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Town plans to benefit all Sandwell people

Published 8th May 2018

Dedicated plans are being drawn up for each of Sandwell’s six towns to keep improving public services and the quality of life for residents and businesses.

From boosting health to improving community safety, the council is working with a number of partner organisations and community groups to agree town plans tackling a wide range of issues as part of its Vision 2030 for Sandwell’s future.

Council leaders are building on the positive findings of two recent independent reports, which praised Sandwell’s new vision, budget planning and the pride and passion of staff.

The reports highlighted the council’s relatively new leadership team of senior officers and cabinet members, and the opportunities this provides to keep making improvements.

The council’s cabinet is next week (16 May) set to formally receive the findings of a Local Government Association (LGA) ‘peer challenge’ and an Investors in People (IIP) assessment, in which the council received a silver award – its highest-ever accreditation. Read the cabinet report here.

Cabinet members will also confirm how the council is responding to recommendations made in the reports that will help continue improving services. This includes making good progress on tailored town plans for Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury and West Bromwich, which will launch later this year.

Council leader Councillor Steve Eling said: “These independent reports were a clear thumbs-up for our sound budget, protection of frontline services and vision for Sandwell’s future. Most importantly, they showed how everyone here is committed to doing their best for Sandwell residents.

“People want to see what the Vision 2030 actually means for them and their neighbourhood. That’s why we’re putting in place a dedicated plan for each of our six towns, tackling issues that matter most to people in each area, so that everyone in Sandwell benefits.”

Councillor Eling added: “The LGA team also felt we were dealing robustly with historic standards matters involving a very small number of people and supported our ongoing work to strengthen governance across the council.”

The LGA peer challenge took place in January 2018, with a team of six experienced local government experts spending four days in Sandwell, speaking to more than 130 people. Cabinet members are set to invite the LGA to carry out a follow-up visit in a year’s time, to see how the council is making progress.

The IIP assessment took place in October 2017, with nearly 800 employees responding to a questionnaire and 130 taking part in interviews.