Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

A third of the seats in Sandwell were up for election this year. Find out more about these elections.

Election 2018 Results

LAB HOLD
Party Elected in 2018 Total councillors Change

PartyLabour

Elected in 2018 26 Total councillors 70 Change+1

PartyIndependent

Elected in 2018 0 Total councillors 2 ChangeNo results

PartyUKIP

Elected in 2018 0 Total councillors 0 Change-1
Councillors change compared with 2014

Most recent

Children's services remain in deficit

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Children’s services in Sandwell are facing a multi million-pound overspend for the third year running.

Sandwell council
Sandwell Council

The Sandwell Children’s Trust, which runs the department for the local authority, has predicted a £3.6m deficit by March next year.

The service was placed on a "red" risk rating last week, meaning that without extra money there could be a "detrimental impact on the financial resilience of the trust".

Steve Eling, leader of Sandwell Council, has said the overspend will not affect other services because the trust can carry over deficits.

Rise in children taken into care

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

The number of children going into care in Sandwell has risen by a third in the past 18 months, the BBC has learned.

Sandwell Children's Trust
BBC

In August of 2018 there were 838 children in care, compared with 610 in March 2017.

Those children at risk are now being supported by an independent trust and dozens more social workers recruited.

Jacqui Smith, chair of Sandwell Children's Care Trust said said it was right that the trust was taking so much intervention.

When families are under pressure getting in early to try and help them to cope is important, if you can't do that and children are being neglected or there's a real serious chance that they're going to be harmed it's right that we take responsibility for them and look after them."

Jacqui SmithSandwell Children's Care Trust

Former council boss speaks of bullying

Rob Mayor

Political reporter, BBC WM

A former Sandwell Council boss has told BBC WM how she was subjected to a sustained, painful and damaging campaign of bullying.

Melanie Dudley, who used to be the assistant chief executive of the authority, complained about disrespectful messages which were sent by a councillor to a blogger and ended up being published online.

Sandwell Council
BBC

An investigation agreed that the messages, sent by Richard Marshall, did amount to bullying, but no action can be taken against him as he stepped down at elections in May.

Ms Dudley says she wants the council's powers to sanction people for bad behaviour to be stepped up.

Sandwell Council says it does not accept bullying in any form and it is also concerned there are insufficient powers to deal with elected members who abuse their position.

It's been very, very bruising, I don't want this to ever happen to anybody again. For me it's too late, it's happened, I get on with my life, but this should never be a situation that anybody has to live through. It has been a disgrace."

Melanie Dudley

Council leader cleared of 'smear campaign' allegations

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The leader of Sandwell Council has been cleared of allegations that he conducted a social media "smear campaign" against a fellow councillor.

The claims by former deputy leader of the council, Mahboob Hussain, against Steve Eling were revealed as members of the Ethical Standards and Member Development Committee prepare to meet on Friday.

In October 2017, Mr Hussain alleged the council leader had leaked information to a local blog site as part of a smear campaign against him, saying: "This involves him disclosing information about confidential council business and personal matters about me and my family for political gain and to pursue a vendetta against me."

His allegation also claimed Councillor Eling had disclosed confidential information about him during a Labour Party internal investigation.

Mahboob Hussain
Sandwell Council

Mr Hussian alleged the information on himself was leaked with the knowledge of the council leader.

But the investigation found that in the absence of any evidence beyond Mr Hussian's claims, Mr Eling had not breached the council’s code of conduct for elected members.

Mr Eling, responding to the investigation’s findings, said: "The complaints against me have been fuelled mainly by inaccurate posts on social media which have been demonstrated as untrue in a legal statement made by a social media blogger as part of the investigation."

Cameras set up at fly-tipping hotspots

Local Democracy Reporting Service

David irwin

Clearing up cases of fly-tipping on council-owned land in Solihull cost an "immense" £145,000 last year, a report has revealed.

Dly-tipped rubbish
Sandwell Council

Figures for 2017-18 show the local authority was left with a six-figure bill for dealing with 411 incidents around the borough.

Councillors this week received an update on efforts to deal with the problem and were told that the arrival of four portable cameras had improved the situation at several notorious hot spots.

It was also revealed that a former police inspector had been seconded to a role purely to investigate fly-tipping offences.

Social workers paid extra £3,000 in bid to keep staff

Local Democracy Reporting Service

George Makin

Sandwell Children’s Trust is paying its social workers up to £3,000 on top of their normal salaries in order to hold on to experienced staff.

Sandwell Council House
BBC

The trust revealed its pay hike as cabinet members met on Wednesday to discuss Ofsted’s latest findings since the trust took over the looked after children service in April.

The government watchdog said the instability of staff was one of the "long-standing barriers to improvement" in a letter following a monitoring visit in May.

The trust said it had seen an increase in applications to become permanent staff with three out of four social workers now permanently employed.

Mosaic of selfies to mark end of WW1

Allen Cook

BBC News

People are being offered the chance to be part of a mosaic to mark the end of World War One.

Red poppy at field in full bloom.
Getty Images

Sandwell Council says its project will commemorate those who lost their lives and show gratitude.

It says it wants people in the area to send in their selfies to create a mosaic of a poppy.

The council is also organising several dates when people can have their photo taken for the scheme.

More than 40 birds die after mystery heatwave illness

Daz Hale

BBC WM

Dozens of birds have been killed by a mystery illness which experts are linking to the summer heatwave.

Victoria Park, Sandwell
BBC

It’s believed that 45, mostly geese, have died in recent weeks after a bacteria developed at a pool in Smethwick.

Sandwell Council has completely fenced off the pool in Victoria Park as a result.