19 January 2024
Weekly Message to Constituents 197 - Great News for the future of our Cottage Hospital as our plans approach fruition

As I mentioned in my previous messages, each week I will be reporting on my four key priorities for the Royal Town- the Town Hall, Cottage Hospital, Town Centre, and the Park. Last week I reported on the excellent news that we have secured up to £1 million in new funding for our Town Hall. This week, I would like to share some tremendous news on the development of the Cottage Hospital.

In the Constituency

The Cottage Hospital

As you may recall for a long time now, I have been working on plans for our Cottage Hospital to bring it back in to substantial use for the benefit of older people in the Royal Town- a service they can rely on to support them remaining and living in their own home. This started some years ago, with a plan costing between £2-5 million and has been followed up over the last year with surveys of the physical infrastructure and related matters. 

Last Friday I met with Richard Kirby, Chief Executive Officer of Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, regarding the lasted update on developments for Sutton Cottage Hospital.

In excellent news, the Birmingham & Solihull Integrated Care Board has agreed plans for an investment in health and care facilities at Sutton Cottage Hospital which are now estimated to require an investment of £8.5 million. Under these plans, the Cottage Hospital will be redeveloped to provide an integrated hub for community health services that will support people to live well at home reducing the need to go into emergency hospital care. 

The new “hub” will bring together community health services for older people which will support people to continue to live in their own homes and not need to move into institutional care. This serves Sutton Coldfield and the surrounding area and include therapy services, services supporting older people and people with long term conditions and serves as a base for integrated neighbourhood teams serving the area. The plans also include general practice services and community diagnostic services. 

Next steps include the detailed design work, planning permission and procurement with the aim of construction commencing on site in July 2024 with work completed in the summer of 2025. Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS FT will work closely with our teams at the Cottage Hospital, current patients and service users and the local community during the redevelopment period. 

Of particular importance, there will be, as part of his new arrangement, a GP especially on duty and available as part of the service at the Cottage Hospital.

I would like to thank particularly Richard Kirby, and Simon Ward from the Town Council for their brilliant work as part of this journey to develop what will be a hugely important and positive development for our Town.

I will of course keep you informed of further development and news but I look forward to seeing construction and rehabilitation work starting in July.

Above: Meeting with Richard Kirby at the Cottage Hospital last week 


John Willmott Ofsted report is ‘pivotal moment’ in school’s reinvention

I have some positive news to report from John Wilmott School, which is on a real journey of improvement.

Over the last year the school has embarked on a series of improvements designed to reinvent John Willmott, from a new, rewritten curriculum and readopted motto to a redesigned uniform and even a name change later this year – to the Royal Sutton School.

And last week Ofsted inspectors awarded the school its first ever ‘Good’ rating, after visiting in December.

Headteacher Nicola Gould said: “I was delighted by this report, and very proud of our children, who really demonstrated excellence throughout and shared the journey they have been on and the pride they have in their school. The parents were overwhelmingly positive in their interactions with Ofsted too.

“So, I was really proud of our whole school community pulling together to help produce this result, which I think is at a pivotal moment for the school.

“This is the first time that this school has received a Good rating, since Ofsted began operating. Now we can, as a school community, move together to the next stage quickly.”

For the full story, click here: https://suttonschoollife.co.uk/2024/01/18/john-willmott-ofsted-report-is-pivotal-moment-in-schools-reinvention/


Cancer Support Centre

I am very pleased to share the announcement that the Cancer Support Centre has finalised its location in Sutton Coldfield.

As you my recall, I have closely engaged in supporting the Cancer Support Centre in its work to secure its location and, at their request, I am delighted to agree to become a Patron of The Cancer Support Centre.

 St Giles Hospice and The Cancer Support Centre have worked very closely in the last 8 months to agree and put in place a multi-year lease that enables the Centre to continue to operate from its current location in Lindridge Road.

This is excellent news as it provides continuity of service to all Clients and enables all staff, therapists and volunteers to operate without disruption.

It has been through the dedication of the CEO of St Giles Hospice, Andrew Harkness, and the Chair of Trustees of The Cancer Support Centre, Trevor Saadi, that this agreement has been reached.

A more detailed statement will be released in the next couple of weeks, and I look forward to personally visiting the team in time to come.


Meeting my constituents

Tomorrow morning, (20th January), Mayor Andy Street and I will be distributing questionnaires and speaking to residents out and about in Walmley and Minworth. If you’re interested in getting involved email Jack.Annett@conservatives.com

Remember to wrap up warm!

Above: The team out and about a few weeks ago


West Midlands Mayor-PCC Merger Consultation 

The Home Office has launched a consultation on the transfer of the PCC powers to the Mayor, so that they can hear the views of local residents and push for the best course of action to ensure effective Policing across the West Midlands and indeed, the Royal Town. 

If you would like to respond to the consultation and make your thoughts and concerns heard, please follow the link below where you can tell the Home Office your priorities for West Midlands Police and your perspective on the West Midlands Mayor-PCC Merger:


The closing date for the consultation is January 31st.

As your local MP, I will continue to monitor this situation very closely and will always push to make sure residents' concerns are heard and ensure effective policing throughout the Royal Town.

In the Commons

The Safety of Rwanda Bill

The House of Commons approved the third reading on Wednesday, there were a series of votes in the House of Commons on our emergency legislation to stop the boats. 

The purpose of this legislation is to deter and prevent unlawful migration and in particular, migration by unsafe and illegal routes. It will enable the removal of illegal migrants to Rwanda. 

We are pressing ahead with the toughest immigration legislation ever to ensure flights take off to Rwanda– securing our borders and easing pressure on our public services– marking a major step in our plan to stop the boats.

The Bill will ensure that people cannot further delay flights by bringing systemic challenges in our domestic courts, stopping our policy being repeatedly blocked–this will ensure our deterrence plan is effective.


The Red Sea

I have had a few emails with concerns regarding the government’s actions against the Houthis in Yemen.

On 9 January, Iran-backed Houthis mounted a direct attack against British and American warships, marking the biggest attack on the Royal Navy for decades. Consistent with the UN Charter, we responded with necessary and proportionate force to defend our vessels, our value of upholding freedom of navigation, and our country.

The Red Sea is one of the major arteries of international trade: some 15 per cent of the world’s shipping passes through the narrow strait dividing Africa from Asia. If the Houthis deny this passage to ships, vital supply chains are threatened and prices will go up in Britain and across the globe.

The Houthis’ narrative that this is about Israel and Gaza should not be believed; they target ships from around the world. Indeed, they are making it more difficult to get humanitarian aid by ship in to the Yemen to help address the dire humanitarian conditions which currently exist there. The UK continues to work towards a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza and to get more aid to civilians and continues to support a negotiated settlement to Yemen’s civil war. I want to make clear that the UK’s strikes against Houthi targets were unrelated to these issues.

Further Information

Reduced timetable Avanti West Coast

This weekend (Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 January) and on Monday (22 January), Avanti West Coast will be running a reduced timetable while Network Rail carry out important upgrade works. As a result there are likely to be some extended journey times, fewer direct services and some of our services may be busier than usual.

We are advising customers via our social media channels and website to plan and check their journeys before travelling.

More information on the works which will be carried out can be found on Network Rail’s West Coast Main Line website at the following link https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/et__C1WJ8FM1gjjYULKCXn?domain=networkrail.co.uk

M42 and M6 closure warning ahead of major HS2 works

Motorists travelling through the Midlands are being advised to plan their journeys with a series of overnight closures planned on the M42/M6 Link for HS2 works.

A series of new viaducts are being built to carry the new HS2 line over the M42/M6 which will link the proposed new Interchange Station and Curzon Street Station.

"To ensure the work takes place safely there will be a series of temporary overnight road closures from Wednesday 24 January to Friday 2 February each weekday night between 9pm and 5am.

The closures will be in place from the M42 southbound at junction 8 to the M6 northbound at junction 4a. Drivers are advised to follow the official diversion signage and to make sure they leave additional time for their trip.

There will be a clearly signed diversion route via the westbound M6 and M42.


NDSU External Funding Update – January 2024

Upcoming deadlines:

22 January 2024 at 5:30pm - King Charles III Charitable Fund – The Coronation Food Project Grants Programme(https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/HCRXCr8AwC8pj6jMu7sjHc?domain=kccf.org.uk/) - Grants of between £300 and £30,000 for food projects that will help deliver the outcomes of the Coronation Food Project grants programme

25 January 2024 at 5pm - Lloyds Bank Foundation Specialist Programme- (https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/aYl3CvlGAf7Gg4g1UXtXWj?domain=lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk) - Grants of up to £75,000 over 3 years for small, local, specialist charities supporting people facing complex issues. The funding will support charities to strengthen their capacity and capabilities and become more resilient through a range of tailored development support offers alongside a three-year unrestricted grant.

26 January 2024 - National Archives Engagement Grants (https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/grants-and-funding/engagement-grants/)  - Grants of up £5,000 are available to public sector bodies, registered charities and other not-for-profit organisations to conduct outreach and engagement projects that will connect archives with their communities in places across England and Wales.

31 January 2024 - The 7Stars Foundation – (https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/nNjMCwVJBfG7QPQ6i9Z6fB?domain=the7starsfoundation.co.uk)  - Grants of up to £2,500 to charities supporting young people, aged 16 years and under, across the UK to further the potential and opportunity of children and young people who are surviving abuse, at risk of or experiencing homelessness, caring for a loved one, and challenged by addiction (either personally or through a member of their family).

31 January 2024 at 23:59 - Canoe Foundation- (https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/SFArCxnKDC1y0B08fw57yH?domain=canoefoundation.org.uk/)  - Grants of between £500 and £10,000 are available for paddling clubs, community groups, charities, parish councils, and Local Authorities across the UK for canoeing, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding projects for access and environmental related improvements.

4 February 2024 - Dan Maskell Tennis Trust- (https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/VWNjCyoLEurgWJWDTNPVej?domain=danmaskelltennistrust.org.uk/) - Grants of up to £1,600 for a group, club or project are available. to help disabled people in the UK to play tennis through the purchase of wheelchairs, tennis equipment and grants for coaching.

8 February 2024 - Congregational and General Charitable Trust Grants- (https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/SeEvCzvMGfM3BnBDSwYnNA?domain=candgtrust.org.uk/) - Grants of between £1,000 to £25,000 are available to support the provisions and repair of church buildings, particularly those of the United Reformed and Congregational denominations.

MMR immunisation and measles awareness

Measles is circulating in the West Midlands, and the MMR vaccination provides the best protection against measles.

Please be aware of measles symptoms: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles/

If you think you or your child may have measles, contact your GP practice but do not visit unless instructed, as measles can spread to others easily, and 1 in 15 children can develop serious complications, such as meningitis and blindness.

For protection against measles, contact your GP practice to get your MMR immunisations.

Learn more: https://bit.ly/46QPPn1

MHRC Locations

Please see below the visits scheduled for the week commencing 22nd January of the BCC Mobile Household Recycling Centre.

•           Fri 26/01/2024, Signal Hayes Road B76 2RF, 07:00 - 12:30,Sutton Walmley & Minworth