Delays fear for centre
A pressure group has called for plans for a new health centre in Bingham to be made a top priority.
Community Concern believes the present premises at Eaton Place is outdated and no longer able to cope under the pressure.
But it fears if a site for a new centre is not found soon, it could lead to lengthy delays and further frustration for residents.
The group’s spokesman, Mr Norman Hanson, said the most obvious and best location would be to rebuild the centre on its current site, which it shares with the library.
He said: “It is in a prime position. It is very much in the middle of town and it is very much accessible for the residents of Bingham and surrounding villages.”
A new centre is unlikely to be built on the same site because of a £700,000 shortfall.
Nottinghamshire County Council, owner of the current site, decided it had no money to spend on the project, which would involve rebuilding the library on another site.
The current centre was built for 2,500 people but now serves a population of 11,000 and more homes are being built.
The new centre is to be built as part of the Greater Nottingham Lift (Local Improvement Finance Trust) programme, a public private partnership.
Meetings have been taking place with Lift, the primary care trust, Bingham town councillors, Rushcliffe borough councillors and the county council for more than a year.
But Mr Hanson said the lack of public consultation was unacceptable.
He said: “We are not even sure what is being done on it. We would like information on why the existing current site is not being considered for developing and to be made aware of where the development is at.
“We want information on what discussions are taking place.”
Mr Hanson said if they did not see any progress in the next month they would contact the health trust through its Patients’ Forum group.
Bingham health centre is in the second tranche of Lift schemes in the Greater Nottingham area.
If the schemes are approved, funding would not be available before April next year.
Mr Hanson said Community Concern feared a delay in making a firm commitment to a location may put pressure on the NHS and Lift to consider a reorganisation of the schedule and a possible lengthy delay.
He said: “We want it to be made a top priority.”
A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Teaching Primary Care Trust said: “Plans for a new health centre in Bingham are currently going through a detailed approval process, which all LIFT schemes undergo.
“This takes about one year to complete and if approved, financial close would be achieved in 2009 enabling building work to commence.”