A CARDIGAN woman fears that the proposed new £21m Cardigan Integrated Health Centre at Bathhouse Road will not provide good value for money.

Monima O’Connor has read through the entire 126-page business report into the much-delayed project and fears that the huge cost means the scheme is ‘a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) in disguise’.

Under PFI schemes, companies not only construct infrastructure such as schools and hospitals, but they also take responsibility for financing the projects, and then maintain these assets over their lifetime.

Deals with companies to provide and then maintain infrastructure often last for 30 years and can involve huge sums.

Mrs O’Connor has contacted Hywel Dda Health Board with her concerns and has also asked for further information under the Freedom of Information Act. She is still awaiting a reply.

Mrs O’Connor said: “It’s not too late to influence the Welsh Government’s decision expected to be taken early in December to approve/reject the Cardigan Integrated Healthcare Centre (without beds) which is adjacent to the now-cancelled Sainsbury’s site for a projected cost of £21 million covering an area of 3,550 m2, which equals £5,915 per m2.

“The average cost of building a new general hospital in London is £3,500 per m2 with the UK average at £1,870 m2 (see www.statistica.com).

“This £21 million would surely be more than enough to rebuild/elevate our current Cardigan Hospital on its existing stable land with added flood protection and car parking below.

“During the course of this project the Welsh Government has always understood that Cardigan residents wished to have beds in any new healthcare project for our town.

“If you are in agreement, please email Health Minister Vaughan Gething, on Correspondence.Vaughan.Gething@gov.wales and ask your all friends and family living locally to do the same.

"We must have our voices heard before this decision is soon taken.”