IT'S official - Kirklees leaders will not hold a referendum on the proposed loss of services at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Senior councillors said it would be too expensive and too hard to frame a question.
Also, the result would not be binding on Health Service chiefs.
Council leader Clr Kath Pinnock said: "The people of Huddersfield and the valleys have made their voice very clear through a number of petitions. The 50,000 signatures say it all."
Health bosses want to move some maternity, gynaecological, children's and surgical services to the Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax.
Opponents of the transfer said a public vote run by Kirklees would be one more weapon in their fight.
But the council's Cabinet yesterday shied away from the £60,000 cost.
Instead, party leaders will meet NHS managers to put their views. Clr Pinnock said their views would be put forward with "some force".
She added: "The council has made it very clear it would not support the plans.
"We have said the proposals - particularly for maternity services - are unacceptable."
Cabinet member Clr Andrew Marchington said: "The question in a referendum would have to be so simple or simplistic that it would not add to the debate."
The decision on the changes is due to be made by NHS board members on March 22. Their vote will be made in public at a meeting at the Galpharm Stadium.