Category Archives: Walsall Council

New Light cinema just months from opening

Inside the new The Light cinema under construction (pic courtesy Express & Star)
Inside the new The Light cinema under construction (pic courtesy Express & Star)

Walsall’s first town centre cinema for two decades continues to rise from the ground with the scheme just months away from completion.

The 8 screen complex will be run by The Light Cinema and is expected to be finished next spring.

Five bars and restaurants are included in the first phase of the development, which include Hungry Horse, Bella Italia, Pizza Express and Chiquitos. Property developer Kier is in advance negotiations with the fifth tenant for the final unit in phase one.

Kier is expected to complete its handover to the tenants next month, whereupon the cinema operator will kit out the building with the latest hi-tech Extreme screen, which delivers a more intense experience through super-high quality audio and visual.

The Cannon cinema after closure, not long before demolition, 1994 (pic Stuart Williams)
The Cannon cinema after closure, not long before demolition, 1994 (pic Stuart Williams)

Walsall’s last town centre cinema (The Cannon, originally the ABC/Savoy) closed in 1993. The 1930s art deco ‘super cinema’ was replaced by the Woolworths building at the top end of Park Street, now occupied by Poundland and Pure Gym near the New Art Gallery.

Walsall Council’s deputy leader, councillor Adrian Andrew was given a tour of the facility earlier today, and said that this latest scheme was another key piece in the jigsaw of regenerating the town.

“I’m delighted to see with my own eyes that Walsall’s new cinema is on track to open early next year,” he said.

“People are not going to be disappointed with this venue, which will nicely complement the existing leisure facilities in the Waterfront area.

“The £65m Waterfront development has been a resounding success so far, regenerating 17 acres in the town and creating hundreds of jobs in the process.

“There aren’t many towns in the UK that can boast the same degree of regeneration as Walsall.

“Kier and its contractor G F Tomlinson, together with The Light are committed to completing the project on time in early 2016.”

CGI impression of how The Light cinema is expected to look when complete.
CGI impression of how The Light cinema is expected to look when complete.

Phil Dove of The Light Cinema added: “This is a wonderful location for Light Cinemas and we are looking forward to working with everyone in Walsall. It’s incredible to see what’s already happened and the exciting plans for further regeneration.

“We’re confident that the Walsall public will very much appreciate this bespoke cinematic experience. The Light offers a unique social vibe and meets the individual and collective needs of the community.”

Kier has agreed terms with three additional operators for the second phase and has one unit remaining of up to 5,000sq ft, which could be split for the right operator. Interested parties should contact Nick Ferris of Jones Lang LaSalle in Leeds or Stuart Burdon-Bailey of Jones Lang LaSalle in Manchester.

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: Continue reading Borough bin collection changes consultation

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.

Continue reading English Defence League protest in Walsall – Latest

It’s Carnival Day in Bloxwich TODAY!

New Bloxwich Carnival Royalty for 2015
New Bloxwich Carnival Royalty for 2015

One of the most important days in the village calendar, indeed one of the most important in the district, takes place today, Saturday 1st August 2015.

The Bloxwich Carnival tradition dates right back to the Great War Peace Celebrations of 1919 when local men dressed in fancy dress and played football to raise funds for the soldiers who returned, and the widows and orphans of those who did not, as well as for local hospitals, and for local old folk – the latter being a tradition still carried on today by the current carnival committee with the time-honoured annual Senior Citizens Party which this year took place in the Stan Ball Centre due to the demolition of the traditional venue, the historic Bloxwich Baths Function Hall.

Bloxwich Senior Citizens Party 2015 (pic Roy Peace)
Bloxwich Senior Citizens Party 2015 (pic Roy Peace)
196 Squadron help out at Bloxwich Senior Citizens Party 2015 (pic Roy Peace).jpg
196 Squadron help out at Bloxwich Senior Citizens Party 2015 (pic Roy Peace).jpg

As in recent years, the 2015 Bloxwich Carnival is taking place entirely in King George V Playing Fields, and there will be no parade – but there will be a whole lot of fun for all the family!

The event is organised by just 8 volunteers – this year’s Bloxwich Carnival Committee – with the support of Walsall Council and local organisations including Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix and 196 (Walsall) Squadron Air Training Corps.

How much is it?

Amazingly, admission to Bloxwich Carnival this year, thanks to the generous financial support of whg (Walsal Housing Group) is the ultimate bargain in family entertainment – FREE FOR ALL!

You can, if you wish, make a donation on the gate.

When does it start?

Gates open TODAY at 12 noon at the Bealey’s Lane/Bell Lane corner entrance and at the Stafford Road entrance. There is no on-site parking, so you are recommended to arrive on foot.

What’s On?

The arena programme (see links to the main attractions below) runs till 4pm with the whole shebang concluding at 4.30pm, apart from Pat Collins’ Fun Fair, an essential part of the Bloxwich Carnival tradition, which will be close to the Bealey’s Lane/Bell Lane entrance as usual.

Flyin Ryan (pic courtesy Flyin Ryan)
Flyin Ryan (pic courtesy Flyin Ryan)
Rockwood Dog Display Team (pic Stuart WIlliams)
Rockwood Dog Display Team (pic Stuart WIlliams)

This year’s main attractions in the arena and around the field include:

The Flyin Ryan Motorcycle Stunt Show

Rockwood Dog Display Team

Mad Dom, stiltwalker and entertainer

Armitage Bird of Prey Centre

The main events will be happening in the central arena, with stalls and other attractions surrounding.  The timetable for the day is as follows:

Bloxwich Carnival 2015 Timetable
Bloxwich Carnival 2015 Timetable

The Bloxwich Carnival Queen, Princess and Rosebud (see below for details) will be crowned around 12.20pm   at the mobile stage adjacent to the event arena.

Bloxwich Carnival Royalty (from Bostin Bloxwich) - click to enlarge
Bloxwich Carnival Royalty (from Bostin Bloxwich) – click to enlarge

Watch out for our Bloxwich Carnival report and massive Flickr photo album a few days after the event in the Bloxwich Telegraph on – we’ll be giving the new link on this site and via Facebook and Twitter when we launch!


Bloxwich Summer Fun Day next month

A ton of fun with rides, inflatables and bungee bouncing! (Attractions may differ. Past event pic Stuart Williams)
A ton of fun with rides, inflatables and bungee bouncing! (Attractions may differ. Past event pic Stuart Williams)

Families in Bloxwich and district can look forward to some fun in the sun in Bloxwich Park towards the end of next month – weather permitting!

Walsall Council has organised a series of Fun Days (see handbill below for details) around the borough, and the Bloxwich event is all set for Wednesday 26th August, 2015.

Summer revellers will be treated to a range of inflatable attractions, charity stalls, children’s rides, storytelling and face painting.  Free children’s entertainment will be provided.

There will also be refreshments stands and live music as in past years.

There may be age restrictions on some rides and some attractions will be chargeable.

As always, though, entry will be free between 10.30am – 4pm!

Fun Days

Diamond invitation from Walsall’s Mayor

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

If you’re approaching your 60th wedding anniversary, or know of a Walsall couple who will reach this marital milestone this year, or next – then the  Mayor Of Walsall, Councillor Angela Underhill wants to hear from you.

She is inviting individual diamond couples and up to ten family members to celebrate with her at an exclusive afternoon tea party at the Town Hall in Lichfield Street.

Mayor of Walsall, Cllr Angela Underhill, and the Mace Bearers (pic courtesy Walsall Council)
Mayor of Walsall, Cllr Angela Underhill, and the Mace Bearers (pic courtesy Walsall Council)

Mayor, Councillor Angela Underhill said:

“This is something I’ve really been really looking forward to doing. An enduring love and life together which has lasted 60 years is certainly something to celebrate.   On behalf of the borough I would be delighted to invite couples and members of their families to the Town Hall to recognise and share in this very special occasion.”

The Mayoral Office is accepting nominations from couples who are approaching their Diamond Year from now and up until May 2016.

If you would like to nominate yourselves, or suggest another couple please write, or email your request to;

Verity Edwards,
Mayor’s Personal Assistant
Legal and Democratic Services
Mayor’s Office
The Mayor’s Parlour
The Council House
Lichfield Street
Walsall  WS1 1TP


Walsall Town Festival begins today!

Walsall Town Festival banner

From live music and performances to literary events and exhibitions from local artists to dare devil acrobatics, there’s something for everyone at this year’s inaugural Walsall Town Festival – which begins today, with a host of events in shops, Gallery Square and other local venues!

Walsall On Stage, Gallery Square, 18 July 2015 - click to enlarge
Walsall On Stage, Gallery Square, 18 July 2015 – click to enlarge

The 9 day event takes place from Saturday 18th to Sunday 26th July, with daytime and evening activities planned throughout Walsall town centre to keep everyone entertained.

This year’s programme – developed by the Creative Walsall network, in partnership with the council’s town centre management and Creative Development teams and Creative Black Country – will feature more than 60 activities including music from local acts, boat trips from Birchills to the Wharf at Gallery Square, craft and art workshops, with many of the activities free.

There is also a full programme of fringe activities being hosted by many of the towns pubs and retailers – including a Steampunk literary event at Southcart Books in Lower Hall Lane today!  The borough’s only independent bookshop is also hosting another event showcasing local authors next Saturday 25th July – The Fantastic Finale Free4All – which will be mc’d by the Bloxwich Telegraph’s editor, Stuart Williams.

Steampunk event at Southcart Books - click to enlarge
Steampunk event at Southcart Books – click to enlarge

Just today, there’s the following line-up of events, but there are loads more throughout the festival week!

Saturday 18th July

  • 11 – 5pm Walsall on Stage in Gallery Square
  • 6 solid hours of quality live music including Rock, Reggae, Indie, Tabla bass and surprise guests
  • 10am – 4pm Classic vehicles from Aston Manor Road Transport Museum based In Aldridge
  • 10am -4pm Theatre Caravan – marvel at the smallest theatre and amazing characters
  • Arts Workshops in Central Library, Leather Museum and Helen’s Haberdashery
  • 10.30 – 4.30pm Southcart’s Splendiferous Steampunk Saturday, Southcart Books, Lower Hall Lane (plus a variety of varied readings next Saturday)
  • Artists and exhibitions in shop windows in Victorian Arcade and Old Square Shopping Centre
  • World class Gallery and Leather Museum Exhibitions
  • From 5pm  More live music in The Wharf Bar
  • 8pm  Live Poetry and Song at Rift with Walsall Poetry Society and Launch of Ian Henery’s Book Black Country Blues.

All Walkable from Bus and Train Stations and car parks


Check out the week’s calendar of events for full details on the Creative Walsall website.


Walsall Town Festival Programme - click to enlarge
Walsall Town Festival Programme – click to enlarge
Walsall Town Festival Workshop Programme - click to enlarge
Walsall Town Festival Workshop Programme – click to enlarge


Walsall Leather Museum
Walsall Leather Museum

Be amazed with the finest wheelbarrow operators in the land, with representatives from Goscote Greenacres Community Garden wow the crowds with their performance on 23 July.

Throughout the week, exhibitions will be held at New Art Gallery Walsall and The Leather Museum with workshops and mini festivals held in the Old Square, Saddlers and Park Place Shopping Centres.

And the final weekend will culminate with performances from the outstanding No Fit State Circus. The Cardiff-based act – now in its 35th year, combines live music, dance, stage design, text and film with traditional circus skills.


No Fit State Circus (courtesy No Fit State Circus)
No Fit State Circus (courtesy No Fit State Circus)

Councillor Adrian Andrew, deputy leader at Walsall Council, said: “This year’s event promises a fantastic programme of live entertainment featuring the very best of local and national artists.

“It’s been arranged to help locals to take pride in our town and recognise the talented people who live and work here.

“We’ve really gone out on a limb to pull together some quality acts, with more than 60 activities taking place in just over a week, and I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved, particularly our Town Centre Management team and the Creative Development team.

“There’s been a great response from local groups and by the end of the 9 day event, we estimate more than 2,000 hours will have been volunteered by local people.

“We’re particularly looking forward to welcoming No Fit State Circus to Walsall, a company which has performed in more than 15 countries and to audiences of more than 250,000.

“With activities taking place in the evening as well as in the daytime, there’s something for everyone to enjoy and we hope this event will help boost trade in the town.”

An eight-page booklet detailing when and where each activity will be taking place is available in libraries and other local venues.  You can also download scans from the booklet here:

Check out the event’s Facebook page for the latest info on what’s going down in Walsall town!

Heatwave health warning

    Summer skyline over Bradford Place, Walsall today (pic Stuart WIlliams)
    Summer skyline over Bradford Place, Walsall today (pic Stuart WIlliams)

With a week of hot weather on the horizon, and temperatures rocketing already today, Walsall families are being reminded by Walsall Council and the NHS how they can enjoy the sunshine while looking after their health.

A Level Two heat health warning has been issued for the West Midlands with temperatures of 30 degrees predicted over the week.

The level two warning is triggered as soon as the Met Office confirms there is a 60 per cent chance of heatwave conditions, when temperatures are high enough to have a significant effect on health on at least two consecutive days.

Councillor Rose Martin, public health and wellbeing portfolio holder: said it was important for Walsall residents to be aware of the health risks associated with heatwave temperatures.

“We want everyone to enjoy this hot spell safely in Walsall and not suffer any ill effects,” she said.

“We are reminding people of Public Health England’s key tips for staying safe and well and also asking them to be mindful of vulnerable friends or neighbours in their communities who can be affected by such high temperatures.

“So many people are getting out and about in our parks and countryside sites, or making the most of a safe swim at our leisure centres during this warm weather and it’s a lovely sight to see.

“But it’s been a while since we had such high temperatures and we want people to remember this summer for all the right reasons, not because they suffered as a result.”

The key tips to remember during such a hot spell are:

  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
  • If you are in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat
  • Avoid physical exertion
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • Drink plenty of cold drinks and cool foods such as salads
  • Keep medicines below 25 °C or in the refrigerator
  • Look out for others, especially vulnerable groups such as the elderly, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals

Remember that it can get uncomfortably hot indoors too. Try to keep your bedroom and living space cool, by closing the curtains on windows that receive the sun and opening your windows at cooler times of the day and overnight when safe to do so. Turn off non-essential lights and electrical items as these generate heat.

Walsall’s health and social care workers in the community, hospitals and care homes will also regularly check on vulnerable residents who are known to them.

Residents in Walsall can find useful tips via @phwalsall or Public Health England at and if you have any health queries to contact NHS 111.

Bands on the Beacon Mega Line-up Confirmed

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

30 musical acts will be taking over the Beacon in this year’s two day Bands on the Beacon extravaganza.

Music fans will be treated to a large variety of musical genres from classic rock to a dash of pop at this year’s family-friendly festival being held on Saturday and Sunday 27 and 28 June from 12.30pm-6pm on both days.

Commenting on this year’s event Councillor Adrian Andrew, chair of Barr Beacon Trust, said: “If you enjoy music you won’t just like the bands on the beacon event this year, you will love it!

“We have selected 30 of some of the best live music acts around for this year’s two day event and it looks set to be a really great family occasion with music to suit all tastes.

“This year we are calling on music fans to do their bit to help make sure that we keep the Bands on the Beacon an annual event.

“You don’t often get a chance to see such a large selection of live acts for such a small cost and ticket sales will help to go a long way to keep the bands on the beacon flag flying.“

On Saturday 27 June the main stage includes: Klasside, Medusa Rising, Khaliq, Pleasure House, Soley Mourning, George’s FLW and finishing with Esther Turner.

The Sunday 28 June line up for the main stage includes: The Interpreters Regale, Sunday 44, Dinky, Hidden Skies, World Service and finishes with The Sherlocks.

The Saturday 27 June line up for the acoustic stage includes: Strumpit, James Atwood, Rumours of Spring, Demi Marriner, Ellie Windwood, Molly GH, Theo Born Musician and Lisa Jayne Garratt

On Sunday 28 June the acoustic stage includes: Kadaridris, Leah Astbury, Sarah Martyn, New Spirit, Mike ‘irv’ Swift, Joshua Sole, Elmore Row and Eeek.

To accompany this musical extravaganza Walsall’s very own award winning Backyard Brewhouse will have a selection of their finest offerings available on both days.

Tickets for the event are now available for sale from specialist secure ticketing website TicketsSource. Running from 12.30pm-6pm each day, adults cost £4, children aged 5 to 15 are ‘A quid a kid’ and under fives can come for free.

All tickets are valid for one day, include free parking and are inclusive of a booking fee. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

For updates and to check out some of the bands visit Bands on the Beacon’s Facebook page or go to