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.

Official Flag launch & unveiling of plaque outside Willenhall Library with A Flag Presentation to our visitors from Drancy FRANCE, our twinned town. Sat 8th November 2014

We will be officially flying the flag high outside Willenhall Library which is home to the towns permanent flag pole after having been granted permission from Walsall Council along with our plaque which has been donated by Brett Quinton Funerals and made by Lasting Memorials based in Willenhall, both which will be a permanent reminder of Flying the Flag for Willenhall and putting Willenhall back on the map!

This has been tied in with our overseas visitors from Drancy, FRANCE (via The Willenhall/ Drancy Twinning Association) who will officially receive our town flag on behalf of Drancy.

We are honoured to have amongst the guests, Mr Arthur Utley who is an ex-serviceman who took part in Normandy Landings who has represented Willenhall in Drancy for the 8th May Commemorations, who will raise the flag for Willenhall which will also be a mark of our remembrance for WW1 Commemorations.
Councillor Peter Smith, Mayor of Walsall on behalf of willenhallaywe.co.uk will unveil the plaque outside the library before presenting our town flag to our visitors.

The presentation will take place above the library where the Willenhall Council Chambers still exist today with our guests and those of The Willenhall/Drancy Twinning Association along with the French Delegation which consist of Mr LASTAPIS Michel (A deputy mayor with responsibility for housing and health, Mme BOUTHORS Jacqueline (A councillor with special interest in the Food Market
Mr BOUTHORS Stéphane (Chairman of the Drancy Twinning Committee)
Mme SERVAIS Michèle ( Treasurer of the Drancy Twinning Committee)

We will have Glyn Marston; flag design winner Adam Leonard and other key guests who have supported us all the way right upto where we find ourselves today! Our very own permanent flagpole to fly the flag for Willenhall.

For our guests a buffet will be provided, which has been kindly provided by The County Pub, fantastic support from local business ‘ as always including AFB Community who has supported us with all our events and on this occasion helping with providing a photographer to mark this auspicious occasion.

We look forward to seeing you all outside Willenhall Library on Saturday Nov 8th at 11.30am.

The Willenhall/Drancy Twinning Association

Willenhall first became twinned with Drancy in 1959 when Willenhall had
its own council. When it became part of Walsall (as Walsall already had
a twinning with Mulhouse) some of the committee members decided to
continue the twinning and received a small grant from Walsall Council
which ceased several years ago. The Mayor of Drancy, Maurice Niles,
understood the problem and was happy to continue the twinning even
though Willenhall no longer had its own separate council.
Since 1959 many different types of exchanges have taken place including
children’s exchanges, various sports exchanges, art exchanges, music
exchanges, trades unions, ex servicemen and women and old people.
During the current year there has been an art exchange, a running club
exchange and an ex serviceman’s exchange. A delegation from the Drancy
Twinning Committee is present in Willenhall from 7th – 10th November
this year in order to receive the new Willenhall flag on behalf of
Drancy, to take part in the walk to Lane Head Cenotaph on Remembrance
Sunday and to attend a Protocol Meeting with the Willenhall Twinning
Committee in order to plan future exchange visits.
James Mills (Chairman)
Sandra Buckley (Vice Chairman)
Brian Bucklely ( Treasurer)
Norma Mills (Secretary)

Willenhall Drancy Exchange Association

Willenhall Drancy Exchange Association

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

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

Have your say on Walsall Council’s budget

Council bosses in Walsall have launched their budget consultation as they start to prepare proposals that will save £85 million over the next four years.
Phase one of the budget consultation asks borough residents and businesses which services they would choose to protect, reduce or cease.
From 1-29 September 2014, council staff will be available at the First Stop Shop and libraries to capture people’s feedback – exact dates, times and venues can be found at Click here – Budget consultation – Financial Year 2015-16

Councillor Sean Coughlan, Leader of Walsall Council, said: “The council has already saved £75 million over the last 4 years and I’m sure there are more efficiencies still to be made – but realistically we are going to need fundamental changes in the way local services are provided.
“We need help in making some difficult decisions. This could be the toughest year yet of savings.
“Some services will remain, some will be run differently and some will have to cease. Some things that have been free we may need to charge for and where there are already charges these may increase.
“This isn’t going to be easy for us and I know that Walsall people won’t all be happy with every decision we make.
“That’s why I’m launching the budget consultation now. We need to know the priorities of our residents and businesses.”

In phase two of the budget consultation, when the draft budget proposals are published, Walsall Council will be seeking the comments of residents and businesses through to February 2015.

Full Info here

New Walsall leader Councillor Sean Coughlan has announced the new cabinet for Walsall Council

Councillor Sean Coughlan, Leader of Walsall Council, has announced his new cabinet following the successful motion from Labour councillors at this week’s council meeting to take control of the council.

Thirty one members voted for the motion, 12 against and 16 abstained.

The council was previously run by a minority Conservative administration as no party has overall control.

Councillor Mohammad Nazir will be Deputy Leader and will cover the Regeneration portfolio.
Children’s services will be covered by Councillor Barbara Cassidy.
Councillor Khizar Hussain will have responsibility for Community, Leisure and Culture.
Environment and Transport will be covered by Councillor Lee Jeavons.
Councillor Diane Coughlan will be responsible for the Social Care portfolio.
Health will be covered by Councillor Ian Robertson.
Councillor Keith Chambers will be a member of the cabinet with responsibility for Personnel and Business Support.

Councillor Sean Coughlan, leader of Walsall Council, said: “We face some challenging issues, but we have a vision of where we want Walsall to be and we look forward to turning this into a reality.”

Full Info here