Some good news for Sandwell today, although frankly it has a slightly bittersweet taste to it.
The Government has at last said yes to a brand new £400m hospital in Smethwick.
The Midland Metropolitan Hospital will be a big plus, offering local people first class healthcare and creating lots of jobs, including ones in the hard-pressed building industry.
All good, you might think. Well yes, but….
Why has it taken so long for the Chancellor to give the scheme the go ahead?
Still, at least the money is coming.
Which you can’t say for the Chancellor’s announcement of help for schools -the bulk of it is likely to go on more primary places at academies and free schools (which incidentally I reckon means Portacabins).
This won’t be any good to our secondary schools’ rebuilding programme, which was scrapped by the Government almost as soon as it got into power.
We will keep fighting to save the scheme.
And today’s silver lining, I guess, is the Chancellor’s about-turn on big investment schemes gives more hope to our campaign.
Watch this space…
PS – I know some people are worried about getting to the new hospital in Smethwick from other parts of the borough – and we have held talks with Centro to make sure public transport does a good job.