Pawsey – can’t commit, can’t get it right

In an exciting titled post on his website, Mark Pawsey comments on public meeting about St Cross Hospital. What is odd is that the meeting took place last Thursday, but his comments only appeared today. I noticed a large amount of activity in the logs on the website from House of Parliament IP addresses yesterday, so I wonder if it was me saying “Thanks for nothing” that woke our MP up? Nah, I’ll give myself a big head. Maybe they are just slow typists.

The statement is a bit woolly, and does give a list of all the NHS representatives who were there with him last week and tell us that it’s simply about services and not about cuts at all (which is odd, considering that in an article in the local press the other week he was blaming the deficit). He does say

It was explained that the current proposals are being brought forward to respond to the difficulty in recruiting doctors at the appropriate level in the current climate and the Hospital Managers were pressed on this issue. I believe that despite this, it will be important for St Cross to continue to provide a 24 hour urgent care service to the people of Rugby, particularly in the light of the growth in housing that the town is anticipating in future years.

Which gets around to supporting the retention of a 24-hour service, but seems to be avoiding taking a position to oppose the removal of doctor-led services. And even then it’s not exactly fully committing the MP to opposing overnight closure either.

One cut that Pawsey has come out strongly against is that of Rugby Magistrates Court. In an article in the Observer last week he states several reasons why it’s a bad idea. No mention of deficits there, so I wonder if he’ll be making a stink with the Ministry of Justice (or if this opposition is simply for local consumption so he can look like he’s protecting services). There is an error though. From the article:

In his official response to the consultation process, Mr Pawsey said he had concerns over the impact closure would have on residents’ travel costs. He added that the closures would also hamper Rugby Borough Council’s efforts to secure the court orders needed to move on trespassing travellers.

The problem is that Rugby Borough Council doesn’t use the Magistrates Court in the town to get such court orders, they already have to go to Leamington or Nuneaton, according to responses that were given at the last Cabinet Meeting at the Town Hall. Mentioning travellers is a good way to scare people, but it’s usually a good idea to get your facts straight first.

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