Council bosses have been called “disingenuous” for not praising a local MP whose opposition members played a key role in securing a hospital rebuild.
In May Government announced that Airedale Hospital in Steeton would be replaced by a new, state of the art hospital on the same site.
The existing hospital had been deemed in urgent need of repair, and there had been suggestions that if it was not rebuilt the hospital may have to be pulled down by 2030.
Government was due to announce whether the bid to rebuild Airedale had been successful in Spring 2022.
Among those pushing for the new hospital was Keighley MP Robbie Moore (Cons).
At a meeting of Bradford Council on Tuesday evening, Councillor Rebecca Poulsen, leader of the Conservatives on Bradford Council, asked:
“Would the Leader join me in congratulating Robbie Moore MP for Keighley, other local MP’s and the whole team at Airedale Hospital who have successfully been selected for a full hospital rebuild?”
The response from Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe said:
“To be honest it’s high time that Airedale Hospital was given the go-ahead for a new building given that its current structure is literally crumbling. In the end because of the state of the building, the Government had no choice but to give the go ahead. The team at Airedale Hospital and the partners that have been involved over many years are naturally relieved.”
Cllr Poulsen was unimpressed with that answer, saying: “How disingenuous that you can’t say thank you for the hard work he has done to get Airedale Hospital to the top of the rebuilding list.
“Will the leader not join me in congratulating him?”
Cllr Hinchcliffe responded: “Robbie Moore is great at PR.
“The Government put Airedale to the top of the list not because MPs were pushing for it, but because it is the worst hospital in the country for building infrastructure.
“They had no choice but to agree to build a new hospital. I’ve been and seen how terrible it is, you can see parts of the ceiling about to cave in.
“They approve the re-built in the nick of time, because by 2030 there probably wouldn’t have been a hospital there.
“Senior management has been tearing their hair out for years trying to get some investment. Government has said yes, but not before time. I’m not going to celebrate something that should have happened years ago. I’m not taken in by that PR, investment is really overdue.”