Welcome to Sandwell

Sandwell – Bostin People, Bostin Place!

Sitting in the heart of the West Midlands, Sandwell is made up of six historic towns. Hard working and proud of their Black Country heritage, the people who call the borough their home have faced many challenges with strength and resilience and are looking to the future with ambition and determination. Sandwell is the 27th largest Local Authority by population and is home to a diverse range of communities.

The Sandwell Aquatics Centre, the only new venue built for the Commonwealth Games, the new Midland Metropolitan University Hospital, the extension to the Midlands Metro Line, the thousands of planned new homes – these projects provide a platform to put Sandwell on the map and establish the borough as a place of opportunity and aspirations. We have a great challenge ahead in our £1.8 billion regeneration pipeline and receiving the largest Towns Fund award in the country; taken together Sandwell is heading in the right direction.

Over the last few years, Sandwell Council has experienced a variety of governance issues, and these have hindered us from seizing opportunities and realising our ambitions. But since May 2021, we’ve instigated a number of key changes that are moving us forward with optimism and determination.

A new permanent leadership team was appointed, and this has resulted in greater Council stability and a number of positive steps forward. An Improvement Plan has been formulated and a series of external reviews have helped us prioritise a number of actions, including a Corporate Peer Challenge and a Review of Financial Management and Governance.

We’re determined to help make Sandwell a place where people can thrive and achieve their potential, and as part of this ambition, we’re committed to becoming a listening, responsive Council. We want everyone to have a say in the type of services we provide, and our residents’ surveys will inform our priorities, and ensure that we stay focused on the things that matter to the people we serve.

Visit this link to learn more about Sandwell's latest achievements: https://vimeo.com/tinkertaylor/review/711988730/7e7333d67b

An Imaginative Corporate Plan

The key to our success as a rejuvenated Council is an ambitious and forward-thinking Corporate Plan. This has seven key strands and has been designed to celebrate Sandwell and underline the fact that we’re Bostin People in a Bostin Place, and the future is looking bright!

The Best Start in Life for Children and Young People

Young people are our future, and the first part of the plan is divided into three key areas:

  • The first 100 days of a child’s life, including public health support for new borns and early years development
  • Children and young people who need support from the services we provide, including children with special educational needs and disabilities, and children from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Getting ready for school and school attainment, including increasing the number of ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ OFSTED ratings in the borough.

Encouraging People to Live and Age-well

We want everyone in Sandwell to enjoy a fulfilling life. We plan to achieve this by providing:

  • Choice and independence, with the emphasis on providing high quality care for the vulnerable, support for carers, protecting adults at risk, and offering social contact for people who might feel isolated
  • Joined-up Health and Social Care, which focuses on reablement, residential admissions and ensuring that patients are discharged safely
  • Community development and educating people about the dangers of smoking and substance issue, and stressing the importance of good diet and regular exercise
  • Public health support to the voluntary sector, and working towards relieving food and fuel poverty

Supporting Strong, Resilient Communities

Our communities are our strength, and we’re committed to:

  • Developing vibrant communities, encouraging volunteering, delivering a number of key masterplans and increasing the satisfaction people feel for their neighbourhoods
  • Promoting cultural activities and the use of our libraries
  • Green initiatives that involve looking after our playgrounds, parks, open spaces and encouraging recycling
  • Keeping our borough clean, with the emphasis of improved street cleaning and using the law to discourage fly-tipping
  • Keeping people safe by encouraging community cohesion and combatting domestic abuse and modern-day slavery

Creating Quality Housing in Thriving Neighbourhoods

Providing safe, affordable homes for our people is at the centre of this initiative, and includes:

  • Building new houses and flats including homes that meet accessible standards
  • Improving the stock of private sector homes, bringing empty properties into use, and creating sustainable homes
  • Looking after the homeless and vulnerable people by engaging with communities and introducing early intervention and homelessness prevention schemes
  • Regenerating homes by identifying and completing repairs and initiating energy efficient standards

Building a Strong and Inclusive Economy

To be a sustainable success, we need to focus on strengthening our economy by:

  • Focusing on jobs and training by creating new jobs and apprenticeships, developing adult skills, and encouraging NEETS to return to training or work
  • Investing and spending locally, remediating land and delivering a regeneration pipeline
  • Working with businesses by delivering an economic recovery strategy

Developing a Connected and Accessible Sandwell

We’re working to improve our transport links and develop a solid infrastructure by:

  • Clean and green initiatives that emphasis air quality, replacing streetlights with LEDs, improving the fleet of council vehicles and installing EV charging points
  • Developing key infrastructure projects including the delivery of major transport pipeline projects
  • Facilitating improved business and individual digital connectivity
  • Enabling connected travel through improved public transport systems and targeted road safety campaigns

One Council, One Team

Key to our ambition is the plan to work as one dedicated team:

  • We’re committed to listening, learning and being accountable
  • Our structure and development will consist of a workforce that is representative of the communities we serve, including young people, people from our BAME and LGBTQ+ communities, and people with disabilities
  • We’re determined to increase customer satisfaction by improving access to all the services we provide
  • Making the most of our resources is key, and we’ll achieve this through a medium-term financial strategy and by delivering a transformational savings programme
  • We’re committed to delivering a systems improvement plan and a governance review

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Sandwell is well underway on its ambitious journey to deliver and embed a sustainable Equality Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) agenda. It has invested in a new dedicated Equalities, Diversity, and Inclusion Team, which has greatly increased our level of EDI capacity, skills and expertise and demonstrated our commitment to improve.

External links:

New Equalities Commission for Sandwell

Equality Monitoring Reports

As part of delivering a sustained multi-faceted employee engagement programme, there are a number of Staff Networks:

Network Description
Ethnicity Equality Impact Network (Proud to Be)
  • Proud to Be will represent the views of the council employees who are from a Black, Asian and other ethnic backgrounds
  • The network will support employees to achieve their potential and improve their employee experience within the council, as well as work with internal and external partners to improve their goals. 
 Staff Support Group for Employees with a Disability 
  • This network aims to provide a network of mutual support and a collective voice for staff with disabilities and restrictive health conditions. 
  • This network will maintain close links with the recently set up Sandwell Equalities Commission to progress disability issues and make improvements.
  • A number of meetings will take place throughout the year, where members can talk in a safe environment.  
 LGBTQ+ Network  (Be You) 
  • The 'Be You' Network was created to offer a safe space for employees from within the LGBTQ+ community at Sandwell Council.
  • Members support each other, express concerns, and share experiences with like-minded people who catch their drift.
  • Meetings are every other month and cover a wide range of topics.
  • Attendance is kept confidential within the group so even if employees aren't 'out', it doesn't mean they can't attend or contribute in a safe space.

Women’s Network (currently being established) 

  • Membership is open to all Council staff, and those who have a positive interest in driving forward gender equality within the Authority.
  • The groups primary aim is to create a sense of belonging by providing a safe environment for employees to share their experiences, and issues affecting their work and professional development.