Scotland’s oldest community health project is under threat of closure because of lack of funding.
The organisation was advised only last week that their funding would be cut by the joint NHS and The City of Edinburgh Council Integrated Joint Board. Since then there has been an enormous amount of community activity in response.
A demonstration was staged outside the City Chambers this morning where the Integrated Joint Board were about to meet.
The supporters of the Pilton Community Health Project assembled to protest about the closure of what is seen as a vital service.
Supporters have gathered all week to make banners and organise the protest.
Andy Wightman MSP asked the First Minister about any support available from the Scottish Government yesterday at FMQs.
He said : “Folk have worked at Pilton Community Health Project, which is Scotland’s oldest community health project, to tackle social isolation and reduce health inequalities in one of the country’s most deprived areas. The project’s 40 staff risk losing their jobs. In light of yesterday’s budget statement, what support can the Scottish Government provide to ensure that that funding decision is reconsidered?”
The First Minister replied that it was not within her sphere of operation to comment given that it is a matter for the IJB which is a collaboration between the NHS and the council.
Cllr Steve Burgess raised the matter at the council meeting yesterday asking the council leader to address the issue.
There are 35 members of staff and 40 volunteers who could be affected by the closure.
When the IJB met this morning the decision was made though the community has vowed to continue its opposition to the cuts.
Deidre Brock MP and Ben Macpherson MSP stood alongside the protesters and had this to say :
Below is a selection of photos by Thomas Brown taken at the demonstration.