A NEW councillor who scored a memorable victory for Labour in Halesowen has pledged to work hard to "make the ward a better place to live."

Parmjit Sahota was elected to Halesowen North - a seat which had been occupied by councillor Karen Shakespeare for the Conservatives for almost two decades.

Cllr Sahota gained 1,292 votes compared to Conservative candidate Peter Dobb's 1,155 and said he was "honoured" to be elected.

Karen Shakespeare had held the seat for the last 19 years - but moved to Norton where she was elected as a Tory councillor in last week's local elections.

Cllr Sahota, a 54-year-old father of three, who works as a local government officer for Sandwell Council, said: "It’s a privilege and honour to be serving residents of Halesowen North ward, an area that has been home to me and my family for the last 20 years.

"I wish to place on record my sincere thanks to all who supported me in Halesowen North and earn the trust of those who didn’t vote for me and work hard for all the community to make our ward a better place to live.

"I have used my experience of local government and community development to work with residents’ traders and others to deliver projects to improve our area.

"Whether it be things likes getting blocked drains cleansed, passageways cleaned up, addressing road safety issues or to more larger projects like regenerating Shell Corner and liaising with developers to enhance the designs for the new 200-home estate which is being built in the ward.

"I am also keen to meet with council officers and the police to ensure how we can better improve the delivery of public services in our ward, as well as community groups to further strengthen the community cohesion in our ward."

Cllr Sahota stood unsuccessfully in the ward in 2004 and 2006.

Karen Shakespeare said she was "disappointed" the seat had gone to Labour but "over the moon" to be elected in Norton, as she lives in Stourbridge.

Cllr Sahota joins fellow Halesowen North councillors Hilary Bills (Labour) and Joe Roberts (Conservative).

Stuart Henley polled 805 votes for the Black Country Party in Halesowen North, with Gabby Coverson gaining 261 votes for UKIP.

In Halesowen South sitting Tory councillor Alan Taylor was re-elected with a massive majority, Simon Phipps was also re-elected for the Tories by a huge majority in Belle Vale.

In Hayley Green and Cradley South Ian Bevan kept the seat for the Conservatives with a huge majority and in Cradley and Wollescote Richard Body was re-elected for the Labour party.