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'We deserve facilities as good as the rest of the country.' West Norfolk Council backs fight for new King's Lynn hospital

West Norfolk Council has unanimously thrown its weight behind calls for a rebuild of Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The QEH has stood for 10 years longer than its intended 30-year shelf life, with the roof now being held up almost 200 props.

And calls for the authority to back the ongoing campaign were backed during a meeting at Lynn's town hall yesterday.

King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital (47772789)
King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital (47772789)

A motion was put forward at the meeting by Conservative council leader Stuart Dark and Independent Jo Rust.

It asked the council to recognise the urgency and to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with groups calling for the rebuild.

“While all in this chamber readily acknowledge and applaud the amazing work done by the staff and contractors at ‘our’ hospital over many years, brought sharply into focus during the last 18 months of the pandemic, it is a simple truth that this great work is now being done in spite of, rather than supported by, a building built 40 years ago and way beyond its intended operational life span,” they said.

New West Norfolk Council leader Stuart Dark at his desk (49005738)
New West Norfolk Council leader Stuart Dark at his desk (49005738)

The pair described £20m of emergency government funding as a “short-term sticking plaster” and said West Norfolk needs a hospital capable of support staff, patients and visitors.

Councillors across the divide came together in support, calling it “beyond politics”, with Labour leader Charles Joyce applauding Ms Rust for putting the hospital ahead of politics to second the motion.

Brian Long, former council leader, said the motion showed the council’s position to both the government and the community.

“I have not met anyone who says we do not need a new hospital,” Mr Long said.

Jo Rust speaking at a rally in Lynn last weekend.
Jo Rust speaking at a rally in Lynn last weekend.

“Anyone living in West Norfolk will find themselves in there or visiting someone in there, we deserve something right and proper.

“We pay the same rate of taxation and on that basis, we deserve the facilities as good as the rest of the country.”

The council unanimously resolved to support the QEH leadership team in their bid for a new hospital in West Norfolk alongside the county council, MPs and community campaigns.

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