THANK you to supporters of Mount Vernon Before Christmas, I met with a minister at the Department of Health to deliver a simple message: the community I represents wants to keep cancer services at Mount Vernon, and not see them moved into Hertfordshire.

I was not alone. In our group, were two MPs and officers of Community Voice representing Hillingdon; Harrow and Hertfordshire and we delivered a petition with 77,780 signatures.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the minister had invited representatives of all the key NHS organisations involved in the future of the cancer centre.

This was the culmination of a cross party campaign that I launched with Community Voice last March and the results exceeded all my expectations.

In an age when people ask "Why bother getting involved?", I would like to thank everyone who signed the petition or who encouraged others to do so.

The result is that the decision makers could not be clearer about the local view that it is time to stop mucking around with Mount Vernon.

History has taught us not to take anything for granted with the NHS, but I do sense that things are going our way. However as a senior manager told me the future of the cancer centre will not be secure until the future of the whole site is clarified.

This question is all tied up with the future of Hillingdon Hospital; Northwood, Pinner and, to some degree, Harefield. One day I hope we will be granted some stability in the shape and location of where we go for medical treatment but for the moment we must go on fighting our corner to ensure that local interests are not sacrificed to the central plan of the day.