BELLE Vale Councillor and Dudley Council children's services supremo Ian Cooper wants to be Labour's candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis in the General Election.

Cllr Cooper, who was elected to Dudley Council in 2014, has entered the Labour Party selection process and will find out if he is successful next week.

Cllr Cooper, aged 50, said: "I was born and raised in this constituency and it would be an honour to represent Halesowen and Rowley Regis in Westminster.

"I have loved my role as councillor for Belle Vale and as cabinet member for children's services at Dudley Council and believe I have what it takes to be an MP."

He added: "Running children's services at Dudley Council means I see every day the consequences of the constant cuts from Westminster are doing to this generation of children.

"James Morris has backed every Government cut and austerity measure since 2010 and I think he should be held to account at the ballot box."

Cllr Cooper works for Sandwell Council, he has held positions in the public health department working in various roles mostly in Cradley Heath and Rowley Regis.

He said: "I now live in Halesowen and work in Sandwell so I know the two halves of this unique constituency and what is needed to improve people's lives.

"This election was called by Prime Minister Theresa May for one reason only, to serve the needs of the Conservative Party not the country.

"If I am successful in my application to become Labour's candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis I will give everything to ensure she gets the message loud and clear that people in this part of the world want an end to her party's assault on schools, the NHS and so many other things that people hold dear."

He added: "This General Election is not one election but 630 individual polls up and down the country and I will be fighting this one on the issues that affect Halesowen and Rowley Regis."

Blackheath Councillor Danny Millard has also expressed an interest Labour's Halesowen and Rowley Regis candidature.

The Unite union backed councillor said: "I have expressed an interest in a few constituencies but I really want Halesowen and Rowley Regis because I am a councillor here, a lot depends on what the last election's candidates are doing."

Stephanie Peacock, who lost to Conservative MP James Morris by 3,082 in the 2015 General Election, is hoping to be selected by Labour to contest the safe seat of Barnsley East.

Due to the snap election Labour's selection process has been truncated with candidates submitting CVs to the party, regional bosses will then pick the winner instead of constituency branches, which normally choose General Election candidates.

James Morris MP confirmed within hours of Theresa May's election bombshell that he would be standing.