Residents have been told not to hold their breath waiting for a new health centre to built.
The comments come from Cllr Steve Norman, leader of the Labour opposition group at Lichfield District Council after news that demolition work on the former Greenwood House site is due to start this month.
The land has been earmarked as a new medical practice once the work has been carried out.
But Cllr Norman said previous comments stretching back almost a decade had shown why residents shouldn’t get their hopes up.
“In June 2010 the body then responsible for local health facilities, the Primary Care Trust (PCT), issued a news release which stated it was ‘thrilled that the development of the two new sites – Greenwood House and Burntwood Leisure Centre – have been approved’.
“Then the Coalition Government came in and nothing happened until local Conservative Councillors in Burntwood, prompted by the then Cabinet member responsible, Cllr Matthew Ellis – currently the PCC -said construction would start in March 2013.
“This was accompanied by a photograph of the then local Conservative Councillors and their families by a sign that the county council paid for but removed later as it did not have planning permission.
“In July 2017 Lichfield Live reported that Lichfield’s MP said construction work was expected to be ‘well underway by March of 2019 if not sooner’.”Cllr Steve Norman
The current temporary facility at Burntwood Leisure Centre was granted a temporary extension by planning chiefs for the third time due to delays in the building of any new health facilities.
Councillor Norman said his own Freedom of Information requests had shown Conservative MP Michael Fabricant had not pushed health bosses on the delays to new provision for the town.
“While I believe that county councillor Alan White is doing his best to deliver the health centre, Mr Fabricant can’t even be bothered to write to the NHS bosses.
“I wouldn’t hold your breath for the new centre, especially when the six Clinical Commissioning Groups that replaced our Primary Care Trusts under the Coalition have – according to a recent NHS Stakeholder Briefing – spent £2 million more per week than they receive.
“That means some difficult decisions will now need to be made.”Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council