'Walsall Council needs to take urgent action to remedy its service delivery failings. These failings are not acceptable and the people of Walsall deserve better from the council.
'Both councillors and officers need to give their full commitment to turning round the council's performance. This will involve close working with the supervisory board, proposed by the Audit Commission, and the Improvement and Development Agency. I will meet the leaders of all three political groups on the council to stress the importance of this.
'Walsall should be in no doubt that if it fails to improve services itself the government will not hesitate to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that services are delivered to a level local people have the right to expect.'