Cllr Moncur (left), Manuel (right)

Clueless! Cabinet Member admits he knows nothing about Southport’s health needs

The man responsible for Southport‘s health needs, Councillor Ian Moncur has not got a clue about how the town’s hospital needs are being planned for. Who says so? Councillor Moncur himself.

Councillor Moncur was asked a formal question during the Council meeting in Southport last Thursday as to whether he believed Southport’s acute NHS needs were now being planned together with those of St Helens and Ormskirk or those of Liverpool and Bootle – or whether he thought that there wasn’t any planning going on at the moment about hospital provision for the town. When he answered “none of the above” Southport councillor Tony Dawson pressed him as to how he thought Southport’s future hospital needs were currently being planned within the NHS.

Councillor Moncur, who is paid £27,000 per year to be the local elected lead on Health & Wellbeing matters for all of Sefton Borough, replied that he just didn’t understand the question. Furthermore, he claimed to have asked an unnamed NHS “expert” who he said also did not understand.

Councillor Dawson, who has previously served as an NHS ‘senior manager’ with considerable planning responsibilities as well as being chair of the North West Regional Health watchdog managerial body, said:

“It is concerning that Councillor Moncur does not know about the present problems in respect of the future of Southport’s hospital services and how they are being addressed. There is complete chaos at the moment with different people trying to lump us in with St Helens on the one hand (Southport and St Helens hospitals share the same Chair and previously shared the same acting chief executive) and Liverpool on the other (a recent proposal to merge NHS service purchasing between Southport, Bootle and Liverpool has just been ‘put on ice’).

“Either way,” says Councillor Dawson, ” the NHS ‘Non-Sustainability and Transfixion Review’ is likely to cut local services and make Southport patients travel further. This is a serious matter. Unfortunately, the Sefton Borough Health & Wellbeing Board has no Southport councillors on it to back our corner.”

“Councillor Moncur is the lead councillor on the Board and it is disturbing that his response to this question indicates not just that he admits knowing nothing about Southport’s NHS problems – but, more worryingly, his attitude suggests that he seems to care even less. This is a serious issue and requires serious involvement.”

“Councillor Moncur is essentially doing the famous Fawlty Towers ‘Manuel’ impersonation: “I know nothing. . .I from Barcelona.” Only substituting Bootle for Barcelona.”

Repeated attempts over the years by Southport councillors to have a Southport councillor placed on the Health & Wellbeing Board have been voted down by Sefton Council’s Labour majority.