People power! Hundreds sign petition calling for reopening of Leeds clinic

Coun Mark Dobson outside the now-closed Garforth Clinic.
Coun Mark Dobson outside the now-closed Garforth Clinic.
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Nearly 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for the reopening of Garforth Clinic.

Online and paper versions of the petition have been in circulation for just four weeks.

And today a city councillor hailed the level of public support for the campaign to reinstate the controversially-axed clinic as “unbelievable”.

Coun Mark Dobson (Lab, Garforth & Swillington) told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I have been involved with a number of campaigns and I’ve been taken aback at the strength of feeling that exists on this issue.

“The amount of people who are keen to sign the petition and want us to lobby for the reinstatement of the clinic has been unbelievable.”

As previously reported by the YEP, Garforth Clinic closed its doors around the end of January following a decision taken by the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

The trust has said patients will be able to access the same services at clinics in nearby places such as Kippax, Halton and Seacroft.

But residents in Garforth have highlighted issues such as “inadequate” parking at Kippax and possible accessibility problems for people who rely on public transport.

There was also disappointment last month when the healthcare trust and the NHS Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group both rejected invitations to attend a public meeting at Garforth Miners’ Welfare Hall.

More than 180 people turned out for the event, which had been billed as a chance for questions regarding the closure of the clinic to be put to NHS decision-makers.

Both groups said they had opted not to attend because the meeting had fallen during the run-up to Leeds’s council elections.

They also stressed that they would be happy to send representatives to events organised after the election period.

The online petition can be accessed at www.change.org/p/leeds-community-healthcare-save-garforth-clinic-and-its-essential-services.