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Sandwell Council is urging people to have their say on what issues matter to them in their area and how they can be improved.

A borough-wide consultation called In Your Neighbourhood to develop "ward pledges" for each area is currently underway.

Local residents will be asked to prioritise the issues that most concern them by completing a questionnaire which includes 15 different issues identified through feedback from residents.

These could include anti-social behaviour, flytipping, litter and parking issues to empty properties, reducing the number of young people not in education, employment or training and working more closely with older people.

Once agreed and prioritised, "ward pledges" will be developed to address the concerns.

TODAY is the first of the all important five day Ofsted inspection into Sandwell Council Children’s Services department.

Everyone in the department, which was branded poor by Ofsted after a previous inspection, has been wished luck during the inspection by Sandwell chief executive Jan Britton.

He said: “Good luck to everyone in Children’s Services. I hope it goes well.”

A vastly better Ofsted report is vital under the terms of the Improvement Notice it has been working under since 2009.

The council has set out its stall to improve standards after Ofsted found it was failing local children in a variety of ways including not keeping them safe and not providing good enough education.

Looked after children were shown to have also been continually let down by the department.

In January chief executive Mr Britton made it clear improving Children’s Services and getting a better Ofsted rating was the council’s top priority in 2012.

He said: “The most important for the Council as a whole will be removing Children’s Services from the Improvement Notice they’ve been working under since the Ofsted inspection in 2009.