June 2021
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Burning our money in Bournemouth

Recession? What recession? Down here in Bournemouth, they’re squandering or money as if it was going out of fashion. Recently we had the new artificial surfing reef that was due to bring crowds of eager surfers to the town. The cost has gone up from £1.4m to a massive £3m, the project is at least a year late and it still hasn’t produced a single wave.

And now our local hospital seems keen to get in on the act. Bournemouth NHS Trust has decided to spend £5.3 million building a new 525-space hospital car park. At over £10,000 per parking space, this will make the Bournemouth hospital car park one of the most expensive hospital car parks in Britain. Most other hospital car parks have cost between £7,000 and £9,000 per parking space.

There is no doubt that the hospital needs a new car park – but the cost is ridiculous. We are now in a deep recession (even depression). This means this car park should be much cheaper than those built at the height of the boom, yet mysteriously it will be the most expensive. Perhaps it will become a tourist attraction like our expensive but non-existent surfing reef.
In my capacity as an elected governor of the hospital, I tried to bring up my concerns with hospital management, but was told this was none of my business. Given the crowded state (and chaos) in the hospital’s A&E unit, I believe a little more money spent on A&E and a little less on car parks would be appropriate.
I have recently had to resign as a governor in protest at hospital management’s refusal to even discuss my concerns.

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