Fun days, bonfires and events next to face the axe at Walsall in bid to save £360k

Bonfires, fun days and Easter egg hunts are the latest to face the axe at Walsall Council as part of plans to save more than £360,000.

An 18-strong team which manages nearly 100 parks, play areas and countryside sites would also be cut by more than a quarter, with compulsory redundancies likely.

The proposals have been tabled by Walsall Council which plans to slash its budget by more than £29m next year.

But claims have been made that it will ‘devastate’ parks in the borough and attack the most vulnerable in society.

Under the plans, jobs that would be cut by April 2015 include a senior countryside ranger post, two park rangers and a strategic development officer.

The vacant senior manager position would also be made redundant.

It comes after it emerged £900,000 less will be spent on maintaining parks and green spaces in the borough.

A report on the proposals states: “Other savings include a reduction in community events and activities to achieve a saving of £362,708 in 2015/16.”

It adds: “Events such as bonfires, Easter egg hunts, fun days, etc will cease.”

The report states that the funding cuts could mean parks become less attractive, anti-social behaviour, vandalism and litter could rise and there may be an increase in complaints and claims against the council for slips, trips and falls on green spaces.

It also states that environmental enforcement action could fall and the plans might put the council’s prestigious Green Flag awards at risk.

Chairman of the Friends of Darlaston South Parks, Councillor Paul Bott said the proposals were ‘terrible’.

He said: “It’s going to devastate our parks. They help people keep active and fit.

“We’ve spent a fortune getting Green Flags for our parks, just to go backwards. We’ve worked hard to get a lot of investment in the parks in Darlaston.

“Events at the parks are very popular and it would be terrible to get rid of them.

“In the holidays, parents are trying to find kids something to do. The fun days are an attraction to the kids.

“It is very disappointing that this will hit the most vulnerable people in society.”

It comes as the council has unveiled its controversial masterplan to save £86 million from its budget over the next four years.

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

Other cost cutting measures include charges being introduced for garden waste collections and

The next phase of the budget consultation will launch on October 30 when people can comment on the draft proposals.

They will go before full council in February 2015 when they will approve the final budget.

Express and Star story here

The Mayoress of Walsall ‘At Home’

It was a privilege to have been invited to the Mayoress of Walsall ‘At Home’Event which took place on Friday 17th October 2014.

Traditionally the event was to introduce the Mayoress to the citizens of the Borough

It still is an event where the Mayoress plays a prominent role with an opportunity to thank some of the borough’s citizens for their individual and collective contributions to their local communities.

It is an opportunity to recognize those who ‘give’ to their community rather than ‘take from’ their community.

The event is also used to raise some money for the Mayor’s 2014-15 Charity Appeal – as we left the total was over £1000.

We had a great time, a small selection of photos.

Labour take control of Walsall Council

Labour take control of Walsall Council at today extra-ordinary Council Meeting after 14 years of Tory/Lib Dem coalition.

Votes 31 –  12

Labour got a full house with Mayor, Councillor Pete Smith voting with Labour.

Willenhall South Councillor Sean Coughlan, is now leader of Walsall Council.

 

Willenhall Flags – More stock due end of August

More stock to arrive end of August! Watch out for news on our facebook page or twitter, tweets can be seen on our website homepage :-)

Once again you will be able to pick one up from Crazy-Wicks, Market Place Willenhall (next to The Bell Pub).

Please contact us if you wish for local delivery via Our Facebook Page or email – info@willenhallaywe.co.uk

They will also be available at various other outlets – will confirm soon!!

Thank you for your patience and thank you to the folks of Willenhall embracing their flag

#flyingtheflagforwillenhall

Flying The Flag for Willenhall - Morrisons

Flying The Flag for Willenhall – Morrisons

Public Vote Press Release and Link to online voting & via Facebook

Press Release – Finalists

 

Vote via our website

Vote via Facebook

PRESS RELEASE

Flying the Flag for Willenhall Finalists

After weeks of work and more than 65 entries, they have been shortlisted to 6, which will go to a public vote to create an official flag for the Willenhall.
The 69 entries were judged anonymously and shortlisted by a panel of judges, including representatives from Poundland, WH Tildesley, Willenhall History Society, The Local History Centre- Walsall, WTFC, Councillor Ian Shires and Les Burrows
The winning design will be revealed and launched at this years Willenhall Carnival, June 14th.
A total of 69 entries were made in the competition with contributions coming in from local schools as well as folks of Willenhall and further afield.
Members of the public are now being asked to cast their vote for what they would like to see as their Willenhall Flag. There is a deadline of April 26th to make the all-important votes either in public via the posting stations or online and via our Facebook group (see links)
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. It’s now down to the public to pick a winner from the six stunning designs that we felt best represented 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. Now the public will vote and it’s sure to be a close competition given the high standard of work and creativity! Well done to everyone who has got this far! 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. I think there was a good response with 67 odd flag designs. We did our best to shortlist them and what we thought were the best and now it is up to the rest of Willenhall to make their choice for the flag of Willenhall.
Look forward to seeing the winner.

The winning flag will be added to the Flag Institute’s UK Flag Registry.

The finalists are
Mr A Leonard
Mrs K Plant
Mr A Khan
Mr M Hayden
Mr J Wood
Mr S Cattell

W H Tildesley – Opening of the new forge 05.09.2013

A Black Country firm is forging its future and helping to keep manufacturing alive in the Midlands. W H Tildesley has been in business for 140 years.

Now it’s invested more than a million pounds to make sure its still around for the next 140.

itv.com interview clip/a>

It was officially opened by Sir Alan Jones, chairman Emeritus, of Toyota Manufacturing (UK) Ltd

A selection of photos courtesy of Peter Greybanks