Boris un­der fire over park­ing

GLA mem­ber ac­cuses Lon­don mayor of ig­nor­ing is­sue at hos­pi­tal

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - by Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

BORIS John­son has been ac­cused of ‘wash­ing his hands’ of the is­sue of a short­age of park­ing at Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal.

The Lon­don mayor, who is also Tory MP for Uxbridge & South Ruis­lip, was asked about the re­cent NHS an­nounce­ment that the hos­pi­tal could not go ahead with a tem­po­rary car park due to costs.

Hilling­don’s Lon­don Assem­bly mem­ber Dr Onkar Sa­hota cranked up the pres­sure on Boris over the is­sue when he raised it at Mayor’s Ques­tion Time at City Hall.

Dr Sa­hota, a Labour GLA mem­ber, said: “As Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal faces in­creas­ing pres­sures re­sult­ing from the big­gest pro­gramme of hos­pi­tal cuts and clo­sures north west Lon­don has ever seen, de­mand for the lim­ited and costly park­ing spa­ces at the hos­pi­tal will only in­crease.

“When I urged the mayor to take a stand on this im­por­tant is­sue, he sim­ply bat­ted the ball into the court of the NHS, re­fus­ing to crit­i­cise the de­ci­sion.

“Quite why the mayor be­lieves his con­stituents should con­tinue to have such poor ac­cess to the hos­pi­tal is not clear.”

Dr Sa­hota, who is also a GP in the Eal­ing bor­ough, sug­gested the mayor’s dis­missal was con­sis­tent with his ‘ war against mo­torists in outer Lon­don’, which has seen him ‘re­ject 50 per cent of ma­jor plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions in the bor­ough be­cause they pro­vide too many car park­ing spa­ces’.

He added: “Maybe the mayor has just failed to grasp how patchy public trans­port pro­vi­sion is in outer Lon­don, in many places creak­ing un­der im­mense de­mand.

“Res­i­dents are ex­pect­ing their mayor to share and act on their con­cerns about the lo­cal hos­pi­tal. In­stead they are left won­der­ing whose in­ter­ests he ac­tu­ally rep­re­sents.”

Mr John­son, in re­sponse to Dr Sa­hota’s claims, said Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal is get­ting £15mil­lion of ‘much-needed in­vest­ment’ in a new acute med­i­cal unit, a state-of-the-art en­doscopy unit, sig­nif­i­cant re­fur­bish­ments in ma­ter­nity ser­vices and im­prove­ments in the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ward for el­derly pa­tients.

He added: “Un­for­tu­nately many of the hos­pi­tal build­ings re­main in very poor con­di­tion and will re­quire sub­stan­tial in­vest­ment in the fu­ture.

“As mayor and as the lo­cal MP, I am work­ing closely with the trust and the other lo­cal MPs to iden­tify how best to im­prove hos­pi­tal pro­vi­sion for lo­cal peo­ple, in­clud­ing plans to re­build the en­tire hos­pi­tal.”

Boris said he had met with the NHS Trust re­spon­si­ble for Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal re­cently and dis­cussed the park­ing.

He said: “I am aware of lo­cal con­cerns in­clud­ing car park­ing pro­vi­sion.

“In the most re­cent meet­ing ear­lier this month, I sought and re­ceived as­sur­ances over car park­ing pro­vi­sion.

“I have seen noth­ing from the trust to sug­gest that their planned ad­di­tion to the cur­rent car park won’t be built.”

Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal says it is con­sid­er­ing op­tions to im­prove park­ing ca­pac­ity ‘as a mat­ter of ur­gency’.

When I urged the mayor to take a stand on this im­por­tant is­sue, he sim­ply bat­ted the ball into the court of the NHS”

n CRIT­I­CAL: Park­ing at Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal has be­come an is­sue that Onkar Sa­hota (far left) says Lon­don mayor Boris John­son needs to tackle

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