CARDIGAN Town Council has fired off a letter to health chiefs regarding the future of the current Cardigan Hospital site.

Councillors made the decision at a specially-convened meeting following the recent public meeting on the hospital held at the town’s Guildhall.

That public meeting unanimously backed calls for a community asset transfer of the hospital to the local community and now town councillors have endorsed that view.

Town mayor Cllr Shan Williams had previously been in touch with health officials to highlight the town’s interest in the site and the need for the local community to be involved in any decisions on its future.

Talks on the hospital site are already well advance, involving Hywel Dda health authority, Ceredigion County Council and Wales and West Housing Association, with a view to building social housing.

In reply to Cllr Williams’ original email, a reply from NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership was read out at the council meeting which said: "I note the community interest, however I have previously advised that this property is currently the subject of sale to Wales and West Housing Association. This housing association has been nominated by Ceredigion County Council under the Affordable Housing Protocol.

“Hywel Dda University Health Board are required to sell surplus property as soon as possible and follow required due process and protocol with all disposals of surplus land and property.

“I previously provided a copy of the Welsh Health Building Note 2018 Estatecode for Wales which provides guidance on process and protocol followed by all NHS organisations Estates Services in selling surplus land and property, Chapter 4 being of particular relevance for further information on the disposal of freehold land and property.”

Councillors expressed fears that the scheme was moving ahead quickly without any involvement from the local community.

Its letter to health chiefs and Ceredigion County Council says: “Prior to proceeding with negotiations with a third party to dispose of the land housing the hospital in Pontycleifion, Cardigan Town Council requests that the NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership follows the correct and democratic procedure by offering a public consultation to the people of Cardigan and district regarding a dialogue to discuss the possibility of establishing a community asset transfer of the old hospital site to the town and its citizens.

“A recent public meeting to discuss the future of the site was very well attended and revealed compelling support for its ownership remaining in the town.

“The original ardigan and District Memorial Hospital was historically financed by the people of the district and overwhelmingly supported throughout its existence by the altruism and good will of the people for many decades and especially so through the auspices of the League of Friends of Cardigan Hospital.

“The council respectfully requests the Partnership to consider these valid and genuine points by convening a consultation period in order that ball avenues can be pursued regarding the disposal of the land at Pontycleifion.

“On behalf of the above council, may I dutifully request that you delay the dialogue between your authority and the named housing association in order that the voice of the people of cardigan be heard and recognised.

“It would be very much appreciated if time be allowed to conduct the appropriate community engagement and for feasibility studies to be undertaken.”