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Monday, July 23, 2012

"Save our Cottage Hospital" battle hots up

Llangollen Presevation is calling on the Town Council to allow a public consultation meeting on controversial  plans to shut down Llan Cottage Hospital announced last week by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

And the group warns that if the council fails to let this happen, they will exercise their right to have a referendum on the issue.
In the meantime, the group has sent out template letters to people across Llan, suggesting they fill it in and return it to the council clerk.  
It says:  
“After hearing news regarding the gloomy future of our Cottage Hospital here in Llangollen, I would like to ask a few questions of the Town Council please.
1) Does the Town Council oppose the hospital closure?
2) Will you please supply me with the names of any town councillors who support this closure? Or, any councillors who abstained from any vote on the subject during any official meetings?
3) What kind of actions will the Town Council take with the intention of stopping the closure? What will be their contribution to the Consultation Betsi Cadwaladr will launch, beginning 20th August for ten weeks, and overseen by the Community Health Council?
I am therefore requesting that the Mayor/Chairman of the Town Council organize a public meeting within fourteen days of this dated letter about the hospital closure.
Thank you for your valuable time and I look forward to your answer soon. Please note the following, which we will adhere to in the event a timely response is not forthcoming, since we are not, under any circumstances, prepared to wait until September when the Town Council next meets:
Under the 1972 Local Government Act, civic Parish Councils in England (Community Councils in Wales) can vote to request their local District Council to hold a referendum on any issue of concern to the local parish. Once the Parish Council has voted in favour, the District Council has to carry out the referendum.
1 - Choose the issue.
2 - Decide the wording of the question.
3 - With at least five other local parish residents, approach the Parish Council and request a Parish Council meeting.
4 - Advertise the meeting.
5 - At least 10 people must be present at the meeting, where a formal motion must be put forward to support a referendum (the wording of the referendum must be part of the resolution) and a vote taken.
6 - The motion can only be carried if a third of those present, or at least 10 (whichever is the least) vote in favour.
7 - Take the resolution to the District Council and submit a request for a referendum, invoking your right under Schedule 12, Part III, para.18(4) and (5) at page 2275 of the Local Government Act (1972). In Wales it is Schedule 12, Part V, para.34(4) and (5) at page 2279. The District Council must respond within a week and the referendum has to be held within 14-25 days of the request being submitted.
8 - Publicise the referendum and campaign for your cause.
Finally, the Town Council should be made aware that the Keep Llangollen Special Community Group has in its possession a petition containing well in excess of three-hundred signatures opposing closure of the Llangollen Cottage Hospital.”

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