Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson slams Maghull Lib Dems fo

Bill Esterson

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has slammed the Liberal Democrats for "making up" an announcement that Maghull was to get a NHS walk-in centre.

Earlier this month, the Lib Dems in Maghull announced that a walk-in centre was to be built at the town's Westway health centre.

But it was revealed that the Lib Dems' announcement had been FALSE, when the PCT immediately denied the plans are in place.

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said the Lib Dems have threatened the future of the project.

Bill said the Lib Dems had been reckless in their "rush to grab the headlines".

Bill said: "The Lib Dem claims that the NHS has agreed a walk-in centre in Maghull is not true. Because of the misinformation from the Lib Dems, there is a danger they have undermined the sensitive negotiations.

"HNS Sefton has confirmed the current position of this scheme. Negotiations are continuing between all parties, in order to reach a conclusion that results in an economically viable re-development package. However, at present, the NHS still has a long way to go as there is a funding 'gap'.
If they are able to bridge this gap, then the parties will sign up to the deal, via legal agreements, subject to satisfactory negotiations.

"Any proposal has to meet Sefton Planning Department's requirements and at present, no formal legal agreement is in place or likely in my view to be before May or June at the very earliest.

"However, by trying to jump the gun and claim credit for a project which is still a long way from being finalised, the foolish actions of the Liberal Democrats have undermined this scheme.

"Their premature announcement may have threatened the potential of all the parties reaching agreement. It wouldn't surprise me if NHS Sefton are concerned by these premature claims."

Bill said the Tory-Lib Dem government's cuts to local NHS funding have also hurt potential projects.

Bill said: "The real problem is that we are seeing the Tories and Lib Dems in government driving towards privatising the NHS, which means there is less money locally for projects like a new health centre for Maghull.

"The National Health Service is being undermined by the Tories and Lib Dems. The changes the government is making will lead to a service which will put profit before care, where there will be a postcode lottery for treatment, where waiting lists are rocketing and where money will be wasted as bureaucracy increases.

"That's why the Labour Party is urging the government to drop the health bill, so we can make improvement in the NHS at local and regional level without the need to drive for profits."

Bill said he and his Labour colleagues would continue to do all they can to ensure the Maghull Health Centre improvements happen.

Bill said: "It is Labour's priority to continue to do all we can to make this project happen.

"My Labour colleagues will be working with all parties involved in this scheme, including NHS Sefton, to ensure that we get the project back on track.

"We all know that the Liberal Democrats in Sefton will do anything to claim credit for projects they have had little involvement in. Even by their standards, this is below the belt.

"I hope for the sake of the people of Maghull, which include my family, that we can make this scheme work and we get the funding required to make this Health Centre a reality."

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