Tickets for a final public meeting on a controversial hospital shake-up have ‘sold out’.
But some of the 535 seats at the John Smith’s Stadium venue may be empty for the meeting on Monday.
The Examiner has learned that 50 tickets were booked from one email address – and then cancelled at the last minute.
And due to health and safety issues, it is unlikely the free tickets can be reissued.
The meeting – the third and final – was convened by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) behind the Right Care Right Time Right Place proposal after many hundreds were locked out of a previous meeting at the same venue.
WATCH a recap of the last meeting at the stadium below
Protestors are expected to congregate outside the stadium while next week’s meeting is underway.
CCGs organisers, predicting a large demand for places, made the meeting a ticketed event.
And by Thursday night all tickets for the event had been taken.
But the Examiner has learned that 50 tickets were booked – one at a time – from the email address email@example.com.
The tickets were then cancelled on Thursday night as the deadline to obtain them expired.
Natalie Ratcliffe, secretary of #HandsOffHRI, said the email does not belong to the campaign group.
A spokesperson for Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale CCGs said the groups were ‘very disappointed’ that people had been prevented from accessing tickets.
The spokesperson said: “We booked the largest venue available at the time that would also enable us to accommodate accessibility needs such as British Sign Language.
WATCH video of the last meeting below
“We were keen to ensure the safety of those attending and also to manage expectations so we decided to use a booking system.
“This allowed people to either book directly on-line or to call, text or email us for help with bookings – of which many did so.
“While we did fill all available seats at the venue, we are very disappointed that an individual email address booked a number of tickets and then cancelled them yesterday evening causing the event to show it was booked out stopping others from accessing tickets.
“It is a very disappointing situation but we would like to encourage people, if they did not get a ticket, to attend one of the additional information sessions we have arranged.”
Ms Ratcliffe added: “We have encouraged people to log on and book tickets.
“If you don’t want to use the ticket on the night you can give it to someone else.
“We didn’t expect anyone to book 50 tickets.”
The Examiner contacted firstname.lastname@example.org but is yet to receive a response.
Under the Right Care Right Time Right Place (RCRTRP) proposals, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary will lose its A&E department while emergency care will be centralised in Halifax.
The proposals also include a plan to close the Royal Infirmary and build a smaller hospital on the Acre Mills site, in Lindley.
Drop-in session take place at Huddersfield RUFC, Lockwood Park, on June 9, and at Meltham Sports and Community Centre, Mean Lane, on June 15. Both sessions run from 4pm to 7pm.