Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

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Call to leave abuse out of politics

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Gurdip Thandi

Party leaders in Walsall have agreed to leave personal attacks out of debates in the council chamber as they entered into the new political year.

Walsall Council
Walsall Council

Conservative chief Mike Bird was confirmed as the new leader of Walsall Council at a meeting on Wednesday, following his party’s successful election campaign which saw them secure outright control of the authority.

Councillor Bird said the campaign in the run-up to the ballot saw personal attacks and called for an end to such abuse.

His Labour counterpart Councillor Aftab Nawaz, who was selected of leader of his party earlier this month, said they would be a “responsible and robust’ opposition and won’t resort to personal abuse.

Youngsters 'continue to be let down' by council

Allen Cook

BBC News

Children and young people with special educational needs (SEND) 'continue to be let down' by Walsall Council, a report from Ofsted has said.

A child writing
Getty Images

Some parents told inspectors they had had to give up work to 'fight' on their children's behalf.

The main findings from a joint inspection of services by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission earlier this year included SEND school exclusions are far too high and that poor communication is taking an "emotional toll" on families.

Ofsted has ordered the council, along with the clinical commissioning group (CCG), to draw up a written statement of what they'll do to tackle "significant areas of weakness".

The authority and the CCG have apologised for any poor service and say they recognise improvements need to be made.

Labour group appoints new leader

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Gurdip Thandi

Walsall Labour group has appointed a new leader as the party looks to rebuild following the local council elections.

Aftab Nawaz

Conservatives took a four-seat majority, in last week's local elecitons, for the first time since 2011.

Councillor Aftab Nawaz, who has represented the St Matthew’s ward since 2014, was unanimously voted in as the new leader following a meeting on Friday.

He replaces Sean Coughlan, who stepped down as leader last month.

The group also voted in Councillor Khizar Hussain – who has served the Pleck ward since 2011 – as their deputy leader, who takes over from Councillor Lee Jeavons.