Well, sort of. I went along to our local Neighbourhood tasking forum the other night. Minutes from the previous meeting made interesting reading. The previous meeting was held at a community centre attached to local Roman Catholic Church on the north side of the canal. It was attended by 14 residents which included four councillors plus cops & fire service. An item from the minute said “PCT to bring report to the next meeting to talk about the Health Centre for the area”. The following meeting was held at a church community centre on south side of the canal and attracted 7 residents including one councillor (the chair) cops & fire service. Someone from the last meeting must have raised the Health Centre but no one from that meeting was present. No one from PCT was present and no report was given in fact the whole situation seemed embarrassing to the chair who did not seem to understand how the minute came to be there.
So what is going on here? Did the PCT deliberately snub our area again? Two of the councillors present at the earlier meeting have spoken out against the sighting of the clinic on the south side. Why call for a report then not attend the following meeting? Is it to much of a coincidence? I was pondering all this when the better of our local freebie newspapers the Observer arrived. Our MP Tom Watson chose the Health Centre issue for his regular Westminster Observer feature. He mentioned me and the work of the campaign. He also included as he has done in past articles to the importance of all the political parties being behind this and how Newton Cllr’s were supporting this. It appears from his piece that negotiations are well underway with Sandwell Council and a scheme should be ready for presentation to PCT board in January. This would make the clinic a year behind schedule and I put the blame firmly for this on the shoulders of Cllr’s from adjoining wards. That all sounds fine except he also feels that we should continue to keep the pressure on by our action group. A big difference to the article in the Chronicle a couple of issues ago. A much more balanced and accurate assessment of the present position.
After the meeting I had the chance to talk to a couple of the campaign members. Knowing now how easy it is to cause traffic chaos at Scot Arms perhaps it would be better if we protested at or near the home of the Cllr at Scot Arms. I wonder would we be breaking any laws. Still not convinced that a new protest is essential but it looks to be moving that way. My agent/manager or principle carer has she is now know (the misses) is shaking her head and giving me that don’t you dare look. Ummmmmmmm
I’m going to write to the Chair of the PCT to see if I can establish what did happen over the minute I mentioned above.
Well done Tom keep up the good work.