Fighting fund launched for health centre

RESIDENTS of a Suffolk market town are to launch a fighting fund in an attempt to reverse a decision not to fund a state-of-the-art health centre.The Brook Farm Residents Association in Saxmundham has decided to take the action after the Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust decided not to allocate the proposed one stop health shop a share of almost £1m in government funding.

RESIDENTS of a Suffolk market town are to launch a fighting fund in an attempt to reverse a decision not to fund a state-of-the-art health centre.

The Brook Farm Residents Association in Saxmundham has decided to take the action after the Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust decided not to allocate the proposed one stop health shop a share of almost £1m in government funding.

Today a meeting is due to take place to discuss the centre and a number of demonstrators are expected to gather outside the Riverside Centre in Stratford St Andrew where the meeting is taking place.

Brook Farm Residents Association is asking the town's residents and visitors to the current doctor's surgery to give £1 to their appeal.

This will be used to help secure legal advice and look in to the possibility of a judicial review of the PCT's decision.

It is claimed there was a flaw in the procedure the PCT used to determine where funding went.

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A spokeswoman for the PCT said, however, that "robust" criteria were used to score each of the schemes vying for the funding.

Don Tricker, chairman of the Brook Farm Resident's Association, said: "We are very concerned that unless funding for the GP practice is made available now, the whole of the One Stop Shop proposal will be put in jeopardy, including elements to which funding has been already agreed.

"These include a new ambulance centre, 24 hour on call service, children's centre and crèche, birthing centre, social care and other desperately needed community services."

The Brook Farm Residents Association will also be holding a public meeting on the evening of 31 March and the PCT have agreed to send a senior representative to explain their position to the residents.

Any pledges or donations for the fighting fund should be sent to Pete Rowberry, Saxmundham One Stop Shop campaign Co-ordinator, 11 Waveney Close, Saxmundham, IP17 1YB.

n. What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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