Local Lib Dem leader Brian Wernham has called for the pharmacy on Scotland Road to be brought back into use

An appeal has been launched to reopen a long disused pharmacy at Carlisle in North West England to reduce waiting times.

Liberal Democrats in Stanwix are calling for the reopening of a pharmacy on Scotland Road.

They say that there is demand which is not being met and that the shop’s closure has resulted in long queues outside the Edentown pharmacy.

Brian Wernham, a prospective Lib Dem candidate to run for councillor, said: “The Eden Street medical practice is unable to cope with demand – there are often long queues.”

The Lib Dem group in Stanwix has been conducting surveys about the issues residents care about most.

“Overwhelmingly the issues were pharmacies and seeing doctors face to face. Reopening the pharmacy was something that I’ve spoken to a lot of people about. It would reduce the queues outside the pharmacy we’ve got which is on Eden Street.”

The pharmacy is currently without an owner and in the care of the estate agents but Wernham wants to see it taken on by “a young entrepreneurial pharmacist wanting to set up a new business.”

“Reopening the pharmacy here would not only be great for local people but also the shops because there’d be more people walking around.”

He pointed out that the service in Carlisle’s Asda and the Edentown pharmacy are the last available in the area before having to cross the border.

Wernham was part of a Covid support group during the height of the pandemic and believes that current councillors should be doing more for the area.

He said: “I think a bit of local leadership would encourage something useful to be done with that unit because it’s just an eyesore at the minute.”

But Conservative Carlisle City councillor for Stanwix and Houghton Elizabeth Mallinson said: “All councillors in their wards work exceptionally hard Stanwix councillor are no exception.

“Throughout the pandemic we’ve run joint works with the county council on all manner of issues, these were done through the Cumbria Resilience Forum. All councillors north of the river would be very grateful if the findings (of the survey) would be shared with elected representatives.”

Commenting on queues outside the existing pharmacy, councillor Mallinson said: “It’s unfortunately due to staff shortages, the shortages of pharmacies and the Covid-19 regulations that don’t allow more than three people into the premises.”

By Gareth Cavanagh, Local Democracy Reporter

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