New Sandwell leader promises to do 'everything she can' to make the borough a success

The new leader of Sandwell Council has promised to "do whatever it takes" to make the borough a success story.

Councillor Kerrie Carmichael is Sandwell Council's leader elect
Councillor Kerrie Carmichael is Sandwell Council's leader elect

Blackheath councillor Kerrie Carmichael gave a short speech after being officially made leader at a full Sandwell Council meeting in Oldbury last night.

Councillor Carmichael is the sixth Labour leader of the council in the last three years and her supporters believe her victory will usher in a new sense of security at the top of the council.

The Labour group has been beset by infighting for a decade but the majority of those councillors loyal to former deputy leader Mahboob Hussain have been deselected.

Councillor Carmichael said: "I will be focusing on improving the council's key policies and procedures so that there's a stronger structure in place and creating a more supportive environment for members as she is interested in good ideas wherever they come from

"Although some people are invested in her and her team failing she will do whatever it takes to make sure Sandwell Council is a success story."

The 53-year-old has represented Blackheath for nine years and in May fought off a well funded Conservative campaign to unseat her.

The mother of two decided against the grandstanding and point scoring which previous leaders enjoyed dishing out and instead praised everyone, of all political persuasions, who helped a charity provide Christmas presents to the needy.

She said: "I'd like to thank everyone who gave to the Give a Gift campaign."

The campaign is run by St Albans Community Centre and Dorothy Parkes and encourages people to donate presents so vulnerable people, the elderly, poor children and asylum seekers have something to open on Christmas Day.

The council meeting was held under strict Covid-19 protocols and as such many supporters of Councillor Carmichael opted to watch proceedings online instead of in the public gallery.

The mother-of-two hit the headlines two years ago when she received a once-in-a-lifetime gift with a little help from her husband Brian. He donated a kidney to an exchange project so she could get a new kidney to improve her quality of life.

She is believed to be the first donor recipient to lead a council in the West Midlands.

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