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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007, 17:45 GMT
Valentine's 'love hospitals' demo
Protesters at the demonstration (picture: Dr Richard Walters)
Protesters travelled from each of the areas affected
Campaigners fighting planned health service cuts in Powys have united in a Valentine's Day "We love our hospitals" demonstration.

Protesters released heart-shaped balloons and presented a 7,000-name petition at Powys local health board's headquarters at Bronllys, near Brecon.

The board has said its buildings are outdated and patients deserved better.

It faces a 3.5m deficit and plans cuts at Llanidloes, Knighton, Bronllys and Builth Wells hospitals.

Protest organisers said smaller demos were held in each of the four areas in the morning before the main event at the board's offices, in Bronllys, on Wednesday afternoon.

As well as releasing 100 balloons, campaigners presented Valentine cards to medical staff working at the community hospital nearby in appreciation of their work.

Coaches and cars

"The smaller events in the morning were well attended and we had up to 300 at Bronllys in the afternoon," said one of the organisers Dr Richard Walters.

"Two hospital users from each of the four areas affected were also invited into the board's offices to chat with chairman Chris Mann.

Dr Walters, of Builth and Llanwrtyd Wells Medical Practice, added that about 200 people had travelled to Bronllys from Llanidloes and Builth Wells by bus and cars.

Meanwhile, a 4,000-name petition signed by people in Builth Wells and Llanwrtyd Wells, and a further 3,000 signatures from Hay-on-Wye and Talgarth, near Brecon, was presented to board chief executive Andy Williams and Mr Mann.

It was the latest protest by campaigners who are fighting to save their local hospitals.

There have been a series of public meetings and demonstrations since last September throughout the areas affected by the proposals.

Carol service demo on health cuts
10 Dec 06 |  Mid Wales
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30 Nov 06 |  Mid Wales
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17 Nov 06 |  Mid Wales
Action group stages hospital demo
28 Oct 06 |  Mid Wales
Health chiefs opt to cut services
27 Sep 06 |  Mid Wales


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