Sandwell is a metropolitan borough in the West Midlands. It is made up of the six towns of Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury, and West Bromwich.
Sandwell borders the City of Birmingham to the east, the metropolitan borough of Dudley to the south and west, the metropolitan borough of Walsall to the north, and the City of Wolverhampton to the north-west.
History of the borough
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council was formed on 1 April 1974 as a merger of the county boroughs of Warley (associated with Worcestershire) and West Bromwich (associated with Staffordshire). Warley itself was a recent creation, having been formed in 1966 by a merger of the Staffordshire county borough of Smethwick with the Staffordshire borough of Rowley Regis and the Worcestershire town of Oldbury (itself part of an enclave of Shropshire until the Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844). West Bromwich had also been expanded in 1966 to include the boroughs of Tipton and Wednesbury.
In 1986 the West Midlands County Council was abolished and Sandwell effectively became a unitary authority. Sandwell is divided into 24 wards and is represented by 72 ward councillors.
West Bromwich is the largest town in Sandwell, however the council headquarters are based in Oldbury.
The borough was named after Sandwell Priory, the ruins of which are in Sandwell Valley.
Sandwell College, which has a campus in West Bromwich, Oldbury and Smethwick, was opened in September 1986 following the merger of Warley College and West Bromwich College.