Friends of Brentwood Lodge criticise William Hague over meeting rejection

William Hague

William Hague

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Regional Chief Reporter

CAMPAIGNERS have spoken out against an MP after he refused to meet them to discuss concerns about elderly care.

Members of campaign group, the Friends of Brentwood Lodge, asked Richmond MP William Hague to meet with them to talk about elderly care provision in Richmondshire.

However, the Foreign Secretary said his extensive and unpredictable travel arrangements would make a meeting impossible to arrange in the short-term.

He added in his reply to the group: “In any case, this is an issue for the (county) council and I do not have any jurisdiction over any decisions made on cases such as these.

“I will, however, encourage the county council to meet with your group and to address the points you are raising.”

The campaign group was launched to fight for Brentwood Lodge care home, in Leyburn, to remain open to complement facilities provided by a new extra care scheme due to be built in the town.

Members are also seeking a review of elderly care provision in the district.

In a letter to the group, North Yorkshire County Council assistant director of operations, Anne Marie Lubanski, said a review of elderly care services would be considered when Richard Webb, the new corporate director of health and adult services, took up his post in March.

But Andy Brook, chair of the campaign group, said members wanted a review as a matter of urgency.

He added: “Not one brick has gone into ground yet on the new extra care scheme on Harmby Road and will not be completed for at least another year - in the meantime elderly care in Wensleydale is in turmoil.”

Mr Brook said the group felt “let down” by Mr Hague.

“This is a major issue in his constituency and the group believes that he should be putting his constituency matters first,” he said.

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