Anger over possible new Monklands site

The preferred option of a new location for Monklands Hospital is at Gartcosh, which Labour say is not well served by public transport and too far distant from the main population centres.
The preferred option of a new location for Monklands Hospital is at Gartcosh, which Labour say is not well served by public transport and too far distant from the main population centres.

A motion guaranteeing that the new Monklands Hospital will be built in the district has been voted down, causing an angry response from proposer Richard Leonard, the Leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

He has claimed that SNP and Tory MSPs have teamed up in the Scottish Parliament to effectively block the motion.

A consultation has just ended on a replacement hospital, with a site in Gartcosh being promoted by the Health Board as its top option.

Although more than 5,000 people signed a petition to build a new hospital on the same site, there is real concern that their wishes will be ignored, with the closure of Monklands Hospital and a replacement built several miles away in Gartcosh.

Mr Leonard tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling for Monklands Hospital to be rebuilt in the Monklands district, but this was voted down by a combination of SNP, Tory and Green MSPS.

The Scottish Labour leader said: “With Nationalist and Tory MSPs voting against Labour’s motion, it is now clear that only Labour stands up for the Monklands Hospital. 

“People in the Monklands are angry over plans to close the hospital and relocate health services to a totally different site out of town in the village of Gartcosh. 

“That anger will extend to SNP parliamentarians who had plenty of warms words for the hospital but when push came to shove voted the way party bosses in Edinburgh told them to. 

“Over 5,000 people have signed my petition calling on the SNP health minister to intervene and stop this disastrous decision from being taken by the health board. 

“Closing the hospital and relocating services to an area of North Lanarkshire which is ill-served by public transport and further away from the principal population centres would hurt working people across the Monklands.   It is now clear that only Labour will stand up for Monklands Hospital.”