On 17th August a local Hastings resident and Labour party supporter Erica Smith started a petition to save her local NHS walk-in health centre. Which the local Clinical Commissioning Group are currently considering closing down and advising people to use their already over stretched local A&E.

The petition says ‘The Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) that provide healthcare in our area have been placed in ‘special financial measures’ – this means they have to find savings of £18m. One of the proposed cuts to save this money is to close the Walk-In Healthcare Centre at Station Plaza. This centre is used by many of the most vulnerable people in our town especially, but also by many others who can’t get on a GP list, because of the GP shortage in Hastings.

Ms Smith asked local MP and ex-Home secretary Amber Rudd to sign and support the petition.

But instead Amber Rudd ( who only has a majority of 346 votes) decided (without irony) to start her own petition to save the walk-in centre and to make matters worse, in order to sign her petition constituents must pay a fee of $3 (around £2.64).

Currently the original petition has over 1,600 signatures. Mrs Rudd’s has 99 signatures.

If you would like to sign the ‘free’ petition click on link