Council insist West Bromwich is a great place to live and work

New Square shopping centre is a recent and popular addition to the town centre

Sandwell officials have hit back at a recent survey by the Office for National Statistics, which criticised the area and the quality of life it offers its residents.

Leader of the council, Cllr Darren Cooper, said: “We have faced massive cuts from central government, and this has taken a huge amount of money out of the local economy.

"Since 2010, this represents having £450 less to spend for every man, woman and child in Sandwell, and the cuts have not stopped yet. The rising costs of living and impact of the government’s welfare reforms, especially the so-called ‘bedroom tax’, have also hit our residents hard.

“Some of the issues are out of the council’s control, but we are trying hard to build the local economy and create more jobs, fighting back against the rising tide of austerity.”

He continued by mentioning the boroughs schools, most of which are maintained by the council, saying that pupils leave primary school in line with national performance. Many of the area's secondary schools are now academies and bosses say they are challenging academy sponsors, the Regional Schools Commissioner and the government to help achieve better grades and secure good job opportunities for young people.

Cllr Cooper continued:

“We’ve made a big commitment to boosting employment opportunities in Sandwell through our Sandwell Guarantee work, education and training scheme with local businesses, and by holding events in the local community.

“We’re also working very closely with Sandwell College to get more young people into apprenticeships and work experience. We’re also making sure local apprenticeships are offered through our regeneration projects, and working with voluntary organisations to help people improve their employability.

Planned benefits from the West Midlands Combined Authority would see improved access to jobs through an expanded Metro and improved bus and road networks and the town has already seen the New Square shopping centre and Providence Place office complex transforming the West Bromwich skyline.


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