I am writing to clarify the situation regarding our hospital as your article could, unfortunately, have been misconstrued.

The recent decision of the Trust was good news for our town, because it confirms the future of Watford General, and the prospects of new hospital facilities here.

READ MORE: Hopes for new hospital sunk by WHHT announcement

When I was mayor the Lib Dem administration always promoted what was known as the Watford Option, which ideally sought a 100 per cent new hospital at Watford General, but most importantly sought to keep acute services, including A&E at Watford rather than them moving to Hemel or some hypothetical out-of-town site.

We took controversial decisions (closing an allotment site, building a road all well covered by your newspaper) over many years to ensure that we retained acute and emergency services in Watford and that space was given to the Trust for new and improved facilities.

The so called ‘greenfield’ option, which has now been rejected, was never good news for Watford, but was favoured by MPs and residents in Hemel. It would have meant a slow death for Watford General.

I always believed it was not a viable option, unaffordable and with no appropriate site available. That is why I did all I could to ensure our acute services remained in Watford. We battled on with our preferred option through several consultations, many new chief executives and chairmen of the trust!

It has been a huge disappointment that it has taken the Trust and the Department for Health over a decade to get to this point but we had faith and as they say ‘hung in there’, campaigning tirelessly and making these painful and controversial decisions.

So it is a relief to at last have Watford’s future confirmed (again) and to know that in the ‘golden triangle’ of care, including St Albans and Hemel, we in West Hertfordshire will at last have world-class facilities within easy reach.

By way of further information it is worrying that Labour group leader Cllr Bell is once again peddling the line that there was funding for a new hospital on the Watford site, cancelled by the coalition government. He knows this to be untrue. It is his way of trying to distract attention from his own cynical attitude to the hospital. When it came to taking decisions he preferred to engage in shallow populism to making the difficult choices that secured the hospital’s future. Had we followed his policy, the prospects for Watford General would now be bleak indeed. It is no wonder he wants to rewrite history.

Dorothy Baroness Thornhill MBE