MEMBERS of the SOSPPAN group went to the Senedd today, Thursday (Sep 13) to hand in a 13,500 signature petition to save services at the Prince Philip Hospital.
The petition was handed over at 11am to Mike Hedges AM who is a member of the Petitions Committee.
Speaking to Llanelli Online after the event Cllr John Prosser said that the petition will now go to the petitions committee before being passed on to Welsh Government.
He said: “It was always our aim to send the petition to the Welsh Assembly. SOSPPAN is a non political group and we have been very pleased with the progress we have made. We wanted to thank the people of Llanelli for filling in the petition, which we think will have ta big impact.
Speaking about some of the criticism online regarding the fact that the petition was not handed in to the Hywel Dda University Health Board Cllr Prosser said: “I am a bit confused by all of this. SOSPPAN is a non political organisation. There are people with one aim and that is to save the services at Prince Philip Hospital. The Town Council is not SOSPPAN and vice versa.
“It was decided right from the start that the petition would have more impact with Welsh Government.”
Speaking about the frustration experienced during the campaign Cllr Prosser said: “There was an online petition which had very few signatures. I have heard figures that we had only handed in 421 signatures. We concentrated on getting the paper documents in. We had a devil of a job getting those forms. At one point even if you wanted to take part you couldn’t. If you dictate what comes out you dictate what comes back. SOSPPAN had no money but the Town Council have now given us a donation. I am lost as to why people want to knock SOSPPAN. I don’t know what their aim is.
Lee Waters AM for Llanelli joined the SOSPPAN Committee on the steps of the Senedd. He said he was against any downgrade of the hospital but accepted that there had to be changes.
Speaking about some online criticism of the town’s AM and MP he said: Lee Waters and Nia are not members of the SOSPPAN committee. Nia has been very useful. Lee was there in his capacity as the AM for Llanelli. Seven of us, Cllr David Darkin, Cllr Louvain Roberts, Cllr Suzy Curry, Cllr Derek Cundy and Cllr John Jenkins handed the petition in.”
There have been a lot of comments on social media pointing out what some perceive as hypocrisy that the AM and MP have been visual during the campaign holding placards to save the hospital when there is a Labour administration in Cardiff. In answer to those comments Cllr Prosser said: “Hywel Dda is not run by Labour and we want the Labour administration to use whatever means possible to meet our demands.”