RIVAL councillors have teamed up in Belle Vale to offer joint surgeries at the newly restored Hasbury Community Centre .

Labour Councillor Ian Cooper and Conservative Cllrs Simon Phipps and Laura Taylor, will hold monthly joint surgeries at the former Sons of Rest building.

The councillors hope to increase the number of people using the centre which is leased for use by the community from Dudley Council.

Cllr Cooper said: “ Politics rarely comes in to people’s minds when they have a problem and need to see a councillor, so we thought why not combine forces in order to get the job done?

"To make it worthwhile however we need to know that people want to make the journey to Hasbury to see us.”

The centre, which plays host to a number of community groups and activities from handicrafts to yoga, will host the surgery on the second Saturday in the month from 10am to 11am.

Cllr Taylor said: “ When it comes to local ward matters, we see no reason to compete over issues – we work well together already on community projects such as Friends of Hawne Park and local tenant and resident associations.”

Cllr Phipps added "Although we get a lot of issues sent via email and mobile phones, seeing members of the public on an one to one basis is often the most useful way to dig deeper into a problem – and discuss possible ways forward together.

"Some people prefer human contact and a sympathetic ear: all problems are treated in the strictest confidence."