Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Election results for 2019

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'Biggest budget in 10 years' expected by council

Rob Mayor

Political reporter, BBC WM

A council is expecting its budget next year to be the biggest in a decade.

Dudley Council House

The Conservative leader of Dudley Council, Patrick Harley, says it believes its government grant will rise by 4%, giving it an extra £7.5m.

The local authority's planning to spent the cash on areas such as new CCTV equipment, extra Police Community Support Officers and more bin collections.

Overall the budget will still be 20% smaller than in 2010 and council tax will also rise by 4%.

Some budgets have been cut too far hence why in this budget we are reinstating some of those budgets back to pre-2012 levels."

Patrick HarleyConservative leader, Dudley Council

Disabled woman 'slept on sofa for 18 months'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

George Makin

Delays to providing a disabled woman with specialist home adaptations meant she had to sleep on a sofa for 18 months, the Local Government Ombudsman has found.

The unnamed woman, known as "Mrs X", waited three years for Dudley Council to arrange a specially designed bathroom and ground-floor bedroom which the ombudsman said should have only taken five months.

Dudley Council

Mrs X was awarded £500 in compensation from the council after she was forced to crawl on her hands and knees to reach an upstairs bathroom after waiting almost a year for someone from the local authority to come and meet her.

The ombudsman said she was "caused upset and inconvenience due to the council's failure to respond to her emails and calls" and said the delays were "avoidable".

Dudley Council apologised and has one month to pay the compensation.

Conservatives use mayor's vote to take control of council

David Stanley has been chosen as Dudley’s new mayor after a passionate debate where Labour councillors pleaded for Hilary Bills to be given the role.

Dudley election count

The choosing of the largely ceremonial role overshadowed the election of Patrick Harley as leader of the council, giving Conservatives control of the authority.

The normally non-contentious selection became crucial because both Labour and Conservatives hold 36 wards on the 72 seat authority.

The position comes with a pivotal but rarely used casting vote that breaks political deadlocks.

Traditionally, the deputy mayor – this year, Labour Councillor Hilary Bills – is promoted to the role.

Labour argued since Ms Bills was retiring next year this was her last "once in a lifetime opportunity" to become mayor.

Mayor to be used to control council

Local Democracy Reporting Service

George Makin

Conservatives in Dudley are preparing to put forward Councillor David Stanley as the new mayor in an effort to break the deadlock in the council.

Dudley count

Party members picked the Gornal ward councillor at a closed group meeting on Friday night, just hours after election results left both Labour and Conservatives on 36 councillors apiece.

The choice of the traditional ceremonial role has become crucial, because in tied votes the deadlock can only be broken with the mayor’s extra casting vote.

Councillor Patrick Harley, Conservative group leader, speaking as the election results came in, said he would seek to use the mayor’s vote to take control of the council.

'It's always been close in Dudley'

Dudley Council's Conservative group leader Patrick Harley says the party has had a "very good night" when compared with results elsewhere across the country.

In Dudley, both parties now have 36 seats, leaving the local authority under no overall control.

'It's always very close in Dudley'

However, the Tory mayor will have the casting vote when it comes to deciding who will lead the council in a vote later this month.

At the time of writing the Conservatives have lost control of 17 councils in England, although the Labour party has largely failed to make the gains it perhaps hoped.