Councillors set to probe planners and health chiefs over new GP surgeries in Bedford borough

Borough Hall in Bedford
Borough Hall in Bedford

A new committee has been formed in Bedford to put health chiefs, planners, and property developers under the microscope over how new GP surgeries are created.

Monday’s meeting of Bedford Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee is concerned how surgeries are established in new housing areas, following concerns expressed at past meetings about Wixams, and Biddenham.

The scrutiny committee decided to set up a small Task and Finish Group to get into the nitty gritty of the topic and report back to the larger committee.

Over the coming months they will be inviting experts from their own planning department, NHS leaders, developers, and GPs to give evidence to the committee.

The members appointed to the group are: Conservative group leader Cllr Graeme Coombes (Wilshamstead); Cllr Dean Crofts (Lib Dem, Kingsbrook) and one of either Cllr Kay Burley (Lab, Kempston Central & East) or Cllr Abu Sultan (Lab, Cauldwell).

Cllr Burley, who was chairing Monday’s meeting, said: “It could take quite a lot of hours and quite a lot of time to complete.”

And Cllr Hilde Hendrickx (Lib Dem, Newnham) was happy with setting up the task and finish group, although she did not volunteer for the new body.