This seat was in 1997 very safe for Labour, the safest of the three seats in Sandwell council, itself one of Labourís safest local authorities. In fact, prior to the last general election the Conservatives did not hold a single councillor in Warley.
Sandwell Borough is one of the poorest in the country - ninth after the 1991 census - but the poverty is relatively evenly spread rather than concentrated in pockets. It is at the heart of the West Midlands, and Warley is closer to Birmingham city centre than several Birmingham seats.
The constituency is urban, and most employers are small or medium sized and representative of the Black Countryís traditional light manufacturing industry. However, due to its excellent location near the M5 and M6 and consequently excellent transportation links, it has more recently become a popular location for distribution centres.
New investment will shortly be flowing into this seat as the Public-Private Partnership to rebuild three schools gets underway. The scheme will include the replacement of Warley Infants, Brasshouse Infants and Albion Junior School schools, and provision of cleaning and catering services once they are completed.