IT'S right that Wycombe district councillors should join the chorus shouting about our area's health service.

This week they voted to "condemn the Labour government for promising so much and delivering so little on the NHS in Wycombe" as part of the alarm about persistent rumours centred on our town's A and E department.

Buckinghamshire Health Authority admits it's still considering closing the hard-pressed department at either Wycombe or Stoke Mandeville hospital and consolidating all the service on just one site. What a hammer blow that would be.

All this comes when Wycombe, like other areas, is short of nurses and other resources.

Balanced against that I have to be cynical or suspicious however about the above resolution passed by councillors on Monday. The Tories voted for it and Labour and the Lib Dems were against.

It's a Tory controlled council and the opposition parties backed another resolution which simply said the council supports Wycombe's A and E department and urges the health authority to protect the department.

The Tories were bandwagon jumping by including the word Labour in their motion of condemnation. It's what you might expect. Labour and the Lib Dems might have done the same if they'd been in control. That's politics.

Anyway, in pursuit of fair play it's worth reminding the Tories that their resolution condemning the government for "promising so much and delivering so little on the NHS in Wycombe" should be examined.

Don't they remember dear bumbling Frank Dobson, the then health minister, coming to Wycombe Hospital not long ago? He came to lift the first sod or lay the first foundation stone at the start of considerable upgrading of both Wycombe and Amersham hospitals.

I think the government was injecting more than £40 million into the two hospital sites and the health authority is spending more than £100 million a year on our service anyway. So let's be fair.

Don't think I'm a spinman for this government. I'm a sharp critic too but there's some legacy of underspending and neglect by the previous Tory government.

Turning the health service around with big injections of money is like swerving the Titanic away from an iceberg. It takes a long time to do it.

The lot more nurses needed can't be taken off a shelf. Nurse training was reduced a few years ago but now it's being boosted if students can be attracted to a demanding profession. It could get worse before getting better.

My first wife, a senior sister in an A and E unit, often said there are too many chiefs and not enough indians in the service. When staff cuts were made in the 1980s and 90s the chiefs "men in grey suits" often cut the number of indians instead of chiefs.