussed a possible North Oxfordshire Unitary Authority as a more effective way of protecting the Horton, since councils and GPs in the south may be less supportive of the premium to be paid for retaining services in Banbury.