Two weeks left in Darley campaign

There are only two weeks left to have your say on the future of Darley Birth Centre.

Supporters have stepped up their campaign this week – by spreading the message about the Darley Dale unit.

Business man Mike Blair, owner of Peli Deli in Crown Square, set off on Monday to cycle the equivalent height of Everest in a bid to raise awareness of the centre.

He is hoping supporters will follow him on the route and through blogs on the Peli Deli and We Love Darley Facebook Pages.

During his week-long challenge Mike, whose second daughter Maisie was born at Darley, will tour Derbyshire taking in as many assents as possible to make up the total. In seven days he plans to ride 350 miles and go up 29029 feet.

Mike is urging supporters to join him on the last lap of his challenge which will see him setting off from the birth centre at 10am each day.

Last Thursday Derbyshire Dales District Council had a chance to have a say on the NHS review as medical director David Black, spoke to the council.

Cllr Jacquie Stevens asked why the centre had not been promoted more and added she fought to come to Darley after having a baby at Chesterfield.

Cllr Irene Ratcliffe told the NHS chief that local people had supported the unit and donated money through the Matlock Hospitals League of Friends.

She added: “For years now this area has propped up community health care services through the money that has been collected.

“You’ve drawn daggers through the heart of this community.”

A public meeting to discuss the threatened unit is being hosted by Derbyshire County Council at Bakewell Town Hall on Friday, October 14 from 10.30am.

NHS representatives and campaigners will be attending.

Cllr Gill Farrington, the chairman of the committee, said “We are keen for the public to hear from the people involved in providing these services as to what the future may hold should they close.”

The 12 week engagement period closes on October 23.

Questionnaires can be found at the Matlock Mercury office, Manor Pharmacy Peli Deli or by contacting Pam Wildgoose on 01629 583752.  

See page eight for a letter from Matlock Hospitals League of Friends.