Barnet’s Labour councillors have called for Cricklewood Health Centre to be saved after a report at last night’s Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee (3 Dec, HOSC) advised that the Centre’s lease had been ended permanently.
Planning permission for a new building had been granted on the basis that the Health Centre would be re-provided, but it was made clear in the report to HOSC that the developer is not intending to do this.
Labour councillors moved a recommendation that the planning permission should be enforced, and the Health Centre re-provided. All councillors voted for this at the meeting. The Committee also agreed that the three local Childs Hill councillors would meet with the Clinical Commissioning Group and Director of Planning to ensure the Health Centre is re-provided in the new development as originally planned.
The local councillors will also meet to discuss possible temporary locations for the Health Centre while the building works take place. The Health Centre needs to vacate its current site by 1 August but the proposal to re-locate the Centre near Brent Cross nearly 3 miles away was not accepted.
Labour Childs Hill councillor, Anne Clarke, who spoke in favour of saving the Health Centre at the meeting, said: “This situation was entirely foreseeable. The CCG and Barnet Council knew the landlord would end the surgery’s tenancy agreement when planning permission was granted for a new build in the current location of the GP practice.
“The CCG know how important this GP is, they failed to listen to pleas from the community when they chose to close the walk-in element of the surgery last year. Of the 19,000 who used the walk-in every year, the number one reason for visiting was inability to secure an appointment with their own GP.
“The patient list has grown 50% in the last 4 years and will grow even faster with so many new homes planned. Barnet need to get this back on track and guarantee a home for the GP surgery.”
Barnet Labour’s Health spokesperson, Cllr Alison Moore, who moved the recommendation to save the Health Centre, said:
“We have repeatedly warned that this health centre is under threat, but our concerns were downplayed and ignored.
“With planned population growth of 25,000 people from the regeneration, and the existing lack of GP access in this area this is a crisis in the making for existing and future residents if this planning issue isn’t sorted out urgently.”
- A copy of the Health Centre report can be found here: https://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s62327/2020.12.03%20HOSC%20-%20NCL%20CCG%20Cricklewood%20APMS%20v0.2.pdf