Category Archives: Walsall Council

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Noddy Holder at Walsall Town Hall
Noddy Holder at Walsall Town Hall

Noddy Holder is hosting an evening of 60s Mania at Walsall Town Hall in support of the Mayor’s Charity Appeal later this month.

Freeman of the Borough of Walsall, Noddy Holder, returns to his home town on Friday 27 March 2015 as compere for this charity concert.  The evening will feature two 60s tribute acts, The Born Again Beatles and a ‘British Invasion’ tribute act, with support from Q4, Regale, and as seen on The Voice, Misternothing with Mitchel Elms and The Rooz with Louis Coupe.

Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Pete Smith, said: “We hope this concert will be a sell-out. Tickets cost just £10 each and for this there will be a terrific host for the evening, Noddy Holder, and over four hours of musical entertainment.

“All the supporting acts will perform at least one well known song from the 60s which will make 60s Mania a night to remember.

“Noddy will also be running the draw for a really impressive raffle on the evening.”

All proceeds after costs will go to the Mayor’s Charity Appeal beneficiaries MS (Black Country branch), Macmillan (Walsall Branch), Walsall Heartcare and Bloxwich Community Partnership.

Walsall Council House (pic: Stuart Williams)
Walsall Council House (pic: Stuart Williams)

Doors open at 6.30pm, as will the bar, with the concert’s first act going on stage at 7.30pm with The Born Again Beatles appearing  later in the evening.

Tickets are now on sale from Walsall Town Hall Box Office and can be purchased by calling 0845 111 2900 (Option1) or visiting the Council House on Lichfield Street from 10am-12noon and 2-4pm.

If any business or organisation would like to sponsor the event or donate an item for the Charity Concert raffle, please contact the Mayor’s Office on 01922 652072.

After the Oscars – here come the Doras!

Sister Dora looks humbly down on the town she made her own (pic: Stuart Williams)
Sister Dora looks humbly down on the town she made her own (pic: Stuart Williams)

Preparations are under way for the eleventh annual Mayor of Walsall’s Civic Awards which is being held at Walsall Town Hall on Friday 20 March 2015.

Walsall-born TV presenter Bob Warman returns as the celebrity compere since his last appearance in 2013. Mr Warman started his career as a journalist with the Walsall Observer and is now the senior presenter of ITV Central which broadcasts nightly to over a million viewers in the Midlands.

The awards, which are known as the Doras after nursing heroine Sister Dora, aim to recognise unsung heroes who work tirelessly to help others who are working to improve the lives of others in the borough and make people proud of Walsall.

Walsall Council House (pic: Stuart Williams)
Walsall Council House (pic: Stuart Williams)

The Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Pete Smith, said: “I am delighted that Bob has agreed to host this year’s awards as he is the most instantly recognised media face in Central England.

“He has hosted the awards in 2008, 2009 and in 2013 and is always brilliant on the night so we are delighted that he has agreed to host the awards again.

“We are really excited for the big night and I’m really looking forward to our unsung heroes getting the recognition they so richly deserve, hosted by one of the borough’s own success stories.”

The awards are sponsored by APCOA Parking, Barhale Construction plc, DWF LLP, The Mid Counties Co-operative and whg. They judged the entries and chose the finalists in January. The finalists, who have all been notified, will be announced soon.

Historic Colts go on show as Museum closure announced

Bayard's Colts on display in Walsall Museum (pic: Stuart Williams)
Bayard’s Colts on display in Walsall Museum (pic: Stuart Williams)

Seventeen mysterious carved wooden clubs, known as the Bayard’s Colts, have gone on open display at Walsall Museum, but members of the public will need to visit the museum above Walsall Central Library as soon as they can to take advantage of this rare opportunity, as Walsall Museum is now slated for closure on 31 March due to budget cuts.

The ‘colts’ are thought be at least 300 years old but their exact age, origins and even how they got their name remain a mystery. Last year the museum received a £12,000 grant from the Arts Council to increase public awareness including commissioning an acclaimed play called the Tat Man Tales, family fun days and storytelling courses.

The clubs were carried behind the Mayor in ceremonial processions at the openings of markets and fairs and on other civic occasions.The colts were hung up on the wall of the Magistrates Court in the Guildhall when the Walking the Fair tradition was discontinued in 1870.

Walsall Museum (pic: Stuart Williams)
Walsall Museum (pic: Stuart Williams)

They were transferred into the care of Walsall Museum in the 1960s although continued to remain hung in the Magistrates Court, out of public view, before returning to the museum in 2012. They are now on show in the Changing Face of Walsall gallery.

Sadly, following the full Walsall Council meeting on 26 February, the popular museum announced on Twitter that it would close on 31 March 2015.  Museum staff thanked their visitors, donors and volunteers for all their support over the years.

The thousands of artefacts held by the museum will be put into storage.  A bid for Heritage Lottery Funding will be made to hopefully redisplay collections at some future time.

Walsal Museum graphic panel (pic: Stuart Williams)
Walsal Museum graphic panel (pic: Stuart Williams)

Entrance to the museum, above the library in Lichfield Street, is free. It is open Tuesdays to Fridays 10am to 5pm and Saturdays, 10am to 4pm.

Council tax benefit scheme cut

Walsall Council House

A local Council Tax benefit scheme has been cut back in Walsall following  government funding reductions.

Walsall Council bosses approved changes to the council tax reduction scheme at Full Council on 12 January 2015 whereby all working age residents will have to pay at least 25% of their council tax bill.

Councillor Sean Coughlan, Walsall Council Leader, said: “In April 2013 central government replaced the national council tax benefit scheme with a new scheme administered by the council.

“Since then the government funding to support the new scheme has reduced year on year and the council has been able to protect all residents from the impact of these changes until now.

“From April 2015 this will no longer be possible as the council is faced with the challenge of having to save £86 million over the next four years.

“Our decision to provide a maximum benefit of 75% will save the council over £2.3 million in 2015/16 whilst still providing support to vulnerable groups within the working age council tax base.”

Portfolio holder for social care, Councillor Diane Coughlan, explained: “We understand that some households in Walsall may find it difficult to pay their new or increased council tax bill so we are making it easier by providing more flexible paying options.

“Instead of paying ten monthly payments, we can extend it over twelve months.  If you prefer a weekly or fortnightly payment scheme, that can also be accommodated.

“Council officers are also on hand to help with money management and budgeting advice.”

Council tax bills will be posted out to residents from 6 March 2015 which will include an information leaflet on help with paying your bill.

Council and police target truants

Walsall Council and police working together (pic: Walsall Council)
Walsall Council and police working together (pic: Walsall Council)
Truants will be targeted in a new joint project between Walsall Council and Walsall Police starting on Monday.The project sees the council building on their success to date with partner agencies as part of the national Troubled Families programme and uses funding from within the programme for the truancy patrols.

A police officer and council attendance officers will tour the borough in a branded vehicle stopping children of school age and/or their parents to ask why they aren’t in school and if necessary ask them to return to school.

Officers will also support children, young people and their families if they identify any concerns or issues, as part of our focus to help families as early as possible. The team can help to signpost families and young people to a range of support and advice as sometimes there can be other issues beyond truancy.

The focus will be on school children of all ages.

The project will run to the end of the current school year at which time it will be evaluated.

Issues around school absence and anti-social behaviour are also addressed directly in schools with the support of attendance officers.

PS Gary Iliff, from Walsall Police, said: ”These dedicated multi agency patrols will supplement the existing engagement in schools by local neighbourhood teams.

“There will now be greater support for families at the earliest opportunity to maximise educational opportunity in Walsall.”

Councillor Barbara Cassidy, portfolio holder for children’s services at Walsall Council, said: “An education is one of the most important elements to a successful future.

“To learn, grow and achieve, children and young people need to be in school.

“As well as the educational benefits, many children get other benefits from attending school such as interaction with their peers and a healthy meal.

“This is why it is important that we support young people and their families to understand the importance of attending school regularly.

“These regular patrols will also help us to reach out to any children and families who may need some extra support so that we can put them in touch with the right agencies to help them.

“If you are concerned about a child or young person or if you have any queries I would encourage you to contact the council’s attendance service on 01922 686233.”


Bands on the run – to Barr Beacon!

Bands on the Beacon (pic: Walsall Council)
Bands on the Beacon (pic: Walsall Council)

This year’s Bands on the Beacon music festival will be bigger and better than ever, running over two days at the end of June, organisers have announced.

The popular event will be held on Saturday and Sunday 27 and 28 June at Barr Beacon, the borough’s highest point, and will also feature arts and artisan stalls.

A line-up will be announced shortly and there will also be an opportunity for up and coming bands and artists to showcase their talent.

The family friendly festival will run from 1pm-6pm on both days and this year’s event will be ticket only.

Organisers are having to charge a small fee for tickets as funding for Bands on the Beacon, the majority of which came courtesy of the Heritage Lottery Fund, ended last year.

Tickets for each day will be £4 for adults with “kids for a quid.” Under fives will be allowed in free.

Councillor Adrian Andrew, chair of Barr Beacon Trust, said: “We know from the feedback that we get each year that people want us to continue putting on Bands on the Beacon and visitors have told us they’d be prepared to pay a small amount if it meant the event could continue.

“We’re looking at making a weekend of it in 2015 with bands on both Saturday and Sunday up at Barr Beacon as well as the introduction of stalls to add to the festival feel.

“We’re working with local guitarist Wayne Moseley whose band Dinky played at the first festival in 2010 to try and secure sponsorship for the event and we hope local people will get behind us to support it. The Trust has pledged £5,000 and Wayne’s company, BBR Engineering, has put in another £2,000 so  we’ve set the ball rolling!

“Bands on the Beacon is a brilliant day out – ask anyone who’s been over the years – and we’re all looking forward to making this year’s just as enjoyable.”

For regular updates check out Bands on the Beacon’s facebook page, @walsallcouncil on Twitter and the council’s website