On the Bench beside me are just some of the 60,761 signatures—almost half the population of my constituency—collected on a petition launched by June Mortlock and the townswomen's guilds, with the assistance of the Isle of Wight County Press, Isle of Wight Radio, Meridian television and the The Southern Daily Echo (Southampton). It was also launched with the help of the leaders of the three political groups on Isle of Wight council: Island First, Labour and the Conservatives.The petition concerns suggestions for the future configuration of health services on the island. It states:
To the House of Commons.
The Petition of residents of the Isle of Wight and others declares that the Hampshire and Isle of Wight strategic health authority is suggesting the removal of accident and emergency services, some maternity services and other vital services from St. Mary's hospital, Newport to the mainland.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons require the Secretary of State for Health to do all in his power to meet the health needs of the people of the Isle of Wight by ensuring that these essential services remain available on the island.
And your Petitioners remain, etc.
To lie upon the Table.