West Midlands councils have been praised for improving services, in annual inspection results published today.
Birmingham received a major boost when it was awarded two stars out of four, in ratings based on the quality of the services it provides, value for money and responding to the needs of residents.
This is a huge improvement on last year's inspection, when it was named a "weak" council.
Birmingham is now performing to an acceptable level and "improving well", according to the independent watchdog the Audit Commission.
The result was warmly welcomed by leaders of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat partnership which has governed the city since Labour lost control of the council two years ago.
Sandwell was the only council in the region to receive just one star, which means it is "failing to deliver services of an acceptable standard".
The poor rating is a result of concerns about its services for children and young people.
Sandwell is "improving adequately", the Audit Commission said.
No West Midlands authority received zero stars, the lowest possible rating.
There was good news for Worcestershire, Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin, which all achieved the highest possible rating of four stars.
Shropshire was also rated as "improving strongly" - one of only five authorities nationwide to get the highest possible rating for both improvement a n d performance.
The ratings are based partly on assessments of services including social services, housing, environment, benefit administration and cultural facilities.
Dudley, Herefordshire, Solihull, Walsall, Warwick-shire and Wolverhampton all earned three stars while Coventry was rated as a two-star authority.
The result is particularly impressive for Walsall Council, which was dubbed the worst in Britain after a damning inspection just three years ago, but has turned its fortunes around.
Inspections of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are still under way.
Councillor Mike Whitby (Harborne), Conservative leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "This is great news for the new administration, but even better news for the citizens of Birmingham.
"It puts us in the galaxy of stars where a city like Birmingham belongs."
Paul Tilsley (Sheldon), deputy leader of the council and leader of the Lib Dem group, said: "Our aim is to make Birmingham a model for cities across the world as it was in the era of Joseph Chamberlain."
Sandwell Council leader Bill Thomas said his authority faced a "tough task" to improve.
He added: "We are rising to the challenge and determined to speed up the pace of change to improve services for the people of Sandwell."
Coun George Lord, leader of Worcestershire County Council, said: "I'm highly delighted with the results. It just shows how well a low-funded authority can perform and that's a credit to all staff and councillors."