Government intervention at Sandwell Council to end

Leader of Sandwell Council, cllr Kerrie Carmichael.

The Minister for Local Government, Simon Hoare MP, has confirmed that Government intervention at Sandwell Council will come to an end.

Government intervention at Sandwell Council started on 22 March 2022, with Commissioners appointed for a two-year period. Kim Bromley-Derry and Jim Taylor, the Government Commissioners appointed to Sandwell Council concluded in their fourth report to ministers by saying:

“The Council we see now is a far cry from the organisation we first encountered: the staff, the elected members, and most importantly, the residents, have all noted the changes.

"The improvement work which was once seen as a standalone priority has now been interwoven with the ‘business as usual’ strategic planning of the Council.  In short, we believe the Council is now meeting its Best Value duty and is capable of taking forward its improvement independently.”

The news follows the recent decision by Sandwell Council’s external auditors, Grant Thornton, to lift three statutory recommendations due to the progress that has been made since their Value for Money Governance review carried out in Autumn 2021. 

In June 2022, the council approved a single improvement plan that brought together the council’s planned actions in response to the Government directions and recommendations made in external reviews. 

Much of this activity has now been incorporated in the council’s regular business planning process, to ensure there is a focus on delivering services as efficiently and effectively as possible through continuous improvement. The council will be working with the Local Government Association to help maintain this improvement journey after intervention ends. Leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, added:

“We are delighted ministers have concluded that the directions can be lifted. To have achieved this within two years is testament to the huge amount of work that has got us to this point.

“From the outset of this process we accepted that we needed to make significant improvements. Our focus throughout has been to make sure we are set up to deliver the best possible outcomes for our residents, and that has meant changing the way we operate.

“This is not the end of our journey. We are really pleased to have made sufficient progress to get out of intervention but are determined to continue this trajectory and are striving for excellence. I want to thank council officers for their efforts and the Commissioners for the constructive way in which they have approached their role.”

Nicola Richards, Member of Parliament for West Bromwich East, said: 

“Today the Government have announced that the Commissioners appointed to oversee improvements within Sandwell Council are being withdrawn. 

“When I was elected in 2019, I made it a priority to deal with the allegations of corruption. It was a stain on Sandwell’s record. It undermined the reputation of our seven towns.

“It frustrates me how many have got away with their historic actions, but for the good of Sandwell the priority had to be to ensure they could run the council and services people rely on. 

“We’re now in a better place. When I was first elected, it took on average of 82 days for Sandwell Council to reply to a constituent’s concerns. It meant my office and myself quite often stepped in to help people with matters only Sandwell Council could resolve. It was beyond unsatisfactory and my constituents’ trust in Sandwell Council hit rock bottom. 

“Thanks to this Government’s intervention, today on average it takes Sandwell Council 9 days to respond to concerns. Housing application times have been reduced from 52 days to 9 days and the backlog of people waiting for housing support has been reduced from 2,400 to 80. 

“Whilst there is still a lot of work to be done, and I remain dissatisfied with Labour’s inadequate vision for our borough, I am grateful for all the hard work that has gone into ensuring we are in a 

different place. I will continue to hold the council to account to ensure that improvements continue, and we never return to the dark period where corruption and maladministration ran rife in Sandwell Council. 

“I want to thank Michael Gove for listening to my concerns about the governance of the council, the Commissioners, in particular Kim Bromley-Derry, and in particular the opposition Conservative Councillor Group, led by Cllr Dave Fisher, who have played a vital part in driving the much-needed improvements within our council.” 


Add a comment

Rating *

Recently Played


  • Available on the App Store
  • Available on Google Play

Useful Links


Travel News

How To Listen

Latest Podcasts

92.2 / 102.5 FM
'Play Black Country Radio'