Nobody loves them - so let society take back control
Jennifer Pearson (“Calderdale’s biggest ever scandal”, Your Say, April 18) rightly condemns the continuing crippling costs of the Private Finance Initiative funding of the Calderdale Royal Hospital introduced prior to its construction in 2001-2 which has led to current proposals for the closure of the greatly valued Accident and Emergency department. Such plans were at the time strongly opposed by Calderdale Liberal Democrats but endorsed by both Labour and Tories. It is therefore surprising that now, despite her party’s previous support for PFI, Halifax Labour MP Linda Riordan has come out against it (“Overwhelming (adverse) Response to A&E axe plans”, Talking Politics last week), stating that it is “all to do with saving money” - a conversion which smacks of opportunism, though her support of the Lib Dem cause is welcome, if belated. Mrs Pearson also rightly praises her late, greatly missed husband Stephen for his determined opposition as leader of Calderdale Council’s Lib Dem group and Mayor of the Borough to PFI funding of the NHS, and I have similarly warned of the dangers of such a policy both in the Courier and elsewhere (We are all paying the price of PFI, The Yorkshire Post, Feb27, 2010).