Political storm brewing over new Hucknall medical centre

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A political row is threatening to erupt in Hucknall after the town’s MP accused the Ashfield Independents of effectively jumping the gun when saying plans for a new medical centre in the town would definitely be going ahead.

Mark Spencer said that be already saying the project would go ahead, the Independents had in fact put the whole thing in doubt.

Mr Spencer voiced his frustrations after receiving a letter from health minister Ed Argar, regarding the new facility.

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In his letter, Mr Argar, said ‘claims that were made by Independent Hucknall councillors that the centre is definitely going ahead has put the project at risk, by implying that they have arranged funding for the scheme’.

The centre is planned to be built on Piggins Croft car parkThe centre is planned to be built on Piggins Croft car park
The centre is planned to be built on Piggins Croft car park

He further asked whether members of the Ashfield Independents have managed to secure their own funding, and states that ‘the national funding option will now not be explored until clarification has been received’.

Mr Spencer said: “This confusion is a direct result of the outrageous claims that have been made by the leadership of the Ashfield Independents over the last few months.

“I have consistently been saying that Hucknall needs better infrastructure to deal with the huge increase in green belt development that Ashfield District Council has been approving left, right and centre.

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"It is typical that, as soon as we start making headway, the Independents go too far, and put the whole project in jeopardy.

“I am going to be writing to Jason Zadrozny (Ashfield District Council leader and also the Ashfield Independents leader) to ask whether he has secured the funding for the health centre, because if not, I am going to have to get this project back on track.

"Time is of the essence, and I can still make sure that the Government explores every route possible.

“If, as I expect, the Independents have not been able to secure the funding themselves, we will have to move very quickly to fix the damage that they have done.

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“Hucknall deserves a world class health centre and I don’t want some over-exaggerated claims from the Independents to be the thing that stops the project from progressing.

“This is just the latest saga for Hucknall – the residents deserve much better from their council leadership.”

And he reiterated that point again this week after accusations on social media that project was just an election ploy to help the Independents win the three Hucknall seats in this month’s Nottinghamshire County Council elections.

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Coun Zadrozny said: “Talks have been going on for well over a year with Nottinghamshire’s Clinical Commissioning Group and other NHS partners.

"We are very happy with how talks are progressing.

"The Ashfield Independents will deliver the new medical centre that Hucknall needs and deserves.”

The Dispatch has approached the Independents for further comment on what Mr Spencer has said.