HUGELY controversial plans to close Sandiway Branch Surgery will go before Cheshire West’s health scrutiny committee next week.

The proposals were first revealed last December, and led to residents forming a local action group — saying they were ‘up in arms’ over the idea.

At the time, health officials from the practice cited a lack of funds and a national shortage of GPs as the reasons behind the closure consideration.

Conservative Cllr Charles Fifield, who represents the Weaver and Cuddington ward, said “I am very much with the residents. If we have seen nothing else from Covid and lockdown [it’s that] we need more local facilities, not less.

“I think it’s very detrimental to Cuddington and Sandiway — by removing their local GP facility that will particularly affect older residents also residents with young families. They will have the most difficulty in having to travel further.

“I can understand why they might wish to review the types of service they offer and I do realise Sanidway is in need of modernisation but it is a mistake to remove that facility from the community when one considers at the amount of housing built in Cuddington and Sandiway over the last ten years.”

Whilst the committee do not have the power to make a final decision on the surgery, it has been asked to make a formal comment on the application to close it.

The LDRS also understands that Edward Timpson, MP for Eddisbury, has written to the committee chair to ask that members consider a report by the action group — despite the fact it is not a statutory document.

Comments from the committee will then be put to the NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) before its final decision meeting on November 5.

CWAC’s Health Scrutiny committee will meet at 6pm on Monday, October 12. You can watch the meeting live on the council’s website.