Category Archives: Nature

Votes in for Walsall members of youth parliament

Walsall Youth Parliament on stage in Walsall Town Hall (pic: Walsall Council)
Walsall Youth Parliament on stage in Walsall Town Hall (pic: Walsall Council)

Walsall’s young people have had their say as two new members of youth parliament and two deputy members of youth parliament were elected.

The ‘Big Announcement’ was made on Friday night (27 February) in a ceremony at Walsall Town Hall attended by young people, their family and friends and local councillors.

Over 9,000 votes were collected through web, ballot and text over two weeks from 2 – 13 February.

Young people elected Joscel Manirambona, aged 16, and seventeen year old Namir Chowdhury as their Members of Youth Parliament.

Ben Sharpe, aged 13, and Balraj Jhooty, aged 16, are the new deputy members of youth parliament.

They will represent the young people of Walsall both locally and nationally over the next two years.

Run by young people, the UK Youth Parliament provides opportunities for 11-18 year-olds to use their voice in creative ways to bring about social change.

Before the announcement was made, attendees were treated to performances from a range of talented young people including Arctic Monkeys tribute band Frozen Chimpanzees (including Luke Downes, Ryan Ruddell, Jack Pierce, Nathan Boot).

Singers Laura Brown, Kayleigh Hudson and Nadekka Simmonds also wowed the crowd along with Extreme Illusion street dance troupe (including Nahjjah Simmonds-Wilson, Brandon Williams, Sharna Townsend, Shannon Gray, Reece Edwards, Cane Jeffery).

All of the candidates were presented with certificates acknowledging their hard work throughout the campaign.

Outgoing MYPs Jade Spruce-Powers and Omo Agboaye, both 16, and outgoing DMYPs Jack Brazier, aged 18, and Lydia McGann, aged 16, were also thanked for their hard work while in office.

Councillor Barbara Cassidy, portfolio holder for children’s services at Walsall Council, said: “It is important that young people’s voices are heard and that they are encouraged to participate in the democratic process and local government.

“This is why the involvement of local young people in the UK Youth Parliament is so important.

“I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to the four young people who were elected but would also say that I was delighted and astonished by the standard of the campaign materials from all candidates, so well done to them too.

“Thank you as well to the outgoing MYPs and DMYPs and those that support the youth of Walsall for all of your hard work.

“The event was incredibly entertaining and I was encouraged to see the range of talented, hard working young people we have in Walsall.

“I wish you all the very best of luck and I look forward to working with you in the future.”

Stan Ball bird buffs fly the coop

Stan Ball Birdwatch Group step out
Stan Ball Birdwatch Group step out

Bird buffs based at the Stan Ball Centre for the over 50’s have finally flown the coop and put best claw forward yesterday on their first ever walk, to Pelsall North Common Nature Reserve.

The Centre’s fledgling Birdwatch Group got off to a ‘flying’ start in November when six founder members including group leader Graham Jones (seen above, first left, in red) attended the inaugural meeting at the venue in Abbotts Street, Bloxwich.

The ‘birds of a feather’ arranged to meet on the second Tuesday of every month for chat, walks and trips out.

New members are extremely welcome. The group is suitable for complete beginners or the more advanced birdwatcher.

Next meeting dates: Tuesday 10th January, Tuesday 14th February, Tuesday 13th March. All meeting 10.45am in the cafe. The group will decide on a programme and activities will take place in centre in bad weather. All welcome, just turn up.

Any enquiries to the Stan Ball Centre on 01922 403351.

Fledgling birdwatchers get off to flying start

Canada geese at the Stan Ball Centre by founder member Roger Jones.
Canada geese at the Stan Ball Centre by group founder member Roger Jones.

The new Stan Ball Centre Birdwatch Group got off to a ‘flying’ start today with six founder members including group leader Graham Jones attending the inaugural meeting.

The friendly group arranged to meet on the second Tuesday of every month for chat, walks and trips out.

New members are extremely welcome. The group is suitable for complete beginners or the more advanced birdwatcher.

Deb Brownlee, Young at Heart Project Co-ordinator at the Abbotts Street, Bloxwich centre, said “We’ve wanted to get this group going for quite some time. When Graham Jones offered to take a lead in helping to get the group started is was just the trigger needed for us to get a start date. We all feel like old friends already.”

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 13 December at 10.45am and weather permitting the group will be taking a walk along the Wyrley and Essington Canal. If the weather is bad they will be discussing and designing birdfeeders for the Stan Ball Centre.

Enquiries to 01922 403351 or email:  stanball@bloxwichcp.co.uk

Canada geese at the Stan Ball Centre by Roger Jones.
Canada geese at the Stan Ball Centre by Roger Jones.

Pictures courtesy Roger Jones

New support for anglers hooked on Sneyd Reservoir

Sneyd Reservoir by Adambro (via Wikipedia)
Sneyd Reservoir by Adambro (via Wikipedia)

A newly-formed angling club has all sorts of improvements lined up for Sneyd Reservoir and the surrounding area.

Supported by Walsall Council’s countryside services, the Mossley Angling Club and Community Friends aims to promote responsible angling at this valuable Bloxwich local nature reserve.

Members will sell angling tickets to local anglers, check anglers hold valid permits and work to improve the area by carrying out litter picks around the reservoir.

The group, which has been driven and supported by Councillor Fred Westley, has also been supported by the North Walsall Area Partnership which awarded it £500 to purchase public liability insurance and membership of the Angling Trust.

These funds also enabled the group to purchase a number of litter pickers and hoops to hold bin bags that members can use on their regular tidying sessions around the nature reserve.

Money from ticket sales will be re-invested into managing and improving the reservoir in Vernon Way.

Councillor Anthony Harris, Walsall Council cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “Fair play to the community-minded locals who have formed what I am sure is going to be a very effective group.

“All members of the community will benefit from its efforts to maintain and preserve an important local asset. I compliment all those involved in this project – well done.”

Councillor Fred Westley added: “I was approached by local residents to see if we could do anything to help with the clean-up of this site.

“It is a beautiful place but it can be blighted by anti-social behaviour. If local people are taking care of a local area we hope it will encourage local pride for the place.”

Donovan Bailey, area manager for North Walsall Area Partnership added: “We welcome residents who want to volunteer and get involved in activities in their local community. This is a perfect example of how this can be achieved.”