MP's call for government to release money needed for Midland Met Hospital
A Sandwell MP is lobbying the government to release £358 million needed to complete the Midland Metropolitan Hospital fearing a snap general election could delay it by months.
John Sepllar, MP for Warley, is asking the Health Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer to include the stalled project in spending plans which will be announced this week as part of the autumn statement.
His call comes after the chief executive of Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Hospitals Trust, Toby Lewis, warned last month that any further delays could see the new completion date of 2022 being pushed back, adding to the final costs.
The trust has agreed a contract with Balfour Beatty to complete the hospital but that agreement is conditional on when the money is released.
The Labour MP says the present political uncertainty over Brexit and a possibility of a vote of no confidence in government could trigger a general election which would suspend funding for major projects.
He said: "We have an autumn statement being made on Wednesday and I’m very keen that it should be announced as part of that particularly if in the next two weeks we’re taken into a general election.
"I will be absolutely pressing the urgent case for the Midland Metropolitan to get up and running because of the implications for health in the area, the provision of employment but also for the construction company, Balfour Beatty who really need to know where they stand.”