Smethwick in a stew

A new community project has started in Smethwick which aims to provide people with a hot meal and good company every weekday lunch time.

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George Osborne tweets about new hospital

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Am in Black Country this morning to announce a new £350 million state of the art Midland Metropolitan hospital

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With @jamesmorrismp who's campaigned so hard for new hospital. Proof that #LongTermEconomicPlan = long term commitment to #NHS

Designs unveiled for new £353m Smethwick hospital

A computer generated pictures of what an interior space at the hospital could look like Credit: Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
The £353m hospital received backing from the Chancellor of the Exchequer this morning Credit: Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
Building work on the site in Smethwick could start as soon as 2016, and be finished sometime in 2018 or 2019 Credit: Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

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New hospital 'vote of confidence in 7,500 staff'

Speaking after the Chancellor of the Exchequer this morning backed plans for a new £353 hospital in Smethwick, Richard Samuda, Chairman of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals commented:

“This is a vote of confidence in 7,500 staff at the Trust. The Chancellor’s announcement at Rowley Regis Hospital reinforces our strategy of local care for long term conditions and a single specialist acute centre at the Midland Met.”

Chief Executive, Toby Lewis added:

“This is a decisive moment for healthcare in the West Midlands. We welcome the determination of the Chancellor to support the regeneration of Smethwick with this vital project for patients.”

Government backs new £353m hospital in Smethwick

What the new £353 million hospital in Smethwick could look like Credit: Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

The Government has backed plans for a new £353 million hospital in the West Midlands.

The Midland Metropolitan Hospital has been given the go-ahead by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne this morning.

The new acute hospital will be funded by both the public and private sector through a Private Finance 2 deal.

George Osborne said:

This ambitious package will ensure that patients across the West Midlands continue to benefit from access to world-class acute treatment and cutting edge facilities.

It is because of the difficult decisions we have taken as a government that we have been able to protect healthcare spending, and announce new facilities like the Midland Metropolitan Hospital.”

Construction of the new hospital is expected to start in 2016 and be completed by 2018-19, with plans to be finalised over the coming months.

Police 'determined to know what happened' to pensioner

An officer from the Collision Investigation Unit at West Midlands Police has been speaking after they released CCTV footage of the vehicle believed to be involved in the hit-and-run death of 73-year-old Bill Fenton.

Sgt Paul Hughes said:

We have spent the last six months trying to find the person and vehicle which hit Bill. We have been in regular contact with Bill’s family and updated them at every stage of the investigation; we are determined to know what has happened to him in order to help his family come to terms with his death.

The vehicle may have damage to the front offside following the collision and may well have been repaired by now. We would continue to ask anyone with information about what happened that night to come forward and speak to us or Crimestoppers.

Police describe CCTV footage of car leaving hit-and-run

West Midlands Police have found paint samples from a blue Fiat Punto, believed to have hit 73-year-old Bill Fenton Credit: PA

West Midlands Police have described CCTV footage of two cars seen at the time of a hit-and-run which killed 73-year-old Bill Fenton.

They believe the drivers of the vehicles may have vital information.

Footage shows a blue Fiat Punto overtaking another car - possibly a Volvo XC60 - before driving along the wrong side of the road to the junction onto Bearwood Road where it turned right.

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Police looking for driver of 'Lido Blue' Fiat Punto

Forensic paint samples obtained from the scene of Bill Fenton's road death have been described as 'Lido Blue' and belong to a Fiat Punto with UK specifications, according to police.

They can also determine that the vehicle is a 2003-2006 model, narrowing their search down to just 6,178 cars.

Police have obtained paint samples belonging to a 'Lido Blue' coloured Fiat Punto from 2003-2006 Credit: PA

Detectives investigating the collision have tracked all Puntos matching that specification, registered in Smethwick, Dudley and Wolverhampton, as well as parts of Birmingham.

73-year-old Bill Fenton was killed after a hit-and-run collision back in November 2013 Credit: ITV News Central

Officers from West Midlands Police are appealing to garages that may recall working on a damaged vehicle of that description and have checked local scrapyards in a bid to identify such a car.

Forensic fragment could help unravel unsolved crime

Detectives believe that minute forensic samples left on the clothing of a pensioner - who died after being hit by a car in Smethwick last year - may help lead them to fresh witnesses.

73-year-old Bill Fenton was killed after a hit-and-run collision back in November 2013 Credit: ITV News Central

West Midlands Police force have been searching for clues ever since 73-year-old Bill Fenton was killed after a hit-and-run collision back in November 2013.

The incident happened in Beakes Road - at the junction with Stanhope Road - at 9.30pm on Saturday 23rd of that month.

Having extensively examined the scene, along with Mr Fenton's clothing, two paint samples - believed to belong to the car responsible - have been obtained.

One of the paint samples measures just 0.25mm long.

More to follow...

Fundraising bike ride for housing, care and support charity

The cyclists are to set off from Smethwick today Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Fundraising cyclists taking part in a charity bike ride for a charity which provides housing, care and support services are to set off from Smethwick today.

The team of cyclists will cover 250 miles over four days to raise funds to support the work of the Trident Reach the People Charity.

Derbyshire and Shropshire will be covered during the course of the ride before it finishes in Birmingham on Sunday.

Firefighters tackle blaze at disused factory

Fifty firefighters are on the scene of a blaze at a disused factory in Smethwick tonight.

Crews were called to London Street shortly after 6.30pm, where they found the large building - which was in the process of being demolished - on fire.

The fire is at a disused factory in London Street, Smethwick
The fire is at a disused factory in London Street, Smethwick Credit: ITV News Central

Cutting equipment has been used and they are tackling the flames from four different locations.

There are not though to be any hazards inside the building.

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