THOUSANDS of people have already signed a petition protesting against the closure of in-patient beds at Cardigan Hospital.

The petition - launched just before Christmas by the hospital's League of Friends and Cardigan Town Council - will be collected over the next week.

Campaigners will be gathering signatures outside Tesco in Cardigan this Friday and also plan to be outside the Guildhall on Saturday to coincide with the mayor's coffee morning.

"There has been an amazing response," said Eirwyn Harries, chairman of the League of Friends.

"Everone is in support of the petition - the most used word has been 'disgusting', people are very angry at how the health board have handled this."

Petition forms have been placed in shops and post offices throughout the Cardigan area.

All forms need to be returned to Wynford Jones, clerk to the town council, 36 Pendre, Cardigan SA43 1JS by the end of next week.

Once all the signatures have been collated, the forms will be taken to the Welsh Assembly.

Campaigners have asked for a date for the petition to be presented to the Petitions Committee.

"We shall carry on the fight," said Mr Harries. "The League of Friends still have a few things up their sleeves."