Conservatives fight cuts at the Queen Elizabeth

At the February Council meeting Conservative Councillors objected to the cuts to hospitals across South East London (and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in particular) contained in the Picture of Health document (which is currently being consulted on).

Conservatives put forward a motion rejecting the proposed cuts to services and suggesting that staff at hospitals in Greenwich, Lewisham and Bexley had all worked hard to address the budget problems which faced them. In addition, Conservatives noted that the increasing population in Greenwich and cuts at other hospitals meant that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) needed more capacity, not less. The cuts to all Planned Surgery and Children’s services at the QEH were specifically opposed. In conclusion, Conservatives stated that the Council should reject the cuts on behalf of the people of the borough.

However, the Labour Council refused to accept the proposal, voting to cut short the debate before everyone had spoken and silencing the Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Spencer Drury, midway through a speech. Labour preferred instead to boast of their own government’s achievements and ask that everyone contribute to the consultation of the cuts.

Greenwich Conservatives Group leader Cllr Spencer Drury said “I was shocked Labour did not vote for our motion – the only conclusion I can draw is that they welcome these cuts and are placing the welfare of the Labour Party above the welfare of the people of Greenwich.

“The fact they cut short the debate reflects how little they are prepared to listen to the views of others and makes me question how effective the consultation exercise will be. While Labour are sticking their heads in the sand, Conservatives in Bexley are fighting hard for their hospital and residents – if Labour continue to run scared of standing up for this borough, we could lose even more services.”