Don’t forget three little letters

IN the interests of fairness and a proper context for Cllr Davies and Cllr Turner’s letter last week about hospitals and fire stations, we shouldn’t forget three little letters: PFI.

Many of our public services are in dire financial straits. We can lay the blame for some of that at the door of the national economic situation, but I would hazard a guess that for those services in particular difficulties, the private finance initiatives brought in by the last Government will be part of the picture.

Thankfully, while there is plenty wrong with recent NHS legislation, competition is now legally predicated on quality, rather than price (a change from the rules of the previous Government).

Cllrs Davies and Turner are absolutely right though about the importance of journey times in respect of proposals for local hospitals reconfiguration. What baffles me is that our MP suggests in her column that we should retain the fire station on The Ridge because of the need for swift response times for people in more rural areas, and yet she has signally failed to support the Hands Off the Conquest campaign whose valiant efforts against the current proposals are based on those very same reasons.

NICK PERRY

Parliamentary spokesman

Hastings and Rye Lib Dems