There was brilliant news last week when West Midlands Police announced it would launch an independent inquiry about how the force handled the investigation into the death of Ryan Passey.

Ryan was stabbed in a Stourbridge nightclub in 2017 and the man accused of his murder was later acquitted.

Since then, his family has ceaselessly campaigned for justice for Ryan and I have supported them since I was elected in 2019.

I had written to WMP several times over the last 18 months asking for an inquiry by another force. Ryan’s family, who are an inspiration, did the same.

Sadly, it has taken all that time for WMP to acknowledge even the need for one. The Deputy Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine intervened personally and phoned me last Friday to apologise for the delay.

The next steps will be to outline the inquiry’s terms of reference, which will be between WMP and the Passey family to decide.

The hope is the inquiry will take place quickly and that no stone is left unturned. I know the family wants a thorough and detailed re-examination of the evidence with a hope that there can be justice for Ryan through a court case and conviction of whoever is responsible for his death.

The consultation on the Black Country Plan concluded this week. Throughout the consultation period, I have spoken directly to hundreds of residents, and corresponded with hundreds more. All are very strongly opposed to any development on grazing land at Wollaston Farm, which is earmarked for 90 homes and the land adjacent to Worcester Lane in Pedmore where 115 homes are being considered.

I have also visited each site multiple times and have attended numerous public meetings. My overarching conclusion is that local reaction to these plans has been unanimously negative.

I would like to thank all those local campaigners and councillors who have worked so hard to raise awareness of the Black Country Plan and for residents to have their say.

The right outcome will be for this land to be removed from the plan.

It's very clear that we need to do more to prevent land banking and ensure councils have power to prioritise brownfield land over land that has been released from the green belt.

It was recently announced that £33 million of Government funding has been awarded to continue to regenerate brownfield sites and, thanks to West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, building homes and creating new communities on brownfield land has been a success.

We need to do planning sustainably - there is no doubt about this. And using car dependent greenfield sites is not sustainable.