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Inconceivable that the A&E situation should go on

Column by Councillor Kelham Cooke, leader of South Kesteven District Council

There are many important issues affecting Grantham and our wider district, but few as vital as the need for 24-7 A&E services in what is our largest town in South Kesteven.

Grantham is growing, and as a council we are encouraging and supporting growth that develops our communities in a dynamic but sustainable way.It is, therefore, imperative that we have a health service provision that supports our expanding communities and provides the high-quality, accessible healthcare our residents rightly demand and deserve.

Coun Kelham Cooke (17790662)
Coun Kelham Cooke (17790662)

That is why I welcomed last week’s debate at full council on this most vital of issues; why I welcomed the opportunity to accompany Coun Ian Selby to a meeting with the chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Andrew Morgan, late last year; and why I continue to push for answers and for action however and whenever I can.

It is inconceivable to me that the current situation regarding the lack of A&E facilities in our town should continue. And the issue goes beyond the provision of an around-the-clock A&E. We need to ensure that our growth is supported by the provision of an appropriate health service infrastructure as an integral part of Grantham’s expansion and regeneration.

Infrastructure by definition transcends geographical and political boundaries, whether we are talking about healthcare services, schools and education, or our road and rail network.

None of these issues fall directly into our responsibilities as a district council. But that does not prevent us from making the strength of our feelings known. We are not and never will be, passive participants when it comes to shaping our future. We have much to offer, but we have our expectations too.

Personally,I don’t see how we can be serious about realising the potential of South Kesteven if we do not commit to being heard on the regional, national, and international stage.That is why, as I have said before, I am committed to working with others to ensure our district’s voice is heard at the highest levels, because building better communities means taking a holistic approach that puts our residents front and centre and joins hands across boundary lines.

So as work continues on the Grantham relief road, as we continue to work with local businesses and charities to make our communities even stronger, more connected and more vibrant, I pledge to maintain the momentum when it comes to fighting our corner, working with and through others for the benefit of South Kesteven, its residents and its communities.

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