Mel Stride

    CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride visited Hatherleigh this afternoon to catch up with West Devon Borough Councillor Patrick Kimber. First on the agenda was access to GP services with Cllr Kimber having helped secure alternative premises for a new GP surgery following the closure of Hatherleigh Medical Centre earlier this year after an inadequate rating by the Care Quality Commission. Cllr Kimber and fellow Borough Councillor James McInnes liaised with the planning department at West Devon and Highways department at County Hall support NHS England in converting the old NatWest building. Mr Stride, who pressed NHS England to find alternative premises as soon as possible after the medical centre’s closure, was shown the progress at the new site.

    Mr Stride said:

    “Patrick has put in a huge amount of time and effort to ensure residents in Hatherleigh and nearby communities like Meeth and Highampton can continue to see a GP the town. I was pleased to be able to support him and very much look forward to returning to visit the practice when it is up and running.”

    Cllr Kimber also raised the issue of bus services between Hatherleigh and Okehampton when plans for the new Okehampton to Exeter rail service are finalised.

    Cllr Kimber said:

    “It was very useful to get an update from Mel on the plans for a new Okehampton to Exeter rail service and to discuss the importance of bus services between Hatherleigh and Okehampton being organised to link up with train departures and arrivals. We also spoke about the importance of Sampford Courtenay Station being utilised as a stop on the route – many residents in Hatherleigh Ward would find it more convenient to drive and catch the train at Sampford Courtenay and this would also help avoid adding to congestion in Okehampton at busy times of day.”

    Photo: Hatherleigh West Devon Borough Councillor Patrick Kimber showing Central Devon MP Mel Stride progress with converting the old NatWest in Hatherleigh into a new GP surgery.