HEALTH bosses have told campaigning councillors that maternity units in Tendring have been closed because there is “greater need” in Colchester.

Clacton and Harwich’s units have been temporarily closed by Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust until at least June so midwives can cover shortages in Colchester.

Amanda Hallums, the trust’s divisional director of women’s and children’s services, spoke to councillors at a meeting of Tendring’s Health and Well-Being Board at Weeley on Tuesday.

She said: “It was having an impact on the Colchester main site and resulting in potential risks.

“However, these closures are temporary and I would like to see more deliveries take place in the community.

“The reality is that we have three sites and we have to look at where the needs are greatest at this moment in time and that is Colchester.”

Councillors vowed to back the community and fight the closures.

Paul Honeywood, Tendring Council’s assistant deputy leader, said: "Because problems at Colchester Maternity Unit have failed to be addressed Tendring has had to pay the price.

“Rather than improve the situation at Colchester it seems we have been robbed of our midwives and units for deliveries.”