LEGAL action against a health board’s decision to close a dementia unit has failed to materialise, according to a Monmouthshire councillor.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) closed the 15-bed St Pierre ward at Chepstow Community Hospital in April following months of public consultation.

Monmouthshire County Council’s plans to apply for a judicial review against ABUHB were revealed at a full council meeting last week.

But Conservative councillor Phil Murphy told the Lower Wye area committee on Wednesday that the challenge has “failed to get off the ground”.

“We didn’t have the evidence for a case, the council has done everything it possibly can,” said the cabinet member for resources.

ABUHB refused an invitation to attend the full council meeting but the local authority has been told that representatives would attend future select committee meetings.

Conservative councillor and deputy council leader Bob Greenland questioned the health board’s motives on Wednesday.

He said: “Perhaps they feel they would have an easier ride with just a few members present. I think one thing that will underline the unpopularity of the decision would be to see members of the public coming out in force to the meeting and sticking up for this hospital.”

Cllr Greenland also expressed the need for independent scrutiny of the health board’s “middle management” and the decision-making process.

Concern was also raised about the £200,000 that ABUHB says it will invest in developing new methods of supporting adults with mental health needs in Monmouthshire.

The money was described as a “piece of silver” by St Arvans community councillor Rita Edwards, who also labelled the ward closure as “disgusting”.

The chair of the committee, Conservative councillor David Dovey, added: “We would be foolish to accept this money. The terms haven’t been absolutely explicit as to how we can spend it.”

The meeting also heard from Patrick Molyneux, a Conservative councillor at Gloucestershire County Council, who spoke about the upcoming closures of the nearby Lydney and District hospital and the Dilke Memorial Hospital in Cinderford.

“I’m concerned about the cross-border issues. If we lose these two hospitals, as well as Chepstow, then we will all be losing out,” he said.

Lib Dem Councillor Jez Becker criticised ABUHB’s insistence that the hospital would remain open when chief operating officer Nick Wood met with the committee in September.

“They would have known that Lydney Hospital was going to close. It just seems like maladministration, or plain lies,” he said.