Category Archives: Council

Click and care online in Walsall

Walsall Community Living Directory

A range of up to date information, support and advice available in Walsall is just a click away thanks to a new online directory.

Walsall’s Community Living Directory is an easy to use comprehensive website available online at www.wcld.co.uk/

Walsall residents can now find out about local and national care and support services including what’s going on in their local community, at the touch of a button by accessing the new directory.

Individuals can search information about money matters, help to live at home, housing advice, things to do, staying safe, caring for someone, health and wellbeing, getting about and education, training and employment.

The site will include a product showroom where people can view aids and equipment to help them live independently as well as a personal assistant network to search individuals they could employ to help them with their daily living needs.

Individuals will also be able to refer themselves to help and support electronically through the website.

The web-based directory has been developed to help signpost local people to help and advice in their community which has become more important as the Care Act becomes law on 1 April 2015.

The act places a duty on all councils to provide comprehensive information and advice about care and support services in their local area. In addition, councils will be expected to give people the support they need to help prevent their care needs from becoming more serious, or delay the impact of their needs.

Children and families with special educational needs (SEN) will also be able to access a range of information and advice through the directory as the SEN local offer will also be available through the website.

Councillor Diane Coughlan, portfolio holder for social care at Walsall Council, said: “This directory is much more than a social care resource, it is for anyone wishing to find out more about help and activities available in Walsall.

“Our aim is to signpost people to a range of good quality information and advice.

“Being able to access local information about community groups and support agencies will help people to remain more independent.

“This is important because in future the council will likely have more people requesting help and support, so it is essential we try to signpost people and their families where possible.

“If people are able to access good local information and advice they will remain more independent for longer and they will have the information they need to make good decisions about activities, care and support.

“I would encourage everyone to take a look at the Walsall Community Living Directory on www.wcld.co.uk/ and find out what’s on offer.”

Bands ready to light up Beacon

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

Main Stage acts confirmed for Bands on the Beacon

From classic covers to a smattering of pop and funk with plenty of rock and some dance for good measure – 14 acts are already lined up to play this year’s Bands on the Beacon.

The family-friendly gig is being held over two days for the first time – Saturday and Sunday 27 and 28 June from 1pm-6pm on both days.

And organisers have arranged for arts and artisan stalls on both days to add to the festival atmosphere at the borough’s highest point.

As Heritage Lottery Fund cash, which part funded the event has now run out, music lovers are being asked to pay a small charge for tickets this year.

Tickets for each day will be £4 for adults with “kids for a quid.” Under fives will be allowed in free. Details of how to get tickets will be announced shortly.

Barr Beacon Trust has pledged £5,000 to this year’s Bands on the Beacon and £2,000 has come from Dinky bassist Wayne Moseley’s company, BBR Engineering. Wayne is supporting Barr Beacon Trust to attract sponsorship for the event.

Councillor Adrian Andrew, chair of Barr Beacon Trust, said: “We’re always inundated with bands asking to play at Bands on the Beacon which just goes to show how well supported it is across the whole borough.

“We’ve got 14 acts lined up for the main stage so far and will shortly be announcing details of how up and coming artists can have the chance to play too.

“It’s a family-friendly event that appeals to all ages and all tastes so we’ve chosen bands that cover a broad spectrum of musical styles.

“It’s shaping up to be another brilliant show and we’re all counting down the days till June. We may not have the Foo Fighters but it’s a lot cheaper – and cleaner – than Glastonbury!”

Among the acts confirmed so far for the Saturday are Venkman, Mr George’s Famous Last Words (who supported Seth Lakeman at Wolverhampton Civic Hall) and and Esther Turner with Sunday 44, Hidden Skies and Liberty Lies among Sunday’s line-up.

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

Food colour warning to businesses

Pic: Martin Keene: PA Archive/Press Association Images
Pic: Martin Keene: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Banned artificial colours linked to hyperactivity, asthma and cancer have been discovered in takeaway and restaurant dishes being served in Walsall during product testing.

Seven out of eight chicken tikka or chicken tikka masala dishes tested by Walsall Council’s trading standards team were found to contain one of two banned substances Sunset Yellow(E110)and Ponceau 4R (E124) – a red colouring. Since 2013 they have not been allowed in seasonings and curry pastes.

An eighth dish which was tested and was noticeably less red in colour did not contain either.

Other artificial colours linked with hyperactivity in children were also found during testing but were within approved limits.

Trading standards officers are now working with the businesses surveyed to make them aware of their responsibilities when preparing and selling food. They are also urging all business owners to examine labels to ensure banned colours are not added to food and others are used in acceptable quantities.

Lorraine Boothman, interim trading standards manager, said: “Food labelling regulations do not require takeaway food and restaurant meals to be marked with a list of ingredients so customers are putting their faith in food businesses to use permitted colours and to not exceed set amounts.

“As an alternative to artificial colouring we actively encourage businesses to use natural colours such as tumeric, saffron and paprika.Our officers are happy to give advice to any business to help them comply with any of the legal requirements.

“We have been and will continue to work with businesses throughout the borough to remind them of their responsibilities and ensure they can continue to produce dishes which are appealing to their customers whilst not breaching regulations.”

The brown bin is back!

The Brown Bin is Back

Garden waste collections from households across Walsall will restart at the end of this month.

The brown bin service will resume in the week beginning Monday 30 March. Collection days vary between different parts of the borough and residents should check their calendar for details.

Households will currently have a calendar which runs until the end of March. New calendars covering the period April 2015 to April 2016 will be delivered to households next month.

Brown bin
Together with details of brown bin collections it also outlines when grey bins (general household waste) and green bins(recycling) are due to be emptied in the next year together with special arrangements for Christmas and New Year 2015/16.

Alternatively residents can use the postcode checker available on the Walsall Council website to find details of their next scheduled collection.

In line with previous years the brown bin service will run for eight months with a four month shutdown during the winter when traditionally people have less garden waste to dispose of.

During the winter closedown, garden rubbish can also be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre’s at Fryers Road, Leamore, and Merchants Way, Aldridge or  placed in the grey bin with the general household rubbish.

Election News: Bloxwich West council by-election and PCC

Election Question

Yesterday’s national poll for new regional Police and Crime Commissioners has been soundly beaten into insignificance locally by the Bloxwich West Ward Walsall Council By-election which was taking place simultaneously.

BLOXWICH WEST COUNCIL BY-ELECTION

Long-suffering Polling Station staff in Bloxwich who were expecting to be bored rigid between 7am – 10pm by the predicted low turnout for the West Midlands crime supremo elections in fact experienced an unexpected frisson of excitement in Bloxwich West as Labour Party supporters came out in their hundreds to give the other parties an electoral bloody nose.

The Walsall Council seat became vacant after popular Councillor Sue Fletcher-Hall stepped down for personal reasons.

And yesterday’s local derby managed to poll almost double the percentage turnout of electorate compared to the national government’s brand-new ‘flagship’ regional election, despite the dark and dismal weather.

The Bloxwich West by-election result was declared at 1.20am this morning (Friday 16 November).

The final results were as follows:

Patricia Lane (Labour) 1,049 votes.

Abigail Pitt (Conservative) 783 votes.

Elizabeth Hazell (UKIP) 195 votes and Lib Dem candidate

Christine Cockayne (Liberal Democrats) 61 votes.

The turnout was 21.17 per cent.

Successful Labour candidate Patricia Lane has therefore duly been elected as councillor for the Bloxwich West ward of Walsall Council.

Further Information

No other information about our new Bloxwich West Councillor is online as yet – so if anyone is able to send us info or email us a scan of Mrs Lane’s election leaflet, we would be very grateful.

Please email to: bloxwichtelegraph@gmail.com

POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONERS ELECTION

The PCC West Midlands Police regional election result, after an historically low national turnout yesterday, has now been announced as follows:

RESULT: Bob Jones (Labour Party) was elected with 117,388 votes after the second preferences votes were added.

For more information about Mr Jones, follow this lnk.

TURNOUT: 12.31%

Walsall Council panel calls emergency meeting on children at risk

Walsall Council House

The Chair of Walsall’s Children and Young People Scrutiny and Performance Panel, Labour Councillor Barbara Cassidy, has called an emergency meeting to discuss a report which has condemned the council’s Safeguarding Children service.

The extraordinary meeting on 21 August will discuss the findings of a recent Ofsted inspection which, among many issues, criticised Walsall Council for failing to take youngsters known to be at risk into care.

Cllr Cassidy said she had used her authority to call the meeting following the revelations in the report which was published last week.

Explaining her decision in a Walsall Council Labour Group press release, Cllr Cassidy said:

“The scale and depth of the failings indentified by Ofsted are so serious that we simply can’t wait until the end of September and the next full council meeting to begin to tackle these problems.

“I have therefore called this emergency meeting to allow members to assess the true scale of the situation the service faces and begin to formulate a cross-party response to meet the needs of children in council care.

“We don’t have time to spare if we are to get this right.”

Her decision has the full support of Cllr Tim Oliver, Leader of the Labour Group on the authority, who said:

“This appalling state of affairs warrants a recall of all elected members for an emergency full council, but the power for that rests with the Tory and Lib Dem coalition leadership.  In the absence of such a move, Cllr Cassidy’s call is showing the urgency and determination we need to address this truly awful situation.”

Get growing for Spring with a Bloxwich allotment!

Allotment Gardener
Budding growers can bag themselves plots for the Spring season as spaces have now become available in the Bloxwich area.

The plots, including half plots, are available in Goscote Lane, Walsall and Broad Lane, Sneyd Lane and Grenfell Road, Bloxwich.

The allotments are run by the North Walsall Local Management Association, supported by Walsall Council’s Greenspace Improvement Service.

John Davis, chair of the North Walsall Local Management Association, has been tending a plot for 48 years and said he would recommend it to anyone.

“I haven’t had to buy any vegetables for years and it’s great exercise for all ages,” said the 64-year-old retired steel worker.

“We are able to offer plots across a few of the sites because some of our allotment holders are getting on a bit now and can’t carry on, sadly.

“The site at Goscote Lane in particular is great because it is suitable for wheelchair users, has three car parks, running water, a shop that sells fertiliser and other gardening supplies and a lock-up for equipment such as rotovator.

“There has been a shortage of plots in this area for a while so this is a good chance for people to get one.

“We’re happy for people to come and have a look around or they can phone me for a chat about it.”

Councillor Anthony Harris, Walsall Council cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “Our Greenspace Improvement Service is very supportive of all the activities of local allotment associations.

“We’re delighted that a new group of residents will be able to enjoy the many benefits of having an allotment plot, including fresh air, exercise and the social aspects, not to mention the satisfaction of growing their own produce to support a healthy lifestyle.”

For further information on obtaining a plot please contact Mr Davis on 01922 405126, during afternoons only. For a full list of allotment sites in the Walsall borough visit http://cms.walsall.gov.uk/index/leisure_sports_community/allotments.htm

Mayor turns back the clock with Edwardian Christmas cheer

An Edwardian Christmas

Old-fashioned festive fun will delight visitors to Walsall Town Hall this weekend when the Mayor recreates a Christmas past.

Councillor Garry Perry is staging Edwardian Day on Saturday 10 December and will transform the town hall and Mayor’s Parlour accordingly.

Gift ideas a-plenty and for all tastes and pockets will be on offer at a Christmas Craft Fayre which will be held in the town hall from 10am until 2pm on the day.

Visitors are also being invited to enjoy a tour around the Mayor’s Parlour and Council House which will be suitably styled in keeping with the Edwardian theme.

Admission is free and there is still some space available for people to set up a stall at the Christmas Craft Fayre.

The Mayor said: “It doesn’t matter how cold and grey it is outside – a warm welcome will be guaranteed inside this Saturday.

“We have decided to recreate a traditional-style Christmas by opting for an Edwardian theme and the free tours of the Council House will also give people a chance to have a few quieter moments.”

People who wish to have a stall or book a place on a tour are asked to contact the Mayor’s Office on 01922 652013 or email: badgerlucy@walsall.gov.uk

The seasonal flavour will carry on into the evening with a Mayoral Christmas Concert at the town hall from 7.30pm until 10pm.

Guests will be able to enjoy performances from Pelsall Schools Choir, Pelsall Ladies Choir, Forest Arts Wind Band and vocalists Amy Hook and Graham Foxall.

Tickets cost just £3 and children under 12 can attend free of charge.

Net proceeds from this event will go to the Mayor’s Charity Appeal.

Doors open at 7pm and tickets are available through the Mayor’s Office on 01922 652072 or from Kind Thoughts on Pelsall High Street.

The Mayor’s chosen charities are The Creating Chances Trust, The Swing and PROUD (Parents Relatives and Others Understanding Down’s Syndrome.