More than 300 protesters attend demo over Marie Curie closure
A demonstration against the planned closure of a popular cancer hospice attracted a crowd of more than 300 protesters.
The horde included patients and their families, councillors and residents, all angry at the proposed scrapping of cancer care services by Caterham's Marie Curie.
Wielding their placards, the crowd gathered for the People Power Demonstration at the Harestone Drive Hospice, on Saturday arranged by campaigner Richard Holloway.
Mr Holloway, who manages Knights Garden Centre in Bletchingley Road, Godstone, told the Mirror: "Patients are very frightened about what is going to happen once they close the hospice. This hospice is so important for local people – those in charge are just out of touch."
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Beverley Connolly, Tandridge district councillor for Harestone, said: "The demonstration was so inspiring. Everyone has had their lives touched by cancer and I was so pleased so many people turned up to show their support – it was quite humbling."
MP for East Surrey Peter Ainsworth was also at the protest and gave a speech.
He said: "I was there to show my solidarity and my anger at what the Marie Curie charity is doing to this hospice. It's an extremely sad situation."
A Marie Curie spokeswoman said: "This isn't about cutting costs, it's about providing more care to more people across Surrey. That can't be done at the hospice."
A consultation on the future of the hospice ends on February 5.
Turn to page 6 for full story.