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Sons and Daughters of Walsall

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					                                                                                  ISSUE 13




                                                                                  Edition 20
                                                                           ring                08
                                                                      Sp




The quarterly publication from Walsall Council
Call 01922 650000 or visit us on the internet at www.walsall.gov.uk




FAMOUS                                              Sons and
                                                    Daughters
                                                    of Walsall
                                                  individuality
                                                  it sharpens our thinking.




Being innovative and imaginative in the way we do things depends on us
valuing the ability to see and think differently. Which is why we welcome
people of different ages, creeds, communities and backgrounds who can
work together to create an imaginative future.
If you want to find out more about the kind of opportunities we can offer you, then visit our
website at www.walsall.gov.uk/jobshop which is updated weekly.
Alternatively, for your first free copy of our Job Shop Weekly vacancy bulletin, which can be
provided in various formats, call 01922 655673 or textphone 0845 111 2910 or SMS Text:
send 'Walsall Jobs' (followed by your name and address) to 60003.
                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                      Inside
Welcome to the Spring                                                                   The quarterly
                                                                                                                      Walsall
                                                                                        publication from
edition of Walsall Pride                                                                Walsall Council               Pride
Walsall Council’s recent
announcement of a proposed
council tax rise of just 2.9 per                                                                                      Pages 4 – 5
cent is well below inflation and                                                                                      How we’re
has been kept as low as possible
to help the people of Walsall.                                                                                        regenerating
  Despite the small rise, we are still planning                                                                       your
to give extra money to key areas, including                                                                           community
another £9 million for social care, which will
help to improve people’s lives in the borough.
  At the same time, we are also extremely
proud of maintaining our three star ‘improving
well’ status from the Audit Commission,                                                                               Pages 7 – 12
which is a result of hard work, prudence and                                                                          We are
working smarter.
  You may have also recently seen in the
                                                                                                                      Walsall
media that we now have selected Serco as
the ‘preferred bidder’ for a contract for the
provision of education within Children and
Young People’s Services in Walsall.
  Once agreed, the new contract will
constitute a landmark decision for the
education of children in Walsall. It is our                                                                           Pages 17 – 20
duty to ensure that future generations                                                                                Famous sons
are given every possible opportunity to
receive an excellent education.
                                                                                                                      and daughters
  We hope you like this new-look edition                                                                              of Walsall
of Walsall Pride which we believe offers
something for everyone. We would love to
hear your views – please give us feedback
via the readers’ survey on page 21.

                                                                                                                      Page 24 – 27
                          Cllr John
                                                                                                                      A cleaner,
                          O’Hare                                                                                      greener and
                          Leader of                                                                                   safer borough
                          the council



                                                      If you, or someone you know, would like                         Regular
                                                      Walsall Pride in another format, such as
                                                      audio tape or large print, please contact us.
                                                                                                                      Features
   Walsall Pride is produced by
   the Corporate Communications
   Unit and Print and Design              If you have any difficulty in understanding the
   Department at Walsall Council.
                                          information provided please telephone 0121 681
                                          1059 leaving a message in your own language or                              Pages 15, 31
                                          email admin@atailinguistics.com.                                            News in Brief
   Please recycle this copy of Walsall                                                                                Page 16
   Pride when you have finished           For all general enquiries to Walsall Council please                         News from
   reading it. Walsall Pride is printed
   on paper derived from sustainably
                                          call 01922 650000, email info@walsall.gov.uk or                             the Mayor
   managed forests.                       find us on the internet at www.walsall.gov.uk
                                                                                                                      Pages 28-31
Front cover images: (top row) Clifford Joseph Price AKA Goldie, John Henry Carless, Jerome K Jerome, Connie Talbot,   What’s On
(bottom row) Alex Lester, Matthew Marsden, Mark Lewis-Francis, Sister Dora.



    How we’re regenerating YOUR
    communities
          Take a look at the exciting things           But think that and you’d be quite
          that are happening in Walsall town         wrong. Go into communities across
          centre and you could be forgiven           the borough and you’ll see the start of
          for thinking that’s the only focus                     something really big.
          for Walsall Council.                                       In every corner of the
                                                                    borough there are plans
                                                                    being drawn-up for
                                                                  regeneration with new
                                                                   homes, new shops and
                                                                   businesses plus makeovers
                                                                   for shopping centres,
                                                                  parks and streets.
                                                                   But key to everything
                                                              are residents’ voices with
                                                             people in the community
                                                             having a big say in how their
                                                            areas are regenerated.
                                                             It’s already been done in
                                                          Brownhills with the Miner statue
                                                          which really has put the town
                                                         on the map, after residents had
                                                        a major say over the project.
                                                          Councillor Adrian Andew, Walsall
                                                       Council cabinet member for
                                                       regeneration, said: “This is all about
                                                       what we can do for communities



                                                     In Walsall town centre we’re busy
          Did you                                    creating a £17 million ring road
                                                     improvement in order to ease

          know?                                      congestion through the town.

                                                     In Pelsall, we’re looking at conservation areas
          Up to 3,000 new homes could be built       to help protect and safeguard the buildings,
          in Willenhall as part of a £100 million    and the community that treasures them.
          development through plans drawn-
                                                     At Goscote, a dementia care unit is to
          up after residents and councillors
                                                     be built by the NHS – the first phase
          used the council policy of ‘project
                                                     of the redevelopment of the site.
          reference groups’ to lead the new
          plans for the future of Willenhall.        In Brownhills, we’ve already helped
          In Walsall Wood we’re looking to create    a new £300,000 footbridge, with
          jobs and prosperity by improving the       British Waterways, in Silver Street
          High Street as a place to shop and by      to build a link from the town to the
          making it a more attractive place to be.   canal and the countryside.

          Government investment of £250,000          In Pheasey we’re looking at improving
          has been secured in Pleck to help          the community as a place to live with
          improve the local centre. This will        a pilot ‘corridors’ project on Beacon
          include an exciting community art          Road. This is with the help of the
          project and environmental improvements     Local Neighbourhood Partnership
          identified through engagement with         and is set to include bulb planting and
          local people and elected members.          tidying-up unsightly guard rails.
                                                                                 




across the borough. We’ve heard
it said that in the past there was
too much of a focus on the town
centre. Maybe they were right.                  “We
   “What I’m determined to see is             want to
us getting out into the communities           use some
and coming up with ideas to                   of that money
regenerate areas that maybe that              to improve
have been overlooked in the past.             Reedswood
   “We pride ourselves in being a listening   Park for the
council. That’s exactly what we are           residents who are
doing across Walsall. We’re listening         already living there. We
to what people want and doing our             think that’s only fair.”
best to turn that into reality. We want to      Right the way across
empower people to solve issues in their       Walsall things are changing
own community and take responsibility         from the grassroots up
for the future with council support.          and people are making
   Communities across the borough have        their voices heard.
already made brave and groundbreaking
decisions about their own communities.        For more information
   “For example, Birchills stands close       about regeneration
to the developments of the Waterfront         projects near you and
and Smith’s Flour Mill. “When                 how to have a say on them
developments like that take shape             call 01922 650000, or go
we’re making sure that some of the            to www.walsall.gov.uk
money is set aside for the community.         and follow the links.


A flight of canalside locks and               A brand new £2 million
towpaths that run through Birchills           Bentley library and nursery
are set to be improved to encourage           building is to be built with the
people to rediscover the waterway.            design chosen with residents’
                                              help after an international
A canoe centre has already been
                                              design competition. The
built in Brownhills as part of a £1
                                              competition has been
million project to improve the canal
                                              organised by the Royal
that runs through the town.
                                              Institute of British Architects.
Demolition work has taken place
                                              A major retail supermarket
on Goscote to make way for better
                                              could be built in Willenhall
homes as part of a partnership with
                                              town centre.
Bovis Homes and Blakenall.
                                              In communities such as
In Moxley, derelict sites are to be brought
                                              Aldridge district centre
back into use building thousands of
                                              partnerships have been
homes on derelict sites such as Moxley
                                              launched where the council
tip, Harrowby Road and Hughes Road.
                                              can work with traders
This has been led by local people who
                                              and other bodies for the
have made groundbreaking decisions
                                              good of the town.
to help secure a bright future.
Thousands of new homes are to
be built across Moxley on long
derelict sites such as Moxley tip,
Harrowby Road and Hughes Road.



We are

Walsall
We are Walsall celebrates some of the partnership working projects which
are making all areas of the borough a better place to live and work for the
people of Walsall. It spotlights projects which are improving perceptions of
Walsall to atrract investment and jobs.
Walsall Borough Strategic                closer to the national average.                                                                                                   amount of regeneration taking
Partnership (WBSP),                        WBSP has produced                                                                                                               place, delivered by partners
together with its partners               ‘Every place has its time’ a                                                                                                      including Walsall Council and the
is tackling the key                      draft Sustainable Community                                                                                                       Walsall Regeneration Company.
challenges facing Walsall.               Strategy, which sets out a                                                                                                        This will create opportunities
                                         shared vision for Walsall in                                                                                                      for employment and raise our
  These include unemployment,                                                                                                                                              aspirations. We are on the
improving health, the economy                                                                                                                                              road to making Walsall, once
and issues facing children, young                                                                                                                                          again, a prosperous town
people and older residents.                                                                                                                                                with a sustainable economy.
  WBSP has managed Walsall’s                                                                                                                                               We need everyone living and
Neighbourhood Renewal                                                                                                   Every place has its time
                                                                                                                                                                           working in Walsall to contribute
Programme which is now                                                                                                 and it’s now Walsall’s time                         and promote Walsall as a
nearing completion and has                                                                                                                                                 place with a positive future.
invested £42million to transform
services in Walsall. Notable                                                                                                                                               All residents can give their
success achieved by partnership          First Draft for Consultation November 2007. Final document scheduled March 2008.
                                         See also: State of the Borough Report, Environmental Impact Scoping Report, Environmental Impact Assessments.   www.wbsp.org.uk
                                                                                                                                                                           views on the vision and
working includes a continuing                                                                                                                                              priorities by completing
drop in crime with 4,000 fewer           2021 and the priorities for the                                                                                                   an online questionnaire
crimes last year compared to             next six years to achieve this.                                                                                                   at www2.walsall.gov.uk/
2003/04. Health improvements               Clive Wright, director of WBSP                                                                                                  consultations/SCS/scs.
have been made with greater              says “our vision is that Walsall                                                                                                  htm or call WBSP on 01922
numbers giving up smoking                will be a good place to live, work                                                                                                654723 for a pre-paid form.
and unemployment is getting              and invest. There is an incredible




    Sisters looking to the future
    with shared ownership
    Two Walsall sisters are looking forward to a better
    life together after settling into a new apartment under
    Walsall Housing Group’s (WHG) first ever shared-
    ownership scheme, at Beacon Wood, in Leamore.
      Janet said, “Moving to a new property has literally meant a new
    home and a much better quality of life for both myself and Wendy.”
      The Beacon Wood development in Bloxwich includes nine one
    and two bedroom apartments available for part purchase. Seven
    have now been reserved, with just two properties remaining.
    For more information on WHG’s shared ownership
    schemes, contact Shirley Gooch on 01922 426829
    or visit www.chooseandmove.co.uk
                                                                                                                  




A Thousand Faces: Aldridge, Bloxwich, Brownhills, Darlaston, Walsall and Willenhall. Photography: Ming De Nasty



                                                                                     Double glory
                                                                                     for learner!
                                                                                     Walsall College student
                                                                                     Hugh Wedderburn recently
                                                                                     scooped two awards
                                                                                     for his achievements
                                                                                     on adult Literacy and
                                                                                     Numeracy courses.

                                                                                       The first was the Skills for Life
                                                                                     award at the 9th Walsall Lifelong
                                                                                     Learning Awards Ceremony.
                                                                                     which recognises and promotes
                                                                                     the benefits of lifelong learning
                                                                                     in the borough. The award was
                                                                                     open to individuals, groups and
                                                                                     organisations who have enriched
                                                                                     their lives by improving their
                                                                                     Literacy, Numeracy or ESOL skills.

    Students promote equality                                                          Hugh also had his achievements
                                                                                     recognised by NIACE (National
                                                                                     Institute of Adult Continuing
    Graphic Design students                    at Walsall College.                   Education) as one of only hundred
    from Walsall College had                      Garry Perry, Cabinet Member        awards across the country.
    their creative skills put to               for Communities and Partnerships        Hugh has overcome barriers
    the test with a competition                for Walsall Council said: “The        to learning to achieve adult
    run by Walsall Council’s                   standard of the designs were truly    Numeracy, Literacy and
    Equality & Diversity team                  superb and in my opinion, will help   Communication courses and has
    to design a series of                      Walsall Council’s commitment to       excelled through his studies. Tutor,
    messages to promote                        become an employer of choice          Karen Bailey commented, “Hugh
    equality in the workplace.                 for people with a disability.”        is a wonderful student, who
                                                  The posters have been              makes any teacher’s role so much
      The winner, Eddie Rowberry,              displayed in council offices,         easier and even more enjoyable. I
    was presented with a state-                libraries, throughout the college     am lucky to have him in my class.”
    of-the-art laptop computer                 campus and other venues.
                                                                                     www.walsallcollege.ac.uk




    The winning poster entry in an ‘Equality
    in the Workplace’ competition.
                                                                                                             


Crime tumbles                                                      Getting to know you
in Walsall town centre                                             Richard Taundry
                                                                   This edition’s ‘Getting to Know
Levels of crime recorded in the town centre have                   You’ features Walsall F.C.’s Richard
fallen by an average of 23% since August, with                     Taundry. The Walsall-born full back
significant reductions October to December.                        is extremely highly-rated and has
                                                                   risen through Walsall’s Centre of
  The number of officers aligned to the town centre                Excellence and Youth Team ranks.
increased several months ago, with a dedicated team of 20
officers now patrolling the town centre. Over the Christmas
period, this was increased to a total of 28 officers as a
result of the Community Safety Intervention Group.
  Key issues being addressed in the town centre include
shoplifting, purse & handbag theft and vehicle crime, with
targeted operations also taking place in partnership with key
stores in the town to drive down retail crime.
To cover the night-time economy, 11 officers are working
focused shifts on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
  The overall reductions in crime are supported by the Town
Centre Management Partnership radio link, which covers both
the daytime and evening economy, also continues to flourish,
with almost 100 members now signed up to the scheme.
  Karen Sands, Town Centre Management Partnership
Chair, said: “We are delighted to announce this news and
hope that this will reinforce the message that Walsall is
a very safe and secure place to visit all year round.“
  Inspector Andy Bullman, who represents West Midlands
Police on the Partnership Board added:
“We are working hard with all of our partners to reduce            What’s your greatest
crime and disorder and ensure people recognise                     achievement in football?
Walsall as a very safe place to live, work and visit.              Signing a professional
  “I am pleased to announce that there have been 352               contract with Walsall FC
fewer victims of crime within the town centre this year.
This is obviously great news, our efforts will continue into       What was the last song
2008 and we look forward to continued successes.”                  you downloaded?
                                                                   J. Holiday - Suffocate
Neighbourhood initiatives:                                         Who is your favourite player?
Police from the Palfrey and Caldmore Team are                      David Beckham
participating in a ‘street clean’ initiative with                  What was your best and
representatives from Palfrey Neighbourhood Watch
                                                                   worst subject at school?
and Walsall Council.
                                                                   Best = Art and PE
  This involves the team targeting four or five streets and        Worst = Science
ensuring that a partnership approach is adopted in order to
clear the streets of all vehicles to ensure that the streets are   What’s the best thing about
clear for Walsall Council to use the cleaning machines.            Walsall as a place?
  Chuckery benefited from a pilot programme in the summer          The Football Club
holidays providing diversionary activities for the local young
people. Youth services, the police, the local mosque and
                                                                   Last film you watched?
schools secured funding for activities which included sports       Gangs of New York
coaching, bhangra dancing lessons, arts workshops and DJ           Favourite TV Programme?
workshops. In comparison with 2006 crime fell by over 30%.         2 Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps
  The ‘Every Street Every Day’ initiative includes
high visibility foot and mobile patrols, stop checks
and enforcing local dispersal orders.
                                                                     We are

                                                                     Walsall
For more information call the Safer Walsall
Borough Partnership on 01922 709189.
10


 New developments
 Paving the way
 for Walsall’s
 New Hospital




     An artist’s impression
     of the proposed new
     Manor Hospital.




 Over twelve months since               Consortium, have recently
 the £170million development            invested another £140million,
 first began, the progress              following the signing of the Private
 of Walsall’s brand new                 Finance Initiative (PFI) contract       training facilities for all staff.
 Manor Hospital has reached             and start of main construction.           Sue James, Chief Executive
 an exciting phase.                       Due for completion in 2010,           of Walsall Manor Hospital, said:
                                        the Manor will provide a new            “The last few months have paved
   The hospital’s South Wing has        Diagnostic and Treatment                the way for the new hospital to
 now been demolished for building       Centre, Pathology department            be built. By 2010, not only will we
 work to take shape. The new            and a Women, Children and               have a fantastic new building to
 hospital promises a state-of-the-      Young Peoples Centre linked to          be proud of, but the facilities to
 art, streamlined facility to improve   the existing Maternity Unit. The        provide a more efficient service.”
 the experience for patients.           majority of clinical services will be
   Adding to the £30million             brought under one roof and a new        For more information on the
 allocated to carry out initial work    Education Centre will house a 150       Manor redevelopment visit
 on the site, Skanska Innisfree         seat lecture theatre and provide        www.walsallhospitals.nhs.uk



                                        square foot ‘Walsall Gigaport’          incredible data speeds and
 £400 million                           to the north of the town centre.        put Walsall ahead of anywhere
                                        This is a 21st century technology       else in the UK, building on
 Gigaport to attract                    platform to attract new industries.     its renaissance as a town for
                                        Adjacent to the town’s northern         enterprise. This will attract
 new businesses                         ring road, phase one will see           international companies and
                                        the creation of a Walsall data          develop skills and enterprise form
 Travel around Walsall town             hub centre creating 635 jobs.           which all diverse communities
 centre and there are many                 This new district, of high           of Walsall can benefit”
 signs of positive physical             quality offices, will harness
 change and the drive to                the opportunities for business          For more information
 create new and better jobs.            offered by ultra-modern                 got to www.walsall-
                                        ‘next generation broadband’,            regeneration.co.uk
   This transformation under the        attracting major companies
 guidance of Walsall Regeneration       and creating a seedbed for
 Company, is seeking to make            skills and enterprise from which
 the town centre the economic           people in Walsall will benefit.
 powerhouse of the borough.                WRC Chief Executive Dr Peter
   WRC has announced plans for a        Cromar said “The Gigaport
 prestigious £400 million 1.7 million   will use fibre-optics to provide
                                                                                                                    11


Joint working benefits                                                  The Social Care and Inclusion
                                                                        (Adult Services) Department of
Walsall’s older residents                                               Walsall Council and West Midlands
                                                                        Fire Service worked together at
                                                                        an event to ask older members
                                                                        of the Black and Minority Ethnic
                                                                        community what barriers they face
                                                                        to using services.

                                                                          During the event, West Midlands Fire
                                                                        Service Community Advocates, Abdul
                                                                        Hasib and Aviral Kalsi performed a
                                                                        ‘meet and greet’ service, translated in
                                                                        workshops and helped people understand
                                                                        information from service providers.
                                                                        Languages spoken included: Hindi,
                                                                        Punjabi, Gujarati, Bengali and Urdu.
                                                                          Abdul Hasib said, “I really enjoyed
    West Midlands Fire
                                                                        the event. It was great to be able to use
    Service Community                                                   my language skills for the benefit of the
    Advocates, Abdul                                                    community, and we made links with
    Hasib and Aviral Kalsi.
                                                                        people that our service wouldn’t have
                                                                        reached otherwise”.


In June 2007, Walsall College
students joined forces with the                  Students produce film
West Midlands Police Authority to
produce an educational DVD.                      with the Police Authority
   The film, entitled ‘How to Be Safe’, was
created to help officers explain to people
with disabilities how they can actively
take steps to make themselves safer
and starred students from the college’s
Supported Learning Department.
   Officers from West Midlands Police
helped in the production of the DVD and
filming locations included Walsall Police
Station, Walsall town centre, Walsall Football
Club and Walsall Disability Centre.
   The DVD has been so successful, it has
been nominated for a Royal Television Society
Award. Walsall College Tutor Tanya Bullock
who co-directed the DVD said, “I’m so proud
of our students; they’ve worked really hard
on this film. This has been a wonderful
opportunity for our Supported Learning            Students from
                                                  Walsall College
students to work with outside agencies
and to feel part of the wider community.”



    Want your advert to reach 109,000
    homes across Walsall every quarter?
                                                                    For prices and more information email
                                                                    communications@walsall.gov.uk
12


      We are

     Walsall
 Bakery tastes success!
 Staff at Hollands Craft Bakery in John
 Street, Walsall recently celebrated the sweet
 taste of success when they were presented
 with certificates for excellence in food and
 drink manufacturing by Broadway, the
 business division of Walsall College.

    Six members of the traditional family bakery shop
 took the NVQ Level 2 in Food and Drink Manufacturing
 Operations to ensure standards at the bakery were
 a slice above the rest. Workers improved their
 skills in areas including product quality, production
 efficiency and customer service through the
 Government’s fully funded initiative, Train 2 Gain.
    Confectioner Jane Sargent said, “I am really pleased
 to have achieved this qualification. The style of
 assessment was ideal – I was able to get on with my job                 Bakery worker Jane
                                                                         Sargent presented
 whilst the assessor gathered all the evidence. I found                  with here certificate.
 it all really interesting and I am now more confident in
 my abilities and more flexible to learn new things”.




     Feed the Cow
     Plastics bottle recycling in the community
     Walsall Council have turned ordinary     serious message about encouraging                   Leamore and Merchants Way,
     recycling bins into look-a-like cows,    recycling in the community and                      Aldridge and a number of our Bring
     now appearing throughout the             diverting waste from landfill. They                 Sites, throughout the borough.
     borough.                                 are aimed at encouraging children to                To find out more about recycling
     The scheme is to encourage               participate at an early age, making                 initiatives you can contact our
     residents to recycle their plastic       recycling fun.                                      Call Centre on 01922 653344 or
     bottles including soft drinks bottles,   You can also recycle plastic bottles                visit www.walsall.gov.uk
     milk bottles, and detergent bottles.     at our Household Waste Recycling
     The fun looking containers carry a       Centres located at Fryers Road,
                       1



Walsall FC Community
Programme Easter
Soccer Schools
  1


                          Win tickets to see...

         South Pacific
                  Prize tickets are for the 7.30pm performance
                           on Monday                         31 March 2008
      Peter Frosdick and Martin
      Dodd for UK Productions Ltd,
      by arrangement with Josef
      Weinberger Limited on behalf of
      The Rodgers and Hammerstein
      Theatre Library of New York
      proudly present Dave Willetts
      (star of Les Miserables and
      the Phantom of the Opera) and
      Helena Blackman in Rodgers and
      Hammerstein’s SOUTH PACIFIC.


      Just answer this question:                                                     Answers to:
      In which of these hit two musicals has                                         Walsall Pride competition c/o
      Dave Willetts played the lead roles?                                           Karran Collings, Marketing,
                                                                                     Wolverhampton Grand
      A) Les Misereables &
                                                                                     Theatre, Lichfield Street,
      Phantom of the Opera
                                                                                     Wolverhampton, WV1 1DE.
      B) Grease & The Sound of Music                                                 Competition closing date:
                                                                                     Friday 28th March 2008.



                                                                   3 pairs of tickets up for grabs!

Terms and Conditions Tickets cannot be exchanged and no cash alternative or prize is available. Winners may be required to partake in
relevant publicity. Winners should collect their tickets from the Box office on the day of the performance mentioned above.
                                                                                                                    1



                            Walsall Council maintains
                            its ‘three star’ rating
                            Walsall Council has made                   compared with other councils is good.”
                            significant further improvements             The report also states that
                            and is continuing to operate               good progress has been made
                            as a ‘three star’ (from a                  in regeneration where plans are
                            maximum score of four)                     now delivering improvements and
                            authority, a report from the Audit         effective partnership working has
                            Commission has revealed.                   led to a decline in crime levels.
                                                                       Value for money has also continued
                              Environment services within the          to improve, the report reveals.
                            council have scored top marks (four          Leader of Walsall Council, Councillor
                            out of four) for the second year running   John O’Hare, said: “We are delighted
                            and the council is “improving well” in     to have achieved a three star rating
                            comparison with other local authorities.   in light of ongoing changes to the
                              The council also significantly           process aimed at making it more
                            improved its ‘benefits’ services with      difficult to deliver high scores.”
                            an improved score of ‘three’ up from         The Audit Commission also
                            2 last year and retained a children and    commended the council for its ‘public
                            young people’s services score of three.    pledges’ and ‘road safety areas’.
                              The Audit Commission report                Chief Executive of Walsall Council,
                            states: “Walsall Metropolitan              Paul Sheehan, said: “Having only
                            Borough Council is improving               recently joined this authority, I
                            well. It continues to improve              am extremely encouraged by
                            priority services and to increase its      the effort and hard work that has
                            impact in the wider community.             gone into maintaining Walsall
                              “The extent of improvement               Council’s ‘three star’ status.”




News in Brief                                                          The Walsall Photographic Society
                                                                       was founded 1892 and this year
                                                                       it will be holding it’s 108th picture

Supporting People in Walsall                                           exhibition at the Walsall Museum/
                                                                       Library Building in Lichfield Street.

Supporting People is a National Government programme                     The Exhibition runs from Saturday
to provide housing related support to people to develop                8th March until Saturday 3rd May. On
their capacity to live independently in their own homes.               Saturday 29th March there will be a
                                                                       special open day attended by club
   Walsall Supporting People Service is committed to                   members to assist visitors with questions
ensure that all services are high quality, represent good              particularly in digital photography, there
value for money and meet Service User’s needs.                         will also be a mini-portrait studio for
   The Supporting People (SP) service holds an annual Service          visitors to bring their children and have
Users’ event as well as quarterly Service User forums to gain          their photographs taken. The event is
information and views from people who currently use or may             free to attend and is being held with a
require SP services. This information is very important to the         view to promote the society and hopefully
council as it helps us to improve and develop services.                to attract new members to the club.
   If you wish to tell us anything about a service, or have               The Walsall Photographic Society
ideas on how we can improve, please let us know.                       meets weekly on Monday nights at
   If you are an interested organisation, individual or service        Walsall Rugby Club - Delves Road.
user who feels that you and Supporting People could
                                                                       To find out more please call Tony
benefit from your attending a forum event, please contact
                                                                       Woodvine - president of the society
the Supporting People Team on 01922 650480.
                                                                       on 01922 867352 - or e-mail him
                                                                       at mewoodvine@hotmail.com
1



     News from the




     The mayor escorting HRH The Princess Royal
     on her recent visit to Aldridge Airport Outdoor
     Activity and Environmental Learning Centre.




 Mayor reports on remarkable work in Walsall
 Walsall’s Mayor Councillor                            those in the Borough who              you will see so much regeneration
 Melvin Pitt has made a                                have served in past times.            with many job opportunities being
 number of key improvements                              Councillor Pitt has also            created for local residents.
 within the local authority                            produced an attractive guide to         “As Mayor of Walsall these past
 during his time in office.                            the town hall, which details the      few months I’ve been privileged
                                                       history and role of the Mayors        to have witnessed some of the
   Councillor Pitt is serving as                       within the town hall, and will        quite remarkable work that
 Mayor until May 21st 2008                             shortly be available to the public.   goes on in our town. I’ve met
 and he has made a significant                                                               so many really special people.
 contribution to the borough – from                                                            “There are so many volunteers
 raising thousands of pounds for                                                             out there raising money for so
 the Mayor’s Charity Appeal to                                                               many varied and worthwhile
 attending clean-up days in the                                                              charities. So many of our
 community and producing a                                                                   residents are helping others
 mayoral guide to the town hall.                                                             and I am very proud that our
   By the time his term ends,                                                                people are working together to
 Councillor Pitt will have attended                                                          make this borough a great place
 over 500 engagements since                                                                  to live and work,” he added.
 he was sworn in as Mayor                                                                      Councillor Pitt will also be
 on May 21st 2007, including                                                                 hosting the Mayor’s Civic Awards
 numerous school and charity                                                                 on March 28 2008 which
 visits, presentations of awards                         He also recently escorted           honours local people who have
 and certificates and opening of                       HRH The Princess Royal,               made outstanding contributions
 new businesses in the borough.                        patron of the Royal Yachting          to life in the borough.
   The Mayor, who is passionate                        Association around the Aldridge         A glittering ‘Oscar-style’ awards
 about celebrating Walsall’s                           Airport Outdoor Activity and          ceremony and dinner will be held
 history, has been responsible                         Environmental Learning Centre.        on 28 March 2008 at Walsall FC’s
 for introducing a number of                             Councillor Pitt says: “A strong     Banks’s Stadium. All finalists will
 important initiatives in the council.                 council is important - Walsall is     be invited to the ceremony where
   He recently arranged for all of                     now seen by many businesses as        the winners will be announced.
 the portraits of previous mayors                      a “can do borough” and success          Councillor Melvin Pitt has
 to be put back on display in                          brings even more success.             been a councillor for nearly 20
 the Council House to honour                           Simply take a look around and         years and has served residents
                                         1




   Sons and
   Daughters’
   of Walsall
   Think of Walsall and a
   few famous names will
   always spring to mind...




                              Erin
                              O’Connor




Noddy
Holder
1
                                                     Sons and Daughters’ of Walsall

 Slade’s Noddy Holder, Pop                 Darlaston, George Dorsett, from           Olympic swimmer Nick Gillingham
 Idol runner-up Mark Rhodes                Brownhills and Darlaston’s William J.     was awarded the MBE in 1993
 and of course Sister Dora,                “Bill” Arblaster were displaying their    for “services to swimming.”
 the town’s very own Florence              skills at clubs across the country.         Athletes have included Peter
 Nightingale, renowned for her               Born across the border in               Frank Radford who competed in
 good works and compassion.                Wolverhampton, Eddie Holding              the 100 and 200 metres winning
                                           played for Walsall F.C. between           medals at the 1958 European
   But delve deeper and the sons           1948-1952 and again in 1953-              Championships and at the 1960
 and daughters of Walsall may              1954. He went on to work for              Rome Olympics while more recently
 surprise you. From footballers and        Walsall Council for 31 years in           Darlaston sprinter Mark Lewis-Francis
 cricketers to successful authors          the registrars department.                became an Olympic gold medallist,
 and ground-breaking scientists,             Other 20th century footballers          having been part of the 4x100m
 the town has produced them all.           such as “the Brownhills bomber”           relay team at the 2004 Olympics.
   Had all the successful footballers      Richard “Dicky” Dorsett, Willenhall-        And sports personalities are not the
 from Walsall been born in the same        born Allan John Clarke, who played        only recognisable faces of this town.
 era the town could have had a top
 class team on its very own doorstep.
   In the 19th century players such as
                                                        “...the rich and famous of
 Albert James Aldridge, whose teams                   Walsall is an ever-growing list
 included West Bromwich Albion
 and Aston Villa, Harry Allen, who                    with some impressive talent.”
 played mainly for Wolverhampton
 Wanderers, winning the FA Cup             for the admired Leeds United                Probably the most well-known
 as captain in 1893, and Bloxwich’s        team of the 1970s and Aldridge’s          of all belongs to Noddy Holder
 William Charles “Charlie” Athersmith      Lee Sinnott, now manager of Port          – who was born Neville John
 who played at Aston Villa, were all       Vale, also made their mark.               Holder, in Newhall Street in 1946.
 making appearances for their country.        Today the soccer successes               Best-known as the lead singer and
   Other players of that time included     continue - Dean Scott Keates,             front man with 1970s rock music
 Darlaston’s Billy Annis and Harry         currently a midfielder at Peterborough    group Slade the 61-year-old is a
              Wood while in the early      United, Karl Leon Hawley, who             former T P Riley pupil. He went on
                  1900s players like       started with his hometown team now        to have many hits - the most famous
                   Moxley-born Thomas      plays for Preston North End, Martyn       probably being Merry Christmas
                    “Tommy” Allen, a       Naylor is a wing-back for Welsh           Everybody. He has also had a turn
                         professional      champions The New Saints, Rachel          at acting including a role in ITV’s The
                          goalkeeper,      Unitt, plays as a left back for England   Grimleys and was awarded the MBE
                          Shelfield’s      Women and Everton Ladies and              in 2000 for his services to music.
                         Edward “Ted”      Bloxwich’s Lee Martyn Naylor is at          Holder’s voice was famously used
                          Duckhouse,       Scottish Premier League club Celtic.      that same year to record the lift
                            James             A number of cricketers also hailed     announcements at the Walsall New
                              Alfred       from the town. Fred Bakewell was          Art Gallery – director of the gallery
                              “Jimmy”      a Northamptonshire and England            Peter Jenkinson referred to him
                               McIntyre,   opening batsman in the early 1900s,       as “Walsall’s most famous son.”
                                 born in   renowned as one of the most exciting        But he is by no means the only
                                           players of his time. Although his         successful musician from the town.
                                           methods were not the most orthodox        Jazz guitarist Fred Degville lived
                                           he produced remarkable cricket until      and performed in the town and son
                                           a car accident ended his career.          Paul Degville has followed in his
                                              David Brown played in 26 tests for     footsteps while record producer
                                           England between 1965 and 1969.            Peter Waterman, may hail from
                                           He was an excellent medium-fast           Coventry, but nonetheless has strong
                                           bowler who captained Warwickshire         connections to Walsall through
                                           and Norman Ian Thomson played             his devotion to the Saddlers.
                                           five Tests for England in the 60s.          Musical success was also
                                               But the success of Walsall            achieved by heavy metal rock
                                           sports players doesn’t end                singer Rob Halford who was a
                                           with cricket and football.                member of Judas Priest and Goldie
                                              Stuart Dangerfield from Willenhall     (Clifford Joseph Price) known
                                           is a leading English racing cyclist,      mainly for his drum and bass.
                                           snooker player Mark Joyce is                There has long been discussion
                                           tipped for greatness while former         over whether Boy George, who
                                                                                                                           1


was born in London, spent                                                               Hi-De-Hi’s Spike, Jeffrey Holland
time in Walsall – he did.                                                            also originates from the borough.
   He lived in the town with Sigue                                                      Fellow Walsall actor Matthew
Sigue Sputnik’s Martin Degville                                                      Marsden also starred in Coronation
in 1979 at the age of 17, before                                                     Street as mechanic Chris Collins and
either of them were stars.                                                           has appeared in Emmerdale and
   As George O’Dowd he flat-                                                         several films including Black Hawk
shared with Degville on the corner                                                   Down while other actors hailing from
of Goodall Street, number 79,                                                        the town include 40-year-old Don
at the top of Walsall market. He                                                     Gilet - best known for his roles in
worked at Degville’s fashion stall in                                                BBC productions Babyfather and 55
Birmingham - Degville’s Dispensary.                                                  Degrees North in which he played
   Steve Jenkins, born in Bloxwich,                                                  Detective Sergeant Nicky Cole - and
rose to become one of the most                                                       Frank Windsor whose most famous
powerful men in the pop industry.                                                    role was as Detective Sergeant John
As managing director of Jive                is Darlaston’s Mark Rhodes. The          Watt in Z Cars from 1962 to 1965.
Records he helped sign Britney              26-year-old finished in second place        Meera Syal may not have been
Spears as a teenager and has                to Michelle McManus in season two        born in Walsall – she was born
had a hand in more than 150 top             of Pop Idol and had hit singles with     in Essington – but the town does
40 hits, ranging from The Stone             fellow contestant Sam Nixon with         have a claim on the comedienne,
Roses to Kylie Minogue, Justin              whom he now presents Saturday            writer, playwright, singer, journalist
Timberlake, Steps and Billy Ocean.          morning TV show TMi for BBC2.            and actress who was awarded the
    He had a major behind the scenes           And he is not the only Walsall-born   MBE in the New Year’s Honours
role in the success of the Stock            presenter – Central newsreader           List of 1997, as she went to
Aitken and Waterman formula and             Bob Warman was born here and             Queen Mary’s High School.
staged a successful exhibition of his       BBC Radio 2’s Alex Lester fronts a          So many familiar faces and voices
life and career ‘Kylie, Britney, Jason      weekday overnight/early-morning          started out in Walsall – but the town
and Me’ at Walsall Museum where             programme for the station which          has not only provided star performers
he displayed a range of memorabilia.        has developed a cult following.          but also those who penned some of
    Steve, who is ambassador                   Another familiar face from the town   the greatest tales, poetry and scripts.
for Walsall Council’s Forest Arts           with a cult following, mainly from her      Jerome K Jerome is probably the
Centre, also introduced high                children’s TV days as Miss Popov in      most well-known writer from Walsall.
profile producer Pete Waterman to           Rentaghost, is actress Sue Nicholls.        He was brought up in London in
Walsall FC prompting the former                The 64-year-old is probably best      the early 20th century but began
Pop Idol judge to say how he loves          known for her long-running role as       life in Walsall. He wrote more than
the town when he visited show.              Audrey Roberts in Coronation Street      40 books and is best-known for
     “I’m from Coventry originally,” Pete   but is still fondly remembered                   the humorous travelogue
said “I don’t deny those roots but          by many for her role as the                        Three Men in a Boat, which
I have a real affinity to Walsall and       hayfever-suffering ghost.                            was made into a film.
Walsall people. I love the place. If           She has also appeared                                 But while he may be
ever I was given a peerage I’d want to      in Crossroads, The                                    the most famous of
become Lord Waterman of Walsall.”           Fall and Rise of                                       the town’s wordsmiths
   Just starting out on the                 Reginald Perrin and                                    he is not alone.
                  road to fame              played Mrs Muddle in
                   is seven-year-old        the Pipkins TV series.
                    Streetly singer
                         Connie Talbot




who entered
the limelight when
she reached the final of
television show Britain’s Got Talent,
but was beaten by Paul Potts. Her
debut album, Over the Rainbow, was
released last November (2007). Also
riding on his success in a talent show
20
                                                     Sons and Daughters’ of Walsall

   Poet Sir Henry Newbolt, of the           Lindley Byrne but they may not             seen today – the original on display
 same era, was born in Bilston            know he lived in Walsall until he            in the Town Hall, Lichfield Street.
 but grew up in Walsall after his         was eight. He moved to America                 While former Prime Minister John
 father’s death. He is best known         where he became well-known in                Major may not have a direct link to
 for his ballad “Vitai Lampada.”          his trade, working on a number of            Walsall his father certainly did.
   Contemporary acclaimed satirist
 and professional comedian Vernon
 Coleman is the author of 90 books,
                                                “... Bloxwich-born Steve Jenkins,
 including non-fiction works about             shown below with Britney Spears,
 human health, politics, cricket,
 and animal issues, and a range of             has grown to be one of the most
 novels including, ‘Mrs Caldicot’s
 Cabbage War’, which was turned
                                              powerful figures in the pop industry”
 into a movie starring Pauline Collins.
   Man of many talents Peter Corey        comics including Marvel Comics                 John Major’s great great
 has written the Coping With...           X-Men - but the heroic acts of the           grandfather Joseph Ball was a
 children’s book series which             comic book legends he writes                 prosperous Willenhall locksmith and
 targets youngsters using humour.         about can’t compare with the real-           several generations of the family
 He has also written a number of          life acts of bravery and courage             remained in the area. John Major’s
 other books and scripts for many         of some of Walsall’s own.                    father Abraham Thomas Ball, was
 television programmes and has               John Henry Carless, who was               born in 1879 but left the town when
 played characters in dramas and          born in Walsall in 1896, received            he was about five as the family
 soaps – such as the original next        the Victoria Cross, the highest              emigrated to America, settling in
 door neighbour in “One Foot in the       and most prestigious award for               Pittsburgh – he adopted the name
 Grave” and in Brookside he played        gallantry in the face of the enemy           Major as a young man when he
 “Freddie Spence” for two years.          that can be awarded to British               became a circus performer.
   Perhaps less well-known but            and Commonwealth forces. He                    Politicians actually born in Walsall
 enjoying great success is 37 -year-old   was just 21 years old when as                include Isaac Bertie Griffiths, a
 Gavin Drake, a broadcaster, sports       an Ordinary Seaman in the Royal              politician in Manitoba, Canada
 commentator and communications           Navy during the First World War              in the early 1900s and Sir Edwin
 consultant. Born in Little Bloxwich,     he continued to battle the enemy             Thomas Smith who was a South
 after leaving school he worked his       even when mortally wounded.                  Australian politician in the 1800s.
 way up in journalism and is currently       One of Walsall’s most highly                If you are looking for glamour
 Director of Communications for the       thought-of characters must be Sister         rather than politics look no further
 Bishop and Diocese of Lichfield.         Dora – Dorothy Wyndlow Pattison.             than model Erin O’Connor. Recently
 His voice will be familiar to many as       She may not have been born here           recruited for the Marks & Spencers
 the pitch-side announcer at Walsall      – she was originally from Yorkshire          television ads the former Brownhills
 Football Club’s Bescot Stadium.          - but her nursing and caring skills          Community School pupil (now
   Any die-hard comics fans will know     were invaluable to the people of             Brownhills Community Technology
 the name of writer and artist John       Walsall following a series of disasters.     College) has been the face of Chanel,
                                             Sister Dora cared for the families        Givenchy, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana,
                                          of the 22 men who died after being           Gucci, Armani, Gaultier and has
                                          trapped at Pelsall colliery in 1872,         been on the front cover of Vogue.
                                          single-handedly treated the sick               And if you want to celebrate the
                                          and dying in the 1875 smallpox               brains from the town try Sir James
                                          outbreak and oversaw the care of             Cresseé Elphinstone Underwood,
                                          the horrifically injured men involved        the eminent British scientist
                                                    in a furnace explosion at          who was awarded a knighthood
                                                       the Jones & Son iron            for services to medicine in the
                                                         foundry in 1875.              2005 New Year honours list.
                                                              In 1886 a statue was       So the rich and famous of
                                                            unveiled on The Bridge     Walsall is an ever-growing list
                                                             making her the first      with some impressive talent.
                                                             female in this country,   Next time somebody asks about
                                                            apart from a member        the famous folk from your town
                                                           of the royal family, to     maybe you’ll be armed with more
                                                         have a statue erected in      ammunition than “the bloke from
                                                       her honour. In 1956 this        Slade” or “the runner-up from Pop
                                                             was replaced by the       Idol” – in fact you may find there’s
                                                                     bronze cast       just too many to remember.
                                                                                                                                                                                          21


                                                                         We want to make sure that Walsall Pride is giving you all the information
                                                                         and news you want to read about your town. Walsall Council has invested
                                                                         thousands of pounds to ensure this magazine reaches every household in
                                                                         the borough. Now we want you to tell us what you would like to see featured in


Reader Survey                                                            future editions and how we can change to make this an even more exciting and
                                                                         useful publication for the people of Walsall.

                                                                                                                                                 Win! A
We’re giving you the chance to give your views and suggestions for
Walsall Pride. Anyone who returns a completed questionnaire will
                                                                                                                                               £50 shopping
have the chance to win a £50 shopping voucher. Please circle your                                                                                voucher!
answers and return to us by Friday 18 April 2008.

  1.     How would you       4. Pride is currently                                           7.      Does Pride help                          9. How do you rate
         describe how you       designed in an A4                                                    you to understand                           Walsall Pride on
         read Walsall Pride?    magazine style, do                                                   services the council                        a scale of 1 to 10
         a. Cover to cover      you think this is...                                                 has to offer?                               (with 10 being the
         b. Most articles       a. Ideal                                                             a. Always                                   highest)
         c. Flick through it    b. Ok                                                                b. Often
                                                                                                                                                     1       2      3      4      5
         d. Don’t read it       c. Too big                                                           c. Sometimes
                                d. Too small                                                         d. Never                                        6       7      8      9      10

  2. How do you                                  5. Pride is a quarterly                     8. Below is a list of                            10. Do you have any
     rate the general                                magazine do you                            some of the articles                              final comments on
     appearance of                                   receive it                                 in this issue.                                    Walsall Pride?
     Walsall Pride?                                  a. Every time                              Please tick any you
                                                                                                particularly enjoyed                          ....................................
     a. Very good                                    b. Usually
     b. Good                                         c. Not often                               and put a cross by
                                                                                                those you didn’t...                           ....................................
     c. Average                                      d. Never
     d. Poor                                                                                         Famous sons                              ....................................
                         6. Do you find Pride                                                        and daughters
  3. How do you rate         offers information                                                      Regenerating                             ....................................
     the general content     you don’t get                                                           your communities
     of Walsall Pride?       elsewhere?
                                                                                                     We are Walsall                           ....................................
     a. Very good            a. Always                                                               Gardening tips
     b. Good                 b. Often                                                                                                         ....................................
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     c. Average              c. Sometimes
     d. Poor                 d. Never                                                                Council news
                                                                                                     What’s On                                ....................................

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Walsall FC Community Programme
Easter Soccer Schools
Sessions cater for Boys and Girls aged 6 to 14 years and are overseen
by our qualified and police checked Community Coaches.
Prices start from £20.00 for a 2-day course which runs from 10am to 3pm.
To book call 01922 644742 or email community@walsallfc.co.uk
22



     Are you making use                             Over 55,000 people visit
                                                    the council website every
                                                    month. This service is

     of your local website?                         available to you at home, or
                                                    via free access in your local
                                                    library or the civic centre
                                                    First Stop Shop, Walsall.

                                                     In 2007 the site was named by
                                                    the website industry as amongst
                                                    the top 30 council websites in the
                                                    country. This includes information
                                                    and advice for all council services
                                                    including jobs at the council,
                                                    planning, libraries, schools, street
                                                    services, council tax, benefits and
                                                    recycling. You can also use the
                                                    website to apply online for jobs,
                                                    report an issue or pay for services.
                                                       The web team at Walsall Council
                                                    is continuously developing the
                                                    website to improve the quality,
                                                    diversity and accessibility of
                                                    services delivered via this
                                                    channel, which is available 24/7.
                                                       During 2008 look out for free
                                                    events run by Walsall library
                                                    services to learn how to use
                                                    this valuable tool or ask a family
                                                    member to get you started.

                                                    For more information please
                                                    see www.walsall.gov.uk




                Gardening Tips
                So Spring is here again                Lawns can be swept vigorously,
                - and the sight of daffodil         raked and given a light mowing,
                heads bobbing in the March          with the blades lifted so
                winds triggers the start of         the grass is not scalped.
                another gardening year.                Roses, buddlieas and
                                                    perovskias should be
                  The brighter, longer days gets    pruned now, if they have
                people moving working in their      not already been done.
                greenhouses, flower borders            Popular alpine plants in the
                and the vegetable plots.            rock garden, screes and troughs
                  In the greenhouses marigolds,     should be dead-headed and
                petunias, asters and tomatoes can   weeded. Lovely alpines which
                be sown, and the fuchsias and       flower so profusely in March
                geraniums over-wintering can be     and April can be bought now.
                given more water and feed boost.       Houseplants can be given
                  The herbaceous plants             more water and feed after the
                should be tidied up and             winter “rest”, and there should
                weeded and divided if they          be a check to ensure they
                are getting too large.              are not getting root-bound.
                                                                                                                             2


Major road plan for
Walsall on track
Big changes are taking                 going to help unlock Walsall’s         over the railway in Littleton
                                       potential. Better roads attract        Street West. New beams have
shape in Walsall town                  investment and create new jobs.        been laid and when it opens
centre as part of an                      “It’s a major construction          it will double the amount of
                                       project and we’ve put a great          road space with carriageways
ambitious £17 million                  deal of thought and co-                going in both directions.”
plan to help traffic flow              ordination into how to keep the           For more information log on
                                       roads open and traffic flowing         at www.walsall.gov.uk and follow
more smoothly.                         while work takes place.                the links or call the Norwest Holst
   Six major traffic junctions are        “We do understand that there        helpline on 01922 471969.
being revamped with changes to         has been some disruption and are
the roads next to the Arboretum        of course sorry about this but it
taking place in the coming weeks.      was inevitable given the size of the
   The roundabout is to be             job. I would like to thank everyone
                                                                                  How we’re improving
replaced by a traffic signal           for their patience and ask people          roads by the Arboretum
junction to help smooth the            to bear with us for a little longer        ■   The current roundabout will be
flow of traffic through what can       as we finish a project that will               replaced with traffic junctions to help
be a peak time bottleneck.             make a big difference to Walsall.”             the flow of traffic.
   A smaller temporary                    But the signs of success are            ■   Work on the site is set to start early
                                                                                      March and last for around four months.
roundabout will operate while          already there for everyone to
                                                                                  ■   While work takes place the road from
work takes shape to keep               see on a project that is due to                Lichfield Street onto the roundabout
traffic moving with thousands          end later this year, he says.                  from the town centre will be
of leaflets distributed to help           “You only have to look at                   temporarily closed.
get the message across.                the recent changes at Pleck                ■   While work takes place Lichfield Street
                                                                                      will be temporarily closed at the
   Any short term disruption will      Road and Wolverhampton
                                                                                      Arboretum junction on the town centre
lead to long term gain, highways       Road to see that things are                    side.
bosses are keen to stress.             happening and that the road                ■   Motorists won’t be able to enter or
   Councillor Anthony Harris,          network is being improved.                     leave the town centre along this part of
Walsall Council cabinet member            “We’ve also got the engineering             Lichfield Street. Don’t worry. Diversion
                                                                                      and alternative routes will be well signed.
for transport said: “This is really    success of the new bridge
                                                                                  ■   Thousands of leaflets explaining the
                                                                                      changes are available from Walsall
                                                                                      Central library and by logging on at
                                                                                      www.walsall.gov.uk and following the
                                                                                      links.



                                                                                  ■   6 is the number of junctions to be
                                                                                      improved as part of the scheme.
                                                                                  ■   38 is the number of tonnes in weight
                                      Placing huge concrete                           of each new concrete beam for the
                                      beams to help make                              railway bridge in Littleton Street West.
                                      a new bridge across                         ■   100 years is the projected lifespan
                                      the railway at Littleton
                                                                                      of the new railway bridge.
                                      Street West, Walsall.
                                                                                  ■   17 is the number of existing pedestrian
                                                                                      crossing points along the length of the
                                                                                      roads before the project started.
                                                                                  ■   80 is the number of pedestrian
                                                                                      crossing points by the time the project
                                                                                      is finished.
                                                                                  ■   1,100 is the number of granite
                                                                                      kerbstones taken up to be re-used.
                                                                                  ■   390 is the number of new trees as
                                                                                      part of the project.
                                                                                  ■   15,000 is the number of new
                                                                                      shrubs to be planted.
2


 Walsall: A cleaner, greener,
 and safer borough
        Cleaner. Greener. Safer. We                   April 2005; expansion of garden waste
        know people are passionate                    collection scheme to an additional
        about these issues. You want to               16,500 properties; helping our partners
        live and work in a borough you                to reduce total crime in Walsall by 8
        can be proud of – a borough                   per cent; recruiting officers to deal with
        which helps you feel safe, is free            fly-tipping and establishing a number
        of litter and dirt and is working             of exciting community-led schemes.
        to protect the environment.                      However, we recognise that there is
                                                      always room for improvement and this
          Walsall Council is committed to             feature aims to give you an insight into
        improving your neighbourhoods so they         the work we have been doing and the
        are cleaner, greener and safer places.        plans we have for the near future.
          Together with our partners                     We can all play a part in helping to
        including the Police, Fire Service,           make Walsall even cleaner, greener
        Probation Service and Safer                   and safer. The prospects are endless
        Walsall Borough Partnership, we               when we all work together.
        have been making significant
        improvements throughout Walsall.
          We have done this by listening to
                                                                         Cllr Garry Perry
        your concerns and building solutions
                                                                         Portfolio holder
        to problems and issues that are
                                                                         for safer, stronger
        on your doorstep – local issues                                  communities
        which you really care about.
          A great deal has already been
        achieved over the last few years. Our
        environment services obtained a score
        of 4 in a 2007 Audit Commission
        assessment which is top marks and                                Cllr Rachel
        we are one of only four metropolitan
                                                                         Walker
        authorities in the country to achieve this.
                                                                         Portfolio holder
          Highlights include reducing litter on
                                                                         for environment
        our land and roads by 20 per cent since
                                                                                                              2




A Cleaner Walsall
This year we have been working with you
in your neighbourhoods to encourage all
members of the community to get involved
in helping to clean up their streets.

  Resident ‘clean-up days’ have proven to be
extremely successful with residents assisting
to clean up areas across the borough.
  Walsall Council has been working with
Local Neighbourhood Partnerships (LNPs),
Street Champions, Fire, Police and other                    Mayor of Walsall, Councillor
                                                            Melvin Pitt, helps out at one
local organisations to arrange the clean-ups                of the community skip day
and ‘skip days’ where skips are located in                  events, with Mary Walker
                                                            from Walsall Housing Group.
streets free of charge for residents to use.
  The Community Safety Intervention Group, which
consists of representatives from Walsall Council,
the police, fire service and Walsall Housing Group,
has also set up a number of clean-up events.
  ‘Litter Hit Squads’ from Walsall Council’s Street Pride                 Prosecute
service have been working with residents to clean-up
local areas, cutting back overgrown areas and placing                       Benefit
                                                                          Fraudsters
additional litter bins in locations which need them.
  The clean ups have not only tidied the area but have
also dealt with long term anti-social and crime issues,
by removing hiding places and opening up pathways.
  Fly tipping has been a concern for local residents                With your help we can
for a number of years and more staff and resources               crack down on benefit fraud
have been invested into tackling the problem.
  With assistance from the First Stop Shop hotline
(01922 653344), the council is now able to                   If you suspect fraud contact us on:
respond quickly to residents reports of fly tipping
by inspecting and removing items from authority              01922 652632/652671
land and tracking down owners of private land.
  Calls are taken via the First Stop Shop, five              or call the National Fraud Hotline:
days per week and the sites are inspected
within seven days, dealing with the removal
                                                             0800 328 6340
of any waste, pursuing enforcement, or                       or write to:
contacting the private owner to take action.                 Walsall Council Benefits Investigation Team
  The council’s public protection team has recruited         Civic Centre, Darwall Street, Wallsall WS1 1XU
four new officers to carry out environmental                 Our investigators will examine and investigate
enforcement of fly tipping, litter and dog fouling           all information provided in a professional and
laws to ensure the borough is kept clean.                    confidential manner.
  Other anti-social issues are also being tackled
by the council and its partners, including
collection of discarded syringes, removal of
graffiti and dealing with abandoned vehicles.
2




 A Greener Walsall
           We are committed to making Walsall
           an environmentally friendly borough
           and thanks to your help we are well
           on the way to achieving this.

              In the last year, over 18,000 tonnes of
           waste has been diverted from landfill and
           used to recover energy from waste.
              Residents are recycling more than ever but
           we recognise that there is still a huge amount
           of work to be done and we are taking a number
           of measures to ensure the borough is playing
           its part in looking after the environment.
              Like all local authorities, Walsall Council had
           to make changes to achieve new Government
           recycling targets so we carried out a major public
           consultation to find out how and when residents
           would want their waste and recycling collected.
              The majority of residents voted to keep the weekly
           collection service but with a smaller bin for waste and
           a larger bin for the fortnightly recycling collection.
              The new service will be rolled out during
           2008/2009 and will be fully implemented by April
           2009. After listening to residents’ views, we are
           also accepting plastic bottles and cardboard from
           the kerbside green collection from early 2009.
              In addition, we have expanded the garden waste
           collection service to an additional 16,500 properties.
              The Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)
           at Fryers Road in Bloxwich and Merchants Way in
           Aldridge are now fitted with webcams so residents
           can view online to assess how busy the sites are.
              Additional items now accepted at the HRWCs
           include tetra paks, MDF and chipboard.
              Due to the improvements at the HRWCs, they
           are now attracting more users than ever.
              Other initiatives to encourage recycling
           include the ‘cow’ recycling bins which are
           painted to look like cows, in a bid to encourage
           children to recycle their plastic bottles.
              Twenty of the fun containers have been
           placed at sites throughout the borough.
                                                                                                                             2




 A Safer Walsall
 Community involvement is a key                                 The order is being considered to enable the
 ingredient for successfully fighting crime                   police to deal more effectively with alcohol-
 in the borough and to help residents                         related nuisance, annoyance and disorder
 feel safe in their neighbourhoods.                           by preventing drinking in the streets.
                                                                Once a public place is covered by an order
    Safer Walsall Borough Partnership (SWBP)                  a police officer can require anyone in that
 which consists of representatives from Walsall               public place to stop drinking and surrender
 Council, the Police, Fire Service, Walsall Housing             alcohol in their possession.
 Group and other local agencies have set up a                   Failure to comply with the officer’s
 number of schemes to help combat crime.                      requirement can lead to a fixed penalty being
    A Street Champions Scheme has proved to be an             issued, or to arrest and prosecution.
 enormous success throughout the borough. Over                  ‘No Cold Calling Zones’ could also be
 300 residents are signed up as Street Champions              introduced later this year to protect vulnerable
 and act as a point of contact for their neighbours           areas from bogus callers and restrict the
 to report environmental problems including fly               activities of cold calling and rogue traders.
 tipping, graffiti and abandoned vehicles.                      If you have concerns about anti-social behaviour
    Neighbourhood Watch memberships are also on               or want to report an incident please phone the ASB
 the increase as residents take more of an active             Helpline 01922 648291 during office hours Monday
 role in ensuring their communities are safe.                 to Friday. Out of office hours or at weekends you will
    Since April 2005, the anti-social behaviour               be able to leave a message on that number and we
 unit at SWBP has dealt with over 4,000                       will get back to you during the next working day.
 cases of reported anti-social behaviour.                       If you need immediate assistance because either
    SWBP is currently working on a designated public          you or your property is being threatened, you must
 place order which would give police new powers to            phone the police to report the circumstances.
 stop disorderly people drinking in the streets of Walsall.



                                                                                             From left to right,Steve
                                                                                             Gittins of Safer Walsall
                                                                                             Borough Partnership, Cllr Tim
                                                                                             Oliver and Nozmul Hussain,
                                                                                             Director of SWBP – closing
                                                                                             off an alleyway in Walsall
                                                                                             which had been used as
                                                                                             a hangout by criminals.




Councillor
Rachel
Walker
2


 What’s On in Walsall
 A guide to events taking place in the
 borough of Walsall throughout April to June


                  The New Art     that can be put anywhere. You will
                                  be able to watch and be involved in
                                                                                                        21 June
                                                                                                        Refugee Day
                  Gallery Walsall the creation of the mobile cottage.
                                                                                                        Visitor Information
                  Exhibitions     April                                                                 opening times
                                                                                                        Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm Sunday
                  24 April – 15 June                          2 – 3 April, 1-3pm                        11am-4pm and Bank Holiday Mondays
                  Starstruck                                  Bugtastic
                  Contemporary Art and                        Minibeasts are taking over the
                                                              gallery, there will be gigantic
                                                                                                        Walsall
                  the Cult of Celebrity
                  We live in a culture obsessed
                                                              fluffy bouncy spiders today,              Museum
                                                              come and make yours here.
                  by celebrities. This exhibition                                                       26 January – 19 April
                  will bring together artists whose           19 April
                  work engages with the cult of                                                         Knickers! 500 Years
                  celebrity in a variety of ways.             Vaisahki                                  of Underwear
                                                                                                        Victorian frillies and Tudor
                  4 April – 31 May                            May                                       farthingales: a chance to see
                  Stuart Whipps                                                                         fashion from the inside out!
                                                              Throughout May
                  Stuart Whipps documentation of the
                  Longbridge motor works in Birmingham        KADN Kiosk                                Walsall
                  from 2004, his family’s history and their
                  involvement with the motor car industry,
                                                              The KADN Kiosk will be at the
                                                              gallery throughout May and offers         Leather
                  the temporary closure of the factory,
                  also the transfer to Nanjing, China.
                                                              visitors the opportunity to express
                                                              their opinions by making placards,
                                                                                                        Museum
                  Photographs of both Longbridge and          rosettes, badges, banners, wristbands,    1 April, 10.30am-12.30pm 5-7 year
                  China will be shown in this exhibition.     flags and other ephemera.                 olds (must be accompanied)
                                                                                                        1.30-3.30pm 8-12 year olds
                  Until 5 October                             14 May, 10am-4pm
                                                                                                        Children’s Holiday Workshop
                  Out of the Box                              Breast Feeding Awareness Day
                  Interventions in the                                                                  Holiday fun at the Museum for children.
                  Garman Ryan Collection                      24 May, 12-4pm                            £1.50 per sessions. Booking essential.
                  View the contemporary works of the          Celebrity Weekend
                  Garman Ryan Collection in the light                                                   2-3 April, 10.30am-12.30pm and
                  of other similarly themed historic          Come and see our fantastic exhibition,    1.30-3.30pm
                  artworks, making connections                Starstruck and join our celebrity day     Drop-In Have-a-Go
                  between old and new art.                    – feel fabulous walking along our         Leathercraft
                                                              red carpet for our photographer, get
                                                              you nails ‘done’ and have a glamour       Come along to one of our most
                  Free Garman Ryan Talks                                                                popular events at the Leather Museum
                  Every Wednesday and Saturday at             photo taken to commemorate this.
                                                                                                        when you can decorate your own
                  1pm. An introduction to Walsall’s                                                     bookmark, keyfob or wristband.
                  stunning permanent collection. Talks        24, 30 and 31 May
                                                                                                        50p per item. No need to book.
                  last approximately 15 minutes.              Bristol Art Library
                                                              Visit the Art Library at the              5 April, 10am-12.30pm and 1.30-4pm
                  16 May – 28 September                       gallery for a unique experience           Adult Leathercraft Workshop
                  The Triumph of Maximilian I                 with Bristol Art Library.                 Belt-Making with
                  Hans Burkmair (1473-1531)                                                             Valerie Michael
                  Woodcuts                                    28 – 29 May, 1-3pm
                                                                                                        A great practical session which
                  The Triumph of Maximilian has been          Picture This                              will include cutting, edge finishing,
                  described as ‘one of the world’s            It’s museums and galleries month          had-stitching and simple tooled
                  richest and most unusual monuments          so come and enjoy the gallery, see        decoration under the expert
                  of art’. This sequence of woodcuts          your photos from the Starstruck           guidance of Valerie Michael. £7
                  was commissioned in 1512 by the             event and make a photo frame              per session. Booking essential.
                  Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I             for your favourite photo.
                  (1459-1519) and depicts a grand                                                       17 May, 10.30am-3.30pm
                  procession promoting the achievements
                  and aspirations of his reign.               June                                      Adult Jewellery-Making
                                                                                                        Workshop With Jolene Smith
                  14 April – 4 July                           A Season of Sporting Films                A jewellery making session
                                                              Start this sports-filled summer           suitable for beginners with local
                  Studio and Foyer                            with a series of free screening of        designer jeweller, Jolene Smith.
                  Yoke and Zoom                               the some of the best sport films          £12.50. Booking essential
                  Mobile Cottage                              ever made… Full details on page
                  Join Yoke and Zoom are Nina Coulson         30 (Lights Camera Action).                28 May, 10.30am-2.30pm 5-7 year
                  and Alex Johnson for their 3 month          Please book your free places by calling   olds (must be accompanied)
                  residency as they will create The Mobile    gallery reception on 01922 654400.        1.30-3.30pm 8-12 year olds
                  Cottage, a traditional English cottage                                                Children’s Holiday Workshop
                                                                                                                                                                              2
From dramatic theatre to stunning art exhibitions,
from musical extravaganzas to children’s treasure
hunts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in our
borough – thanks to Walsall Council.
Keep this guide and check out some of the exciting
things that are happening over the next few months
– many of them free.




Holiday fun at the Museum for children.
£1.50 per sessions. Booking essential.
                                          30 April, 1pm
                                          Peter Morris, Borough Organist
                                                                                        Bloxwich                                    Forest Arts
27, 29 and 30 May, 10.30am-               Borough organist Peter Morris plays an        Library                                     Centre
12.30pm and 1.30-3.30pm                   entertaining programme of variations,
                                          including pieces he has not played
                                                                                        Theatre                                     Free films for all ages and tastes
Drop-In Have-a-Go Leathercraft            on the Town Hall organ before. £2.                                                        from silent comedy classics to
Come along to one of our most                                                           15 April, 7.30pm                            fantastic four. See page 30 for
popular events at the Leather Museum      15 May, 1.30pm                                The Last South: Pursuit                     details (Lights Camera Action).
when you can decorate your own            Black Country Show                            Of The Pole
bookmark, keyfob or wristband.                                                                                                      30 and 31 May, matinees 2.30pm
                                          See some of the best Black Country            Two invincible explorers. One final         Saturday evening 5pm
50p per item. No need to book.                                                          conquest. Based on their actual
                                          talent around with music and comedy                                                       Walsall Youth Theatre presents
                                          anecdotes from Giggetty and side-             expedition diaries, this show
7 June, 10.30am-3.30pm                                                                  interweaves the two journeys                Alice in Wonderland
                                          splitting humour from Black Country
20th Anniversary                          legend Tommy Mundon. £4.                      into a thrilling story of adventure         This fast-paced stage adaptation of
Birthday Celebrations                                                                   and extreme human endeavour,                Alice in Wonderland features updated
Come and join in the Birthday fun as      18 May, 3pm                                   transporting us to an alien landscape       dialogue and new arrangements
we celebrate the 20th Anniversary                                                       as unimaginably hostile as it is awe-       of such classic Disney songs as
                                          Hatstand Opera presents                       inspiring. £7 and £5 concessions.           “I’m Late,” “The Un-birthday Song”
of the opening of the Museum.             Golden Moments from Opera
There’ll be special demonstrations                                                                                                  and “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah.” £5.
                                          This Golden Moments from Opera                13 May, 7.30pm
from a whole host of leatherworkers,
an exhibition of some of our finest
pieces of the collection. Plus party
                                          show highlights hilarious scenes and
                                          heart- rending arias from the world’s
                                                                                        The Misfits present
                                                                                        Sex and Chocolate                           Countryside
food and competitions! FREE.              favourite operas. Passion, romance            Award winning Scottish comedy
                                          and drama has never been so much                                                          Advanced booking essential
                                                                                        actress Fiona Knowles, seen recently        on 0845 1112900
5 July, 10.30am-3.30pm                    fun! £9 and £7 concessions.                   in the hugely successful Women
Adult Jewellery-Making                                                                  on the Verge of a T Junction, is            27 April, 2-5pm
                                          21 May, 1pm                                   back at Bloxwich with Sex and
for Advanced Beginners                                                                                                              An introduction to digital
With Jolene Smith                         Dr Roy Massey MBE, Organist                   Chocolate. £7 and £5 concessions.
                                          at Hereford Cathedral                                                                     photography in the
This workshop is ideal for anyone         Roy is one of the best known organists        5 June, 1.30pm                              springtime countryside
who has had previous experience           in the country and has had a long and         An Afternoon with the Musicals presents     Join us for a basic introduction to
of jewellery making or who has            distinguished career as a cathedral           The Shows of Rodgers                        digital cameras and how to get the
attended one of our beginners             organist at Birmingham and Hereford           and Hammerstein                             best use of them in the springtime
courses. £12.50. Booking essential.       where he is still Organist Emeritus. £2.                                                  countryside, as we stroll through
                                                                                        This popular show returns with songs
                                                                                        from such classics shows as The             Merrions Wood Local Nature Reserve,
Libraries                                 11 June, 7.30pm                               Sound of Music, The King and I,             including general hints and tips, how to
                                                                                                                                    compose a good photo, close up and
Ask at your local library for             Mass Male Voice Choir                         Oklahoma, South Pacific and Carousel,
                                          Concert and Borough                           we guarantee you’ll be ‘whistling           landscape photography. Open to adults
information about regular reading                                                                                                   and over 16’s only. £2 per person.
groups, 50+, cradle clubs, and            Organist Peter Morris                         a happy tune’ by the end. £5.
‘toddler times’ sessions as well as       The combined voices of Shelfield,             12 June, 7.30pm                             17 May, 10am-12 noon
details about holiday activities          Warley and Wolverhampton Orpheus
                                          Male Voice Choir will perform an              Wild Irish                                  Wonderful woodland!

Walsall
                                          evening of traditional male voice             One of the finest traditional and           Rough Wood Local Nature Reserve,
                                          music. £6 and £4 concessions.                 contemporary Irish acts around. The         Short Heath, Willenhall. A leisurely stroll
                                                                                        band features the legendary fiddle          through Walsall’s finest oak woodland
Live!                                     19 June, 1.30pm
                                          Old Tyme Music Hall
                                                                                        playing of Donegal’s Brian Patton,
                                                                                        the velvety vocals and guitar work
                                                                                                                                    to enjoy the beauty of Spring. Families
                                                                                                                                    are welcome to join this free event.
                                          Returning by popular demand this show         of Pete Kelly and the foot stomping
Walsall                                   features some of the Midlands finest          rhythms of bass player Simon
                                                                                        Haywood. £7 and £5 concessions.
                                                                                                                                    1 June, 2-3.30pm
                                                                                                                                    Summer woodland wander
Town Hall                                 entertainers from vocalists Joe Johnson and
                                          Nicky Moran to Marlene Watson’s comedy        19 June, 7.30pm                             Join us for a stroll through The
                                          Black Country poetry and the afternoon                                                    Dingle and Cuckoos’ Nook – two
17 April, 1.30pm                          will be compèred by Doug Parker. £4.          James Seabright in association
                                                                                        with Hungry Moths and Gag                   surprisingly different and beautiful
Phil Kelsall – Blackpool                                                                                                            woodlands. Free event.
Tower Organist                            25 June, 1pm                                  Reflex Management presents
                                          Peter Morris, Borough Organist                Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf
Phil Kelsall, internationally
renowned organist of the famous           In the final recital of the series,
                                                                                        Get out from behind that sofa and           Parks
Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer. £4.                                                          get aboard Toby Hadoke’s TARDIS             Free event. Advance booking
                                          Borough Organist Peter Morris will            on a trip through time – charting the
                                          play a programme of pieces from                                                           essential. Please call the events
23 April, 7.30pm                                                                        rise, fall and rise again of a television   Box office 0845 111 2900.
                                          many different centuries ranging              legend. £7 and £5 concessions.
The Staffordshire Band and                from the 15th to the 21st. £2.
Borough Organist Peter Morris
Celebrate St George’s Day with

                                             For further information please visit www.walsall.gov.uk
the highly acclaimed Staffordshire
Band and Borough Organist Peter
Morris. £6 and £4 concessions.
0


 What’s On in Walsall
 A guide to events taking place in the
 borough of Walsall throughout April to June

                 Join in the                                  13 March
                                                              Come and meet author Jim
                                                                                                            8 June ‘Bend It Like Beckham’
                                                                                                            (112 min) (12) Screening Times:
                 Parties!                                     Crace at Central Library                      11am-1pm and 2-4pm
                                                              Contact Sonia Dixon 01922 653137 ‘A           14 June ‘Million Dollar Baby’
                                                              writer of hallucinatory skill’ John Updike.   (132 min) (12) Screening Times:
                                                                                                            11am – 1.30pm and 2-4.30pm
                                                              8 and 9 April                                 15 June ‘Gregory’s Girl’
                                                              Come and meet author Anne                     (91 min) (PG) Screening Times:
                                                              Bennett at New Invention,                     11am-1pm and 2-4pm
                                                              Walsall Wood and                              21 June ‘Chariots of Fire’
                                                              Beechdale Libraries                           (123 min) (PG) Screening Times:
                                                              ‘Anne Bennett’s sagas of Birmingham           11am-1.15pm and 2-4.15pm
                                                              during the wars have won her                  22 June ‘Rocky’
                                                              many fans…Regional sagas don’t                (119 min) (PG) Screening Times:
                                                              come any better than this.’                   11am-1pm and 2-4pm
                 Walsall Leather Museum                                                                     28 June ‘Seabiscuit’
                                                              The Woman Book Club
                 The Leather Museum is celebrating its                                                      (141 min) (PG) Screening Times:
                 20th birthday this year – look out for fun   Not a member? Not a problem! You              11am-1.30pm and 2-4.30pm
                 and festivities. Did you know some of the    can join at any library or online.
                 Queen’s handbags are made in Walsall?        Don’t forget to borrow a book, DVD            Don’t forget to pick up a
                                                              or CD to enter the free prize draw.           copy of What’s on Walsall!
                 Mobile Libraries Service is 25
                                                              Existing members:
                 Walsall’s Urban Mobile Library Service
                 has been running for 25 years – help         You must know by now that there is a          What’s On
                 us celebrate the quarter century!            fines amnesty for lapsed borrowers.
                                                              Now’s your chance to have your                Walsall
                 Did you know the urban mobile                outstanding fines written off so you          What’s On Walsall is a listing of events
                 library has travelled 240,775 miles          can borrow up to 15 items again. Get          and activities from across the borough;
                 – almost the distance to the moon?           down to your library to find out more.        something for all ages and tastes:
                 Town Hall Organ Centenary                                                                      College of Continuing Education
                 The famous Town Hall Organ reaches           Lights…                                           Forest Arts Centre
                                                                                                                The New Art Gallery
                 a very special milestone this year and
                 we’ll be marking it with a series of         Camera…                                           Health & Well Being
                 concerts and recitals throughout the
                 year. Did you know the Town Hall Organ
                                                              Action!                                           Leisure Centres
                                                                                                                Libraries
                 has more than 3300 pipes, ranging            Whatever your interest there are                  Museums
                 from 32 feet to less than an inch?           free films for all ages and tastes:               Walsall Town Hall
                                                              Silver Screen Society                             Bloxwich Library Theatre
                 26 – 28 March                                                                              Whatever your interests there’s sure
                                                              Free films for over 50s at
                 Sports Party                                 Forest Arts Centre.                           to be something for you here – pick
                 Fun with bouncy castles and                                                                up your copy of What’s on Walsall at
                 inflatables at leisure centres and           13 March ‘Amazing Grace’ 2.00pm               your local library (why not renew your
                 pools across the borough.                    10 April ‘Walk the Line’ 2.30pm               membership while you’re there?)
                 Did you know the Gala pool,                  15 May Silent Comedy Classics 2.30pm          If you enjoy live performance don’t
                 opened in 1962, contains over                                                              forget to pick up a copy of Walsall Live,
                 1.3million litres of water?                  5 June ‘Seraphim Falls’ 2.30pm
                                                                                                            too; from organ recitals to comedy,
                 Countryside Services                         Free Films for kids                           from children’s theatre to live music
                 Come and celebrate the 20th Birthday         Entertainment for kids during                 there’s sure to be something for you.
                 of Walsall Countryside Services              the holidays at Forest.
                 with events and exhibitions at
                 Walsall Museum from May.
                                                              31 March ‘Fantastic Four - Rise of            Arts Alive
                                                              the Silver Surfer’ (PG) 11.00am
                                                              1 April ‘Happily N’Ever After’
                                                                                                            Festival
                 Libraries                                    (U) 11.00am                                   Walsall’s Arts Alive Festival, featuring
                                                                                                            drama groups, theatre groups, dancers
                 There are 16 libraries and 2 mobile          2 April ‘The Reef’ (U) 11.00am                and musicians runs from 26 March
                 libraries in the borough for you to visit:   3 April ‘Tales From                           to 23 April; to find out more call the
                 Look at what you’re missing!                 Earthsea’ (PG) 11.00am                        Events Team on 01922 650314.
                     Books and reading materials              4 April ‘High School Musical 2’
                     at all the libraries
                     Support for your studies,
                                                              (U) 11.00am                                   Allotments
                     hobbies and leisure activities           Sporting Films at the                         Spring is in the air, Jamie Oliver is
                     DVDs and videos                          New Art Gallery                               on TV. Do you want to grow and
                     Music CDs                                Free screening of some of the best            cook your own vegetables?
                     Talking books                            sport films made. Please book                 With your own allotment you can
                     Information & research facilities        your free places by calling gallery           have fresh, organic vegetables
                     PCs and free web access                  reception on 01922 654400.                    throughout the year.
                     Social groups
                                                                                                                            1

                                           News in Brief
                                           Extra Council                               The move comes after proposals

                                           cash windfall for                        for couples to get married at the
                                                                                    venue in future were announced.

                                           landmark site                               Councillor Louise Harrison,
                                                                                    Walsall Council cabinet member
                                                                                    for leisure and culture, welcomed
Walsall has 1430 allotments                A fresh cash boost by                    the extra cash windfall.
on 24 sites across most of the             Walsall Council has led to a                She said: “Darlaston Town Hall
borough and the Council has
almost 500 plots available now.            restoration fund for a much-             is such a lovely building and we’ve
Start now and your plot will be rent       loved Darlaston landmark                 listened to what people have
free for a year; you will have access      hitting the £400,000 mark.               wanted to see. They’ve asked for
to tools, seeds and advice from                                                     help from the council in restoring
your local allotment association.
                                              An official opening in June is        it and we’ve done just that.
You could be growing your own
food, cutting down on food                 also to be planned for Darlaston            “What we want to do now is
miles and cutting your carbon              Town Hall in Victoria Street             work with the community to
footprint all at the same time!            to celebrate repair work.                see how we can best find new
For more details telephone 01922              The move comes after plans were       uses for the building and by
653167/fax 01922 724065 or
email allotments@walsall.gov.uk            announced to open the refurbished        doing so secure its future.”
                                           venue to weddings. The extra money          Refurbishment work has been
Fitzone Gyms                               means extra refurbishment with one       carried out on the building after a
Free inductions to all new users           option the chance to restore upstairs    structural survey revealed major
From now until 30 June we are offering     rooms and annexes to the building so     re-wiring and roof repairs were
free inductions to all new users           they can be pressed back into use.       needed. The building contains
Induction charges are normally £4.00          Vital repair work on the site         a hall that can be hired for
for the 2 inductions and casual            is now set to be completed               events as well as concerts with
sessions are available most weekdays
and weekends for a cost of £2.00.          by the end of April, Councillor          a bar and meeting rooms.
Kid’s have to have 2 inductions to         Adrian Andrew, cabinet member               As part of the refurbishment
enable our qualified instructors to show   for regeneration revealed.               the building has been re-wired,
them how to use all the equipment             He said: “We are delighted to be      stone work repaired, had a
safely before they have casual usage
                                           able to announce an extra £100,000       new boiler installed and general
Inductions can be booked by
telephoning one of the 3 centres           for Darlaston Town Hall which brings     refurbishment work carried out.
or by asking at reception.                 the total amount we have earmarked          Darlaston Town hall was
The Fitzone Gyms are aimed at kids         to a very impressive £400,000.           constructed in 1887 in Queen Anne
aged 8-16 years old and are located at:       “This really does once again          style. The building is built of brick
Walsall Gala Baths                         underline our 100 per cent               with sparse stone dressings, leaded
01922 653150
                                           commitment to what is one of the         mullion and transom windows.
Oak Park Leisure centre
01543 452849                               true jewels in the crown of Darlaston.      The building was locally listed
Bloxwich Leisure centre                       “People from the town are             on a register of notable buildings
01922 710295                               rightly proud of their town hall         to be protected. The foundation
                                           and we want to ensure the                stone was laid on Tuesday June
                                           building has a bright future.            21 1887 by James Slater of Bescot
                                              “This is why we are honouring our     Hall, chairman of the Local Board.
                                           commitment with a very significant
                                           injection of cash. We also want to
                                           ask the people of Darlaston how
                                           they would like the money spent
                                           before we draw-up more plans.”




  For further information
  please visit www.
  walsall.gov.uk
How a cartoon star is
spreading the word
                                                                                             Meet Enid. She’s a
                                                                                             Walsall grannie who
Be like Enid, try these services!                                                            certainly likes to live
                                                                                             life to the full.
                                                                                                You may think she’s not
Post arrived at Enid’s new home...     Later at Walsall Council’s                            exactly at the cutting edge with
                                       First Stop Shop...
                                                                                             her oversized ear rings and her
          Great, a welcome                                         Hello, let me
         letter from Walsall
                                                                                             floral dress.
                                                                  explain things
        Council has arrived.                                        for you...                  But with with a bit of help and
            I’ll pop in and                                                                  advice she is the first to try out
               see them.                                                                     great new ways to use Walsall
                                                                                             Council services.
                                                                                                Whether it’s the First Stop
                                                                                             Shop, where she can call in
                                                                                             for face-to-face advice, the
                                                                                             telephone line to check her
                                                                                             council tax balance or visiting
                                                                                             the new website, Enid is keen to
                                                                                             try them out.
                                                                                                Councillor Garry Perry, Walsall
                                                                                             Council cabinet member for
Enid’s visits her grandson...          At the local café...
                                                                                             safer stronger communities, said:
                                                  Oh no... I forgot to check                 “We’re always looking at ways
         You can find lots of
       things to do near your
                                                  my council tax balance.                    to catch people’s interest so we
          new home on the                                                                    can get our messages across.
           council website.                                                                     “Enid is a bit of a mascot
                                                                                             and can tell people about the
                                                                                             improvements we’ve made in
                                                                                             order to make life easier for
                                                                                             people who use Walsall Council
                                                                                             services. If Enid can use them
                                                                                             then so can you.”
                                                                        Don’t worry,
                                                                         just use the
                                                                                             Get in touch...
                                                                          automated
                                                                       telephone line.
                                                                                             In person
                                                                                             The First Stop Shop in Darwall
    Relaxing at night...                   The following day...                              Street, Walsall, which receives
                                                                                             more than 8,000 visitors every
             Think I’ll read all the             Did you know, soon
                                                there’s going to be a
                                                                                             week, gives a range of advice
          information the nice lady
           at the council gave me,             customer services bus...                      including revenues and benefits,
            and the latest issue of                                                          supported housing and planning.
                ‘Walsall Pride’.
                                                                                             Over the phone
                                                                                             Call 01922 650000 for a range
                                                                                             of services.
                                                                                             On the net
                                                                                             Log on at www.walsall.gov.uk
                                                                         ...you’ll get all
                                                                          kinds of help
                                                                                             for online payments, electronic
                                                                         and advice on       forms, maps and hundreds of
                                                                             services.       pages of useful information. Log
                                                                                             on free at your nearest library.

				
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