Mayor pledges £9m in budget for new GP surgeries

Mayor Tom Wootton
Mayor Tom Wootton. Image: Bedford Borough Council

Bedford’s mayor has said borough residents have waited long enough for new GP surgeries.

Mayor Tom Wootton told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) that his administration has “come to the party” by setting aside £9 million in his budget to build surgeries.

“I’m doing something different to my predecessor – he kept pointing and shouting and I’m putting money in the budget,” he said.

“We’ve actually come to the party with some cash, and this has certainly made a big difference in how the Health Service is dealing with us.

“Everybody knows there’s a problem with doctors because we’ve had all this housing growth.

“We’ve had housing growth and housing growth, we’ve built houses everywhere.

“And we’ve had no new doctor’s surgeries, now to me that ain’t right,” he said.

Mayor Tom said the pressure to do something is building so he has to do something. He said he is looking at plans for Great Barford, Wootton, Kempston and Wixams.

“The Wixams is the one that I’ve got to deliver quickly, and we’re pushing on an open door – we’ve got the money,” he said.

“But the developers are coming to the party slowly, but Councillors Coombes, Frost and Spice are bending my ear all day, every day, to get it done.”

“The trouble that has been pointed out to me on several occasions, is we’ve got to write the business case and the internal NHS bureaucracy has got to be kept happy,” he said.

“I was told that most of the stuff I want to do is on a seven or eight-year time scale.

“I’ve said I’m working on a three-year time scale and will do everything I can to get this surgery delivered – residents have waited long enough,” he said.

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