Victory for Saltney residents as Morrison`s pharmacy application is finally granted
Saltney is to finally get its own pharmacy on the Welsh side of town after a long campaign by residents and councillors.
A ‘celebratory Tweet’ by Flintshire county councillor for Saltney Stonebridge Veronica Gay, was the signal to those residents who`d fought a long and hard battle for a pharmacy to give themselves a collective pat on the back.
Saltney pharmacy has finally been granted for Morrisons store Residents & councillors celebrate decision by WG to acknowledge township needs
— Veronica Gay (@VeronicaGayFCC) January 11, 2014
Common sense appears to have broken out at Welsh Government HQ with a decision centred around community needs rather than the protection of a PLC`s huge profit margin.
North Wales AM Mark Isherwood had described the situation in Saltney as “ludicrous” with the nearest pharmacy in Wales at Boots – Broughton Shopping Park – which is over two miles away, the local alternative is to use a pharmacy on the Chester side of Saltney, however residents are forced to pay for vital prescriptions that would otherwise be free too many in Wales.
Morrison`s had three applications to build an in-store pharmacy rejected by the Welsh Government even though they were supported by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.
The Welsh Government decision was quashed following pressure from Residents, Saltney Town Council, local Government figures and Morrison’s.
In September last year Labour community leaders, including Alyn and Deeside AM Carl Sargeant and MP Mark Tami, spent the day outside Morrisons collecting over 500 signatures from those who wanted to see a pharmacy set up in the store.
Carl Sargeant AM said:
“Last autumn I was overwhelmed by the huge support local residents showed for this application – almost everyone I spoke to was in favour of their town getting its own pharmacy – and I am sure their determination to stand up for Saltney went a long way in ensuring its success.
“Many people, particularly elderly people or those with ongoing conditions, were having to travel over the border to Chester to collect their medicine, meaning many did not qualify for free prescriptions as they would in Wales.
“This decision will put an end to that situation and I hope residents are as pleased as I am at the news.”
The plans for a pharmacy at Morrison`s were opposed to by Boots at Broughton and Vittoria Healthcare on the English side of Saltney, this led the Welsh Government to reject the applications on the grounds that the town has sufficient facilities nearby.
However, not everybody is convinced the new pharmacy is a positive development, while one PLC will be ruing the potential loss of revenue, Morrison`s, which is often described as a ‘Big Four’ supermarket chain, will welcome the decision with open arms, and of course the extra money the pharmacy will generate, a point not lost on one Saltney resident who posted on Facebook:
“Slowly but surely we give backing to the big boys. At what cost??? They take over.the small chemist is forced to close.another nail in the coffin of the ‘Community”
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