17th August 2023
The town council has been working hard to prepare this event, which will begin promptly at 7pm at the Ormiston Rivers Academy, Friday 18 August, 2023.
Don’t worry if you find it too difficult to get to the meeting, because we will be recording it for this website (see Recording & Photography, below).
If you intend to come, please read the information below and communicate it to others who you know are coming and may not have internet access – it includes important material about the meeting, plus a summary of questions received by the council.
The meeting must end by 9pm – this is required by the school.
Please note that this is just the beginning of a communications process, so if we are unable to cover everything in the two hours available, there will be other avenues and opportunities to make the will of the town clear.
RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHY
This is a public meeting, so the press is allowed to attend and make recordings and take pictures to illustrate their coverage.
The town council is also recording the meeting so that people who cannot attend on the night can listen to it later via the town council website, and the town council will also be taking photographs as a record of the event, some of which will be put on its website.
Therefore, you too are free to make your own recordings and take images. We’d recommend you avoid close-ups of members of the audience – we will be endeavouring to do the same.
Please avoid flash photography.
Please note that if you are coming, security requires you do not bring in any bag larger than a handbag.
QUESTIONS FROM RESIDENTS
Burnham Town Council have received questions from Burnham residents about the proposed move of the site to Burnham Waters. The questions cluster into 7 themes.
These questions will be asked by audience members and/or the moderator during the meeting.
There will be an opportunity for the audience to ask more questions in the final part of the meeting.
Here are the questions received, in summary:
1. HEALTH AUTHORITY DECISION PROCESS & PUBLIC CONSULTATION
- The local Health Authority (Mid and South Essex ICB) has a statutory duty to consult the public. We’ve seen no evidence When did this consultation start?
- Is it starting at this event, organised by Burnham Town Council, not you?
- When will it start?
- When did your assessment of all options begin?
- What criteria did you choose?
- Experience shows people consult and then ignore the results for alleged economic reasons. How seriously will you take resident’s views?
- How much can the health authority be trusted to abide by majority opinion?
- Experience shows that there is no guarantee that developers will deliver what they promise. How will you ensure that they will?
2. SITE OPTIONS
- Is Burnham Waters the favoured option?
- Have you considered the many other available sites in Burnham? e.g Petticrows, Station Approach, the current surgery plus a satellite, the Police Station, Priors Shed, Barclays Bank and combinations of these?
- Why isn’t Burnham Clinic being used to full capacity and in conjunction with the current surgery?
- Couldn’t new facilities be put into the Burnham Clinic?
- Given its ideal location, why can’t the existing surgery be extended or rebuilt?
- What will happen to the current surgery if it’s closed?
3. FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS
- Who pays for the surgery if it is built at Burnham Waters?
- Will the new facility be owned or leased by the NHS?
- Isn’t the proposed move to Burnham Waters motivated entirely by cost factors / profit? Who is set to gain?
- Shouldn’t the local community and its needs take priority?
- Does your economic assessment take into account the economic impact upon residents, given that more car journeys will be needed?
- To what extent do you consider the coherence of a community when you make economic decisions like this?
- Who is set to gain from this move?
- If the move is made to Burnham Waters, what will be the economic cost to surrounding businesses? E.g., our pharmacy and post office which are currently opposite the surgery.
- What happens to the current surgery owned by Drs Latif and Philips. Are there any restrictions on its use?
- How will people without their own transport get to the new surgery?
- The pavement into town is not continuous but is broken by road crossings. Pictures have been taken showing how difficult the route is. Do you accept it is unsuitable?
- There is no cycle or mobility scooter lane and so it’s too dangerous to cycle and scoot to. Will you put a cycle/scooter lane in? All the way back into town?
- The distance from the Fiveways Junction by the existing surgery is 1.4 miles – almost a 3-mile round trip. Very hard for sick and elderly people on foot, parents walking with pushchairs and children, especially in foul weather. Do you agree?
- Bus route – there is none in place. If one was supplied, would it be sufficiently regular, say, every ten minutes? How often would it run? Where would it run? How would it match individual appointment times? Where would patients wait for their bus home?
- Would it be reliable?
- Regular buses will inevitably get caught up on the narrow Maldon Road outside Woodford Garage, adding to congestion, which is bad enough now. Your reaction?
- What is the likelihood a bus service would become a cost issue to the operators and be discontinued?
- Planners would have to reassess traffic flows – since this would now become the surgery for the whole town, which was not in the original application. Did you know this?
- The move will mean more costs to public in fuel, bus fares, buying transport to get there, etc. Will you compensate them?
5. ACCESS TO SERVICES
- What access provision will be supplied for the sick, seriously ill, elderly and infirm?
- What access provision will be supplied for young parents with pushchairs, very young children?
- Dementia sufferers know where the current surgery is. It would be very hard to teach them this dangerous new route – putting a transport load on their carers. Will you provide transport for Dementia sufferers? Compensation to carers?
- The current surgery is at the heart of the community, a short walk from railway station, supermarket, chemist, and post office. Clearly it provides the best access to services. In what way is it good to rip the heart out of the Burnham community?
- In what way does the proposed new site give better access to services?
- The largest proportion of residents live south of the railway bridge. Surely any new surgery should be south of the bridge too.
- South Woodham Ferrers was promised a transport to and from their new Medical Centre (Crouch Vale) …it never happened. How can we trust you will deliver promises?
- The current location keeps the community together, alive and flourishing. To move the surgery out of town is to diminish these important social and mental factors. Have you thought of this?
- Will the new surgery offer minor procedures surgery and diagnostic tests, e.g., Xray, ultrasound, audiology etc. Hospitals are miles away from us for secondary care.
6. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
- There is great fear this project is another part of a clear effort to encourage more development across our rural landscape. Is it?
- More car journeys will mean an increase in pollution. This contravenes Maldon’s Climate Action Strategy and Essex County Councils “Kick the car habit”. Is that good for health?
- The proposal contravenes district and local development plans that call for more safe cycling and walking. 3 miles is too far for most sick people to walk. Why are you contravening the local development plans?
- By moving the surgery out of town, it will mean more car journeys, and that will mean more pollution and CO2 . We should be doing the very opposite given the current crisis. Don’t you agree?
7. SPECIFIC QUESTIONS FOR BURNHAM WATERS
- Burnham Waters was planned as a retirement village with a PRIVATE GP surgery, dentist, optician and dispensing chemist. Why are you now backtracking?
- If an NHS surgery went to Burnham Waters, what car parking provision will there be? You originally said 18 spaces, that wouldn’t be enough for staff and patients. Won’t the constant car traffic movements disturb the house owners who have moved there for peace and quiet?
- Did you always plan to steal the surgery and its staff from the town?
- Is this just a plan to rob the town of its surgery, an effort to solve the medical staffing problem you faced with your original plans for a private surgery?
- What happened to the promise of a free MRI scanner at a private surgery available to all Burnham residents – was that an empty promise? (Promise made publicly at BTC planning meeting).
- There is a fear that you will use the surgery as an argument to change your purpose of being a retirement village to a general-purpose residential development, in order to make it easier to sell the properties and enable Phase Three. Will you undertake never to apply to change the use away from a retirement village? What guarantee do we have you would stick to such a promise?
- What are the benefits for Burnham residents if decision-makers decide that the BW is the preferred option?