City’s bid for more say about ambulance service rebuffed
MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- A request by London city council for the same number of seats on the board that oversees local ambulance service has been turned down by politicians on Middlesex County Council.
Instead, they’re being offered one seat.
“Disappointed when I saw the letter,” says Stephen Turner, a London city councillor.
Last month, city council asked to have an equal number of seats as the county on the Middlesex London Paramedic Service Authority Board.
“The city of London represents about 90 per cent of the call volume of paramedic services and contributes about six times the amount of funding compared to the county,” explains Turner. “We wanted to ensure those interests were represented.”
Turner says council members would like insights into how the ambulance budget is set and how the service is provided after a substantial budget hike this year. The MLPS Authority Board is currently composed of three county council members and the Chief Administrative Officer of Middlesex County.
“After careful consideration, County Council decided it would not provide parity on the board,” reads the response from Middlesex County Warden Cathy Burghardt-Jesson. The city is instead invited to submit a request for one seat.
When asked about the decision by CTV News, Burghardt-Jesson says, “County council is ultimately the one that is responsible for the service.”
The MLPS Authority Board only makes recommendations. Final decisions would continue to be made by county council. “Let’s not let the request of three seats and the offer of one seat stop us from doing the important work that we can do together,” adds the warden.
City hall’s Corporate Services Committee will discuss the warden’s letter at its meeting on Monday. “We will continue to negotiate and try to have a good position for the City of London on the board going forward,” Turner says.