DUDLEY councillors have pledged to do “everything” they can to help residents living near to a derelict former care home that has been blighting the neighbourhood.

A fire which broke out at the former Castle Meadows Care Home in Dibdale Road, Milking Bank, on Friday January 5 was the latest incident of concern for nearby residents who have been left worrying about the building since the care home closed almost two years ago.

Luckily, no-one was injured as a result of the blaze which is believed to have started to the rear of the ground floor.

Firefighters from Dudley and Brierley Hill fire stations were alerted at 4.33pm and were at the scene for almost an hour.

The building has been a source of worry for locals since the care home closed in March 2022.

Later that year the property was reportedly listed as a ‘no frills’ guest house on Airbnb without council permission.

Residents were up in arms about the situation, and it’s understood that enforcement action was taken regarding unlawful occupation of the building.

However, more recently Dudley North MP Marco Longhi expressed concerns about the lack of security on the building and last month he told constituents a community protection notice had been issued by Dudley Council requiring the owners to secure the three-storey property by December 14.

Nearby residents, however, reported windows having been smashed on the building ahead of Friday’s fire.

Councillors for the area said they were “disappointed but not shocked” at the latest incident and they pledged to push for action to improve matters.

Castle and Priory ward councillor Keiran Casey said on Facebook: “Myself, Karl Denning and Margaret Aston, along with other colleagues in neighbouring ward Cathryn Bayton and Caroline Reid, have been raising concerns with both the council and the police about the condition this building is in, as well as the potential for something like this to happen.

“As a result of our pressure, the council did serve a notice on the company responsible instructing them to tidy up and secure the building, and if this was not done, the council would do this and charge them.

“Just as this notice was going to expire, we have been told the company have appealed this to the magistrates’ court, which to me is quite frankly ridiculous.

“Myself, Karl, Margaret, Cathy and Caroline are continuing to push both the council and the police on this and will do everything we can to support residents, who shouldn't have to be putting up with this next door to their homes."