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New site for £8m Walsall health centre eyed after backlash

By Tom Oakley | Walsall | Health | Published:

A multi-million pound new health centre could be built along one of Walsall’s main roads, it has been claimed.

Jabez Cliff was demolished after a severe fire

The transformation of the former Jabez Cliff leather works into an £8 million health centre sparked an angry backlash from the public with hundreds of people objecting to the plans.

Now Councillor Mike Bird – leader of the Tory group – which is poised to take control of Walsall Council, said he will press for a health centre to go on Broadway North instead.

NHS Walsall CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) said in January it would go back to the drawing board over the plans after around 200 people rallied against the plans for the conversion of the Lower Forster Street leatherworks.

The plans would have seen the merger of Lichfield Street Surgery, Sycamore House Surgery, The Limes and Saddlers Medical Centre under one roof.

Walsall Council’s leader-elect Councillor Mike Bird said: “I think the first thing we will do if we are the new administration of the council is revisit the probability of having a medical centre at the Broadway site,”

He added: “It is a matter for the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group). We have a willing to do it but whether the money and finances are available is not down to us.

“I understand Jabez Cliff is off the agenda. We will revisit the site of the Broadway.”

A CCG spokesperson said: “The CCG anticipates that we can agree a development and site that meets patient needs, and once options have been explored, and new proposals developed, we’ll ensure appropriate engagement with patients to seek their views before any decisions.”

Councillor Bird hopes his party will run a minority administration after last week’s election.

Tom Oakley

By Tom Oakley
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist

Express & Star reporter responsible for covering Walsall and Staffordshire. Got a story? Email tom.oakley@expressandstar.co.uk or call 01902 319482.

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