A mass demonstration calling for an A&E department to return to High Wycombe was led by six former town mayors on Sunday – 10 years after it was closed.

The group put “party politics” behind them to join forces in calling for improved services to return to Wycombe Hospital as a boost to the long-running campaign.

The High Wycombe A&E department was closed in 2006 with residents in need of emergency care now forced to travel to either Stoke Mandeville Hospital or Wexham Park Hospital.

Despite strong support from the Bucks Free Press, residents and politicians, the doors of the town’s A&E have remained firmly shut.

The public talk outside All Saints Church, in Castle Street, called for a picture protest and was led by current mayor Mohammed Hanif and past mayors, Khalil Ahmed, Trevor Snaith, Chaudry Shafique, Sebert Graham and Frances Alexander.

Cllr Hanif said: “I was delighted to stand with five other past mayors to support the hospital campaign.

“Parties come and parties go but people’s health care goes on forever.

“As the mayor of High Wycombe I am sticking to my agenda the theme of 'One Community'.

“People’s health care is far too precious to be scared of political minefields and we are all in it together as 'One Community'.

The move was co-ordinated by Hand Back our Hospital campaigner Ozma Hafiz, who is now hoping residents will join a social media protest named #HandsUpForAHandBack to restore the lost service.

A funding petition started by the group will also be handed in to Downing Street by MPs soon and has already received more than 9,150 signatures.

Miss Hafiz: “We're saying 'stop' [to further losses] and putting our hands up for a 'hand back' of lost services.

“The hand campaign is about us zooming out and uniting the community in wanting to restore Wycombe Hospital to a fully functioning one.

“Our funding petition is designed to tackle a root cause of our problems, chronic under-funding.”

One of the main reasons to kick-start the campaign was because of the district’s growing population and huge increase in homes expected over the next few years.

Former Liberal Democrat councillor and 2013/2014 town mayor, Trevor Snaith, said: “Let’s be honest we’ve had numerous campaigns along the way to restore Wycombe Hospital and the A&E in particular.

“Wycombe is a growing town and Wycombe is having a lot of new properties in this area and it really does need to have a hospital centralised in Wycombe.”

To view the petition, go to home.38degrees.org.uk and search “Fair funding for Buckinghamshire”.