Honiton councillor attempts to defend his silence over hospital bed closures
Wednesday, 01 March 2017 1 Comment by Claire
Yesterday’s front page of the Ottery/Honiton View From Series caught my eye - http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/Launch.aspx?PBID=03a901df-0b77-4e35-90e6-93ca8d117094
It features Honiton Conservative Devon County Councillor (and EDDC leader) Paul Diviani attempting to defend his silence over plans to close all Honiton Hospital’s beds.
A town campaign group - Save Hospital Services Honiton - has asked a series of questions of him, including why he voted down two of my proposals at health scrutiny, which would have helped Honiton Hospital’s case.
Unable to deny he hasn’t attended a single meeting in the town about the bed closures, spoken out against them, or voted down my two proposals at health scrutiny in November and January, Cllr Diviani cites a whipped vote at Devon County Council full council meeting, where he voted in favour of two motions that opposed health cuts, in his defence.
But this admission simply raises more questions. Why, if Cllr Diviani was concerned enough to vote in favour of a motion in December, objecting to health service cuts, did he not also vote consistently at the November and January health scrutiny meetings?
Cllr Diviani claims the committee has no power to dictate to the NHS. Of course, we do not have the power to order things to be done, but the committee is the only legal check on health services in Devon and it definitely does have the power to make recommendations which the NHS would be unwise to ignore.
Finally, Cllr Diviani says he “fully supports” the Devon County Council budget which provides more money for social care.
What he doesn’t say is that this budget has been massively cut every year for seven years due to government austerity measures and if you read the smallprint of the January joint budget scrutiny papers any increase in funding is a drop in the ocean and fewer people will be entitled to receive social care. Pretending otherwise is disingenuous.