Rally - A great success!

October 12, 2003 12:00 AM
Campaigning for our NHS!

Come on Rochdale!

It was estimated that nearly 200 people took part in the protest at various times yesterday. The event went well despite the weather and included Rochdale residents, members of the Friends of our Hospital, Councillors, Council Staff and Staff at the Infirmary. Unfortunately, Paul Rowen MP who organised the lobby was unable to attend due a number of planes being cancelled in London.

Paul said, "Unfortunately, due to a commitment in London I had to fly back - I know it goes against my environmental credentials but it was the way I could have been back. Unfortunately, the climate fought back and my plane was cancelled and the next one severely delayed. The event was hugely successful and I would like to thank everyone for coming on such a bad night. I would also thank the local people who kept an eye on proceedings. The aim of this rally was to send a clear message that Rochdale Council supports the fight against losing vital services at Rochdale Infirmary."

Councillors were approached on their way to the Council Meeting and many of them braved the adverse weather conditions to join protesters. Council Leader - Alan Taylor said, "This was the night that the Council put on record their disappointment in what we all agree is a disgraceful decision that flies in the face of common sense. The residents of Rochdale need to know that the Council haven't given up and the fact that the Council backed the motion unanimously is welcomed."

Councillor Jean Ashworth was joined by Midwife - Carol Ashworth-Lord in addresses the rally. Councillor Ashworth told the rally, "We must not give up the fight - What is happening in Rochdale is disgraceful and I thank people for coming tonight and showing their support." Over 130 posters were handed out to campaigners with slogans like; "No to Cuts, Standing up for Rochdale, Save our Services, No to the Prestwich 6" and many more. There was also a huge 12 foot banner stating - "Rochdale says NO". Paul Rowen MP is hoping that protesters will now put these posters in their windows to show their opposition. Anyone who wants a poster should contact Paul Rowen MP on 01706 712 186.

The Judicial Review proceedings will also be a step nearer with Lisa and Dave Fitton about to see solicitors. The Council's Cabinet have requested a report into the Judicial Review and will then look to offer their support in anyway they can. Paul Rowen MP said, "The Judicial Review will look at the consultation that was carried out and to why retaining Accident and Emergency Services wasn't even considered as an option by the consultation team. As a result of last night's meeting the Chief Executive of Rochdale Council will write to Patricia Hewitt MP to request that a further consultation is carried out.