Our monthly column from South Northants MP Andrea Leadsom.
It’s been a challenging time for Brackley and Towcester over the last few weeks.
Brackley residents will likely have heard about the impending closure of the Cottage Hospital, due to take place in the next couple of months.
The hospital has been a valued local amenity and many residents have expressed concern, not just about the closure, but about health services generally for those living in the area.
So I was delighted to meet recently with Dr Philip Stevens, Brackley GP and the clinical lead for South Northamptonshire on the Nene Clinical Commissioning Group, where we discussed the potential for the new GP facility in Brackley to provide clinical services to residents.
I know Dr Stevens is keen to see better local facilities for clinics and the sort of services that help people remain independent and in their own homes.
I will be following up on this in the coming weeks, and hope to find a solution that benefits the whole community. My discussions on local health provision also turned to Towcester, where I would very much like to see a broad range of services offered to residents living in the local area.
In particular, with the redevelopment of the town centre and the expansion of housing, there is an opportunity to bring further healthcare provision into the proposed new site for GP facilities. Again, I’m hoping to make progress on this in the coming weeks, and have been in contact with the chairman of Nene Commissioning to put forward the suggestion that medical provision closer to home would be a cost saving exercise as well as providing far better care for residents.
Towcester residents will also be pleased to learn that the Highways Agency have secured funding to improve the Abthorpe roundabout at Towcester in order to ease congestion and improve traffic flow along the A43.
With this in place, it seems to me we should be pushing for the inclusion of a relief road around Towcester ahead of further planned development of the town, rather than waiting for developers to provide the much-needed ringroad.