PROTESTORS who are against the closure of a mental health ward headed to Bridgwater today to lobby councillors.

A campaign group called Save St Andrews Ward in Wells headed to the McMillan Theatre around 9am, as Somerset County Council (SCC) councillors held a meeting there from 10am.

READ MORE: Campaigners to lobby councillors at Bridgwater meeting about St Andrews Ward, Wells, closure

At the lobby, there were speeches from the campaign group, the Labour Party, as well as both Mendip and Bridgwater Trades Union Councils.

Dave Chapple, who is part of the Save St Andrews Ward group, said: “We did today what we set out to do - to let SCC know that the St Andrews Ward campaign is flourishing and that we are not going away.

“Our group is not just about mental health and St Andrews Ward, but it is also about all other public services in Somerset. If Yeovil has problems with buses, or Bridgwater has problems with another public service, we can all step in to help.

“This is a Somerset-wide issue, and even today we had people from Frome, Wells, Yeovil and Weston-super-Mare.”

READ MORE: Group protests against closure of St Andrews Ward in Wells

The governing body of the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) made the decision to move 14 mental health beds to Yeovil on September 24 2020.

READ MORE: Mental health beds set to move from Wells to Yeovil

The move was considered because St Andrews Ward in Wells is around 45 minutes away from the nearest emergency department (Bath Royal United Hospital), whereas Rowan Ward in Yeovil is less than one mile away from Yeovil District Hospital.

However, the relocation of the beds will not happen before summer 2022 at the earliest.

"When a smaller unit is moved into a bigger district hospital and it closes, people don't kick up a fuss," added Dave.

"This stand alone unit is important to the community in Wells, and we are starting to get the message out there."