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Dundee LibDems slam SNP inaction over Ninewells parking charges

December 31, 2008 10:41 AM
Ninewells Hospital, Dundee

SNP failure to remove parking charges at Ninewells Hospital

Dundee West End Liberal Democrat Councillor Fraser Macpherson today (Wednesday 31st December) slammed Scotland's Public Health Minister for "shedding crocodile tears" over the parking charges issue at Ninewells Hospital, saying that SNP Ministers had made little effort to tackle the issue of parking charges subject to the PFI parking contract at Ninewells - but introducing free parking at other hospitals.

Mr Macpherson said that it had been "all talk and no action" on the part of SNP Ministers who had failed to properly consider financing the buy out of PFI parking contracts.

Cllr Macpherson said that Shona Robison's excuses that she believes "NHS resources are best directed at patient care" is a "weak excuse" as it contrasts with SNP Ministers allowing for NHS resources being used to fund the abolition of charges at other hospitals.

Cllr Macpherson also poured scorn on the pledge made by Nicola Sturgeon, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Well-being, who claimed in September :

"I also expect those NHS Boards with car parks operated under PFI contracts to work as hard as they can to minimise this inconvenience to visitors by limiting or reducing their charges."

Cllr Macpherson said, "In contrast to SNP Ministers' claims that they were instructing Health Boards to work to limit charges, the parking charge at Ninewells Hospital has actually increased since Nicola Sturgeon made her claim. What's more £250 000 is being spent on more charging machines and barriers so it is obvious there is no intention whatsoever to properly investigate the viability of removing the charges.

"Not only are the parking charges a "tax on ill health" they also result in an overflow of cars into West End streets nearest to the hospital, causing inconvenience and annoyance to residents. It is obvious that SNP Ministers have failed Dundee on the hospital parking issues - the charges have simply increased under Ms Sturgeon's and Ms Robison's watch," he concluded.

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