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!

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

Willenhall Flag to fly outside Willenhall Library

Flying the Flag permanently outside Willenhall Library

Flying the Flag permanently outside Willenhall Library


THE flag of Willenhall will soon be flying high outside one of the town’s landmark buildings.

Voluntary group Willenhall Aye We.co.uk had launched a competition earlier this year to design a flag for the town.

The winning entry was produced by Alan Leonard – and the flag will now fly permanently outside Willenhall Library, in Walsall Street, within the next few weeks.

“The pole will be erected within a week and the flag will be re-launched in November,” said Kalie Plant, of Willenhall Ay We.co.uk.

“Can we also use this opportunity to thank the folks of Willenhall for flying the flag all over town. As a community, we truly have put Willenhall back on the map.”

Work was taking place this week to install footings for the flag pole. A permanent plaque will also be fitted to a pillar of the 80-year-old listed building, which recently underwent a revamp.

It will remind generations to come of the official launch, designer of the flag and who launched the official item.

The flag was launched by Glyn Marston on June 14 at Willenhall Carnival.

The plaque has been donated by Brett Quinton Funerals and made by Lasting Memorials, based in Willenhall.

Brett said: “After seeing all the hard work that was going into the flag competition I only thought it was right to set the winning design into stone for the community of Willenhall.”

The community have thrown their support behind the town flag, with the item flying outside homes, pubs and even supermarket giant Morrisons.

“We would very much like to thank and acknowledge Councillor Adrian Andrews and Councillor Ian Shires with the help of Douglas Hansen-Luke, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Walsall North for fully backing and supporting us with this venture and making it happen for Willenhall,” added Kalie.

Read full story here via Walsall Advertiser

‘Most horrific cuts’ at Walsall Council as authority must save £86m

HUNDREDS of jobs will be lost and 12 children’s centres, eight libraries and a museum will close over the next four years, under plans described as the most horrific cuts to ever hit Walsall Council.
It comes as the authority has to save £86 million by March 2019 – including £29.2 million in the next year alone.
Councillor Sean Coughlan, leader of the council, said it was a “difficult day for Walsall” and that the cuts were “the most horrific” Walsall Council had ever faced.
Draft four-year plans revealed in a press conference today (Monday) stated that 482 potential redundancies are being proposed between April 2015 and March 2017. Of those posts, 112 are vacant.

Twelve children’s centres will also close over the next two years, saving £1.8 million. Details on which children’s centres could close have not been confirmed or included in the proposals.

There will also be a reduction in youth services to save £2 million. Bosses have assured that vulnerable children will not be affected.

Plans were also announced to cull eight libraries.

Read full story here Walsall Advertiser

Flying the Flag for Willenhall – We got a flagpole!

Finally, after todays meeting we can now confirm that Willenhall will be flying its flag high with a permanent flag pole which will be situated outside Willenhall Library.

Flag Pole to be erected within a week, with the launch of the flag to coincide with our final event to promote Willenhall and its flag!!

Further information to follow soon!!

Willenhall Police station to shut as West Midlands force cuts costs

A police station is to shut and six sites are to be sold off or handed back to landlords under plans to save West Midlands Police hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Willenhall Police Station has been earmarked for closure by the force while others currently left vacant are to be sold off to raise £500,000 and cut £170,000 a year in running costs.

Under the plans most operations at Willenhall’s John Street station will be transferred to Darlaston. A ‘neighbourhood policing team’ will be retained at a new drop-in facility in Willenhall.

Critics opposed to the strategy claim it would be a backward step for policing in the borough.

Willenhall North’s councillor Ian Shires said: “I oppose these plans. People in some parts of the town are already feeling remote from the police because of ongoing issues with anti-social behaviour now they’re talking about closing the station. If that happens it will be a retrograde step.

“It might look good on paper for the force, but our experience in the Short Heath and New Invention areas is that we have just built up a good relationship with the new neighbourhood sergeant who has made a massive difference to tackling some of the issues. We are concerned that all this good work will be undone.”

Full Story here Express and Star

Under plans,Willenhall Police Station will close and services will be reprovided. The station, in John Street, has an open front office.

In an estates update report to the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, it is noted that the Willenhall and Darlaston neighbourhood policing teams will parade from Darlaston Police Station.

Police are in conversation with Walsall Housing Group (whg) to provide a small drop-in facility in Beechdale House, in New Road, which is close to the town centre.

Read full Walsall Advertiser story here

Winning flag is unveiled for Willenhall by Walsall Advertiser

A NEW flag has been unveiled for Willenhall following a long-running competition.

Pubs, homes and businesses around the town are set to fly the striking design by Adam Leonard, who was announced as the competition winner at Willenhall Carnival.

“I feel very proud to have my design as Willenhall’s new flag,” said an ecstatic Adam, from Ashmore Park.

“Putting Willenhall back on the map with a flag to represent it is a huge achievement and I hope it will bring the community together.”

More than 70 designs entered the competition, which was organised by voluntary group Willenhall Ay We.co.uk.

These were then shortlisted to six, which then went to a public vote.

The winning flag was unveiled by local fund-raiser Glyn Marston.

He said: “The flag is a symbol of the community of Willenhall coming together and making things happen for the town.

“Willenhall folk are great folk and we deserve a flag to showcase our pride.”

Adam, who works at Middleton Foods, also received £100 prize money, kindly donated by The Royal George Pub in Willenhall.

“I truly hope that this is the starting point of putting Willenhall back on the map,” said Kalie Plant, of Willenhall Ay We.co.uk.

Story here

Many thanks to Walsall Advertiser for their support and promotion of our project.

The Launch of Willenhall Flag – Willenhall Carnival 14th June 2014

The Launch of Willenhall Flag

Willenhall Carnival

14th June 2014

 

Finally after months of preparation, and over 70 designs and shortlisted to 6 designs, the big day is finally here – Flying the Flag for Willenhall.

The Willenhall Flag will be unveiled at this year Willenhall Carnival at Willenhall Memorial Park on the 14th June.

We wish to thank everyone who took time out to make this happen, from the schools that entered to the entries from overseas.  Huge thanks to our Flag Sponsors, Poundland and of course the judges – who had the hard task of making that shortlist and lastly the public who came out and made their vote count. Special thanks to The Royal George Pub who has donated a prize of £100 to the winning design!

Willenhall will not be disappointed and should be very proud to have its very own flag, its very own mark and identity that will be used to literally fly the flag for out hometown.

The honours will be done by local born and bred Glyn Marston.

Kalie Plant, of Willenhallaywe.co.uk said, we had no hesitation of putting Glyn forward for this occasion as the whole project as been about promoting Willenhall and putting Willenhall back on the map & what better way than by a local man Glyn. Many of you will know the hard work that Glyn has put into fundraising for many years by running over 100 marathons, ran races all over the world and this year marks his 21st anniversary since he started running.

Willenhall Flags will be available immediately after the launch and we look forward to seeing those Flags flying high.

We already have orders from our members and local pubs are putting in their requests too.

 

We are looking forward to Willenhall folk working together, to literally fly the Flag for our hometown.

Comment from Glyn Marston

I am really overwhelmed by the request to launch the flag for Willenhall. Being Willenhall born and bred I am so proud of our little town and it’s heritage. To see Willenhall get its own official flag is great for our community and I am so proud to be launching the flag for Willenhall. A lot of hard work has gone into making the flag a reality which in itself shows just how proud Willenhall folk are of their town and the flag will signify that we love Willenhall. It will definitely be one of my most proud moments when I launch the Willenhall flag. Glyn Marston

 

Comments from the judges after the shortlist

A few words from some of the judges –

Philip Tibbetts, Communities Vexillologist, Flag Institute
Advisor, Parliamentary Flags & Heraldry Committee said “On behalf of the Flag Institute I have to commend the Willenhall flag competition for the passionate and dedicated way in which it has been run. Including the anonymous way in which we and the other judges selected the finalists. The proof of the quality of this competition has been proved through the finalists themselves which would all make bold and attractive flags. Indeed in working up the finalists to registration standard artwork we have had to make very little in the way of edits, only a matter of simplification in a couple of cases”.

Pavan Riyat-Ward, Marketing Controller representing Poundland said. “It was a challenge to get down to a short-list of six designs given the number and quality of entries that we were asked to choose from – a great effort from the people of Willenhall. “

Ruth Vyse said ‘She was very pleased that Walsall Local History Centre had been asked to supply a judge for the Willenhall flag competition.  She thought that the number and quality of the entries was excellent.  They reflected the importance of lock making in Willenhall’s history and represented that very imaginatively.’

Simon Hall, Chair at Willenhall Town FC said “we are delighted to be involved in such an innovative project and have been really impressed by the standard of entries into the competition. We’re looking forward to seeing the winning flag flying around the town and at our ground”

Ralph Jackson representing Willenhall History Society said. “We were pleased to be asked to be a selection judge.
Look forward to seeing the winner.