Black Country Coroner to retire in September

Published on 6th March 2014

Black Country Coroner Mr Robin Balmain has announced he is to retire in September 2014.

Mr Balmain, who is based at Smethwick Council House, has held the position since 2005, and has been responsible for Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

As the Black Country coroner, Mr Balmain is responsible for one of the largest coronial areas in the UK.

He is responsible for ascertaining the cause of any sudden or suspicious deaths. He has held inquests in Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

During 2012, the last year for which statistics are available, over 4,000 deaths were reported to Mr Balmain and he carried out 520 inquests.

Sandwell Council, in conjunction with the Chief Coroner and Black Country partners, will commence the process to appoint a new coroner.

Mr Balmain said: "It has been a great honour to serve as the first coroner for the Black Country jurisdiction.

"I am grateful for the support of all those I deal with and in particular Councillor Mahboob Hussain of Sandwell Council whose help to me has been invaluable.

"I look forward to working with my successor to achieve a smooth handover."

Councillor Hussain, deputy leader of Sandwell Council, said: "I should like add my personal thanks to those of many people for the sensitive and caring service Mr Balmain has provided to the bereaved of all our boroughs.

"He has always gone the extra mile to help the community even when occassionally we have had to call on him and his staff out of hours.

"He and his staff have shown real commitment and have made a big difference.

"We will be taking this opportunity to build on the excellent service Mr Balmain has developed."