WEST Midlands Ambulance Service’s recent announcement to close the station in Ross-on-Wye is yet another blow to local residents.

It appears ambulance bosses have learnt nothing from their handling last year of the plans to close their base in Bromyard.

Back in April, Bromyard councillors said they were being kept in the dark about proposals to close the ambulance base.

They had not been told of the changes and had to arrange for a meeting to explain why they had come to the conclusion the town no longer needed to keep an ambulance there overnight.

This time around it is the good people of Ross-on-Wye who are protesting about the lack of consultation.

As with the temporary closure of the town’s minor injury unit, nobody thought it would be courteous to ask civic leaders what they thought of their intention to close the base at Haigh Industrial Estate by the end of March.

This is a recurring theme with more and more services being centralised and more decisions being made before there is even a chance of public scrutiny.

Time and time again, we are seeing services being taken away from local communities at a time when market towns such as Ross are growing and have plans for yet more housing.

If there are decisions to take services away, for whatever reason, they must include the input of the people who use them.

After all, it will not be the ivory tower bosses and their armies of bean counters who have to put up with the consequences.