I have recently attended a public meeting to discuss the impending closure of Altham Meadows, the only remaining facility left locally for in patient assessment of the elderly living with dementia and enduring mental health needs.
Local residents and carers are rightly dismayed by the prospect of losing this valuable facility and local politicians of all parties support the campaign to save it.
The Lancaster District Pensioners Campaign Group should also be congratulated for working hard to encourage the public to sign petitions and write letters of concern to Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and are a great example of community activism.
I have asked colleagues at Lancashire County Council to meet with senior managers and to further scrutinise the decision, as well as looking further into the recent consultation on the matter and setting up an on line petition.
But this campaign and the wider issue of protecting local dementia services deserves the widest debate in the mother of all Parliaments.
Morecambe and Lunesdale MP, David Morris, was invited to last Wednesday’s meeting, but could not attend.
So I’m calling on him to stand up for local services and start an Early Day Motion or commmit to arranging a Westminster Hall debate to ensure that the issue of Altham Meadows is heard at the highest level.
If he will not, then maybe another North West MP will. Altham Meadows is a shining example of how local dementia services should be managed, and rather than being closed down, should be a template for duplication.
Every local councillor in Westgate agrees that Altham Meadows should be saved, we call on our MP to join that endeavour.
County Coun Darren Clifford
Morecambe South Division