LABOUR councillors from the town have organised a candlelit vigil tonight, Monday, to continue the campaign to drop the controversial NHS bill.

Members of the public and NHS staff will be attending the event on the eve of a crucial vote in the House of Lords.

The vigil is one of at least 24 co-ordinated events being held at the same time across the country.

Warrington’s vigil will take place outside the office of Warrington South MP David Mowat, who has supported the bill throughout its progress, despite opposition from members of the public and the medical profession.

Clr Maureen McLaughlin, who has organised the event, said: “The key purpose of these vigils is to demonstrate that people in the UK do not want this bill to become law.

“These reforms are extremely costly at a time when hospitals are being asked to make massive savings, and they will open the NHS up to increasing amounts of privatisation.

Clr Pat Wright added she was very concerned what the bill will mean for Warrington residents.

Clr Jean Carter added: “Even though the Information Commissioner has ordered the Government to publish the document setting out the risks of NHS reforms, the Government are still resisting publishing.

“They are expecting the Lords to vote on the reform without them having sight of the risks.

“I understand that dozens of doctors across the country plan to stand as independent MPs at the next election in protest at the reforms.”

Mr Mowat said: “I am delighted to report that after two years of the Coalition Government, there are 4,000 more doctors and 5,000 fewer administrators in the NHS.

“The Conservatives were the only party that fought the last election on a promise of more funding for the NHS and I am delighted to see these improvements coming through.

“If Labour want to do something positive, they should match our spending plans, something they dismissed as 'irresponsible'.

"The NHS needs more doctors, more nurses and I am confident we will have delivered that before the next election.”

The group will be outside the office on Stafford Road, Stockton Heath, from 8pm.