Thurrock Labour call for extraordinary council meeting to debate Orsett Hospital closure
THURROCK Labour have used a little-known provision in the council constitution to call for a special meeting of the whole council to address and debate the decision to close Orsett Hospital.
They have requested a “Themed Meeting” which will focus entirely on the closure of Orsett Hospital. Such a Themed Meeting has never previously been called by the council.
The special meeting would allow representatives of resident campaign groups and other bodies to attend and contribute to the meeting. It is expected that representatives of the Mid and South Essex STP CCG Joint Committee, who made the decision, will be invited to the meeting to explain their decision and answer questions.
Leader of the Labour Group, Councillor Oliver Gerrish said, “We must ensure that this decision is subject to full scrutiny and challenge. We have called for an extraordinary meeting of the council to allow all 49 councillors to debate, discuss and ask questions. It is also crucial that we find a way to give a platform to concerned residents and campaigners, and this format should allow us to include them in the meeting.
“I have been very clear – I believe the fight to keep Orsett Hospital open should go on. The decision in early July makes it much more difficult to win, but we cannot just give up. In addition to fighting to keep Orsett Hospital open, we must ensure that all promises made through the process are kept – for example that Orsett Hospital would not be closed on the quick while we are still waiting for the hubs to become fully operational.”
If agreed, the meeting is expected to take place in August or September, with a date to be confirmed soon. It follows a Labour Party motion which was successfully passed during the June council meeting which called for all potential opportunities to keep Orsett Hospital open to be explored.