I MUST admit to being underwhelmed by the new West Midlands Mayor. Yes, I get democracy and I wish him the best but, so far, he has only come up with an uncosted plan to take the buses into public ownership. It’s a bit thin policy wise.

And I fear this will do little to improve bus services but a great deal to place a further burden on the taxpayer going forward. Public transport is important and that’s why I want a chat with the new mayor about the Stourbridge Dasher to link Stourbridge to Brierley Hill and the wider West Midlands Metro transport system. This is a great bit of investment in rail transport infrastructure and I intend to not stop going on about it because the previous mayor was very supportive.

I got the chance to air some of these thoughts about the mayor when I went on the BBC’s Politics Midlands programme last Sunday. Another subject was Birmingham City Council and the strike by ,female support staff over equal pay. Stourbridge News readers will know BCC is bankrupt owing £760 million to settle compensation to women it did not pay the same as men. I found myself in the unique position of telling viewers I support the GMB union in its strike action. It is terrible women are still having to strike for equal pay in 2024. I also added this is what you get when you have Labour in charge. The city council needs to sort this issue out quickly.

Recently I met with nearly 100 residents who are furious over continued problems with broadband installer brsk and the siting of unsightly telegraph poles.

Householders from Lakeside, Ravens Park and the Withymoor estate all came to Withymoor Playing Fields. Local councillors Pete Lee and Kamran Razzaq were also there.

All were angry brsk continues to install the poles in inconvenient locations and without any community engagement.

The company’s actions are against the latest government advice that tells them to share existing infrastructure and underground networks before making the decision to use telegraph poles.

Better broadband is really important to Stourbridge but the way brsk continues to behave is unacceptable and is making a huge positive into a massive negative.

I don’t blame residents for being fed up. I will continue to stand up for them and I am considering the options available to deal with brsk.

The government has been clear that installers must avoid poles whenever they can, use existing underground infrastructure and speak to residents. This is not happening in Stourbridge and it needs to change fast.

If you have an issue you need my help and advice with contact me at: suzanne.webb.mp@parliament.uk