Glyn trains for non-stop charity race

A sports endurance enthusiast will raise money for Cancer Research UK while taking part in a gruelling race this year.

Supporting Cancer Research

Supporting Cancer Research

Photo Source – Express and Star

Glyn Marston has teamed up with the Willenhall Ay We voluntary group to collect cash for their chosen charity by completing the non-stop 750km challenge.

The 52 year-old is tackling the Paris-Brest-Paris race in August on an Elliptigo bike.

Read Full story here via Express and Star

Glyn Marston gearing up for ultimate challenge

An avid sport endurance enthusiast is gearing up for a 90-hour non-stop race.

Glyn Marston will be tackling the 2015 Paris-Brest-Paris race, a 750km bike race starting on August 16 this year.

But the 52-year-old from Willenhall won’t be competing on a normal bike, he will be racing on an Elliptigo bike, a combination between a cross-trainer – a machine used to simulate stair walking and hill climbing – and a normal bicycle.

Glyn started training for the race last year in November after being called up by a member of the British Elliptigo team.

Read full Express and Star story here

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

50,000 missed appointments cost Walsall Manor millions

Almost 50,000 appointments were missed by patients in just 12 months costing millions of pounds according to cash-strapped bosses at Walsall Manor.

Thousands of outpatients failed to turn up at the hospital and sessions at community clinics wasting time and resources at the under-pressure trust.

Hospital chiefs have admitted though that some of those who didn’t arrive hadn’t been able to get through on an outpatients appointment line to cancel.

Ian Baines, director of finance and performance at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust said: “It is always frustrating when patients do not arrive for their scheduled appointments.

“Obviously, this does have financial implications for the trust but more importantly, the appointment could have been used by another patient, had notice of cancellation been given.

“However, we are also aware that patients have been experiencing problems getting through on our outpatients appointments line and we are currently working hard to fix this.

“We hope that this will help to alleviate some the missed appointments which could have been avoided”

Full story here via Express & Star

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

Black Country town in bid to get its own flag – BILSTON

Willenhall has its own flag and other towns are following suit – Its all about keeping our own identity within the ‘Black Country’

It has always been about putting Willenhall on the map and we continue to do so. The latest town to follow according to the Express and Star is our neighbour’s Bilston.

A Black Country town is to begin a campaign to get its very own flag.

Councillors in Bilston will write to schools and Wolverhampton College to get students to design a flag that will represent the town.

It comes after neighbouring Willenhall launched its own symbol following a competition.

Now, councillor for Bilston East Bert Turner has revealed he wants the community to create a flag that will put Bilston on the map.

He said: “Bilston is a unique Black Country town and it deserves its own flag and it deserves to be recognised as something different.

“Willenhall, or ‘Umpshire’ as it’s called around here, has its own history and rightly has a flag to recognise that.

Full Express and Star story here

Thousands enjoy carnival atmosphere across Black Country

Carnival celebrations were the order of the day in parts of the Black Country as thousands turned out to join in a weekend of fun in the sun.

Includes photos of our very own Willenhall Carnival ( ps Im on photo no.8)

See Express & Star link here

Thanks to Express and Star for including Willehall.

New atlas maps out Midlands’ bad health hotspots

What the atlas reveals:
Lung disease Mesothelioma – Areas of the Black Country including Bilston North and Darlaston South have an above average risk in women. The risk is much lower in men where the figures are among the lowest in the country. In Staffordshire the figures are average or below average risk.

Prostate cancer – The risk of contracting the disease is slightly higher than the national average in St Matthew’s, Walsall, Penn in Wolverhampton, St James’s in Dudley and Amblecote in Stourbridge.

Breast cancer – Women in West Bromwich have a below average risk of contacting the disease. There are pockets of above average risk in East Park, Wolverhampton, Willenhall South, Gornal and Bloxwich East.

Lung cancer – For women the chances of contacting the disease are average or below average across most of the West Midlands. But for men, there is a higher than average risk in a number of areas including Bliston East, Princes End in Sandwell and Willenhall North.

Full Express & Star story here