At a full council meeting last night (Tuesday 5 March 2019), Councillor Steve Trow was elected as Leader of Sandwell Council.
Councillor Trow, who represents the Old Warley ward, has served on the council since 2010.
Born and raised in West Bromwich, Councillor Trow has lived in Oldbury for the past 40 years. He has served as a cabinet member since 2016, with responsibility for culture and core council services.
Councillor Trow said he felt “very honoured and rather humbled” to be elected Leader. He said he was taking on the role with Sandwell Council in a strong position following positive feedback from the Local Government Association Peer Review published last week.
“Compared with many other councils which increasingly struggle to maintain even adequate levels of service for their communities, Sandwell has a much stronger basis to build on,” said Councillor Trow.
The feedback from the LGA’s follow-up visit highlighted the “significant progress” the council has made in a year.
Councillor Trow said: “The bill of health we have recently received following the latest LGA Peer Review confirms that this council is consistently focused on what really matters to the people and communities who live here, and is continuing to move forward with confidence and at pace.”
The Peer Review team praised the council’s “strong track record of delivering balanced budgets” and excellent performance in several areas, including highways maintenance, youth offending and reducing delayed discharges from hospitals.
The team also said the council had “finalised the historical standards issues”, and made positive comments about the ongoing governance review.
Councillor Trow added: “As Leader, I will be inheriting the leadership of a justifiably confident team – of members and of senior staff – who I know are also all committed to the ambitions now set out in Sandwell’s Vision for 2030. This vision is shared with all our key partners, with the health and education sectors, with businesses, with voluntary groups and not least with local communities across our six towns.”
Councillor Trow said he will be convening a ‘Future Sandwell’ borough conference in the summer to engage with all partner organisations, the voluntary sector, businesses and communities.
He added: “This will be an opportunity to build a joint approach with all those who have a stake in the future of Sandwell and who share our commitment to achieving a better future for everyone who lives and works here.
“There is much to do with much to be achieved, and I look forward to the support of members, staff and all of our partners as we now accelerate our progress on that journey.”
Sandwell is made up of 24 wards and each of these has three councillors – the people elected to represent the residents of Sandwell. You can search for your local councillors here. We wish you all the best in your new role, Councillor Trow!