End the Chaos at Sandwell Council


Breaking news: Commissioners sent in to run Sandwell

The government has sent Commissioners in to run chaotic Sandwell Council (at the Council’s expense), on 22 March. (This is an update on our story posted at the end of January.)

Changes of leadership in both the Labour and Conservative groups over the last year means it was almost inevitable that "independent" Commissioners would be sent in. You can read about this decision at the link below. 

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council: Directions under the Local Government Act 1999

Residents in Sandwell deserve a more stable Council

Labour has had 6 leaders in six years
• The Conservative group is on its third leader since last May
• There is a lack of trust between senior officers and elected Councillors

The last auditor’s report highlighted long standing problems which have got worse since there has been no serious opposition asking awkward questions as LibDem councillors used to do. It also cited the lack of trust between Officers and the political leadership, but noted ‘some improvement’ recently. It seemed inevitable that officials would decide that the Commissioners should be sent in given the lack of stable leadership in both the ruling block and the opposition. However, considering this announcement had been expected in late-February or early-March, this smacks of political opportunism by Tory Ministers to give their squabbling local Councillors some help.

LibDems stand ready to address the needs of Sandwell residents facing the grim challenges of heating or eating amid rising prices, feeling safe in our environment and the mental health issues that come with that. These are things we understand.

You can read the auditors' report here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sandwell-metropolitan-borough-council-value-for-money-governance-review

The news that the government is taking over the running of our Labour-run Council does not surprise us. Since that report was published both the Labour group and the Tory group on the Council have seen a change of leadership. So it is no wonder that outside observers are concerned that any minor improvements may not continue. You can read more about the sorry saga and political bickering in the stories below.

🔸 A record of action! 🔸

Liberal Democrat Councillors have shown they can get things done in Sandwell. Our recycling collections were started in wards with LibDem Councillors before being introduced across the rest of the borough. Our friends in Walsall have been able to work as part of both Labour- and Conservative-led administrations, and were part of the cross-party cooperation that helped Walsall Council get back on track after it was taken into measures by a Labour government. Cross-party cooperation is possible and will be needed if we are to improve the situation in Sandwell.


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