Birmingham & Black Country

Dudley Council leader Dave Sparks steps down

David Sparks
Image caption Dave Sparks collapsed at a House of Commons committee hearing on 6 November

Dudley Council leader Dave Sparks has announced he is to step down.

He collapsed at a House of Commons committee hearing earlier in the month, although at the time a spokesman described it as "nothing serious".

Mr Sparks said it was the "right time" for a "refreshed" leadership team as local councils look to set up a West Midlands combined authority.

He said it would also allow him time to focus on his role as chairman of the Local Government Association.

Mr Sparks said he would continue to represent the Quarry Bank and Dudley Wood ward, a post he has held since 1977.

He is expected to officially step down as council leader at a meeting on 1 December, after the controlling Labour group has elected a successor.

"Dudley Council is in a period of change," he said.

"We have just appointed a new chief executive and we are in the process of streamlining our senior management team.

"I intend to use my experience and expertise to support my colleagues in Dudley with the important work of establishing a combined authority that will be a lynchpin for national economic recovery."

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