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Dudley North MP Ian Austin is handing over a cheque for £500 to the YMCA Black Country Group (YMCABC) as his promise to give away his pay rise continues to help local charities.

Austin will be handing over the cheque to Rachel Taylor, Supported Lodgings Manager at YMCABC, on Friday 14th July at 4:30pm at 38 Carters Green, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B70 9LG.

Radical plans to speed up the adoption process and reduce the amount of time looked after children are in care across the Black Country will go before Dudley Council’s cabinet next week.

A new agency, ‘Adoption@Heart’ would be created, combining the existing adoption services of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton councils.

It would allow each of the local authorities to work together as one organisation, combining their strengths to deliver services more effectively and efficiently.

The agency would allow authorities to improve experiences and outcomes for those wanting to adopt and most importantly the children who are in need of a permanent home.

The agency will be expected to radically reduce the amount of time it takes for a child and adopters to be matched as well as improving the life chances of neglected children.  It will also focus on ways to increase the number of people choosing to adopt.

The leader of Dudley Council Pete Lowe has ramped up pressure on UKIP councillors amid crunch talks to decide who runs the town.
The controlling Labour group could face a battle to remain in power after UKIP said it was unlikely to support them this week.
Labour does not have a majority in Dudley, leaving the possibility of a deal between Conservatives and UKIP to change the leadership.

But Labour’s Pete Lowe, who is facing the prospect of losing his position of leader of the council, said for that to happen UKIP would have to put aside its claim of being an independent party.

The new leader of Dudley Council has set out his vision for the authority as he looks to respond to a national report which outlines the council’s current position.

Councillor Patrick Harley, who was elected leader of the council in May, has set out his proposed response to recommendations made in a recent Local Government Association (LGA) report on Dudley Council.

An LGA Corporate Peer Challenge of the authority took place in the form of a four day on-site assessment at the end of March. The report showed progress was being made in many areas and also made a series of recommendations on how things could be improved further.

Six men from the Black Country have been charged by police after a spate of armed shop robberies in Dudley and Sandwell.
Four of the men were arrested by armed police in Dudley on Friday, while two other suspects were charged after a separate investigation.

Kyle Dingley, Lee Pritchard, Aiden Jenkins and Brad Arnold - all from the Dudley borough - were detained by armed officers in Wellington Road at around 5.30pm on Friday, shortly after an off-licence in nearby Priory Road was robbed.