It would be churlish to deny that Birmingham’s negotiations with the government over the “city deal” have been a success.
They bought together local authorities and business to speak with a single voice in negotiations with Whitehall.
Birmingham, Solihull and a number of neighbouring authorities worked together, in the interests of the entire region.
And it appears that the deal is the result of a cross-party consensus. In the run-up to May’s local elections, when it always seemed likely that control of the council would change hands, former city leader Mike Whitby ensured his opponent Sir Albert Bore – now the council leader – was consulted about the plans.
Most importantly, the deal contains a number of key measures which will bring enormous benefits to the region, such as the new £1.5 billion investment fund and the planned medical centre.
So, congratulations to all involved.
But there are also elements that are missing, including plans to improve transport links. The hard work isn’t over yet.