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  • Luke Johnston

Hundreds protest to save hospital services

Hundreds of people have turned out to protest against the loss of services at West Cumberland Hospital. The march which was organised by Siobhan Gearing and her team started in Whitehaven Market Place before moving up King Street, onto Lowther Street and into Castle Park for speeches from retired West Cumberland Hospital surgeon Mahesh Dhebar and Jamie Reed MP.

Mahesh Dhebar told Visit-Whitehaven "It is very important to highlight what will happen if services are lost. We need the same services in West Cumbria that they have in North Cumbria but we don't have that at the moment. We need easy and safe access to hospital care and above all emergency care if needed. I think the protest march went very well and believe an estimated 500 people+ attended.

Siobhan Gearing, event organiser, told Visit-Whitehaven "I would like to thank everyone for coming along and supporting us today it is fantastic that so many people still want to fight this fight. We had a little hiccup along the way but the community still made it a big success. Jamie Reed & Mahesh Dhebar spoke fantastically as always and I think we got our message across loud and clear to those there today. I would estimate around 1400 attended today, parents, children, young adults and of course batman and princess Anna. We had a fantastic group of kids singing and dancing the let it go parody and I feel they got people in the mood for the speeches that lied ahead."

Siobhan Gearing added that a mixup with the road closures nearly ended the event but thanks to police officers who were in support of the event road closures/ diversions where implemented. Siobhan wants to thank all the police officers involved for helping.

Jamie Reed, Copeland MP, told us "These marches are hugely important. We aren't going away and we aren't giving up until our voice is heard and we secure the services we need and deserve. This will take as long as it takes. David Cameron refuses to listen, Jeremy Hunt refuses to listen and so far, the Trust has refused to listen. We will not stop until the job is done. Siobhan Gearing is doing a brilliant job. We need to turn the energy into positivity now. We're winning the arguments and we have to turn this into results.

Please view our below photo gallery:

Mahesh Dhebar talks to the crowds in Whitehaven Marketplace.

Organiser Shiobhan Gearing addresses the crowd.

Crowds pile up King Street on their way to Castle Park.

MP Jamie Reed talks to the below crowd.

Even Batman was in attendance supporting the cause!

The Youth Theatre sing their 'Let it go' parody.

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