Tonight members of Hands Off HRI presented a deputation to Kirklees Councillors.

Jackie Murphy’s deputation read as follows:

Firstly, I’d like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak with you.

I have two full time jobs, one I’m paid for working 9-5, the other as campaigner
for Hands Off HRI. Like everyone else in this group every spare minute I have is
taken up with researching, fundraising, organising meetings, organising rallies,
attending information giving stalls. The members of this campaign have baked
buns, made jam, donated tombola prizes, made sweetie cones, attended fetes,
galas and events, created our own events such as Halloween parties, Christmas
parties, two massive events in Greenhead Park, researched for a legal
challenge, engaged a solicitor and barrister and filed a Judicial Review. Your
community, OUR Community have raised in excess of £65k to fund a legal
challenge! That surely must give you some idea of the strength of feeling the
good people of Kirklees, your community have in opposing the Kirklees and
Calderdale Trusts plans to demolish Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

We need your help. It’s time for you to ALL get involved!

We thank the councillors on the panel of the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee
for referring the Full Business Case to Jeremy Hunt and the Independent
Reconfiguration Panel, however our research shows us that often these cases
are rubber stamped and returned to sender. Your job was not done the day
these plans were referred – your job – OUR job – is only just beginning.

On Thursday 2nd November our solicitors Irwin Mitchel filed for a Judicial
Review! We’ve done exactly what we said we would back in January 2016.

Whilst preparing for this talk I researched the roles and responsibility of a
councillor – quote ”councillors are elected to the local council to represent
their local community….. you will be in a position to make a difference to the
quality of other people’s daily lives and prospects” – source – be a councillor –
stand for what you believe in!”

The biggest issue to affect the residents in your community is the potential loss
of a fully functioning hospital and Accident and Emergency Department.

As a representative of Hands Off HRI I’m asking the Council to get involved
with our legal challenge as an interested party, or a co-respondent. We’ve
done the lion’s share of the work in getting the Judicial Review filed – it’s time
for you to increase the pressure and your involvement. If you can’t commit
funds you have access to resources – a legal department who could be
researching in conjunction with our solicitors, we have had to invest money in
commissioning financial and clinical experts there may be other experts who
are required, and we need your help. This is not a burden that should be born,
alone, by the residents of Kirklees who voted for you to serve your community.
The government made you responsible for social care, then cut your budget. A
positive outcome to the Judicial Review is in your interests, a negative
outcome could bring even more crisis in Social Care and leave you footing the
bill.

Other Councils, Lewisham for one, have taken legal action and won! Can we
suggest you talk with them?

This is a political issue and if anything good has come from it I would suggest
that your residents have become more politicised. Many good people have
stepped forward in this campaign. We are willing to stand up for our
community – the question we are all asking is “are you?” We are looking for
results. We will be watching very closely in the run up to the local elections
next year!

We hope to see you at our next rally against the ward closures, by stealth, –
HANDS AROUND OUR HOSPITAL – 2nd December 11.30 am
they are shutting our hospital, making our A&E unviable. Thelma Walker has
already committed to attending and we hope you will all join us. This is our
hospital and if we wont fight for it who will?

Together we will win – together we are strong!

Brigid Harbour and Steve Slator also asked questions of the council individually and these will be reported on tomorrow.