'People in Rugby feel forgotten and deserve better': Councillors express their concerns over plans to close community ambulance station in town

As we have been reporting over the past few weeks, thousands of people across the town are angry about the proposal

How we have been campaigning about the issue on our front page.

The people of Rugby deserve better after plans were mooted to close a community ambulance station in the town.

That was the message from Cllr Sarah Feeney (Lab, Benn) after putting forward a motion at this week’s full council meeting of Warwickshire County Council.

As we have been reporting over the past few weeks, thousands of people across the town are angry about the proposal - and many have signed a petition (click here to view the petition.

Click here to read one of articles - 'People will die' - concerns over plan to remove the last ambulance stationed at Rugby's St Cross

Changes to the wording from the Conservative group were accepted as a friendly amendment and will see the council leader writing to West Midlands Ambulance Service bosses.

Cllr Feeney said: “It feels to a lot of people in Rugby that our services get less and less each year and the community ambulance station is key to a lot of people.

“Too many people have told us about their experiences of waiting two or three hours. It’s not good enough, and people believe that we deserve better.

“People feel in Rugby that we are forgotten. We have George Eliot in Nuneaton and Warwick Hospital and although we have St Cross, it doesn’t have the services that the others do. We want those services and part of that is retaining our ambulance service.”

The amended motion said: “This council expresses concern about the proposals to review the provision of community ambulance stations in the West Midlands, for example, with the potential closure of the local ambulance hub in Rugby.

“The council notes that the adult social care and health overview and scrutiny committee has extended an invitation to West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) to attend their meeting in November and the committee has received information from WMAS about the proposed changes.

“This council notes the concerns of Rugby residents of the perceived risks to health and wellbeing as a result of the proposed changes to the location of ambulance stations and therefore asks that the leader of the council write to the chair and the chief executive of the West Midlands Ambulance Service requesting that they engage with relevant local county councillors and thanking them for engaging with the county council's adult social care and health overview and scrutiny committee as part of their review to enable local views to be heard and encouraging them to attend the meeting in November.”

Cllr Margarent Bell (Con, Hartshill and Mancetter), the council’s portfolio holder for adult social care and health, added: “I really understand the concern that residents may have about the proposed changes to the West Midlands Ambulance Service.

“From the briefing which I have seen, it is clear that there’s not going to be a reduction in the number of ambulances or staff - it is about reorganisation. They are facing an unprecedented demand for their services and the acute hospitals are also facing an unprecedented demand which puts huge pressure on the ambulance service.”