East Devon Alliance
When the NHS quango, the NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), decided to scrap half Eastern Devon’s community hospital beds in 2017, East Devon’s Conservatives refused to stand up for the hospitals in Seaton, Honiton and Okehampton which would lose their beds.
Indeed Hugo Swire MP – despite having formerly represented Seaton – called for Seaton to lose its beds in favour of his new patch in Sidmouth, and the CCG followed his advice. When huge community campaigns, with EDA to the fore, challenged the closures, Independent County Councillor Claire Wright proposed that the Devon Health Scrutiny Committee refer the decision to the Secretary of State, a procedure which could have saved the beds.
EDA County Councillor Martin Shaw spoke passionately for Seaton and the other towns. But Conservative councillors, including four East Devon Tories, blocked this move – as the video shows – and so condemned the beds to closure, with the strong possibility that the hospitals themselves would follow. One of the Tories was Paul Diviani, then leader of EDDC casting the crucial vote against.
However, when Independents, EDA and Lib Dems moved to censure Diviani, EDDC Tories rallied around him. In the 2019 elections, Tory canvassers in Seaton are pretending it was ‘just Diviani’ who betrayed the Hospital. It’s a lie – the Conservatives were extensively involved.
The betrayal has continued recently when Seaton Town Council at Jack Rowland’s instigation asked EDDC to list the hospital as an ‘asset of community value’, which would have helped protect the hospital. EDDC refused to do so – saying it wasn’t a community asset! See more here
The NHS safe in Conservative hands. Really?
Below is a slightly rough video telling some of this story …