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A shop in Dudley town centre has been shut down for three months after a trading standards investigation found it was selling illegal and counterfeit cigarettes.

Dudley Council has obtained a closure order from the courts against European Food Express, in High Street.

Council bosses have hit out at the “menace” of rogue traders – after welcoming a court decision to jail a cowboy builder from the borough for five years. 

Stourbridge man James Carter, formerly known as James Eccles, drove round in a van falsely claiming he had appeared on BBC’s DIY SOS.  In reality he was unqualified and pocketed more than £140,000 from 15 unsuspecting victims while carrying out shoddy work at their homes.

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.

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.

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.