Over 1800 signatures handed in to the Dept of Health

Six campaigners and local MP Emily Thornberry outside the Dept of Health, 14 January 2009

Six of us braved the cold last Wednesday to give in our petition ‘Stop the Sell-Off of the Finsbury Health Centre’ to Alan Johnson at the Department of Health in Whitehall. Islington South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry joined us.  We are thankful for her support, but it was a bit of a shock to see the Islington Tribune cover the story as though the campaign was her idea! Last week Private Eye mentioned Finsbury Health Centre during a general rant about Government heritage policy in Nooks and Corners. (The full version is not available online.) We submitted an update letter along with the petition, which you can see on the Petition page.

We also received a very strong letter of support from the MP for Islington North, Jeremy Corbyn. In a letter to the PCT he wrote: “Patients’ feelings about familiar and comfortable buildings are important to their well being, and I think it is unlikely that they will have the same affection for the shiny new centres that are planned.” He also pointed out many problems with the proposals for moving services: “”Many older people and families with children will find it difficult to access the [Hornsey Road] Centre from the outer parts of the Borough. Similarly, it will not be easy for families from the eastern part of my constituency or the South of the Borough to travel by public transport to the Royal Northern Centre.”

There have also been some fantastic messages of support left in the online version of the petition, with some 40 people signing just before the hand-in. The online petition will remain open until the PCT board meeting on Thurs the 29th. We will be speaking at a deputation to it. Please leave any further messages of support as comments on the page of the same name.

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