The government must step in and make sure construction on a half-built hospital that is delayed because of the Carillion disaster is completed, Unite said yesterday (September 24).
A protest by Unite outside the Royal Liverpool Hospital came as the union submitted a motion to the Labour Party conference calling for the government to take direct control of the project.
Work stopped on the hospital after the collapse of outsourcing giant Carillion earlier this year.
Speaking outside the hospital, Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said, “The people of Liverpool need public money so that this much-needed hospital can be built.
“This is a symbolic protest but with a serious message. It is shameful that we have to plead for public investment so this hospital can be built.”
Cartmail said it was a “scandal” that work on the project had been stopped because of the mismanagement and greed of Carillion’s executives.
She added, “If what has happened is not illegal, then it should be.”
The protest was also attended by shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth who said the question mark hanging over the hospital’s completion is an “absolute shambles”.
He said, “We cannot have a hospital that is 80 to 90 per cent completed just stalled and mothballed.
“Ministers have a responsibility to get a grip here and get this hospital built for the people of Liverpool.
“If there is a Labour government in the coming weeks/months we would get a grip of this situation.”
Unite leader Len McCluskey urged people to write to health secretary Matt Hancock to pressure him into ensuring the hospital is finished.
McCluskey added, “Please also sign the petition calling on the government to fund the completion of the Royal Liverpool. Every action counts.”
Unite’s Labour Party conference motion calls on the government to ensure that costs incurred to the hospital’s construction by Carillion’s collapse be borne by the private sector and for public funding to be made available for it to be completed “as swiftly as possible”.