Hospital problems down to central controls
A "Whitehall knows best" mentality has been blamed for the problems with the expansion plans at Broomfield hospital. Chelmsford Liberal Democrat Stephen Robinson has written to the local papers on these lines, following their coverage of the issue. The papers reported that building plans had been put on hold while the project was reviewed.
Said Stephen Robinson in the letter: "This and many other problems with the NHS can be blamed on growing central control. This gives the lie to Government statements about localisation.
"Broomfield hospital should make its own decisions about what is best for Mid Essex and be held to account by local residents. Instead they have to answer to Whitehall.
"The Liberal Democrats believe that a major shift away from the centre to local areas will be good for public services and good for local democracy. The other parties have spent the last thirty years moving power to the centre.
"We have also said for a long time that these PFI contracts are not likely to be value for money in the long term. The potentially wasted £14 million in fees just underlining the point. Both Labour and the Conservatives have gone along with this in a desperate attempt to have the money that is being borrowed off the Treasury's balance sheet.