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Supervised offenders working in Community Payback teams have cleared more than 2.5 tonnes of rubbish and debris from three overgrown and rubbish-strewn sites in Oldbury.

The teams worked on 'grot spot' sites at Blakeley Hall Road, Beeches Road and Birmingham Road to clear a wide range of rubbish and overgrowth after complaints from local residents.

The teams, which are supervised by the Staffordshire and West Midlands Community Rehabilitation Company, worked alongside Sandwell Council staff on the three schemes as part of the Safer 6 campaign.

 

Council tax in Sandwell will not go up this year – for the fifth year in a row.

Council chiefs say they are doing all they can to protect frontline services and be fair to Sandwell residents despite big Government cuts.

Councillors at tonight's (Tuesday 3 March) full council meeting unanimously approved the authority’s budget for the next financial year and agreed to freeze council tax.

Councillor Steve Eling, deputy leader and cabinet member for the council’s finances, said: “Even on the Government’s own figures, Sandwell has suffered a 5.1% government funding cut while affluent areas like Wokingham have had a 2.6% increase.

Sandwell Council has won a prestigious business award.

It scooped the procurement policy category at the 2014 Federation of Small Businesses' Staffordshire and West Midlands Local Authority "Small Business Friendly Awards".

The authority earned the award on two counts:
firstly, for being a signatory to the Prompt Payment Code and secondly, for its innovative work on the development of the West Midlands Virtual Hospital (WMVH).

Signing up to the Prompt Payment Code means an organisation pledges to pay its suppliers on time, gives clear guidance on payment terms and encourages its lead suppliers to do the same.

 

Councillors in Sandwell have rejected a 2.2% rise in payments, as the council seeks to protect frontline services in the face of big government cuts.

Historically, councillors have had a rise in their allowances when council staff have had a pay rise.

Nationally, there was a 2.2% "cost of living" increase for local government employees that took effect on 1 January 2015.

At this week’s (Tuesday 3 March) full council meeting, councillors unanimously voted not to accept the rise themselves.

Our Safer 6 is back for 2014 - six weeks of targeted action and community safety work across Sandwell's six towns, to help keep your community safe and clean.

The campaign is running from 29 September to 9 November 2014.

It will build on the success of Safer 6 over the last four years.