MALVERN Town Council should be commended for its campaign to get the public involved in the decision-making over plans for a new hospital.

If that campaign played a part in the fiasco of this week's public meeting, which had to be cancelled after around 500 people turned up at the Abbey Hotel venue which could only cater for 350, that is not fault of the council.

Indeed, before the council intervened to suggest a larger venue, the South Worcestershire Primary Care Trust had been planning to hold this, its main public meeting as part of this consultation process at Priory Lodge Hall.

The PCT would have liked nothing better than for this consultation to have passed off quietly, with the minimum of public interest, then it could have gone away and done a deal with Malvern Hills District Council to build a new hospital on the Pickersleigh Depot site, but what sort of hospital would it have been?

After 25 years of waiting, you would almost be grateful to have any kind of new hospital, but should Malvern just give up and say any new hospital is better than none?

What the town council is seeking to do is to mobilise people power to challenge the PCT to build the hospital that people want. After so many grand promises, the town deserves, needs and should settle for nothing less.

It is ironic that a town council that in its early years brought itself and the town it serves into such disrepute by ignoring people should now be seeking to work with the community.

This is why Malvern needed a town council, not for its grand offices but to speak for Malvern.