VERY few people in Huddersfield have cause to be delighted by Patricia Hewitt's decision to back the move of key maternity services to Halifax .
Even fewer will be surprised by it.
Despite all the right noises about `consultation' and `local health services', this had the feel of a done deal from the moment the PCT boards voted through the original raft of health changes in March virtually unopposed.
That decision came in the face of overwhelming public opposition.
This latest announcement will spark a profound disappointment, if not outright fury.
The groundswell is that this maternity move is fundamentally wrong.
This remains the Examiner's opinion. Nothing that local health bosses Martyn Pritchard, Mike Potts or Martin de Bono say today changes a thing.
The recommendation talks about a "better, safer service".
Given the journey through Elland, how can that be so?
But this bitter pill has been prescribed. It's clear now that there is no alternative.
So we will swallow it. Reluctantly.
But this promise about a "better, safer" service had better be forthcoming. The people of this town will be watching.
(For instance the IRP recommended "strict adherence to agreed transfer times" with the ambulance service. On the evidence so far, that may take some doing.)
So if that "better, safer service" does not happen, the people will want to know why the excellent maternity service provided now at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary was ever taken away.
They will remember that this is ultimately a Labour government decision and that Huddersfield is not alone in losing key services.
They will remember that local opinion and local Labour MPs were ignored.
And they may take those memories with them to the ballot box.