MANY readers will have been greatly comforted to hear that Airedale Hospital has been included in the list of hospitals promised funding for a rebuild. Few will realise quite how far any scheme is from being delivered.

Recently Airedale hospital informed there members that: “At the moment we are embarking on the very first steps of our journey, and are at the earliest stages of planning. We are working with ‘master planning’ experts to determine the size and scale of the new hospital, based on our growing population and their predicted future need for NHS services. This work will help determine where on the hospital grounds it may be built, how big it needs to be and what enabling works are needed”

Anyone reading this will have to conclude that it will take years to work through the planning processes and we will be waiting a very long time before the roof supports come down and our area has a hospital building it can be proud of.

The team at Airedale deserve praise for their efforts to get this built. It remains to be seen whether the local community can rely on the government to deliver on bold promises about a hospital made in a marginal seat just before an election. The situation may prove very different once the votes are in.

When government gives promises that something will be delivered that hasn’t even got as far as a design or vaguely realistic costings everyone in the locality is going to have to work really hard to ensure that it, or any successor government, sticks with the commitment.

Cllr Andy Brown (Green Party)