It is hard, sometimes, to see anything good in what seems like defeat, but the people of West Cumbria can hold their heads up high.

I am a week late but I have to have my say about the Success Regime and, even more, about the fight across West Cumbria to save our health services.

Maternity services have been given a reprieve but it is hard to know if that is really a reprieve or simply a stay of execution.

That would mean they could come back in 12 months and say they gave it a good try and shut services anyway!

Decisions have been made but who knows what will happen in the future. Maryport and Wigton have been told their beds will go. But when and how?

I think it is safe to assume the NHS can’t remove beds without having some other plans in place and how they are going to set up suitable integrated community care programmes is beyond me.

There isn’t the money. There isn’t the staff.

I shouldn’t assume anything, I guess, but I don’t see how the beds could be removed without something else in place which means we may still have our beds for a long time in the future.

As the Maryport district reporter I have been closely involved with the Save Our Beds (SOB) campaign. What an amazing job the people of Maryport did!

Special mention has to go to Bill Barnes who set up the SOB campaign, Sharon Barnes his wife and tireless worker, Kate Whitmarsh and Ann-Marie Steel from the Ewanrigg Local Trust and Dr Dan Berkeley who represented Maryport Health Services.

The town owes thanks, too, to Dr John Howarth who had the unenviable task of keeping his balance while trying to keep his feet in both camps.

Dr Howarth was one of the leaders campaigning to save cottage hospitals just over 10 years ago. Now he is deputy chairman of the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

He spent hours at meetings in Maryport trying to help us to find something to offer the Success Regime that would ultimately benefit the town and district.

To digress for a second: WHAT and WHY is it the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust? I can’t even see how the name makes sense.

Why can’t they just call themselves NHS Cumbria or Cumbria NHS?

I have given you a few names of people who could and should be considered community heroes.

But behind every one of those were hundreds and thousands who marched and wrote letters and signed petitions, turned up to meetings, ran or contributed to social media campaigns and worked tirelessly to fight for our services.

There were 50,000 ribbons tied to railings, trees, gateposts or anywhere else you could find in Maryport, Flimby, Dearham and Crosby.

Each of these ribbons was hand cut by Sharon Barnes and her volunteers down on their knees with a pair of scissors and iron will.

Even after the initial flurry, there were between 40 and 60 people turning up to regular meetings to discuss how to continue the battle.

I am going to mention our own paper, too, who stood with the people of Maryport and, later, with all of West Cumbria with their Save Our Beds and Save Our Services campaigns.

The press, deservedly at times, are often criticised.

But I believe our paper showed what a force for good it can be when it does what it says on the tin (or at least on our front pages) and fights for our community.

The battle is not won and may never be.

But we will continue the fight and, at the end of the day, win or lose, there are people throughout West Cumbria who can hold their heads high and say: “I tried my very best!”

Whoever you are – you are heroes.