A HOSPITAL should be included in the Malvern Hills' five year economic plan, according to a group of councillors.

Lib Dem leader Cllr Kaleem Aksar called on the district council to change its five year plan as there was no provision for a hospital mentioned.

He said: "Other councils around the country fight for health services in their communities on behalf of residents. By deciding not to focus on the hospital in their top priorities for the next five years, the Independent led council are letting down residents in Malvern who want to see their hospital put to good use. By bringing more services into Malvern Community Hospital we would relieve pressure on other hospitals in the county such as Worcestershire Royal. We can give residents closer access to Worcestershire’s brilliant healthcare staff right on our doorstep. I wish the Independent Councillors would change their minds and decide to campaign for this.”

The calls for a hospital come after last week's Executive Committee meeting in which Conservative councillors said they could not support the plan.

They said it was because of concerns about the way in which the plan's proposals, which included affordable housing and a covid memorial forest, were costed.

Speaking at this week's full council meeting, council leader Cllr Sarah Rouse said: "It has been a very challenging year, and covid has affected us all in different ways. This plan encompasses a lot of cross-party work including work on poverty, which is very important. We have also added in the Worcestershire covid recovery plan as something we all have to work towards, as well as increasing active travel corridors, which I believe eight out of ten residents supported."