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Welcome to Sandwell Council’s Consultation Hub

We asked, you said, we did

Below are outcomes for some of the issues we've recently asked about.

We asked

The Department for Education Statutory Guidance for School Organisation regulations: ‘Making significant changes (‘prescribed alterations’) to maintained schools’ and The School Organisation (Prescribed Alterations to Maintained Schools) (England) Regulations 2013 requires that when the Local Authority is proposing a significant alteration, i.e., a change to the age range, it must consult upon the proposal and make a formal decision to make the alteration permanent. The LA asked for your views on the statutory proposals to lower the age range of Moat Farm Infant School from 2 – 7 years to 0 – 7 years.

You said

38 representations to the Statutory Proposal were received.  5 of those responses objected to the change of age range.  2 responders provided the following comments;

Objection: Teaching staff; “We do not have the facilities to cater to below 2 years of age. We cater for a small number of 2 year old children. As our Nursery is not big enough or facilitated to cater to very young children.”

Position: Moat Farm Infant School Nursery caters for 2-5 year old children in a small nursery block.  The change to the age range of Moat Farm Infant School is to incorporate the children attending Lavender Farm Day Nursery which currently caters for children from six weeks to 5 years in a separate building.  These children will continue to use the facilities at Lavender Farm Day Nursery.  There are no re-organisational changes expected as a result of the change in age range proposal.

 

Objection: Resident; “If it’s not broken it doesn’t need fixing, the shack up & change will be disturbing, is it really necessary. You will then need to change the juniors!”

Position: As a maintained Local Authority school, the Governing Body have been able to run Lavender Farm Day Nursery using its community powers in addition to operating its own school nursery.  When the school converts to academy status the Governing Body will no longer have those powers.  Changing the school’s age range to include the children attending Lavender Farm Day Nursery will enable the Governing Body to continue to run this nursery and the school nursery.  Children will continue to attend nursery in the same way as they currently do.  The number of children being admitted into Reception at the school is not being increased, therefore there will not be a need to change the admission number for the Junior School.

We did

On 13 September 2023 Cabinet approved the recommendation to publish the Statutory Proposal for the change of age range at Moat Farm Infant School from 2-7 years to 0-7 years old.  Decision No.102/23(1) b., gave approval to the Director of Children’s Services and Education to make a final decision on the proposal for the prescribed alteration at the school, subject to no objections being raised during the statutory representation period for the Statutory Proposal.  In the event that any objections were raised during the statutory representation period, Decision No.102/23(1) c., requires a report is submitted to the Cabinet Member, with full details of representations received to inform a final decision on the proposal.

A report was presented to the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education on 14 November 2023 and approval was given to make the prescribed alternations for the school.  Decisions taken by the Cabinet Member can be found on the council's website; https://www.sandwell.gov.uk/council/modern-gov.

We asked

Your thoughts on the proposals for an upgraded section of cycle track between Dudley Port Railway Station and Great Bridge along the A461.

This follows the receipt of funding from the Department for Transport, called the Active Travel Fund, as part of the Government’s announcement in November 2020 to invest in high-quality cycling and walking infrastructure across England to make local journeys safer for all.

You said

We have objections to said proposal in some quarters

We did

Following the recent consultation held for the proposals for improved pedestrian and cycle facilities, including an upgraded section of cycle track between Dudley Port Railway Station and Great Bridge along the A461 a Decision Making Session was held with the Cabinet Member for Environment and Highways to consider objections. There were no further representations from members of the public or local ward members and the decision was taken to proceed with the proposals.

 

Construction works are scheduled for January 2024 to summer 2024.

 

 

We asked

Residents and community groups were asked for their views on the Sandwell Borough of Sanctuary Strategy. The strategy has been developed by the council, residents and local organisations that form Sandwell’s Borough of Sanctuary Partnership. The strategy sets out the partnership’s commitments to welcoming and integrating individuals and families who arrive in Sandwell.

The public consultation provided an opportunity to strengthen the partnership’s understanding of ‘what welcome means’ to our residents and community groups and what respondents feel our priorities should be as a partnership.

Residents and community groups had the opportunity to input into the strategy and engage in the development of the partnership through an online consultation and in-person workshop and focus group events.

You said

In total 67 responses were captured by the online public consultation, with a small handful of paper copies being completed that were later inputted into the online response.

Support across all questions was fairly high, with respondents either tending to agree or strongly agree with the priorities of the partnership. The average agreement was 63%, demonstrating a reasonable level of support for the Sandwell Borough of Sanctuary Strategy overall.

Responses have been carefully considered by the council and a consultation report has been produced. A copy of the report can be downloaded below.

We did

The consultation highlighted a number of additional suggestions which have been considered and adopted in the final version of the Sandwell Borough of Sanctuary Strategy. A copy of the strategy can be downloaded here

We are pleased to announce Sandwell has officially been awarded Council of Sanctuary status by the City of Sanctuary movement. The award celebrates Sandwell’s commitment to providing a welcoming place of safety for people who are asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants. The award recognises the commitment that Sandwell Council, residents, and local community groups have made to delivering our joint strategy together as equal partners.

A sub-group of the Sandwell Borough of Sanctuary Partnership will deliver and monitor the strategy and its subsequent action plan. For more information and to find out how to be involved please visit https://www.sandwell.gov.uk/supporting-sandwell/borough-sanctuary