The Leader of the Conservatives on Brighton & Hove City Council, Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald, has criticised the local Labour Group for misleading residents over the 3Ts Royal Sussex County Hospital redevelopment.
In a Notice of Motion at last night’s (27th March) Full Council meeting, the Labour Group claimed that money for the 3Ts redevelopment (Trauma, Teaching & Tertiary care) had been ‘earmarked’ by the previous Labour Government and that the current Coalition Government is deliberately delaying release of the money. However, Simon Kirby, the local MP for the Kemptown constituency where the hospital is located, has received a letter from the current Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, which states categorically that the funding was never allocated by the Labour Government.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is currently reviewing the Brighton & Sussex University Hospital Trust’s Business Case for the redevelopment and is due to make a decision shortly.
Cllr. Theobald, said: “The Labour Party really should stop using the hospital as a political football and trying to claim credit for something which just isn’t true. The Notice of Motion they put before the Council was ill-thought out and factually incorrect. They didn’t even seem to realise that it is the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, who makes the final decision about funding the project. It is quite right that Mr Osborne should be satisfied that such a large sum of taxpayers’ money is going to be spent wisely before agreeing to its release. That may be an alien concept to the Labour Party who, under Chancellor Gordon Brown, signed off many PFI schemes that continue to give taxpayers a raw deal. The city and the wider region desperately need the proposed new state of the art facilities at the Royal Sussex and the Labour Party should be trying to help Simon Kirby in his efforts to secure the funding, not undermine him.”