THOUSANDS of people who marched on Eastbourne seafront are being urged to send letters to the health minister as the fight to save key services at the DGH steps up a gear.
Campaigners were delighted with the turn-out at last Saturday’s march, despite officials suggesting the crowds were 2,000-strong rather than the hoped for 5,000.
Liz Walke, who fronts the Save the DGH lobby group, believes the fact so many gave up their time to protest against the controversial proposals to centralise three key departments shows Eastbourne is dead-set against the plans.
She said, “It was a great turnout and I think it shows people are definitely behind us,” before arguing the march had given Save the DGH a definite mandate to keep on fighting.
Ms Walke reiterated the group’s position, saying, “We believe core services are not negotiable. When it’s an emergency you need to arrive at the place to be treated very quickly - time matters.
“If these services go, it is inevitable others, such as maternity and paediatrics, will soon follow.”
And she says the next step is to bombard the recently-appointed health minister Jeremy Hunt with as many letters as possible.
Last week’s Herald printed the cut-out coupon which the Save the DGH wants locals to send off in a sealed envelope. A further 5,000 were handed out during and after Saturday’s march and Ms Walke hoped everyone who took one would pop them in the post.
“The number of letters handed out was encouraging,” she said, “hopefully Jeremy Hunt will be getting a lot of post over the next week or so.”
The campaign has received cross-party support and the town’s MP, Stephen Lloyd, said was quick to encourage Eastbourne to rally behind the letter posting drive.
He said, “It is absolutely essential people in Eastbourne and the surrounding area cut out the letter in this week’s Herald (see page 54/55) and send it in an envelope.
“I want his [Jeremy Hunt’s} office to be snowed under from residents showing they are absolutely determined to retain core services at the DGH.
“The Government has said on many occasions that these changes can only go ahead if local residents agree with them.”