Councillor expresses fresh concerns over future of new hospital for Harlow

General / Wed 16th Mar 2022 am31 08:15am

A SENIOR Labour councillor has expressed his concerns over the progress for a new hospital for Harlow residents.

The plans are to build a new Princess Alexandra Hospital near the new junction of the M11 near Sheering.

But after health bosses appeared in front of the Hertfordshire Council Health Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Tony Durcan has gone on the record to express his grave concerns.

Cllr Tony Durcan (Lab) said: “I was alarmed to listen to the Hertfordshire health scrutiny committee on Monday 14th who requested an update on the new PAH application

“Only a few weeks ago both the Tory cabinet member for regeneration of Harlow council and the Local MP confirmed that funding was in place for a new hospital. Shouting they have delivered the new hospital.

“It appears this statement is incorrect and misleading.

“The evidence provided at the scrutiny meeting clearly confirmed that whilst PAH was in phase 3 of the application process ,no formal decision had been made about funding.

In fact the government has changed the criteria several times and PAH is bidding for monies alongside 40 plus other hospitals but the total amount available hasn’t changed to reflect this.

“It was confirmed that the preferred site is still in private ownership,which means the land owner could still refuse to sell.

Work is still being undertaken around some critical key issues including access,transport and utility services to the site.

The trust is still awaiting funding to enable this work to be completed from government.

It was reported that the mental health trust EPUT were making a bid to build a new centre on the new site which again was incorrect and false by the Tory team.

“The committee were told it will take up to 2 years before the bid will be approved.
Will take another 3 years to build.
That if the total bid is successful.

The local hospital is the centre of our community and one of the largest employers in the town.

“This decision is critical to our community and it’s appalling that the Tory party have made false claims by stating something that is simply untrue.

“You would have thought with all the dishonesty we have witnessed by the Tory PM we should have some level of decency from the local Tory party.
It appears sadly the local Tory spin on the truth is completely out of control and destroys any credibility of being honest and open.

The officers and staff designing and developing a blue print to build a new PAH need our combined support and encouragement to bring about success.

It’s with regret that yet again the Tory party are more about cheap political point scoring than what real matters.

“It was embarrassing to find out either the Tory party are arrogant enough to think they can deceive us or ignorant about what they actually know and understand,or both.”

The report can be found below.


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14 Comments for Councillor expresses fresh concerns over future of new hospital for Harlow:

Jamie Henderson
2022-03-16 18:20:23

Talk about dishonesty and cheap spin. Cllr Durcan still owes residents an explanation for the £ millions that he paid out to “consultants” when he headed up Regeneration under the previous failed Labour administration. Projects that never happened like Lister House. Where’s the money Mr Durcan? Spin your way out of those! Just check the report below that appeared in Your Harlow. https://www.yourharlow.com/2022/02/04/tories-slam-750000-spend-on-plans-and-consultants-for-old-lister-house-site-that-has-sat-derelict-for-years/

Maureen Golding
2022-03-16 18:29:04

You we’re head of regeneration under Labour. Have you been to the town centre lately? Most of the north side is boarded up and a wreak. We used to have a lovely market and many shops. You had nearly 10 years to fix it. You did nothing, absolutely nothing. You should hold head in shame.

Tony Durcan
2022-03-16 18:56:34

Sadly Tory spin at it again. All I have done is reported the facts that both the cabinet member for regeneration and the local MP have both been very selective with the truth. The presentation and questions were very open and honest unlike the local Tory party. Spin all you like but facts and truth shows we can’t trust anything the Tory leadership say or do. Love the misdirection attempted.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-03-16 19:29:39

The Harlow Alliance Party have been following this story very carefully for the three two years and unlike the the other two Parties are happy to 'side' with whichever one is taking action which is to the benefit of residents. Our Party leader has attended various public meetings of the Health Service bosses and sadly often been the only member of the public to be involved. Cllr Durcan is wholly right about this matter, the case made to build on another site was in part that it could begin being opened in 2025, a year earlier than if it stayed on the present site, but now we learn that it will not be fully opened until 2030. As yet the site has not been purchased, hundreds more millions of pounds are needed before it can even be started and land prices must be escalating in the meantime. These are the facts, readers should not be deflected by mud slinging towards Labour's past record, which of course has nothing to do with the new hospital. Residents should be deeply concerned about this, thousands more homes may well be built in the catchment area of the hospital before it is built placing even greater strain on services at PAH.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-03-16 20:35:52

In case I am picked up on the above comments, I should have said Deputy Party Leader.

David Forman
2022-03-16 20:56:05

Cllr Durcan fails to mention that many leading lights of the Momentum faction in Harlow Labour Party do not favour a new hospital, despite three nurses telling an all members meeting that a new hospital is essential. Perhaps Cllr Durcan is tras hing the new hospital project in order to appease Momentum?

Gary Sawyer
2022-03-16 22:13:19

David Forman is tight. Labour Momentum, want the disbandment of NATO. Putin’s puppets. Harlow Labour has been taken over by the extremist Momentum factions. They are a danger within.

George Luckey
2022-03-16 23:10:09

Picking up on 2 comments on here. Firstly Maureen Goldings comment. While I agree with a lot she has said, just how relevant to the new hospital her comments are is beyond me. What is happening in the North of the town centre has nothing to do with the new hospital. Secondly with reference to Nicholas Taylor's comments. If the planned new hospital has not sufficient funding in place and is very much questionable as to whether or not we actually get a new hospital, then the planned new development at Gilston should be put on hold until we know if we are getting a new hospital at all. PAH can barely cope as it is, and if the new development goes ahead without the new hospital being built, I dread to think of the strain PAH will be under in those circumstances.

Tony Durcan
2022-03-17 00:29:38

Interesting how the real story is being diluted by attempts by others to discredit the truth . I would urge you to listen to the debate first. This will confirm NO decision has been made as claimed/owned by the MP and senior leaders of the local Tory party .

Kay Morrison
2022-03-17 06:47:17

Thanks, Tony Durcan, for clarifying the hospital situation, shining a welcome light on the truth, regardless of the trolls' attempts at obfuscation. (Some desperate attempts at fantasy, too!) Well done, Tony Durcan.

2022-03-17 07:26:46

It's a waste of time focusing on a fantasy seemingly virtual hospital that even had plans to put a farm on the roof: presumably for flying pigs. Pie in the sky. A hospital at the edge of town on a route that will become gridlocked frequently by the 70 % increase in traffic from J7a and the additional 60 % increase in traffic due to hggt Gilston alone. Do a St George's, the hospital in London, grow the current site upwards it's the only hi rise we need and the best solution, there's plenty of land space on the current site if all car parking were put into a multi story car park. A far simpler and more accessible solution. Not a matter of politics just get the darn job done to meet the urgent needs of the town residents

Nicholas Taylor
2022-03-17 10:05:07

You are wholly right Edward, a key prerequisite to the proposed development in and around Harlow is the construction of a new hospital. The site on the edge of Harlow is ill conceived for the reasons you mentioned. Creating new parking in a multi storey car park on the existing site (or even better on the former Square site) would release enough land to build a new hospital alongside the existing one which would make it much easier to transfer services from the old to the new. Taking into account the hundreds of staff who live so near PAH that they walk, cycle or catch a bus to work and that 10,000 new homes to the North of Harlow will be less than 2 miles away all add to the case for staying on the present site.

Daniel Long
2022-03-17 20:24:42

Talk about two faced, when back in 2917 he was one of the Labour councillors who voted in favour of the P,A,H being relocated.

Daniel Long
2022-03-17 20:27:40

Talk about two faced, when back in 2017 he was one of the Labour councillors who voted in favour of of relocated the P,A,H. What does this say about the Harlow Labour party councillors?

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