Flying at last! Willenhall raises its own flag by Express and Star

Ex-serviceman Arthur Utley, who took part in the Normandy landings, was given the honour of running the standard up the flagpole above Willenhall library which will be its permanent base.

Visitors from Willenhall’s twin town of Drancy in France were among special guests at the launch.

The red and blue flag, featuring padlocks and keys reflecting the town’s leading part in the lock manufacturing industry, was chosen from 68 entries in a competition organised by community website willenhallaywe.co.uk.

A panel of judges picked the best six and left it to the public to choose their favourite. The flag, designed by Adam Leonard, has since been officially registered with the Flag Institute.

A plaque on the front of the building recording the achievement was unveiled by Councillor Peter Smith, Mayor of Walsall. A flag was also presented to the French visitors.

Full story by Express and Star

Home for Willenhall Flag Launch

Many thanks to everybody who turned up to see Mr Arthur Utley raise Willenhalls Flag outside its home, Willenhall Library on sat 8th November

The weather was awful but a good turnout for our guests The Mayor,Councillor Peter Smith who unveiled a plaque as a permanent reminder of the day the Willenhall Flag was launched which was donated by Brett Quinton Funeral Services Willenhall

Also our guests from our twinned town Drancy who was presented with a  flag from the Mayor to take back to Drancy.  Special thanks to the Willenhall/Drancy exchange for arranging our French guests to be present.

A few photos from the day courtesy of Darron Palmer Photography

Many thanks to The County Pub for laying on a buffet for us.

Keep Willenhall Free Petition adding up! – Say NO to Parking Charges

After several days of collecting signatures in person and online we have now reached our first target of 1000, in fact 1066!!

#KeepWillenhallFree

#KeepWillenhallFree

We have left several petitions around the shops of Willenhall, so if you have not signed the petition, please do so in person or you can click on the link below to do on-line ( the quick and easiest way )

Click to sign Online Petition

Keep up-to-date with our facebook action group (W.A.G)Willenhallaywe.co.uk Action Group, of where we will be in person and all the news so far!!

Our aim is to get as many signatures as possible before presenting it to Walsall Council. You can read and see ou protests inthe local newspapers who are following all Councils cut backs and stories of protests like ourselves.

We need everyone supports and to stand up to all cuts!!

If you would like a a copy of the petition for your workplace, community centre, or your area, please contact us on
info@willenhallaywe.co.uk, where we will be only to happy to drop of some copies for you.

Campaigners fear parking charges in Walsall district centres will ‘kill off towns’

#KeepWillenhallFree

#KeepWillenhallFree

PLANS to introduce pay and display parking charges for the first time in Walsall’s district centres will “kill off” towns, worried campaigners fear.

Shoppers will have to pay £1 per four hours for parking in council-owned car parks in Aldridge, Bloxwich, Brownhills, Darlaston and Willenhall, under a proposal outlined in Walsall Council’s four-year budget plan.

The move, which could be introduced as soon as next year, is expected to rake in £100,000 as the authority seeks to save £86 million over the next four years.

But the proposal has been met with backlash by concerned residents, who have set up petitions opposing the plans.

Willenhallaywe Action Group – set up by online community group Willenhall Ay We.co.uk – have launched a Facebook page and online petition opposing the proposals in Willenhall.

“Here we are trying to push and promote Willenhall and to encourage users and then this,” said Kalie Plant, of the group.

“It’s just not right and we are going to try and call for Willenhall folk to oppose this. It’s not what we are about and it’s time Willenhall folk realise they don’t have to automatically take changes proposed, regardless of who is in power.”

More than 100 people have liked the group’s Facebook page, with more than 300 backing the online petition.

Among those commenting on the petition is Lee Cooper, from Willenhall.

He commented: “The car parks were given to the people of Willenhall by a kind gentleman to use for free. If they start charging, it will kill off the town.”

Separate campaigners were out on the streets of Bloxwich this weekend, also opposing the move.

Bloxwich campaigner Matt Follows collected more than 100 signatures from residents, local business owners and market traders over concern the charges will have on trade in the area.

“Shoppers and traders alike are put off by these charges imposed by the council,” he added.

“Cllr Coughlan should listen to Bloxwich and understand that parking charges are not good for business. We need to keep it free in Bloxwich town centre.”

Employees of partner agencies located in district centres will also have to pay the parking charges.

Police officers who use the Station Street car park in Bloxwich will not escape from the charges, a report adds.

The report said: “Income will be used to offset the costs of maintaining and operating the car parks, ensuring the users of those car parks contribute toward the cost of their ongoing provision.”

Councillor Sean Coughlan, leader of Walsall Council, stressed that the move was under consultation.

“There’s always the potential that car parking charges could be an issue for traders and the people that shop in district centres,” he said.

“This is a charge that people have never had and as I’ve said before, services that are free may have to be paid for because we are under so much pressure.

“But nothing has been agreed and I’d encourage people to make their views known.”

Anyone wanting to sign the Willenhall petition should visit Online Petition

Willenhallaywe Action Group

And anyone who wants to pledge their support to the Bloxwich petition should email stopthebloxwichparkingcharge@hotmail.com

Full Walsall Advertiser story here!

Walsall Council cutbacks to hit street cleaning

Streets will be swept just once a month in Walsall under the latest council cutbacks revealed.

Council bosses have announced that instead of cleaning the main routes through the borough once a fortnight as is currently the case they will be looked at every four weeks.

As a result officials have warned that drains could become blocked and that street cleaning, including the removal of graffiti and litter picking ,will be cut back as part of moves to save £477,000 in 2015/16.

There are fears the move could leave the area looking a mess but residents will be encouraged to take more ‘responsibility’ for the area they live in.

As part of the changes some 15 of the 58 ‘environmental operative’ jobs will be lost at Walsall Council and the number of mechanical sweepers will be slashed from two to one.

The council says it can not even pay for cover when staff are off sick or on annual leave – so roads could be left for even longer during the summer.

Chiefs have also scrapped a ‘gold standard’ of cleanliness after admitting they will not be able to attain it from now on.

A report on the cuts states: “The saving may affect the overall appearance and perceived cleanliness of neighbourhoods and the level of pride in local communities. To counter this possibility the council will encourage local communities to take greater responsibility for the cleanliness of their respective neighbourhoods and support them in doing so where it can.”

Bosses want to make savings of £29.2 million next year, with 487 jobs set to be axed between April 2015 and March 2017.

Blakenall Councillor Pete Smith said: “The streets will be full of extra waste anyway because of the bins being collected fortnightly. These are the worst cuts I’ve ever known.”

Full Story Here – Express & Star

Sign Petition NOW – Keep Willenhall Free of Parking Charges

Recent proposals by Walsall Council include Car Park Charges in and around Willenhall.

Our hometown is/has suffered enough without putting further pressure on shops and market traders not to mention those living in accomodation around the town with no parking facilities for their visitors.

Our aim is to encourage folk into the town not turn them away or give them another reason not to visit!!

Please click on the link and sign this petition and lets nip this in the bud now!!

Sign and Share please

KEEP WILLENHALL FREE PETITION

#WillenhallAyWe
#DontKillOurTown
#SaveOurTown
#FlyingtheflagforWillenhall

Join WillenhallayweActionGroup (WAG)

Proposed car park charges for Willenhall

We have learnt today of proposals for carpark charges for the carparks in & around Willenhall.

Is this another nail in the coffin for Willenhall?

We at Willenhallaywe.co. uk are trying to promote our hometown Willenhall, encourage folk to use the town and support the local shops and it seems with this proposal IF it goes ahead is going to do the opposite.

It will push folk right on the doorstep of Morrisons even more with their 2 hour free parking.

Not sure how this will affect the Market Traders whether they use the all day parking at Hall Street like we do when we are supporting town events, as the other car parks are 4 hours max but it will definately make life harder to park and pay when we are trying to Fly the Flag for Willenhall.

We think its time for Willenhall Folk to stand up to proposals and changes like this if its not going to benefit the town itself!!

We as a group had plans for being more active next year to help promote our town and play a more important role where and when possible but with news of this today, I think it calls for action sooner rather than later!

Please join us in the fight to keep Willenhall #AliveandKicking

Click here Willenhallaywe Action Group

Critics slam Walsall Council plans to save £86m as ‘shameful’ to the borough

CRITICS have accused Walsall Council of producing a “slash and burn budget”, with others describing plans to save millions of pounds as “shameful” to the borough.

Hundreds of jobs will be axed and 12 children’s centres, eight libraries and a museum will close under plans described as the most horrific cuts to ever hit Walsall Council.

Brutal budget proposals have been announced as the authority must save £86 million over the next four years – including £29 million in the next year alone.

“This is a really difficult day for Walsall,” said Cllr Coughlan, announcing the plans at a press conference at Walsall Council House on Monday (October 20).

More than £2 million is to be slashed from youth services. Officials say that this will not affect vulnerable children.

Eight out of Walsall’s 16 libraries will be culled to save £500,000. Beechdale, Pheasey, South Walsall, Streetly and Walsall Wood libraries face closure in the next year, with Blakenall, New Invention and Rushall libraries set to shut their doors in 2016/17.

And Walsall Musuem is back on the chopping block, with plans to close the Lichfield Street building to save £70,000. The museum faced the same fate last year but was eventually saved from closure.

Other cost-cutting plans include the closure of the Outdoor Adventure Service, which delivered outdoor activities to 300 young people with disabilities per month last year.

From April 2016, residents could see bin collections reduced to fortnightly, and garden waste collection could be collected for six months instead of eight months between April and September. A £28 annual charge for garden waste collection could be imposed from April 2016.

Blakenall ward councillor Pete Smith – who voted for Labour to take control of the authority at the meeting in August – said he now regretted his decision and further blasted the proposals as “shameful” and a “let down” to voters.

“These new Labour proposals will probably mean that they will break the record of being in control of Walsall Council for the shortest time ever as the 2015 local elections approach,” he added.

“I call on Labour to get off their knees by fighting these cuts and refusing to implement them, even if it means that the Government send in their own axe wielders to do their own dirty work.”

Public consultation on the budget proposals will commence next Thursday (October 30).

WE WOULD STRESS FOR ANYONE WHO IS CONCERNED TO TAKE PART IN THE CONSULTATION

Read full story here – Walsall Advertiser

Step inside the Mayor’s Parlour

Walsall’s Mayor and some of the former First Citizens will be opening the doors of the Mayor’s Parlour and other historical buildings with a series of guided tours.
Doors open to the public next month for the first of four guided tours of Walsall’s Council House, Town Hall and Mayor’s Parlour.
The tour concept is the brainstorm of the Walsall Guild of Former Mayors and Consorts which gives the public the chance to see the magnificent Mayoral Regalia and the many historical items throughout the Town Hall and Council House.
For a small charge of £2 per person, people can join the Mayor and a former Mayor on Monday 3 November at 2pm for the hour and a half tour. Proceeds will be divided between the Mayor’s Charity Appeal and the Walsall Guild.
Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Pete Smith, said, “As president of the Walsall Guild of Former Mayors and Consorts, I feel it my duty to open up our doors and share Walsall’s rich heritage of 600 years of civic traditions.
“Walsall’s mayoralty is steeped in history dating as far back as 1377 so there’ll be plenty to see throughout the visit.”
The tour starts in the town hall which still retains a feeling of grandeur with its high ceiling and elaborate décor. The organ which was put in to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee has 98 stops, 5 keyboards and thousands of pipes. There are bronze plaques listing all those who died in the First and Second World Wars and murals of the South Staffordshire Regiments’ battle scenes during the First World War. .
Visitors will move on to the Council House where they’ll see the Great War Roll of Honour which lists 55 council employees who lost their lives in the 1914-18 conflict, a plaque which commemorates Mayoress Slater who died of a shrapnel injury during the 1916 Zeppelin bombings, and much more.
From there, the tour leads through to the Council Chamber where the Mayor presides over the monthly council meetings and then sweeps up the grand staircase to the second floor where photographs of many past Mayors are displayed and ends up in the Mayor’s Parlour.
The parlour houses many interesting items from Sister Dora artefacts to silverware and the Mayoral Regalia of which the Mayor’s Mace and Stand date from 1627.
Author of Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome, bequeathed his writing bureau to the people of Walsall after he was given the Freedom of the Borough. It now stands in the Mayor’s Parlour.

Tours will be conducted between 2pm and 3.30pm on Monday 3 November and Monday 1 December 2014, then Monday 16 February and Monday 2 March 2015.

To book your place on the tour, contact the Mayor’s office on 01922 652072 or email the Mayor’s personal assistant, Verity Edwards at edwardsv@walsall.gov.uk

Let Willenhall Entertain YOU!!

Willenhall Christmas Town Event - Live Stage

Willenhall Christmas Town Event – Live Stage

Willenhall’s Christmas Town Event has a great line up of live entertainment for you on Saturday 6th December!

We have had great joy in helping & sourcing live acts and performers for Willenhall Traders & Community Support Group for this years town event!

Starting at 10am, the stage will open with a new folk band Ma Brown’s Boyz!
The group consists of 4 men and 1 girl, all playing acoustic guitars, who will play a selection of music from folk, to easy listening rock and pop from all decades!

There will performances from Willenhalls Classic Academy of Dance & Theatre, Willenhalls Got Talent contestants inc Meg Bancroft and winners Alesi Summer and local lad Tom Edis…… we have the brilliant Yam Yam Elvis and introducing Keith Nicholls, self containted vocalist to Willenhall Town.

Introducing also local young lad Reece McConnell, who has previously performed in the West End and over in Europe in Thriller Live as young MJ!!

Please come along and the support the town event as Willenhall Entertains YOU!!!