Sandwell Council will seek to recoup hundreds of thousands of pounds from the Government if plans for three health centres in the borough are scrapped, a leading member of the authority warned today.
Further doubt on whether the multi-million pound schemes in Wednesbury, Langley and Great Bridge would be pursued was cast at a meeting this week when health bosses told councillors a decision was still pending.
And Councillor Derek Rowley, Sandwell’s cabinet member for jobs and economy, said if the plans do not come to fruition, he would be seeking compensation.
Councillor Rowley said the authority had spent hundreds of thousands of pounds relocating staff and on-site security to pave the way for the scheme.
“We are sad a decision has not been made,” he said.
“We have spent money on relocation and security on the understanding the PCT will be buying the sites from us. We have tried to make them available and incurred the costs.
“We fenced the Great Bridge site off three years ago and built a car park. still nothing has been done.”
The £9 million health centre in High Bullen, Wednesbury, is due to open in 2014, with GP services, consultation and treatment rooms, a pharmacy and 136 staff – some transferred from Mallings Health, Spires, and the nearby Mesty Croft clinic.
The £5.6m Langley Rood End Primary Care Centre, at Crosswells Road and Bloxcidge Street, would have five GP surgeries, a minor procedures room, pharmacy, community respiratory service and sexual health clinics. A £5 million complex at High Street, Great Bridge, will include two GP surgeries extra community services and outpatient facilities for minor treatments.
Councillor Rowley said there was another meeting with health bosses from Birmingham & Solihull and Black Country Clusters next Wednesday.