Townlands Development Put Back to Spring 2014

TownlandsThe Townlands Steering Group will be meeting on 22 November to consider the message from NHS Property Services that the start of implementation of the redevelopment of the services has been put back to Spring 2014.

The TSG will plan a public meeting at which everyone in the community can listen to an update, ask questions and give their views.

“We have been concerned since June that repeated assurances of imminent financial closure and implementation have not been delivered by the project. We have also been increasingly concerned at the reduced level of engagement between the NHS organisations and the community. This engagement has been very successful over recent years and we believe has been a significant factor in the successful way the project has made enormous progress over recent years, culminating in planning permission being granted in November 2012”, said TSG chair Councillor, Ian Reissmann.

The NHS reorganisation in April 2013 saw the abolition of the NHS Oxfordshire PCT which up until then had been responsible for the project. Many of the original project team became part of NHS Thames Valley, however ownership of the Townlands site and responsibility for the project is now the responsibility of NHS Property Services.

TSG Vice Chair, Retired GP and veteran Townlands campaigner Peter Ashby commented “Over the years we built up a good relationship with the PCT and the project team membership. Ian Reissmann and I were members of the project team which meant we were able to listen to progress, provide community views as input and ensure that communication between the project and the community was successful. The reorganisation means that we need to establish new working relationships in order to continue the successful community engagement which has characterised the project in recent years.”

John Howell MP has been active in talking to NHS Thames Valley and NHS Property services and has obtained assurances that financial closure will take place before Christmas, and the delay in implementation until spring is caused by difficulties in starting during the winter months.

The TSG will be strongly urging key stakeholders in the project NHS Property Services, NHS Thames Valley, Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire County Council, Royal Berks Foundation Trust to come to Henley and provide the reassurances directly to the community that the project is on track.

Cllr Ian Reissmann
Chair TSG