Conservative-led Lincolnshire County Council has refused a motion by the Labour opposition group to oppose the proposed closure of the Lincoln Walk-in-Centre.
Instead, the council acknowledged that its health scrutiny committee would be considering the plans put forward by Lincolnshire West CCG at its next meeting on July 19.
There was a clear and general feeling of support for the motion put forward by Labour group leader Councillor Robert Parker at the full council meeting on Wednesday, July 12.
Many Conservative councillors, while expressing scepticism and concern over the plans, added that to take a vote before the meeting of the health scrutiny committee would be ‘premature’.
The council’s health scrutiny committee said ahead of the meeting that residents had expressed deep fears about the closure proposal, but would take an in-depth look at the CCG’s suggestions before providing an official response.
Chairman of the health scrutiny committee, Councillor Carl Macey, said in the days ahead of the meeting: “We are hearing from residents that they are deeply worried about the closure and that there won’t be suitable alternatives put in place if it does close.
“Councillors on the committee are also extremely concerned about this proposal and the impacts it could have for residents not just in Lincoln but a wide surrounding area.
“Closing this service could be a false economy if the CCG believe it will save money.”
Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Parker described consultation proposals as a “shallow document”. He acknowledges that many public bodies are ‘strapped for cash’, but argued that a robust alternative must be in place ahead of any closure of a well-used health facility.
Conservative leader of the county council Martin Hill said: “I am supportive of Councillor Parker’s comments.
He added: “I haven’t heard of anyone who is a county councillor who thinks this is a good idea on the face of it.
“We need to let the health scrutiny get all the facts. To be convinced, we need some dramatic facts.”