Network North London?
Plus: A heads up about our first paid-for piece
Good morning readers — welcome to Thursday’s Dispatch.
The end of the week is near, Christmas is just about in sight, and we are riding high at The Dispatch HQ with 5,444 subscribers and 187 paid members. What a gift, thank you for your support during this special week in our history. If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe by hitting that green button there:
A little heads up for you: we won’t be publishing Monday briefings on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day — I’m sure you will all be busy — but we will be putting out our first-ever members-only story next Wednesday, followed by a weekend read as usual. I’m excited to know what you think.
Before today’s Brum in Brief, a lovely message from a new paying member:
Brum in Brief
💰 The government has come under fire for announcing that £235 million of rerouted HS2 funding will be spent on repairing roads in London. The extra investment comes from the scrapped second leg of HS2, most of which is earmarked to improve rail connections between the Midlands and the North - the Network North scheme. The project also includes £8.3 billion to improve roads across the country.
🚘 Mayor Andy Street and others have written to the BBC to express concern over its “lighthearted” report on a car crash in Solihull. It featured a clip — that we linked to yesterday — of a car flipping onto the pavement in front of a woman pushing a pram. They said: “road collisions should not be trivialised as quirky” stories.
⚕️ A drug rehabilitation service in Birmingham is at risk of closure and is seeking a rescue deal, ITV Central reports. Changes UK workers say lives could be lost if it is forced to shut its doors. Operations Director Anthony Cokeley said: "There is nobody else in Birmingham doing what we do. We urgently need the right intervention from the right agency.”
🚨 Labour MP for Perry Barr Khalid Mahmood has called on the council to make a compulsory purchase order of disused Handsworth properties following a fire on Soho Road. A person was found dead at the property after the blaze broke out on Tuesday. BirminghamLive reports.
💆🏾♀️ Take a load of your mind on a professionally led mental health walk and talk along the Birmingham Canal Old Line at 2pm today. The group meets at the Ladywood Leisure Centre every Thursday.
📽️ A free pop-up cinema in Sutton Coldfield is showing family Christmas films throughout the day. The Polar Express; Nativity!; and Home Alone are all on the bill, plus Santa will be there with sweets and popcorn.
Our cover photo is by Damien Walmsley.