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Try something new at Walsall Libraries

Computer course

Walsall Libraries have just launched their new programme of computer taster courses for the whole academic year starting from September 2015 – July 2016.

There are now an extensive range of courses available from lots of individual teaching slots where you can seek help on specific things e.g. if you are unsure of how to create an email, how to buy and sell online, to more structured sessions on Ebay, Family History, CV help and Work Clubs.

In partnership with Walsall College, some libraries will be running 3 week basic taster courses and also a brand new 3 week course covering social media, and using comparison websites.

Helena Denham Information and Learning Co-ordinator said “Walsall Libraries love to offer new learning opportunities for our customers. Libraries are a great place to learn in an informal, relaxing and friendly environment.”

To book your place please visit or telephone your local library, or check out Walsall Libraries’ Adult Zone, then click ‘Learning’ on the website at

Events at Forest Arts Centre


Forthcoming events at Forest Arts Centre, Hawbush Road, Leamore, WS3 1AG.


Thursday 3 September at 2pm and Thursday 1 October at 2pm
Senior Citizens Orchestra Concert

The Orchestra perform monthly concerts at Forest Arts Centre. Their programmes offer fabulous music and feature a whole range of classical favourites. Many concerts also include invited guests and performers.

Tickets: £1 Please note tickets can only be purchased 30 minutes before the start of the concert.


Wednesday 9 September at 1.30pm
The Carpenters Tribute Show

Popular vocalist and Forest Arts Centre favourite Nicky Moran, returns with her amazing Carpenters Tribute Show. The show offers a fabulous and nostalgic afternoon of entertainment with authentic costumes and musical arrangements. Reliving classic hits and household favourites such as Top of the World, Jambalaya and We’ve Only Just Begun, Nicky and her band perform wonderfully the beautiful music of The Carpenters.
Tickets: £6


Friday 11 September at 7.30pm
Evening Cinema “Birdman” (18)

Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton) – famous for portraying an iconic superhero – as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.

Tickets: £3 / £2 (concession) – Please note can only be purchased 30 minutes before the start of the film.


Thursday 17 – Saturday 19 September
7.30pm & 2.30pm Saturday matinee.

Walsall Operatic Society present “Something Old, Something New”

Following last year’s sell out performances, Walsall Operatic Society invites you to join in the celebration of its 60th anniversary concert.
This musical theatre extravaganza will span a wide variety of shows ranging from Easter Parade to Kinky Boots and from Chicago to Matilda. There promises to be something for everyone in this wonderful musical spectacular.

For further information regarding the show please contact 01922 477001 or email

Tickets: £10 & £5 (concession) – concession only applies for 2.30pm Saturday matinee performance.


Thursday 24 September at 2pm
Afternoon Cinema “The Second Best Marigold Hotel” (PG)

While preparing for his imminent marriage to the love of his life, Sunaina, Sonny has his eye on a promising property now that his first venture, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, has only a single remaining vacancy – posing a rooming predicament for fresh arrivals Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig).
Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) have now joined the Jaipur workforce, while Norman and Carol are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship, as Madge (Celia Imrie) juggles two eligible and very wealthy suitors. And newly installed co-manager of the hotel, Muriel(Maggie Smith) knows everyone’s secrets. As the demands of a traditional Indian wedding threaten to engulf them all, an unexpected way forward presents itself.

Tickets: £3 / £2 (concession) – please note tickets can only be purchased 30 minutes before the start of the film.


Friday 25 September at 7.30pm
The Staffordshire Band “Brassanory”

This season opener sees the band present two magical stories interwoven with fantastic and mysterious music, all narrated by someone special…! You will never have seen or experience anything like this before.

Tickets: £6


Monday 28 September at 8pm
Walsall Jazz Orchestra

Walsall Jazz Orchestra will entertain with a wonderful programme of jazz music featuring classic band standards, jazz classics and contemporary jazz funk.

Tickets: £4 – please note tickets can only be purchased 30 minutes before the start of the concert.

About the Centre

Forest Arts Centre offers a wide variety of meeting room facilities. Whether it’s a conferencing hall for a multi strand event, a private briefing or training course or a small meeting room for as few as 6, we’re confident in finding the right space for you.

Box Office number 0300 555 2898

Credit card bookings can now be taken in person and over the telephone.


Borough bin collection changes consultation


As part of Walsall Council’s spending cuts, the cash-strapped local authority is currently considering changes to the borough-wide bin collection services.

Part of this consideration involves a public consultation exercise. The proposal is that all bins will be emptied on alternate weeks to save money. Local residents can now have their say on options for how this proposal will be implemented.

At the moment there are two different collection options available that will help to deliver the savings the Council needs to put towards the savings of £82 million over the next four years which the government requires it to make.  They would like to know which of the two options would be preferable to your household. To help them to understand how this may affect you they want to know things such as, how many people live in your household, which bins you use and how you recycle.

The Council says that while the change to fortnightly  collections has been agreed, no decision has yet been made on the options for how this will be implemented, and residents’ response will help them to select the best solution for Walsall – obviously within the framework of overall budget cuts .

The closing date for responses is 30 September 2015 and the public’s views will be considered carefully before the final decision is made in December 2015. Results of the consultation will also be made available  on the Walsall Council website.

Two options for change are being put forward:

Option 1: Bin swap

This option would, the Council say, save an estimated £736,000 a year.

  • Your grey bin will be used for garden waste
  • Your brown bin will be used for general waste (rubbish)
  • Your green recycling bin stays the same.

All bins will be collected every other week ( there will still be a winter close down of garden waste collections).  If you do not currently have a brown bin you would be provided with one.
In line with current policy:-

  • Any overfilled bins or bins with the wrong sort of waste in them will not be emptied.
  • No additional bags  of waste will  be taken on a normal collection.
Option 2: No bin change

All bins emptied every other week.  This option, it is said, would save an estimated £921,000 a year.

  • All bins stay the same and will be collected every other week.
  • There will not be a weekly rubbish collection.

Households of 4 or more people will be eligible for a larger bin , should they need one. All bins will be collected every other week (there will still be a winter close down of garden waste collections). In line with current policy:-

  • Any overfilled bins or bins with the wrong sort of waste in them will not be emptied.
  • No additional bags  of waste will  be taken on a normal collection.
How can you participate?

Walsall Council is required to consult with local residents and other interested parties before making significant changes to the waste collection service.

Any changes made will be implemented in 2016 and the new alternate weekly service would only be rolled out to households in Walsall who have individual wheeled bins.

Postal questionnaire

Walsall Council will be writing to 10,000 households throughout the borough (not every household) and asking them to complete a questionnaire. If you receive a questionnaire they would like you complete and return the paper version in the envelope provided. You  can also pick up a questionnaire from the First Stop Shop in Walsall Civic Centre,  and return your  completed questionnaire to either  the First Stop Shop or your local library.

Online consultation

An online questionnaire can be found via this link:

Waste collection consultation 2015

In person

You can still ask questions and share your views at any of the times and locations listed below:

  • Pleck Fun Day – Pleck Park, Montfort Road, Mon 17/8/15 10.30 – 16:00
  • Pheasey Fun Day – Doe Bank Park, Doe Bank Lane,  Wed 19/8/15 10.30 – 16:00
  • Palfrey Fun Day – Palfrey Park, Dale  Street, Mon 24/8/1510.30 – 16:00
  • Bloxwich Fun Day – Bloxwich Park, High Street, Wed 26/8/15 10.30 – 16:00

Council search for family of former Bloxwich railman

Parklands Court, Bloxwich
Parklands Court, Bloxwich

Local residents are being asked to help with the search for relatives of a recently deceased man.

Environmental health officers at Walsall Council are keen to get in touch with any family members of Mr George Brian Leach who passed away in Parklands Court Nursing Home, Park Road, Bloxwich on 4 August.

Mr Leach, who formerly resided at 34 Austin Road, Upper Forster Street, was born in Bloxwich on 8 November 1933.

Aged 81 when he died Mr Leach it is believed that he retired from British Rail and had never been married.

Neil Harris, principal environmental health officer, said: “We would like to pass on our condolences to Mr Leach’s family and friends.

“We would be grateful to hear from any relatives of Mr Leach or anyone who might have helpful information about his family so that they can make proper arrangements for his funeral.

“We appreciate this may be difficult but we encourage anyone with information they think may be useful to get in touch.”

If anyone has any information about Mr Leach’s family they are asked to contact Julie Faulkner in environmental health on 01922 653018.

English Defence League protest in Walsall – Latest

Chief Inspector Martin Hurcombe (pic courtesy Walsall Police)
Chief Inspector Martin Hurcombe (pic courtesy Walsall Police)

Walsall Police’s Chief Inspector Martin Hurcomb has been busy working on the policing plans for next week’s English Defence League protest in the town.

And police say preparations are well in hand for the “peaceful” demonstration  on Saturday 15th August.

Trained police negotiators have been in regular contact with both the EDL and counter protesters to identify their intentions and stress the importance that members protest peacefully.

Organisers have told police they are planning a peaceful protest in Walsall (police have no powers to ban groups from exercising their democratic right to protest) but police say they will take decisive action against anyone who creates disorder or behaves aggressively.


Walsall Police say that It’s not clear exactly how many protesters will turn up on 15th August. Around 500 people have apparently indicated on Facebook that they intend to attend but police have stated that in their experience the actual figure on the day tends to be considerably lower.

Location and timing

Following negotiations police and the organisers have now agreed in principle that EDL members will meet at the Oak Inn Public House, Green Lane, at approximately 9am.  EDL members will make their way towards the Art Gallery Square at 1pm (details of the walk/march are still being finalised). Police anticipate the demonstration will conclude at approximately 3pm.


Police say that local residents and retailers can rest assured they will have sufficient resources in place to safely manage any sized protest.  Specially trained police liaison teams will also be deployed. They are easily identifiable by the blue tabards that they wear. Their role includes communication, negotiation and mediation with various groups on the day. PLO’s have, said Chief Inspector Hurcomb today,  “…proved a real success in recent demonstrations in Dudley and Birmingham.”

Public meetings

Open public meetings about the protest have been arranged by Walsall Police at Walsall Town Hall.  One took place yesterday evening, and a second is set to happen on Wednesday 12th August 2015 – 6pm at Walsall Town Hall again, admission will be via the Leicester Street entrance

The meetings are intended as an opportunity for people to ask questions or raise concerns.

Business as usual

Walsall Police’s underlying message is that 15th August will be “business as usual” in Walsall.  Chief Inspector Hurcomb said in an online chat session today:

“There is no need for anyone to cancel plans to visit the town centre and there is no reason for businesses to close for the day.  Buses and trains, as of today, will run as per usual. The Traffic Management Team for the Council will continue to provide regular updates over the next week to help keep the public fully updated.”

Diversity celebration

Walsall Police have also engaged with members of ‘We are Walsall’, who will hold a celebration of diversity and unity event from 11am on 15th August at The Crossing at St Paul’s, Walsall, by the bus station. This event is being supported by Walsall Council – further details can be obtained via the Walsall Council website.

Information leaflet

A police leaflet on the protests can be downloaded in pdf format via the following link:


For the latest news on the protest see: or by following Chief Inspector Martin Hurcomb AKA @ChInspHurcomb  on Twitter:

Information courtesy Walsall Police