Packed Community Centre Told It Must Obey Doctor’s Orders
Councillor Carey Challenges Councillor Glazier
Councillor Dyce Says Consultation Process is Flawed
At a lively meeting, expertly and patiently chaired by Councillor Ian Potter Mayor of Rye a packed crowd were told by Rye County Councillor Keith Glazier that it was the Doctors of the Postern Gate Surgery that were insisting that their new premises should be built on the out of town Greenfield Site next to the Care Centre on the top of Rye Hill.
This was backed up by a statement in a letter from C. E. Stern, the Clinical Manager of the practice. He wrote ……..
The proposed new surgery is currently in the planning stage and due to our cramped facilities on this site we are not in a position to delay our relocation…The public consultation is now closed and the PCT Board (The Patient Care Trust who do the funding) have approved the application for the new premises at Rye Memorial Care Centre. Whilst the practice would have liked to have maintained its surgery premises within the town centre, there has been and indeed is, no guaranteed availability of a site which guarantees access and is available within the required time frame, land values and flooding. Therefore, as the decision making process is complete and we are now in the planning stage….it would not be appropriate for us to be represented at your planned meeting.
The Primary Care Trust did not choose to be represented either. Their letter, signed by Rick Stern, CEO included the phrases It is not for the Board to re-open the issue ….. the final arrangements for the layout of the new building have been approved …. and ….. We have not received an application from the practice for an alternative site.
Newly elected Rye County Councillor Keith Glazier did his best to fend off the barrage of searching questions about alternative sites held in trust for Rye by the County Council but his answers of “It’s the Doctors choice” and “It’s up to the Rother planning committee” cut little ice. The gathering was wanting answers to many questions. Were Tesco coming to the Ferry Road site? Who has an option on The Queen Adelaide? Why was access a problem for the surgery at Ferry Road but not for a Supermarket? Has the Ferry Road site really been earmarked for new housing? Why is the proposed new Primary School being built on the playing field at the Thomas Peacocke and not on the old Lower School Ferry Road ground?
Councillor Glazier’s answers did not satisfy the public. There were shouts of well said when Rye Town Councillor Paul Carey challenged him to produce records of how the Ferry Road site was offered for public tender after the Member of Parliament for Rye Michael Foster revealed that Tesco were the people who had an option on The Adelaide, an obvious way of widening the entrance to the site.
Ex- long time Town Councillor Clifford Jordan claimed that Tesco were in for a shock when they discovered that the Adelaide building had a preservation order on it.
Several members of the audience claimed that the meeting was a waste of time. The move out of town for the Postern Gate practice was ‘cut and dried’.
Councillor Peter Dyce, who has been at the vanguard of the fight to keep the Postern Practice in Rye,was not at all happy with the consultation process. The views of the public were not taken into account.
The Mayor asked the audience if they wanted Rye Town Council, who were, to a man, against the move out of town, to let their views and the views of the great majority of Rye and neighbouring village people be known in the strongest possible terms to East Sussex County Council, Rother District Council and the Primary Care Trust. There was a unanimous cry of Yes!
It seems there are still vacancies at the town’s other practice. It could be there will be lots of patients voting with their feet.
From the June 2005 Issue of “Rye’s Own”
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