I would love to have been a fly on the wall in Simon Murphy’s office today when he got the call from Telford & Wrekin Council announcing that they were leaving his city region quango with immediate effect.
A week ago to this day I wrote an email to the leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, Andrew Eade, after writing about the city region’s plans for independence:
You either don’t know what the city region’s plans are or you do know and either don’t understand or don’t care. Whichever it is, we should not be a part of this.
You have plenty of soothing words about how you don’t like it but you want to make sure we don’t lose out if we leave and how the city region doesn’t have any real powers. But soothing words are worth nothing because the city region will have statutory status, it will have a legal personality, it will be allowed to apply for its own money, it will be allowed to enter into legal contracts and it will be able to make statutory policy that Telford will have to abide by.
This is nothing like the benign organisation that you and others have told us the city region is. So what’s the truth Andrew? You don’t understand the city region or you’ve been lying about it?
Councillor Eade told the Shropshire Star “I’ve always said we would stay in the City Region to try and maximise any benefits to our community”. He hasn’t always said that – prior to the last local election he said that he would pull Telford out of the city region if the Tories won. It’s taken close to two years and a lot of back-tracking for him to put his words into action.
Maybe the timing is a co-incidence, maybe the email I sent played a part in the decision to leave. Either way, it’s a big victory and further proof that
Greater Birmingham the City Region of Birmingham, Coventry & the Black Country really isn’t going to turn the West Midlands into the land of milk and honey.