Councillors have vowed to oppose hospital cuts in Kirklees.

Reacting to news hours earlier that a consultation on closing A&E at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary had begun, elected members said they would attempt to meet with the Secretary of State for Health to raise their concerns.

Leaders of the three major parties agreed to unite to fight the plan.

A motion to full council expressed fears that health chiefs’ moves were coming on top of decisions to scale back urgent care at Dewsbury Hospital, leaving Kirklees with no full accident and emergency department.

Kirklees Conservative group leader Clr Robert Light called for politics to take a back seat.

“This will deeply impact on residents of this borough,” he said. “I hope we can unite and send a strong message to the (hospital) trust and the CCGs and anyone who will listen.

Video thumbnail, A&E Briar Court meeting
Video Loading

“It must be ‘no’ to no A&E in Kirklees.

“Calderdale people have fought a big campaign and I take my hat off to them. The challenge for us is to fight a campaign that is bigger and more effective.

“We must offer alternative solutions.”

Council leader Clr David Sheard noted Huddersfield was one of dozens of towns being hit by hospital downgrades .

But he said he thought the campaign should not become a battle between Kirklees and Calderdale.

“It was disappointing to see the comments from some in Calderdale that they had won,” he said. “I believe all communities should have A&E provision.

READ MORE: Plan which could see Huddersfield A&E close will slash local NHS debt from £281m to £11m

READ MORE: Hands off our A&E: Sign the petition to save Huddersfield Royal Infimary A&E here

“We’ve already been through this in North Kirklees with Dewsbury and some of the things that were said there they’ve gone back on.”

Liberal Democrat leader Clr Nicola Turner said: “The worry people have is this really is going to cost lives.

We represent the people of Kirklees and we can say to the hospital and the CCGs that they have to find another solution.

“We have to have an A&E at HRI. Nothing else will do.”

Green and Valley Independent group leader Clr Andrew Cooper said health chiefs had “not served” the public well at the meeting announcing the plan.

Video thumbnail, Olivia Townsend, Golcar, says she wouldn't be here if it weren't for the A&E at HRI
Video Loading

“There were probably 200 people that couldn’t get into the meeting,” he said. “The questions that were pre-submitted were not answered. There was no attempt to answer them.

“There were unreadable slides. There is an opportunity for us to provide an institution that people will have faith in.

“I’m really proud that we can rise above party politics and unite on this.”

Clr David Ridgway said: “Getting to Halifax isn’t easy – it’s hard at all times.

“The safety of the people of Huddersfield is being put at risk to solve the problems of a rotten contract .”

An extraordinary meeting of the council to debate the hospital shake-up will be held in the coming weeks.