A councillor who quit the Labour party a year ago has now joined the Greens.
Jayne Wilkinson becomes the Green Party's first elected member on Sandwell Council, having spent the past year sitting as an independent.
She was elected as a Labour councillor in Tividale in 2010 but fell out with the party last year following complaints about some of the messages Councillor Wilkinson had posted on Facebook.
Councillor Wilkinson, aged 45, who took the Tividale seat from the BNP, had also started a petition to stop the Crosswells Road factory from being re-built but then dropped it. The council investigated Councillor Wilkinson following an anonymous allegation she ditched the petition because the factory owner allegedly paid to replace the car, a red Chevrolet Spark, which had been damaged in the blaze. But the council confirmed there had been no wrong-doing.
Labour has 67 out of the 72 seats on Sandwell Council. Councillor Wilkinson is up for election again in May. She said "I have been extremely disappointed with Labour in Sandwell. They are seriously out of touch with the ordinary working man and woman. The Green Party is a party of principle, not tainted by the greasy pole of the traditional political elite or the desire to milk the system for personal gain. I am impressed by their decent policies for ordinary working class people."
Green Party deputy leader Will Duckworth said: "Tividale voters expect someone to stand up for ordinary working people and Jayne is that voice." Labour leader Councillor Darren Cooper, said: "We're certainly not out of touch with ordinary working people, something that has been proved by the number of seats we have gained since 2010." Last Friday a Labour councillor in Wolverhampton defected to the Tories. Zahid Shah was elected in the St Peter's Ward in 2011 but crossed the floor after accusing his party of protecting only 'pet projects' in the cuts.