In Sandwell Labour kept control of the council, but lost three seats with the Tories picking up all three. This gives Labour 49 seats on Sandwell Council and the Tories just 14 seats, the Lib Dems five, the BNP two, and leaves other parties with two seats.

In a shock result veteran Labour councillor Margaret James was ousted in the Cradley Heath and Old Hill ward. Margaret lost out to Tory candidate Elizabeth Bowler who polled 1,430 votes compared to Margaret's 1,224.

Margaret has been a councillor in the ward for the last 12 years and has campaigned on many issues. She was a leading voice in calling for Cradley Heath bypass, which she said she was pleased to see come to fruition.

She said: "I'm disappointed - I would be telling a lie if I didn't say I was because I was prepared to carry on but obviously the electorate decided they wanted a change so fair enough.

"I just hope the new councillor is fully aware of how much time it takes up if you do the work of a councillor properly.

"In this age it's 24/7.

"I've done the best I could do over 12 years - it means now I can begin to put myself first.

"I think the main thing I shall be remembered for is Cradley Heath bypass - I made that my main issue as Cradley Heath was dying on its feet."

Margaret said she would continue working on Cradley Heath Action Forum which her late husband stalwart councillor Brian James was heavily involved with and her fundraising work.

The 72-year-old will also continue in her role as deputy mayor until May 20. She was a magistrate for 35 years and has served on numerous committees and has been involved with Sandwell's Adult Services which works to improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable people in the community.

In Blackheath Conservative councillor Mary Docker was returned to the ward. Mary polled 1,497 votes, with her closest rival Robert Hamblett for the Labour Party gaining 1016 votes and Robert Johns picking up 258 votes for the Liberal Democrats.

In Rowley Iris Boucher was re-elected - polling 1169 votes for the Labour Party. Her closest rival Wayne Nicholas gained 896 votes for the Tories, while John Salvage gained 384 votes for the BNP and Vicky Dunn gained just 118 for the Green Party.

In Oldbury Susan Downing will become a councillor after polling 1,720 votes for the Labour Party. Abdul Qayyum polled 1,173 votes for the Tories, Richard Mitchener gained 265 votes for the Lib Dems and Maureen Matthews polled 216 votes for the Socialist Labour Party. Former Oldbury councillor Babu Singh Bawa OBE, a Labour councillor, stood down before the election.

For a full list of the local election results across Halesowen click onto the news section on this website, then local elections, then election results.