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Margate: Labour Party holds candlelit vigil for NHS outside Thanet District Council offices

By Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Dozens gathered outside council offices in Margate for a candlelit vigil last night.

Supporters including families and passersby joined about 10 members of the local Labour Party, who held candles outside Thanet District Council offices from 3pm until 6pm.

The vigil was held to raise awareness of changes that are being, and could be, made to NHS services in Thanet.

Supporters at the vigil, with Cllr Karen Constantine (centre) (5585854)
Supporters at the vigil, with Cllr Karen Constantine (centre) (5585854)

Organiser Cllr Karen Constantine said: "It was very cold, but we distributed about 1,000 leaflets and spoke to about 300 or 400 people.

"We kept it light and bright. We weren't singing or waving placards – it was very refined and subdued.

"It was great to speak to people who maybe weren't aware of what is happening. We weren't try to scaremonger.

Supporters at the vigil (5585851)
Supporters at the vigil (5585851)

"People don't know about the proposal to move the stroke unit out to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

"Even though it had been very big news, some people don't know about the plans to change the hospitals in Kent, which there's currently a consultation about.

"Either way, it's going to leave Thanet bereft. I think particularly under threat are the A&E and maternity units."

Several dozen people, including families and young people, braved the cold weather to join the vigil.

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