People power fuels Greenock health protest

New Greenock Telegraph editor Martin Biddle has lost no time in supporting his newspaper’s campaign to save Inverclyde Royal Hospital from being downgraded.

He travelled with members of the local council’s health working group to hand in a Telegraph 56,642 name petition objecting to the withdrawal of A&E and major surgery services from the hospital.

The party were at the NHS’s Argyll and Clyde headquarters in Paisley in time to meet a deadline ending the consultation period over the proposals.

When the board meets in November the petition and the council’s consultation document will both be considered.

Biddle said he would have preferred to have handed over the petition to Scots First Minister Jack MacConnell as originally planned.

But McConnell had postponed the meeting until after the deadline.

Biddle added: “I was concerned the thousands of people who signed our petition would not be counted technically if the petition was not registered.

Now the board has officially received the petition. When I meet the First Minister I will press home how people-power drove the Telegraph’s campaign.”

By Jean Morgan

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