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What's New, Announcements and News in Aldridge
Walsall, WS9, West Midlands, near Birmingham and Stafforshire. UK.

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    "Let's Do It In Pheasey"

    January 2013 News

    Announcing... New Streetly Networking Meeting
    The inaugural meeting will be held on Wednesday, 23rd January 2013, commencing at 6pm at All Saints Church, Foley Road East, Streetly
    I have listed below a draft agenda, but if you would like to see something added, please let me know. You can also email me if you would like something raising under “any other business”.
    AGENDA
    1. Welcome & Introductions
    2. Apologies
    3. Description from each group / club / organisation about their club
    4. Promoting our activities and events
    a. Newsletters
    b. Websites
    c. Facebook
    d. Twitter
    5. Funding opportunities
    6. Any other business
    7. Venue, date and time of next meeting
    8. Meeting close
    It would be very useful to me if you could confirm your attendance. Ideally I would suggest that we only need one or two (at the very most) to attend to represent each group/club/organisation. If you think that I am missing some groups, please either let me know their contact details or pass on the email to them and ask them to contact me. I will be emailing you all individually in the time between now and the meeting date, as ideally I hope to have a document prepared in time for the meeting that lists the up-to-date details of each group/club/organisation that we can share. If anyone has any questions, comments or would like to meet with me personally between now and the 23rd January 2013, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Finally, I would like to thank Alan Neath, web-master of the Streetly.org website, it is thanks to his community pages that I have managed to get many contact details.
    Many thanks in advance,
    John Morris, Area Manager, tel: 01922 652029, Mobile: 07852 421421

    December 2012 News

    November 2012 News

    Bliss Yoga have spaces available on Thursday nights at Leighswood school between 7.30-8.45 pm contact Michelle, by Email: Hello@blissyoga.org.uk or telephone 01922 624182

    Drop-in session at the Blackwood Pavilion, Blackwood Park, Streetly on Friday, 23rd November between 11am and 1pm. There will be a selection of representatives from the police, fire service, council and community groups and you are very welcome to come along and see what is going on in the Streetly area and report any issues or concerns.

    Community Weight Challenge, which starts Wednesday 21 st November at 10am at the Blackwood Pavilion. It is a 12 week course, at the end the biggest loser wins £300, 2nd prize is £200 and 3rd prize £100.
    (based on 30 participants, classes limited to 35)

  • Weekly Weigh & Measure
  • Weight Loss Coaching
  • Fun & Friendship
  • Tips & Advice
  • Nutrition Education
  • Support & Community
  • Weekly Prizes & Rewards
    Only £39 for the full 12 weeks, 10am Wednesdays, from 21st November at Blackwood Park Pavilion, Blackwood Park, Blackwood Road, Streetly, Call Cathy or Steve on 0121 218 4636 or text Arriba to 07736307573

    Tesco, PRINCESS ALICE DRIVE, NEW OSCOTT, SUTTON COLDFIELD, will be opening the doors to an Event on Wednesday 21st November, where you can all come to Tesco Store between 6pm and 9pm Have a FREE GLASS OF BUBBLY, AND TASTE SEASONAL FOOD SAMPLES AND HAVE A FIRST PREVIEW OF THE NEW SEASONAL STOCK. All are welcome to attend.........there is no catch and you do not have to buy anything. Just go to customer services and tell them you have come for the event.

    Warning, beware of SKY TV SCAM
    A local neighbourhood watch member has Walsall Police after receiving a telephone call purporting to be from Sky T.V. Insurance, saying that she had a rebate due, but to get this rebate, she had to pay £50 which they would collect via her debit card. They asked for the security number from the back of her card but fortunately she told the caller that she didn't have a card (thinking they meant a Sky Card) and the phone call finished at that point. Realising something was not right, she contacted the police. This is of course a variation on the classic 'phishing' scam, whereby the caller is attempting to gain your debit card details in order to use them fraudulently. It should go without saying that you should not pass any details to anyone who cold calls in this way. Think about it: why would they need a £50 payment to process a rebate?

    Poppy Run and Walk taking place at Aldridge Airport and Hay Head Wood on 3rd November to raise funds for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

    Scott Dean, originally from Aldridge is now fronting a rock band 'Many Eyes'. They have booked their first gig in the Midlands at the Birmingham Ballroom November 16th with good ticket sales. The band website is www.manyeyesmusic.com where ticket details can be found

    October 2012 News

    Paralympic Golden wonder Ellie Simmonds will enjoy a Aldridge and Walsall celebration on board an open top bus
    Saturday October 13th TV and Film star Warwick Davis to host Aldridge Ellie event. Excitement is mounting for Aldridge’s own Ellie Simmonds events this coming Saturday, and more details have been released about the ‘Golden Girl Gala’ both during the day in Aldridge centre and the evening celebrations. The events, organised by Lime Hair and Beauty owner Ross Warwood will fund raise for Multi Paralympic medallist Ellie Simmonds’ chosen charity Dwarf Sport Association (DSA). The celebrations will start at noon, and at 12.30pm a parade will take a pre-marked route through Aldridge High Street, past the West Midlands' only Gold Postbox in a horse-drawn carriage, carrying Ellie and followed by a parade made up young sports people from local schools and societies. Walsall Council are bringing their ‘Reach Up’ truck with it’s 28ft climbing frame to wow the crowds. Following the parade, Ellie will be hold a signing session at 29 High Street between 1-2pm, joined by Sutton Coldfield’s Paralympic cyclist Jon-Allan Butterworth, who will be donating a race suit to the fundraising prizes. Throughout the event, pupils from Aldridge School will provide street entertainment by busking for charity. Businesses from the High Street will be offering hot food and selling raffle tickets with the chance to win prizes and vouchers from local vendors. As well as celebrating Ellie's success, this event aims to bring the Aldridge community together, to maintain the great feeling generated by the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Later the same day, Lime have organised a 'Charity Gala Evening with Ellie Simmonds'. The Black Tie event, featuring a 4 course dinner will start at 7pm. It will be hosted by Warwick Davis, who has recently starred in Ricky Gervais’ sit com ‘Life’s Too Short’, as well as appearing in many blockbuster films such as Harry Potter, Star Wars - Return of the Jedi and Willow. There are a limited number of seats left for local people to purchase at £50 per ticket. During the evening event there will be a charity auction featuring sporting memorabilia and exclusive prizes, such as a House of Commons bottle of Whiskey signed by Prime Minister David Cameron, an Ellie Simmonds signed photograph showing her diving in to the pool from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, a Ben Ainslie signed Team GB polo shirt, Greg Rutherford Team GB memorabilia and much more. For more information, press info for the day and tickets please contact :
    Ross Warwood – Lime hair and beauty owner
    : 01922 457 296 (direct line)
    : 07976 484 628 (mobile)
    : rossmwarwood@hotmail.com
    Nirmla Warwood – Lime hair and beauty co-owner
    : 01922 457 296 (direct line)
    : 07947 248 782 (mobile)
    : lime_hairandbeauty@hotmail.com

    Monday 8 October, Paralympic Golden wonder Ellie Simmonds will enjoy a Aldridge and Walsall celebration on board an open top bus before meeting local youngsters and letting them quiz her on her unforgettable year. The Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Dennis Anson, unveiled details of the homecoming reception, which has been organised following discussions with 17-year-old Ellie and her family. Ellie will be on board the bus on Monday 8 October after visiting the golden postbox in Aldridge High Street and being given a send-off by pupils from her former primary school, Cooper & Jordan in Aldridge. She will then travel to Walsall Town Hall and take part in a question and answer session with young people who are all keen to learn more about her Paralympic Games experience. BBC Midlands Today will film part of her special day and BBC Radio WM's Pete Morgan will broadcast from the event. Ellie, whose family home is in Aldridge, said: "I wanted to take part in something that other young people from Walsall could enjoy and I think this is a good way of doing so. "The support has been amazing and it's nice to think I can thank all the people who watched the games on TV or listened on the radio in Walsall. "I also wanted to involve pupils from my old school which has re-named its swimming pool in my honour and recognise Aldridge as that's where I call home."

    The next PROUD meeting is Sat 13th October 10am - Midday at Leighswood Childrens Centre. We have got a Speech and Language Therapist coming along to the session who will be available to give out advice on any speech and language queries you may have

    September 2012 News

    Rushall Olympic - local football team Rushall Olympic are currently 2nd in the Evo Stik Premier Division - find our more about the team at pitch hero website You will find a warm welcome at Dales Lane , Rushall

    Aldridge Village Business Partnership next Meeting on Wednesday 26 September 2012, will be held at the R1 Bar, 11 Anchor Parade, Aldridge, WS9 8QP, starting at 5.45pm.

    British red cross need volunteers

    August 2012 News

    July 2012 News

    Here are the latest plans for Aldridge croft improvements which you are invited to comment on and be involved in, but note your reply is required urgently as indicated below.

     

    Re-creating The Croft in Aldridge
    In 2010, the Rotary Club of Aldridge and Walsall Council applied for external funding to make enhancements to The Croft.

    We were successful in the first stage of the application process for funding from Groundwork UK and Big Lottery Fund's Community Spaces for a potential amount of up to £50,000.

    Unfortunately we were not successful in securing funding from Heritage Lottery Fund.

    Now............

    The Rotary Club of Aldridge and Walsall Council are continuing to work together to secure the Community Spaces £50,000 to fund the enhancements.

    We have updated the original proposals that were presented for consultation in spring 2010 and now welcome your thoughts.

    Please take a look at the plan of The Croft and the various proposals as follows:

    o Rookery Lane road crossing / traffic calming (between The Croft and Aldridge Shopping Centre)
    o Path to the play area from Rookery Lane
    o Path to the play area from Little Aston Road
    o Pay and display car park screening / new planting
    o Shrub planting along Rookery Lane
    o Replacement benches and litter bins (heritage style)
    o Entrance signs / information boards
    o Picnic area
    o Bollard improvements / tidy up

    To let us know your views, to find out more or to get involved in the project, please contact Antonia Pompa by Wednesday 11 July 2012 on 01922 654325 or on pompaa@walsall.gov.uk

     Aldridge croft plans, Walsall west 
midlands uk

    Background to Project
    The Rotary Club of Aldridge has a proud tradition of community focus. Over the years we have worked with our schools, other community groups, businesses and the responsible local authority, to make a positive difference to our community.

    Notable schemes have included 'the history trail' across The Croft and the 'Garden of Reflection' at the Elms Island. We have worked with the Aldridge Village Business Partnership to help bring improvements to the village. These improvements, funded by local businesses, donations and grants have included the Christmas lights, Christmas tree, tree husbandry and planting, planters and floral displays, High Street, Anchor Road and precinct improvements (the latter fully funded by local village businesses) and achievements in the Heart of England in Bloom competition.

    The Croft is a tremendous asset to our village and is used extensively by villagers and visitors for relaxation and recreation. The Croft is very well managed by Walsall Council and provides pleasure for thousands of people. Many years ago, The Croft was the subject of successful protective action by the community, when developers once sought to take part of the area and this reminds us all just how special the croft is to Aldridge.

    A small community group has been formed (known as the 'Re-creating The Croft Group', with aims to ensure that the benefits of The Croft can be experienced for many years to come. Many of the benches and their bases have deteriorated, litter bins are in a state of decay and the history trail has suffered damage. The wall along Little Aston Road is also deteriorating and a number of trees have developed disease. Boundary areas near Rookery Lane have also become overgrown. The Croft also faces the edge of the village development, with little landscaping.

    It is also difficult for a major group of regular users of the children's play to access the facilities, due to lack of pathways to this area and lack of seating nearby. This is particularly difficult after wet weather and with prams, buggies and children's bikes. There is also little attention to access for people requiring wheelchair access. Pedestrian access across Rookery Lane is also non-existent.

    These concerns were the subject of a significant public consultation exercise, carried out by the rotary club, Aldridge Village Business Partnership and Walsall Council. This was undertaken in 2010. Subsequently, the rotary club decided to make application to the Community Spaces lottery fund, with a scheme aimed at addressing these concerns and failings on our Croft.

    Initially, this was unsuccessful, but in March 2012, we were advised that the project had gained acceptance and that, subject to the conditions of the lottery being met, we should receive the funds needed to address many of the needs. The amounts involved are approximately £45,000. The Recreating The Croft community group is now working with Walsall Council and the project is now being finalised and we are hopeful of success, which will allow work to commence in the spring of 2013.

    Re-creating The Croft - a village community group

    June 2012 News

    May 2012 News

    April 2012 News

    Open day - Aston Manor Transport Museum ( Aldridge ) Unit 3 at Beecham Business Park. Northgate, Aldridge Open Day 15th April operating various buses on free services to Walsall and to Sutton, as well as a circular trip that will go over Barr Beacon. There will be a small charge that we will make to visitors as the Museum will be open for people to visit - £3 adults, £2 children and concessions and £8 family ticket (2 adults + 2 or 3 children).

    Aldridge Bail Hostel in Stonnal road may be closed down as part of a decision that saw proposals for a new hostel at the former Moxley Infants School in Moxley turned down following a protest march by local residents. Walsall regeneration chief Councillor Adrian Andrew said the Moxley school land will be put on the market with a development brief that it should be used for housing. The Aldridge site may also be considered for closure a and sale in the future.

    Barr Beacon War Memorial which has been targeted by metal thieves will become “a shining beacon of community pride” in a restorative three-year community project costing £440,000 Barr Beacon Park, a Walsall landmark where celebratory fires were witnessed when Sir Francis Drake defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588 – is one of the highest vantage points in the West Midlands. A partnership between the War Memorials Trust and the Smartwater Foundation, called Memoriam 2014, will daub an invisible liquid on the memorial copper roof and all metal work fittings, deterring criminals as part of a national campaign aiming to forensically mark the metal plaques of memorials across the UK. Walsall Council and owners the Barr Beacon Trust will also turn it into a homage to servicemen and women from the 20th and 21st centuries by redesigning its flagpole, restoring its core memorial and planting trees. Activities including wildlife walks, archaeological digs, astronomy events and remembrance services will revitalise it as an active community point, overseen by a dedicated Community Liaison Officer. Sharon Froggatt, who has worked alongside the Beacon team to win Heritage Lottery Fund backing, said planners were “thrilled” to have succeeded in their bid for investment. “It gives us all so many opportunities to build on existing community pride,” she explained. “We will spread the word far and wide about what a wonderful asset Barr Beacon Park is." Barr Beacon was gifted to the people of Walsall by Lieutenant Colonel Wilkinson, the man who bought it after the break-up of the surrounding Great Barr Hall Estate. Fifteen years later, a monument was built to honour Wilkinson and those from Staffordshire and Warwickshire who lost their lives during World War I. On a clear day, it boasts views of Wales, Shropshire and Birmingham.

    Aldridge 10k road race will be held on 17th June 2012 @ 9:30 till 1 pm This is the 21st running of the now-famous Aldridge 10k (and 4.3k). There will also be a childrens' fun run - The Spiral Mile. This year's race is supporting the Walsall & Sandwell Motor Neurone Association. The race is over good undulating road surface, however not all roads are traffic free. It is unsuitable for wheelchair users. A water station will be on The Green in Aldridge.

    Ambulance crews were called to Coppice Lane in Aldridge, at around 9.30pm on Thursday 5th April. 5 people were imjured, the female driver of the car who was treated for chest injuries and another girl suffered a head wound, another girl and two males were treated for facial and shoulder injuries. All five were taken to Walsall Manor Hospital for assessment and treatment.

    March 2012 News

    February 2012 News

    Aldridge Grandad reveals in court how he was abused by a paedophile priest when he was a child. Geoff Smith was targeted by evil James Robinson when the cleric was living in Aldridge in the 1960s. Geoff, now aged 61, kept the abuse he suffered secret for 50 years. He broke his silence after reading newspaper reports that Robinson had been extradited from the USA to finally face the child sex charges against him in August 2009. Now Geoff has revealed how he faced his abuser in court and saw him jailed for 21 years for his sick crimes against six boys, some as young as 10. Geoff grew up in Aldridge and spent his childhood playing football in the street with his pals. He was targeted by Robinson, an apprentice priest who had a summer job at a nearby butchers shop. Robinson offered to take Geoff on trips on his Triumph Bonneville bike. But the priest used the seemingly friendly offer to bring the schoolboy to a house where he subjected him to sickening abuse. The attacks lasted for weeks until Robinson left the area for a new parish. He would go on to abuse at least five other children between 1959 and 1984. The ex-priest, who was raised in Brownhills, Walsall, had worked at Midland parishes including the Holy Family in Small Heath, Birmingham, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour at Rednal, Our Lady of Lourdes at Old Hill, Wolverhampton, and St Elizabeth’s in Foleshill, Coventry. After ringing the police to report the abuse he suffered at the hands of Robinson, Geoff, who now lives in Ireland, said he knew he was ready to testify against him in court. After a two-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court, Robinson was found guilty of 21 sex offences against young boys and sentenced to 21 years in prison in October 2010. Robinson must serve at least 14 years before he can be considered for parole. Geoff has recorded how he coped with his ordeal on his internet blog at www.abusedbyrobinson.com

    18 February 2012 from 12 till 2 pm, Your local RSPCA branch needs you! Event at Aldridge Community Centre, Middlemore Lane, Aldridge, Walsall, ws9 8an Come along and see how you can help us!
    RSPCA Walsall are currently looking for new volunteers to come foward to help us wth various aspects of the branch. We desperately need new members, trustees, fundraising organisers and volunteers, cat and rabbit fosterers. At the moment RSPCA Walsall is running with the bare minimum of trustees and we desperately need new members to help continue to run the branch successfully. We are holding a volunteer recruitment day at Aldridge Community centre from 12 midday - 2pm. Please pop along for a chat and a piece of cake to see how you you can help us. If you can spare a few hours a month to help animals in the local area please get in touch. Email: enquiries@rspca-walsall.org.uk or Phone: 0845 272 3570 (please leave a message and we will get back to you ASAP)

    Thursday 5 April from 10am to 2pm "Aldridge" Know Your Town 2012 Event giving an invaluable free resource to promote your local organisations, businesses and voluntary groups to your local Aldridge community.
    Last year in Walsall, over 70 businesses and groups took part with 1000s of local people attending and finding out more about the shops, services and facilities available to them. In a survey of 415 visitors to the 2011 events, 88% of respondents rated the event as very good or good and 97% said that they would like to see more events of this nature in the future.
    How you can get involved....

  • Having an information stand or stall to promote your group, service or business
  • Distributing giveaways to improve the visibility of your business or service
  • Offering special promotional rates to raise awareness and encourage customers to your business
  • Providing children’s activities or entertainment to showcase the services you offer
    You are welcome to take part in the event and participation is free. You will need to complete a booking form and return it to the postal or e-mail address on the form no later Friday 9 March 2012. You will also need to provide a copy of your current public liability insurance. If you would like more information about Know Your Town, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the District Centre Management Team. Diane Mansell Tel: 01922 652416 and Atonia Pompa Tel: 01922 652095

    January 2012 News

    Stargazers of all ages will be thrilled to discover that Walsall's landmark Barr Beacon is one of just six sites in the country to be awarded Dark Sky Discovery Status. The announcement was made as part of the BBC 2 Stargazing LIVE series and recognises the Barr Beacon's importance in becoming the home of Astronomy in Walsall, thanks to efforts by the council's countryside services team. Dark Sky Discovery is an innovative network of national and local astronomy and open space organisations that helps people to enjoy the night sky. In October 2011, the network launched a project in England, with funding from Access to Nature – a scheme run by Natural England and funded by the Big Lottery Fund, to work closely with a range of community groups to help them choose their local Dark Sky Discovery Site. Natural England’s Access to Nature programme is part of the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme. Working with astronomy, environmental and community organisations in every English region, the aim is to involve people in identifying safe, accessible ‘Dark Sky Discovery Sites’ – places in urban and rural areas where they can take part in stimulating stargazing sessions. Barr Beacon is the only urban site to be awarded the status in this round of designations. Over the last two years senior countryside ranger Morgan Bowers has been working with local astronomers, including Walsall Astronomical Society, to hold astronomy events. These have included MeteorWatch, Eclipse-Watching and talks and presentations about astronomy, and all the events have been over-subscribed. Councillor Adrian Andrew, chairman of Barr Beacon Trust and Walsall Council deputy leader, said: "Barr Beacon has always been a star in its own right and now its appeal is being recognised nationally. "Dark Sky Discovery Status is richly deserved for this important site and this week's announcement is testament to the hard work of countryside services and all of those involved in the protection, preservation and promotion of this jewel in the borough's crown. "As part of the Heritage Lottery Fund bid for the Raising the Barr we have been demonstrating the wide appeal of Barr Beacon and its potential for involving all communities through events such as the hugely successful Bands on the Beacon which attracted thousands of visitors. "Now that it is among the top sites for stargazers too there's even more to shout about." Morgan added: "We have a host of new astronomy events lined up for 2012 and will make this year even bigger and better than before."

    Joanne Sheargold pleaded guilty to fraud while employed as an accountant at Aldridge bedroom furnishings company Portico Ltd for almost four years when she appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court. She admitted committing fraud between April 23, 2006 and January 15, 2008 by abusing her position as an accountant with Portico by falsely representing payments to herself as legitimate. Sheargold, from Walstead Road, Delves, Walsall, further pleaded guilty to committing fraud on March 16, 2009 relating to payments to Fresh Space and she admitted committing fraud between November 20, 2008 and February 11, 2010 in relation to payments to NGPO. Prosecutor Mr Mark Rees said the offences involved a total of around £195,000. Judge Martin Walsh adjourned the matter until February 9 and granted her bail but warned: “You have pleaded guilty to serious offences and must understand that custody is a real possibility.”

    FREE TRAINING in Fire Risk Assessment for Businesses
    Do you need help to carry out a fire risk assessment for your premises? The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires that businesses carry out a fire risk assessment and these free training sessions will help you to do this and meet your legal responsibilities. Dave Marsh from the West Midlands Fire Service will lead the sessions taking you through the Fire Service’s own fire risk assessment template and providing you with the information you need to complete your own risk assessment. Any questions you may have, he will be happy to answer so take advantage of these specially organised workshops and ensure you are meeting your legal obligations. The sessions are will run on Tuesday 21 February, starting at 10.30am, 2.30pm and 5.30pm, lasting approximately 1½ hours. They will take place in the training suite at Walsall Tenants and Residents Federation, 129 Lichfield Street, Walsall, WS1 1SY. For more information and to book a place, please contact Diane Mansell on 01922 652416

    FREE FUNDING ADVICE & WORKSHOPS for community groups and organisations
    FREE FUNDING ADVICE & WORKSHOPS for community groups and  organisations

    Know Your Town is a FREE EVENT providing local organisations, businesses and voluntary groups with the invaluable opportunity to promote themselves to their local community.
    Know Your Town is a FREE EVENT providing local organisations, businesses and voluntary groups with the invaluable opportunity to promote themselves to their local community.

    Tuesday 17th January, The New Art Gallery, Walsall will be hosting a fantastic night of FREE stargazing activities for all the family.
    An inflatable planetarium will be on site to help you explore the wonders of our solar system. Local astronomy experts will guide you through the constellations of the night sky, and will help you discover more about the science of eclipses, moon craters, galaxies and gravity, you can even have a nibble or two of space food, if that’s what takes your fancy! Weather permitting, guided stargazing sessions will be taking place throughout the evening from the gallery roof terrace, but we'll also show you the best free software available for you to explore the skies without having to go outdoors if the weather defeats us! In addition, we’ll also have experts on hand to tell you about the wonderful wildlife you might also come across when you decide to go out and about on your own Stargazing adventure. There will be no less than eighteen groups running presentations on the night. The event is free and is open from 6pm until 9pm, and visitors will be able to pick up BBC Stargazing goodies to take away. So come along and learn more about our ever-astounding Universe, bring the kids, bring the family.

    Free Trip schedule to the Police Safe House, starting on the 25th January. There will be a trip almost every week until the end of March. Also, following on from our audience’s requests, we will be buying in many of the items that will be demonstrated during the presentation and you will have the opportunity to purchase these items at cost price! If you would like to book places for any of the trips below, please contact John Morris to advise how many places you require. Please note that the trips are free of charge and it may be possible to provide transport also, please ask me when you book. Places for each visit are strictly limited to 20, so bookings are on a first come, first served basis.
    · Wednesday, 25th January – 2pm – 4pm
    · Monday, 6th February – 10am – 12 noon
    · Friday, 17th February – 2pm – 4pm
    · Thursday, 23rd February – 10am – 12 noon
    · Wednesday, 29th February – 2pm – 4pm
    · Wednesday, 7th March – 6pm – 8pm
    · Thursday, 22nd March – 10am – 12 noon
    · Friday, 30th March – 2pm – 4pm
    I look forward to hearing from you and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please note we have also put on one event in the evening, this is following a request to allow people who work during the day to attend. Many thanks, John Morris, Area Manager, Tel: 01922 652029

    December 2011 News

    1928 van owned by Aston Manor Road Transport Museum moved to new location in Aldridge Walsall
    Aston Manor Road Transport Museum has relocated with all it's Historic vehicles & Buses from Birmingham to Aldridge in the Former Jack Allen dustcart production line building off Northgate. Geoff Lusher, museum chairman, and Richard Gray the finance director hope that the move to Aldridge will be be the start of a secure future for the vehicle Museum, but nothing is formalised yet and the future is still uncertain. Volant Passenger Vehicle Solutions, the company which also uses the building in Aldridge, near Walsall, hopes to convert part of the building into a bus refurbishment business and bus manufacturing site. The owners of the building, Jack Allen Holdings Ltd, has given the museum an initial six months rent free with the hope of a 10-year lease to follow. Matt Shenton, from Volant, said: "The museum will be located into one half of the building and the other side of the building will be where our bus production line will be. "There will be viewing areas where you can look through and actually see the production in progress."
    see the Aston Manor Road Transport Museum website here

    festive welcome in Aldridge thanks to the generosity of local Aldridge company, Pascon Limited.
    Aldridge company brings Christmas cheer to Aldridge Village
    Residents and visitors to Aldridge are being treated to a festive welcome thanks to the generosity of local Aldridge company, Pascon Limited. A new Christmas tree has been installed on Elm Island in the heart of the village centre. The 15 foot high tree will be there permanently and is dressed with around 700 LED pea lights. Joy Smith, Company Secretary of Pascon Limited said ”We are an Aldridge based electrical and civil contracting company and we were very keen to put something back into our local community. What better way is there to do that then to give pleasure and festive cheer to local people by having a beautiful Christmas tree in the heart of our village.” The company has joined forces with Aldridge Village Business Partnership and Walsall Council’s District Centre Management Team to ensure that local residents can enjoy their traditional Christmas tree this year and for the future. Maria Cooke, Chair of Aldridge Village Business Partnership, said ”Pascon Limited has been very generous in their support. It is wonderful that a local company has come forward in this way and is putting something back into their local community at this special time of year.” For more details, contact Joy Smith, Company Secretary, Pascon Limited, on 01922 616162.

    Aldridge company offer reward after theft of a 3 ton hydraulic press machine painted in green and yellow Peter Rattenberry, chairman of Mellish Engineering Services which manufactures special fasteners said the hydraulic press was being kept in storage ahead of its installation. “We are trying to grow the business and have helped to improve the employment situation in the area over the years, yet we have to put up with these lowlives,” the 67-year-old said. “The theft of metal has become an epidemic in this county. It is diabolical. “This is a press we bought to enable us to make bigger fasteners. It had stored for several weeks behind 12ft iron gates which were padlocked.” The company is offering a reward for information leading to the safe return of the machinery. Anyone with information should contact police on 0345 113 5000.

    Bubbles and Soap of Aldridge, Walsall, were broken into on the 11th of December and a large quantity of stock has been stolen including bath salts, individually wrapped bath bombs and handmade soaps. If any business or individual is offered any of the above in suspicious circumstances, can you please contact the police directly or contact Simon of Bubbles and Soap on 01922 455 556

    Police in Aldridge searched two houses for drugs and arrested one man. Officers from the local neighbourhood team executed two drugs warrants on addresses in Myatt Avenue and Bonner Grove, Aldridge on Saturday 17 December around 7.20am. A small amount of cannabis was found at Myatt Avenue and a man was cautioned for possession. From Bonner Grove a 39-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of cannabis and was later charged with the offence. The warrants were executed following local intelligence as Aldridge Police crackdown on drug crime in the area. Sergeant Nigel Ryder, from Aldridge police station, said: "The use of and selling of illegal drugs on the estate causes great concern for many of the local residents. "We take drug crime very seriously and we are appealing for more information so we can work together to make the estate a better place for people to live." To report suspicious activity or drug criminality in your area you can contact Sgt Ryder and his team by dialling 101 which is the new Police non emergency telephone number, alternatively you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

    Smart water is to be used on war memorials in Walsall area including Barr Beacon War Memorial in Aldridge to protect against theft of Brass plaques, copper roofing and metal railings by miserable low life metal thiefs ! see full video report on the Barr Beacon page here

    Walsall Council's new 'severe weather' page that contains links to essential information for anyone who lives, works, shops or studies in Walsall. You'll find information on gritting, bin collections and school closures, as well as a link to the Walsall Partnership page where you will find Christmas crime prevention information. The 'gritter twitter' is particularly useful for road users. To view the page < rel="nofollow" href=http://cms.walsall.gov.uk/index/severe-weather-info.htm target=blank>follow this link

    Theatre Ark Welcoming New Members for “The Tempest”
    Young Birmingham theatre company “Theatre Ark” is welcoming new members for their 2012 April production of “The Tempest”, directed by the experienced professional director Ian Yeoman. Their version of Shakespeare’s tale of shipwreck and fantasy will be staged in the A E Harris Factory, an atmospheric new venue in the Jewellery Quarter.
    Theatre Ark produces live theatre performances of an excellent standard, and meets at fortnightly sessions in the city centre. They are led and mentored by theatre professionals and are an offshoot company of Big Brum Theatre Company. Their last project was a site-specific video installation at A E Harris, “The Name of Action”, which explored the lives of young people in Birmingham using Shakespeare text. The members, all aged 14-20 years, are responsible for the productions and they are also training to take on full responsibility for the running of the whole organisation - the finance, planning, policy-making, fund-raising, programming, marketing - everything! Each member is fiercely committed to making this a professional theatre company of the future. “Watch out for Theatre Ark because this is an example of Birmingham’s future which we should all try to support. If ever there’s a group to watch it’s these youngsters. “ Steve McCabe, MP “The Tempest” will be an immersive and exciting piece of theatre and the company is just beginning rehearsals with Ian Yeoman. They are seeking new members to be part of the production as chorus members and to play spirits, godesses with spoken and non spoken characters. With no audition necessary, this is an incredible opportunity for young people in Birmingham to have fun, meet new people and be involved in an innovative and high-quality production of one of Shakespeare’s best known works. There will be an introductory rehearsal on December 17th at A E Harris in Birmingham at 10-5 and all are welcome.
    To enquire, contact Ceri Townsend.
    theatreark@hotmail.co.uk
    07533 456 387

    Aldridge Parents who block school gates with their cars while dropping off and picking up their children will be filmed on a mobile camera and fined, in a new scheme being piloted in Walsall. The camera will be taken round schools in Aldridge and Walsall area as part of the crackdown which follows scores of complaints about parents blocking up routes, school exits and people’s driveways. It will also target people who park on zig-zag lines, and over dropped kerbs, and motorists using bus lanes illegally. The crackdown is expected to rake in up to £15,000 a year in fines and is expected to be fully operational by the start of 2012. Walsall Council leader Mike Bird said: “We have been asked to run it as pilot scheme and will be reporting back to the Government. “We anticipate targeting people who are double parking, parking over drives, and using bus lanes. “Unfortunately some people don’t seem to care about others. We get weekly complaints from people who live by schools who are plagued by inconsiderate parents.” The mobile enforcement camera sits on top of a car. It will enable Walsall council to gain evidence of anyone caught parking illegally. Walsall Transport chief Councillor Tom Ansell said: “We are bringing in a mobile vehicle to act as a deterrent. We can record motorists when they break the law.” Walsall Council parking enforcement teams undertake routine patrols of Walsall school gate parking zones to deal with the issue. Tickets with a £70 fine are handed out to those who are seen breaking parking rules. Some schools in Walsall area have taken their own steps to combat the problem. Pupils at Whetstone Field Primary in Aldridge raised cash for four special warning signs and teachers and pupils carried out their own patrols during rush hour.

    November 2011 News

    Leighswood Childrens Centre, Broadmeadow, Aldridge, WS9 8FY, Walsall Aldridge Childrens and Mums Centre for play groups, clinics, information, advice and support has a new time table of events for December 2011

    Important information about industrial action on 30 November 2011
    Walsall residents are being advised that some council services, including school closures could be affected by industrial action next Wednesday, 30 November 2011.
    As trade unions across the country stage a day of industrial action, some council services will be closed or run at a much reduced level. Walsall Council's First Stop Shop in the Civic Centre, Darwall Street will be closed during the national dispute and callers to the council's general enquries (01922 650000) may experience some delay. Residents seeking information about Revenues can call 0845 111 2851 and the Benefits service on 0845 111 2855. Residents may see disruptions to their bin collection service next week. Revised arrangements for bin collections on that day will be communicated via the council website as soon as they are known. People who do not want to wait until the next collection can use Walsall Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centre in Fryers Road, Leamore. The recycling centre at Merchants Way, Aldridge does not operate on Wednesdays. Parents are advised to contact their school directly or visit www.walsallcs.com to check for school closures. The council has already confirmed Walsall and Willenhall Markets will be shut during the day of strike action. Updates will be made to Walsall Council’s website at www.walsall.gov.uk to highlight disruption caused by industrial action. Councillor Chris Towe, cabinet member for finance and personnel at Walsall Council, said: "Our customers and service users are our key priority during this time. However, despite having robust contingency plans in place, it is likely that the service delivered to residents of the borough may experience some disruption. "Should you experience a problem with your bin collection on Wednesday please visit the council's website or call us on 01922 650000 to check revised arrangements. "Walsall Council apologises for any inconvenience this may cause our residents, however it is difficult to provide a comprehensive and fully accurate prediction of the impact this may have on our services," he added. "Residents can still access council information and a range of services via our website www.walsall.gov.uk."

    Barr Beacon Trust, owners of Barr Beacon war memorial are to make a bid for Lottery funding to help pay for a brand new roof following several "despicable" vandalism attacks. Workmen made running repairs to the temporary tarpaulins protecting the roof of Barr Beacon war memorial as plans to enter a Lottery bid to fund a new roof are made. (Courtesy of Walsall Council) The historic landmark, which commemorates those who lost their lives during the First World War, has been a magnet for heartless thieves who have ripped off valuable copper from its domed roof several times over the past 18 months. Running repairs to the tarpaulins covering the damaged roof have been made following recent high winds, and Walsall council have revealed they are looking at replacing it with an alternative material to prevent further thefts. Councillor Anthony Harris, Walsall Council cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: "That metal thieves are happy to steal from a war memorial signals a new low in criminality. "We're looking at using something like fibreglass that wouldn't be attractive to thieves, but this will depend on what the Heritage Lottery Fund says. "We're preparing a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to repair and replace the war memorial roof. "In the meantime, we're keeping an eye on the memorial." The monument last came under attack in June 2011, causing several thousands pounds' worth of damage. Walsall Council have until December 2011 to enter their bid and should find out the result in the new year.

    Interserve Site Services' new £2 million state of the art waste recycling facility at Aldridge is on track for completion in December 2011, after which it will play a key role in assisting the region's councils, commercial and construction sectors in meeting their landfill reduction targets. The new Aldridge facility is being built by Interserve itself, the international support services and construction group, of which Interserve Site Services is a part. Once completed, the new plant will be able to process approximately 250,000 tonnes of waste material per year, and return a range of recycled products to the market. In addition, enhanced mechanisation over the three acre site will enable the new plant to recycle a highly impressive 95 per cent of all the material it will process, which is especially good news for the environmental credentials of the area. With every UK construction project valued at over £300,000 now being required to include a waste management contract as part of its scope of works, and with waste management accounting for a high proportion of councils' annual expenditure, an efficient and professional service is becoming increasingly important. The new plant takes the form of a large waste reception building containing the main elements of the waste handling plant that have been built on brownfield land. It also encompasses the material handling line, material storage and processing areas and a brick built administration and welfare building built from local clay Ibstock bricks.

    Santa Dash and Stroll being organised by St Giles Walsall Hospice as part of Aldridge Christmas Festivities on Saturday 10 December
    Santa Dash and Stroll being organised by St Giles Walsall Hospice as part of Aldridge Christmas Festivities on Saturday 10 December, please call Rachel Ridler for entry details on 01922 602527

    Live Entertainment with Guitar Vocalist, Phil Vincent starting at 8 pm in Mckechnie Sports & Social Club, Middlemore Lane, Aldridge, Walsall S9 8DN Sat 10 Dec 2011

    Swift Business Solutions in Aldridge, Walsall, is currently running special offers on Rock Salt this winter and if you collect your rock salt, Swift Business Solutions will pay the VAT!
    Delivered to the local area whilst stocks last.
    1 Bag @ £9.99 ea + vat
    5 Bags @ £7.99 ea + vat
    10 Bags @ £5.99 ea + vat
    Tel 01922 743454, Swift Business Solutions, Northgate, Aldridge, Walsall WS9 8TH

    Aldridge Charity, Rosie's Helping Hands, which was founded following the tragic death of 16-year-old Aldridge schoolgirl Rosie Ross, has joined forces again with the 4 Steps to a Smile appeal which has collected Christmas presents for children's charities and homes in the area for the past eight years. Rosie's mum, Karen Ross, said: "Rosie's Helping Hands has been involved with this fantastic appeal for the past two years by donating presents and asking supporters to take a tag to buy a present. "In order for 4 Steps to develop further it needed charitable status, so we were delighted to help with this by welcoming Linda as a trustee to enable us to support 4 Steps to a Smile, as it continues to expand and help more children and young people in the area." The appeal's Linda Sandhar will be giving out tags by the Christmas tree in the Old Square Shopping Centre Walsall every Saturday from November 12 to November 26 inclusive, between 10am and 2pm, and also on Thursday, December 1, at the Christmas lights switch-on – each tag bearing a child's name, age and what they would like as a present. "Every year I'm overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of people who buy a present for a child they don't know," Linda said. "All the children are from local charities or children's homes and are very much in need of a present at Christmas. "There is no limit to the amount of tags anyone can have and the amount they spend on a present is entirely of their own choice. "The presents are returned to the Old Square Shopping Centre – from there we personally distribute all the presents to the children's charities." To find out more, visit Rosie's Helping Hands or e-mail Linda, 4steps@rosieshelpinghands.org

    Aldridge Wind Turbine Campaingners win against plans for a wind turbine being erected on College Farm in Aldridge Campaigners have won their fight against a wind turbine at College Farm, in Aldridge, after planning chiefs refused permission for the scheme to go ahead. Permission to put a single turbine at College Farm, in Bosty Lane, was refused by officials at a meeting November 4th on the grounds that the 67-metre high structure would be "out of scale and visually dominate" the local landscape between Bosty Lane and Mellish Road, and "would harm the character and appearance of the green belt". News that plans for the turbine, which whipped up a storm of controversy, had been refused were welcomed by residents and councillors from Aldridge-Central, Rushall-Shelfield and St Matthews, who had joined forces to lobby the plans. John Leeson, co-coordinator of Hatherton Residents Against Wind Turbine (HRAWT) – one of the action groups set up in protest at the plans – said: "Residents welcome this decision and are delighted that this wind turbine planning application has been turned down by Walsall Council. "On behalf of residents of Hatherton, I wish to thank Councillor Mohammed Arif for championing the cause of the vast majority of local resident opposed to the wind-turbine." In their report, planning officers said the proposed wind turbine was "too large" and would be an "intrusive structure from public vantage points which include Riddians Bridge, the canal towpath and the public right of way". The report went on: "Whilst the sustainability aims of the proposal are fully recognised, no very special circumstances have been put forward which are considered to be sufficient to outweigh the harm to the character and openness of the green belt." St Matthews ward Councillor Mohammed Arif, co-coordinator of HRAWT, said the council's decision justified the firm opposition to the plans taken by many local residents. "The decision taken by the council's planning officers and reasons given for refusal vindicates the stance taken by groups opposing this particular development in our area of natural beauty to preserve nature and green open space," Cllr Arif said. The decision for refusal was also taken due to the "insufficient" technical data and impact assessments submitted with regard to the noise levels the wind turbine would produce. It was also thought that the blades of the turbine would be too close to a public footpath. In a joint statement, councillors Tom Ansell and Ron Carpenter – who had also vehemently opposed the plans – said: "Granting of this application would have set the wrong precedence. "We are not against alternative energy generation or wind turbines per-se, but this development was so near to residential areas and a public right of way." Plans for the wind turbine sparked a wave of opposition by local residents from across the three wards affected, who claimed that it would have "a severe visual impact on one of Walsall's few attractive rural locations." A total of 416 residents signed a petition lobbying the plans and more than 100 people packed out St Michael's Church hall for a public meeting in protest. The proposals also prompted objections from independent organisations, including Walsall's Ramblers' Association.

    The Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Garry Perry, will be cutting the ribbon to mark the completion of the improvement scheme being undertaken at Aldridge Shopping Centre at 10am on Wednesday 30 November. The ceremony will take place in The Square and all are welcome.

    The West Midlands police force have a new non emergency telephone number. The new number is 101 and will work by redirecting people’s calls, wherever they are in the country, to their nearest police force and is intended to be easier for people to remember. The number should be used to report a crime or anti-social behaviour which does not need an emergency response. In an emergency, members of the public should continue to use 999.
    The adoption of this new number means that anyone calling West Midlands Police will not have to pay premium rate when using a mobile phone. 101 is a new, non-emergency national telephone number. Callers using the new Police 101 number will incur a flat rate charge of 15p no matter how long the call lasts and whether it is made from a landline or mobile.

    October 2011 News

    September 2011 News

    Avion Cinema / Ex Gala Bingo / Aldridge Cinema development plans have been announced for J D Weatherspoons
    A planning application has now been submitted for the former Gala bingo building on Anchor Road in Aldridge village centre. The application includes the part demolition and alterations and change of use to Class A4 (drinking establishment) with external seating area, extension of adjacent car park, new boundary fences and pedestrian access. Below is the link to the documents submitted as part of the application. As you can see from the documentation, the application would make the premises suitable for a J.D. Wetherspoon premises.
    Aldridge Cinema development planning application documents

    Should you wish to comment on the application, comments need to be submitted by 2 October 2011.

    9th September 2011, TAKE THAT 5 members tribute night at Calderfields Golf and Country Club, Aldridge Road, Walsall,WS4 2JS, a tribute to the legendary Take That, an event not to be missed and will include a 4 course meal, the live show and a DJ until 1am. Tickets are just £31.95, more information or to book call, 01922 632243

    20% off Massala Restaurant prices with this Discount voucher

    Aldridge & Beacon Area Partnership Community Meetings all start at 6pm as below:

    29/Sept/2011 Pheasey Park Farm Community Centre
    63 Hillingford Avenue
    Birmingham,
    B43 7HL
    contact: Joyce

    21/Nov/2011 Beacon Church
    Collingwood Drive
    Birmingham,
    B43 7JL
    contact: Brenda Homblin

    16/Jan/2012 St John’s Parish Church
    High Street
    Walsall Wood,
    Walsall,
    WS9 9LP
    Contact: Rev. Nigel Carter

    14/Feb/2012 Aldridge Youth Theatre
    Noddy Park Road,
    Walsall,
    WS9 8NQ
    Contact: Mike Harrison

    26/March/2012 All Saints Church
    Foley Road East,
    Sutton Coldfield,
    B74 3JL
    FAO: Brenda Clarke

    August 2011 News

    Popular local butcher, Alan Foster aged 72 died following a wasp sting at his shop in Aldridge High Street. Mr Foster, a senior figure at the Aldridge Traders’ Association, had apparantly called in a contractor to remove a wasp infestation when he was stung. Black Country coroner Robin Balmain, who opened the inquest into Mr Foster’s death, said following a sting, Alan Foster collapsed before being taken to Walsall Manor Hospital where he was certified dead on arrival. Mr Foster, from Brookmeadow Road, Shelfield, had run the business for 33 years

    July 2011 News

    local football team Rushall Olympic have been promoted to Evo Stik Premier Division for season 2011-12 see more on Rushall Olympic FC website

    Aspiring young actors are being invited to take part in a theatre summer school running at Aldridge Youth Theatre from July 25 to 29 Aldridge Youth Theatre has joined forces with professional company Sundial Theatre to offer drama and music workshops at the Noddy Park Road venue in Aldridge. Youngsters will work with professional actors and musicians, and will be asked to create and produce a short advert selling a fictional product. The adverts will be filmed and participants will be able to take away the finished product on DVD. The summer school, which has been called The Biz, is open to children aged between 11 and 18 and will run from July 25 to 29. There are 30 places available and the week of workshops costs £60. To book a place, call 01922 452229.

    Administrators have been called in to Aldridge firm McKechnie Brass – but hopes of a sale are high, with talks with several interested parties in progress. The Aldridge company is the last brass extrusion manufacturing company in the country, using scrap brass sourced in the UK. The company produces brass rods and profiles for a range of products, including pins for plugs, door locks/padlocks, lift tracks and overhead conductive wire for the railway industry. The firm, which fell into administration amid mounting debts, boasts an annual turnover of around £14 million, total workforce of 62 employees and current annual production of 4,000 tonnes.

    Extra places are to be created at Leighswood Primary school in Aldridge to deal with an influx in pupils. The admission number for children going into reception class at Leighswood Primary in Aldridge will rise from 75 to 90 from September 2012 due to demand. There are plans in the pipeline to expand the school site by creating extra classrooms to cope with the additional numbers. A consultation period ends at the end of July 2011 and comes as schools across Walsall borough are having to consider increasing in size.

    Walsall Family needed for TV documentary
    DoubleBand Films is a documentary production company with a long track record in making award-winning factual television programmes and we have been commissioned by Channel 4 to make a pilot for a series looking at some of the social issues affecting communities in Britain today. We are planning to film this documentary in the Walsall area and we are seeking a family whose values reflect that of an average British family and who would be interested in finding out more about an issue that affects their community. During filming this family will share its home for a week with a guest – someone whose life has been affected by a particular social issue - so that they can explore each other’s worlds. The documentary will give a face to some of the big issues facing our society and communities today and discover more about the people and the stories of those affected by them. We are not looking for confrontation but people who are confident to engage with others in their community and feel comfortable talking about their experiences and opinions. To take part in the programme we are seeking a family in the Walsall area whose values reflect that of the average British family and who will be willing to bring someone into their home for a week to explore each other’s worlds.
    For more information please call Fiona on 07886 318100 or email fjones@doublebandfilms.com

    Saturday 16th July 10.00am – 12.00 noon, Boo Boo The Clowns Entertainments and Promotions will be at Aldridge Library, presenting an interactive Circus Skills workshop for children age 4+.

    Georges Music store in Aldridge, Walsall, for disco, dj, pa, amps, guitars, sheets music, drums, violins and pianos
    Announcing a new service from George's Music Store in Aldridge. My company designs and installs low cost Public Address systems for public meeting places such as Parish and village halls and schools. We use very tried and tested equipment and only fully qualified and insured installers. We offer a free of charge consultation. We design for secure, efficient and unobtrusive placement of equipment. We also offer free of charge coaching and instruction on whatever is supplied. All of our sound systems are safe to use and carry a five years guarantee.
    If you would like to know more about us, would you call either Tom Hawley or myself George Evans on 01922 452591 or visit George's music shop website
    George's Music Store in Aldridgeis a family business run by a team of experienced musicians providing friendly, honest advice, fair prices and good services focused on the young musician and Mom and Dad. In addition to our shop we have a website to bring you the same quality merchandise which we keep in the shop, but with the added convenience of browsing, on line ordering and delivery straight to your door, and you can even speak to us directly and unlike a lot of on line stores we will answer queries in person. our staff are Tom Hawley the king of P.A. and disco equipment, qualified in sound engineering and carries many years experience in dealing with Peavey products and supporting service including spares. Justin Parsons, the Guitar guru who understands every facet of guitar playing and techniques with technical knowledge which is unsurpassed in the Guitars, Amplfiers and Effects trade and has B.A.Mus Hons. in Rock and Classical music. George, "The Boss" has been in the music trade, for around 50 years has a well tuned and sound knowledge most things musical. George is every musicians best friend and importantly your Mom and Dad's too, because he understands they want value for money! George selects stock to give the best value available in the music trade and the requirements of the beginner, semi-professional and professional singer, instrumentalist or Pro DJ. Our brands include, Peavey, Ashton, Trace Elliot, Damage Control and Ibanez but will change to adopt the best value for our customers. Call 01922 452591 or visit George's music shop website

    The Utility Warehouse Price Promise means the best deal, Or they will give you back Double the Difference
    The Utility Warehouse Price Promise means you can benefit from:

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    Or they will give you back Double the Difference !
    More benefits of being a Discount Club member include:
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  • • Only need One bill for all your services
    Helping you switch - the Utility Warehouse will even reimburse up to £ 200 during July, of early termination fees charged by your previous supplier(s) when you switch your services to them.
    No minimum contract term - the Utility Warehouse is so confident that you’ll be happy with the money you save that most services have no minimum contract term, so you’re not tied in. If you're not totally happy with the money you save and the Utility Warehouse’s award-winning UK-based customer service team, you can go back to your current supplier's higher prices at any time!

    June 2011 News

    A convicted paedophile suspected of grooming his own young daughter from behind prison walls was allowed to live less than two miles away from the child in Aldridge bail hostel.
    see more info about Aldridge Bail Hostel here
    The man, who has not been named, was denied contact with the child while in prison, but was then moved to Aldridge’s Stonnall Road Approved Premises after serving his jail sentence. The potential danger to the child emerged in March after the man met Aldridge-Brownhills MP Richard Shepherd to ask for his help in regaining access to the child. “I said that I could not and the visit greatly disturbed me,” said Mr Shepherd, who took the issue to Crispin Blunt MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Ministry of Justice, in a Westminster debate this week. The man has since been moved after Mr Shepherd and Walsall Council’s executive director of children’s services, Pauline Pilkington, wrote to probation chiefs with concerns about the situation. Speaking at the debate, Mr Shepherd said: “The man has been moved from the Stonnall Road bail hostel but there is no agreement he could not be returned there.” Aldridge residents have been fighting to close the hostel since the mid 1990s. It is only two minutes by foot from a housing estate with more than 500 homes and is just a five-minute walk from two local primary schools. Mr Blunt agreed to look at the case, but said it was “obviously of some satisfaction that necessary action was taken”.

    Police Appeal Following Serious Collision-Longwood Lane, Aldridge, Walsall
    Walsall Police are appealing for witnesses following a serious road traffic collision in Aldridge at 0814hrs Monday 13 June in Longwood Lane, Aldridge, near to the junction with Hayhead farm. Two vehicles were involved, a Peugeot 207, which was travelling from Sutton Road towards Aldridge, and a Ford Fiesta, which was travelling in the opposite direction. The driver of the Peugeot, a 30 year old woman, was taken to hospital with serious injuries, where she remains in a stable condition. The driver of the Fiesta, a 54 year old woman, suffered fractures and bruising and was taken to hospital. The road was closed for some time following the collision. Officers are investigating and are appealing for any witnesses to contact Force Traffic at Wednesbury police station on 0345 113 5000.

    May 2011 News

    Residents living in Aldridge and Walsall Wood will be able to raise any concerns and discuss key community issues with Walsall council and other leading agencies on Thursday 2 June from 10am to midday. Representatives from Walsall Council, Walsall Area Partnership, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service and NHS Walsall will be on board the First Stop Express bus when it calls at St Martin's Church, Daffodil Road, Pheasey. Local Ward councillors have also been invited. Residents can also visit the bus to find out about events and places to visit, entertainment ideas, apply for a disabled parking badge, report pest control issues and view planning applications.

    West Midlands Police Authority will be holding a public consultation event on Tuesday 19 July from 7pm to 9pm in Walsall Council Chamber, to inform communities of the changes relating to policing, the funding cuts and the voting in and role of the new Police and Crime Commissioner. There will also be consultation on policing priorities as part of normal duty. The meeting is open to the public and will be attended by a senior officer from Walsall Local Policing Unit and Police Authority members. If you have any queries please address them to the Police Authority, contact details as follows:
    West Midlands Police Authority
    Room 113, Lloyd House, Colmore Circus Queensway,
    Birmingham, B4 6NQ
    0121 626 5143

    Monday 23 May, Councillor Garry Perry was sworn in as the new Mayor of Walsall for 2011/12.

    Announcing, new Walsall Police service for the local community. All residents in Aldridge and Walsall should visit the daily updated Blog of Kevin Pitt at Walsall Police, to be informed, with crime updates, crime prevention tips and news from Walsall police, neighbourhood watch and wider worlds creating a repository of information for local residents, all sorts of groups, and the variety of watch schemes running in Walsall area. The Kevin Pitt Blog

    Fantastic photographic Gift opportunity for Fathers day !
     Special fathers day photograhy offer in Aldridge, Walsall

    Come along to the Grand Opening of Streetly Children’s Centre, on Saturday 4th June 2011 at 1pm.
     Grand Opening event for The Streetly Association Children’s Centre

    Announcing an excellent photography class taking place on 30 June at Aldridge Community Centre.... interested in coming along ? please book your place with Charlotte on 077940 29296 see full details about this and many more things happening in Aldridge area...What's on & Events in Aldridge

    Website bug’s going around, providing services in and around Walsall for young people.
    Walsall schoolchildren have got the bug for a new-look website packed full of useful information, which guides children, teenagers, parents and professionals to services in and around Walsall for young people. Schools across the borough have been given colourful, decorative ‘bugs’ to hand out to children, advertising the children and young people’s service directory at www.mywalsall.org
    The directory is a joint development by Walsall Council's Universal Services and Common Assessment Framework Programme and Walsall Families’ Information Service, in partnership with The Creative Development Team. It has been funded through the NHS Communities for Health Programme.
    It provides information on what services are available across the borough and, more importantly, how to contact them. The site includes a directory of local leisure and cultural activities for children and young people, compiled as part of the ‘LoL’ programme devised by The Creative Development Team. ‘LoL’ (Lots of Leisure) is a programme designed for children in the care of the local authority, to encourage them to participate in sports and leisure activities to improve their health and well-being.
    Children on the programme designed the LoL logo as part of the project and were consultants during the whole process of putting the web site together.

    26th May, West Midlands Police have confirmed the identity of skeletal body remains discovered in Aldridge in April this year. The remains were discovered by contractors who were working on 13th April 2011 at Westgate, Aldridge. Following forensic examinations, officers have confirmed they are that of Ronald BLAND born in 1957, of no fixed address. Detective Inspector Darren Crutchley from Force CID said: "It is known that Ronald Bland had been living at an address in the Aldridge area during March 2005. At this stage of the investigation I can confirm that we are not looking for any other person in connection with is death, which remains unexplained." He added: "If any person does have knowledge of Ronald Bland's activities or whereabouts between March 2005 and April 2011, then please contact Force CID at Bloxwich on 0345 113 5000 or call Crimestoppers confidentially on 0800 555 111."

    Join Tudor Musical Comedy Society for their 50th year production of The King and I by attending our Recruitment Day on Sunday 22nd May at Moor Hall School, Rowallen Road, Sutton Coldfield B75 6RE. Children only at 10am til 12pm workshop, you will be introduced to the music and shown some movement so please wear appropriate clothing.
    Call 07795 614 227 or email vickygaunt@rocketmail.com for more information.

    Sunday 12 June 2011 at 11am, Diabetes UK is calling on keen walkers to step forward and sign up for the leading health charity’s Walk the Extra Mile in the Walsall Arboretum People who take part in either a 3 mile or 5 mile walk will help Diabetes UK improve the lives of people with diabetes[2] and all funds raised will go towards supporting research and other diabetes-related projects. Joanna Oldfield, Diabetes UK West Midlands Fundraising Manager, said: “We are extremely pleased to be holding this event once again we always receive such great support for our Walsall walk but would like to encourage more people to get involved and support this fun event. It is shaping up to be a fantastic family day out which is guaranteed to put a spring in your step! “There are around 15,796 people with diabetes in Walsall and an estimated 2,600 who have Type 2 diabetes and don’t know it. It is absolutely vital that we do all we can to support people with diabetes and raise awareness of the condition to the general public. People taking part in Walk the Extra Mile are not just enjoying a great day but they are making a difference.” Diabetes is a serious condition and if not diagnosed early enough or not managed effectively, it can lead to devastating complications including heart disease, stroke, blindness and amputation. Take the Diabetes UK online Risk Score test to see if you could have Type 2 diabetes by visiting www.Diabetes.org.uk/RiskScore
    Registration starts at 10am. Entry is FREE we just ask walkers to raise sponsorship. The walk is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. For further information or to register go to www.diabetes.org.uk/walktheextramile or contact Diabetes Walsall UK on 01922 614500

    April 2011 News

    The Aldridge beautiful landmark war memorial on Barr Beacon Park was extensively damaged yet again by metal thieves for the third time in just over a year, sometime between 25th and 27th April, with copper sheeting stripped from the dome roof of the 50ft high memorial. The damage is estimated at almost £15,000 following repairs in March last year and then again during repair works just months later. Around half the copper on the roof was taken in the latest raid from the memorial which was built in 1933 dedicated to the memory of men from Staffordshire and Warwickshire who gave their lives in the First World War. Kevin Clements, Walsall Council countryside services manager, said initiatives including the use of Smartwater – a colourless liquid dabbed onto surfaces which is registered to the owner – to deter crooks in future. “Once again we are facing a repair bill running into thousands of pounds yet the scrap value of the metal taken was virtually nothing,” he said. “It seems that, as soon as we repair the memorial, it is targeted again. “We will be looking to carry out repairs as soon as possible but, as part of that, we will be considering all the options including using alternative materials to copper. This will need to be discussed with the Barr Beacon Trust and Heritage Lottery Fund and we will be arranging for this to take place imminently. “We are also looking at other options including working with West Midlands Police on initiatives such as marking the memorial with Smartwater to assist the police in helping to identify stolen materials and catch those responsible.” In December 2009, the Heritage Lottery Fund gave the green light to a first-round application made by Walsall Council for a £500,000 restoration project at the site. The council is now working on the second round of the application process.

    Free Drinks to celebrate the Royal Wedding ... Pimm's & lemonade OR Gordon's Gin tonic at Farmer Johns pub, just get a voucher which is valid until 11th May 2011 Free drinks here !

    Bands from all over the Walsall borough are invited to win a chance of wowing the crowds by headlining a summer show at Barr Beacon Park. “Star” Beacon has been launched to find one talented combo to close this year’s Bands on the Beacon event on Sunday 10 July 2011. The free event attracted hundreds of visitors last year when it served up a musical mix of rock, blues, skiffle and Irish charm staged around the war memorial at the borough’s highest beauty spot. Jeff McBride, Walsall Council countryside development project officer, said: “Buoyed by the success of last year’s show we’re going to do it all over again this summer. “This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase some local talent and give a band the golden ticket to headline the show. “We have launched “Star” Beacon and are urging bands of all kinds – whether it be rock, pop, blues, reggae, punk, folk, jazz or classical – to send us a electronic link to their music so that our judges can select a winning act. “Bands on the Beacon is an important open air event as it raises awareness of the Heritage Lottery Fund project to restore this much-loved landmark and helps to raise that awareness beyond the borough of Walsall.” Bands are asked to email their links and full contact details to Morgan Bowers at bowersm@walsall.gov.uk or Glen Buglass at buglassg@walsall.gov.uk by Monday 2 May 2011. The entries will be judged by a panel made up of musicians and artists later that week with the winner notified during the week commencing Monday 9 May 2011. The winner will receive a performance fee. Bands on the Beacon will run from 1pm-5pm on Sunday 10 July and the wining band will need to be available on that day. The Mayors Choral concert in aid of his charity appeal at St John's Methodist Church Victoria Ave Bloxwich on May 7th at 7.00pm. Tickets are available from the council House Walsall or on 01922 451192 and are £7 each. Taking part, Chase Choral Soc. Cannock exservicemen's choir Parkhall jnr choir, Nicky Moran and Cliff "Eternity Duo" and Diana Gunn mezzo soprano. Come along and share in the wonderful songs and music to be presented.

    Country Homes & Gardens, Chester Road, Aldridge, received five stars in the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) now published on the FSA website. The website is designed to provide information on food hygiene standards at local pubs, restaurants and takeaway outlets, to help people choose where to eat out or shop for food.Neil Harris, principal environmental health officer at Walsall Council, said: "It is excellent news that the first five-star scores for Walsall have been published on the website. "This scheme should encourage businesses in Walsall to improve hygiene standards, as good hygiene is good for business. "This national scheme will enable residents to have the power to make informed choices about where they eat or shop for food." Food outlets, including restaurants, takeaways, pubs and supermarkets, in Walsall are being inspected by Walsall Council's environmental health team to check that hygiene standards meet legal requirements. Businesses will be rated on a scale ranging from zero to five – available for anyone to view online – and will be presented with a certificate which they will be encouraged to display at the entrance to their premises. The national scheme was launched in April 2011 and all premises which are inspected from the date of the launch will receive scores which will be published on the website. The borough's involvement with the scheme came after Walsall Council received £8,700 in funding from the FSA to help collate all the information needed to enable the local authority to become part of the project. It will now carry out regular inspections at around 3,500 premises selling food throughout Walsall borough to keep the ratings up-to-date.

    Centro has cut the funding available to pay bus operators from £8.6 million to £8.1 million in order to lessen the burden on councils which pay its running costs. But some services are being extended following passenger requests. Changes in the Black Country come into effect from Easter Sunday 2011. On the 19 bus the last service will run at 6pm from Walsall and 17.27 from Bloxwich instead of on the hour up to 11pm. The 404A will terminate at Blackheath instead of Cradley Heath. Passengers using the 406H West Bromwich to Scott Arms service will see the hourly section from West Bromwich to Europa Village scrapped. The 35 from Druids Heath to Aldridge will get an extra Monday to Friday service at 6.40am but the Sunday service is being scrapped. Peak time services on the 439 Smethwick to West Bromwich route are being reduced. The service will leave Smethwick at 7.02am, 8.02am, 4.02pm, 5.02pm and 6.02pm, and West Bromwich at 7.35am, 8.35am, 4.35pm and 5.35pm, and will be operated by Central Buses. The Sunday journey on the 908 leaving Bloxwich at 5.28am is being scrapped and passengers will have to take the 10 from Rushall to Walsall instead. The 74 will no longer travel through Chuckery to Walsall. Links from Chuckery will be maintained by an extended 88 service. The 23 Bloxwich to White Horse Road via Brownhills will still run hourly but the timetables will be the same Monday to Friday as on Saturdays, with services after 1pm on the hour. Evening and Sunday services on the 332 from Walsall to Lodge Farm will be replaced by the 335 and a half hourly evening and Sunday service to Walsall Manor Hospital.

    on Saturday 23rd April, Lindsey Plant, 19 years old from Aldridge, suffered severe 36 per cent burns and was airlifted to hospital after petrol, used to light a barbecue, caused flames to flash back. Lindsey suffered 36 per cent burns to both of her legs during the incident at Sussex Avenue in Aldridge, and an ambulance, rapid response paramedic and the Midlands Air Ambulance based at Tatenhill in Staffordshire were called to the incident at 2.45pm on Saturday. She was treated at the scene by ambulance staff before being airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Ronald Poole, aged 68, of Brookfield Road, Aldridge, said his grandson Chris Flintoff had been trying to light a disposable barbecue with petrol when the flames flared up and his girlfriend was caught in the blaze. West Midlands Fire Service has issued a warning to anyone using barbecues following this incident, Fire service spokesman Bill Gough said people should never use petrol, paraffin or any other highly flammable liquid on their barbecues, “It is a very violent reaction when it occurs. It is almost explosive when people use petrol.” Lindsey Plant will need a skin graft after suffering severe burns when her boyfriend Chris Flintoff became frustrated that the barbecue would not light and used a dish full of petrol which flashed back in flames and set his hands on fire. Desperate to put out the flames he threw the small dish behind him not realising Lindsey was walking there to fetch her mobile phone.

    A human skeleton unearthed on April 14th by builders working on disused land in Aldridge at the back of Valen Fittings Ltd in Westgate. West Midlands Police are treating the discovered body remains as “unexplained” and said it is not known how long the bones have been lying there and a police forensic archaeologist remained at the scene to carry out tests. Police spokeswoman Sarah Astbury said: “Tests are ongoing to find out who this person is, but at the moment we are treating it as unexplained.”

    Spaceslide.co.uk based in Aldridge (Portico Midlands) is toasting the Royal couple, Prince William and Kate Middleton, early after capturing the attention of the UK’s media with its commemorative Royal Wedding sliding doors. The made-to-measure doors, which feature Kate and Prince William side-by-side, are currently on show at the firm’s Northgate showroom in Aldridge, and are set to appear on national TV on 25 April, on ITV1’s Alan Titchmarsh show. The doors have also been featured on news and media programmes throughout the UK and globally, including Radio 1 and CNN, helping to drive consumer interest in its e-commerce site www.spaceslide.co.uk. Jon Gough, Managing Director said “Overall we’ve had an amazingly positive response from the media, who really seem to be getting into the spirit of the moment, and from the public who obviously like them too. I think part of our success is that we’ve used a very British-style of design, which is very en vogue at the moment, and will appeal to those who have a keen eye for design and want something a little bit different, as well as those with a good sense of humour.” He continued: “While this is a fun and novel idea we do actually have the capability to take on special commissions at our manufacturing facilities in Walsall. “Royal weddings of this scale excite the public. We experienced Charles’ and Di’s wedding in the eighties and the memorabilia madness that went with that. We predicted that the UK would thoroughly embrace opportunities to decorate their homes this time round. But times have moved on and consumers today are looking for something a little bit different from the usual trinkets of the past.” The company’s current successes is a further boost to business, which reported a 62% increase in Year on Year online sales back in January, as well as a 25% increase in orders at its two showrooms in Walsall and Hemel Hempsted. www.spaceslide.co.uk is planning to give away a set of the commemorative doors WORTH £ 555.00 at the end of the month to the person who can demonstrate they have the biggest collection of Kate and Wills Royal memorabilia.

    Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, UNDER HIGHWAYS ACT 1980,SECTION 116 AND SCHEDULE 12. NOTICE BY HIGHWAY AUTHORITY OF PROPOSED STOPPING UP AND DIVERSION OF THE HIGHWAY LEADING FROM ALDRIDGE BYPASS TO THE SERVICE ROAD AND PARKING AREA TO THE REAR OF ANCHOR ROAD, ALDRIDGE, WALSALL, WEST MIDLANDS. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that application will be made by the Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council to the Magistrates sitting at Walsall Magistrates Court, Stafford Street, Walsall, West Midlands WS2 8HA on the 23rd May 2011 at the hour of 14.00PM for an Order to stop up and divert the public footpath leading from Aldridge By-pass, Aldridge, Walsall, West Midlands in the east, to the service road and parking area to the rear of Anchor Road, Aldridge, Walsall, West Midlands in the west. The effect of the Order will be to stop up and divert the highway on the grounds that it can be diverted so as to make it more commodious to the public. The proposed new highway will lead from Aldridge Bypass in the east to the service road and parking area to the rear of Anchor Road, Aldridge, Walsall, West Midlands in the west. The Order and associated plan can be viewed free of charge at The First Stop Shop, Civic Centre, Darwall Street, Walsall, WS1 1DG on weekdays between the hours of 9.30 am and 4.45 pm

    Personal information belonging to up to 1,650 Aldridge and Walsall wood voters has been lost and either buried in landfill or scattered around Cannock in a blunder. Storage bags containing residents’ postal vote statements – including names, addresses, dates of birth and signatures – ended up in skips after the company contracted to look after them for Walsall Council moved premises. Staff at Clockwork Removals and Storage in Hawks Green mistakenly dumped the bags, some of which were then rifled through and their contents scattered around the area and a nearby brook. The rest was buried under tons of rubbish at a local landfill site. The council has now sent out letters to residents apologising for the data loss, which happened over the weekend of March 12 and 13, 2011. Council workers were immediately dispatched to search the area and find any of the scattered documents. They also had to pay a visit to the tip to see if any of the storage bags were retrievable – they were not. Council spokesman Richard Bolton said: “We can confirm that a small amount of data relating to historic postal voting applications has been lost by a third party supplier who had been contracted to store this information. “The information relates only to people who returned postal votes in the 2008 local elections from two wards – Aldridge Central and South, and Aldridge North and Walsall Wood – and not people who voted by post in other wards or who voted on the day at the polling stations.” Clockwork Removals and Storage spokesman Robert Horrobin admitted they had been told the documents were confidential. He said: “Our staff checked one of the sacks in question and it contained blank paper and refuse. In good faith, the items were disposed of as normal waste, which vandals then accessed. “On discovery of the issue, all documents were immediately returned to Walsall Council, except a proportion which had gone to landfill.”

    Aldridge website Comment...if mistaken as waste paper or indeed confidential documents for destruction, why did they not go to recycling or shredding then recycling, rather than landfill ?

    Have baby at the age of 50....Aldridge experts have revealed that Vitrification, a technique of freezing eggs in the womb will change the course of fertility treatment in the UK and the way that women look at their lives. It has come to light that vitrification will help young women to freeze their eggs so that they could have baby at the age of 50 with no risk of miscarriage or Downs syndrome.
    The procedure was developed by Midland Fertility Services, in Aldridge, it used to take hours to chill eggs from the womb, which threatened to damage them, but with the new technique, eggs are frozen in less than a minute to -196C in liquid nitrogen. The vitrification treatment may be beneficial for single and career oriented women who would like to put motherhood on hold. The revelation came into light when a woman from UK gave birth to Olivia Bate by using the ground-breaking technique. The baby is now over three months old and is a healthy baby. Karen Bateman, the mother of Olivia Bate had her eggs flash-frozen in 2009 after years of trying for baby. Medical Director, Dr. Gillian Lockwood said that Olivia's birth has given hope to the many young women who want to be mothers one day but can't try for a baby now.

    Lewis Moore of Francesco Group hairdressers has announced St Giles Walsall Hospice as his Charity of the Year - and handed over £1000 to kickstart the salon's fundraising for the appeal. Lewis, owner of the Francesco Group Salon in Burnett Road and winner of Midlands Hairdresser of the Year, handed over the cheque to head of fundraising for the hospice, Cheryl Bradburne. The funds were raised through sponsorship after Lewis tackled the Great North Run for the fourth time last year, and through donations from staff and clients. The salon team, along with colleagues at Francesco Group Aldridge, have chosen St Giles Walsall Hospice which will run the 12-bed facility opening at Goscote opening Spring 2011. St Giles will provide the same high-quality care in Walsall for which the charity is already renowned, including symptom control, respite, and dedicated round-the-clock care for patients with cancer and other serious illnesses. "It's a great charity that is working very hard to provide hospice care for the borough and everyone at the salon is pleased to be able to help," Lewis said. The total annual running costs of St Giles Walsall Hospice will be £1.6 million and with only half of this amount funded by the NHS in the first year, St Giles Walsall Hospice will work with the local community to raise £800,000 a year, which will be dedicated solely to providing care in Walsall.

    March 2011 News

    Aldridge in bloom...The Aldridge Village Business Partnership, working with Walsall Council and a number of community groups is continuing to improve many of the features of Aldridge Village. As part of Aldridge in Bloom, we have been donated 400 whips from the Woodland Trust to plant on Anchor Meadow for the launch of Britain in Bloom on Saturday 26 March. The plan is for people interested in getting involved to meet on Aldridge Community Centre car park at 10am and we will then go and get stuck in for an hour or two! Please bring your own spade. The planting will be open to all members of the community to come along so individuals and groups are welcome. Anyone interested in taking part, please contact member of Aldridge Rotary Club, Bob Cooke on 07881817854, or by email to cookeb@onetel.co and let us have contact details. This is a great opportunity to get involved in your community to help to make it a place that we continue to be proud of.

    Royal wedding street parties in Aldridge
    People looking to stage a street party for the Royal Wedding have been urged to get their application in. Aldridge residents have until March 16 to get a formal request in for an event on Prince William’s wedding day with Kate Middleton on April 29. Any road closures must be arranged well in advance by the borough’s safety advisory group, leisure bosses warn. The group is a panel made up of Walsall's emergency services and key council officers. Councillor Anthony Harris, Walsall Council cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “The Royal Wedding will be a chance for a national celebration and a red letter day for so many people. “I’m sure many people are thinking of having a celebration in the street with tables, bunting and games which will be great to see. “We’re keen to help as much as we can and people I’m sure will be amazed at the amount of work that has to be done with police and transport to arrange safe road closures. “To date, we’ve had five people contact us so far to say they are interested in holding a party. “We’re asking for applications to be made by this date as this is when the borough’s safety advisory group next meet. This is the forum for the emergency services, partners and ourselves where we can consider application. “We’ll try and process applications after that date but the best bet would definitely be to get an application in by March 16. For more information, people can email LeisureAdmin@walsall.gov.uk, call 01922 650335 or 01922 650326

    Warning for Aldridge dog owners who allow their pets to foul in public places Dog-fouling will not be tolerated in the Walsall borough – that’s the message from a working group which has been set up to deal with the problem. Walsall Council’s environment scrutiny and performance panel recently set up a dog fouling working group after receiving results from a recent survey which revealed that 41 per cent of respondents were concerned about dog fouling. The group have put together an action plan which aims to get tough on persistent dog-foulers and also to educate people on the health risks which dog-fouling poses on the whole community. Walsall Council’s cabinet is expected to approve the action plan when it meets on March 16. A report to cabinet states that the working group has produced a number of recommendations aimed at raising public awareness of the problem and improving the way the council can tackle it. It also states that housing landlords, schools and area partnerships will also become involved in helping to encourage dog owners to behave responsibly and pick up their dog’s litter. The animal control team at Walsall Council will assist in investigations, erect anti-fouling signage and seize stray dogs. Those who persistently ignore the warnings could be issued with a £50 fixed penalty fine, if they do not clean up or alternatively may be prosecuted through the Magistrates Court, where the maximum fine is £1000. It also also expected that community representatives from the area partnerships will be provided with stencils to spray the ‘no dog fouling’ message on footpaths across the borough. The working group has also recommended that posters using shock tactics are displayed in parks and open spaces used by dog walkers. They suggested that the posters displayed should demonstrate the dangers of dog fouling, including toxicara. Hotspot areas will be highlighted by area managers and will be targeted with leaflets and signs. Registered social landlords will be asked to contribute to the anti dog fouling initiative through promotions in their newsletters and assisting with signage. Dog waste bags are easily carried and readily available from most pet stores and vets. Plastic carrier bags also have the added advantage of being re-used for the same purpose. Dog waste wrapped in this way can be disposed of in any ordinary litter bin or taken home and placed with normal household waste. Dog fouling costs councils throughout the country £22 million a year to clean, and remains the countries most complained about issue according to local authorities and MP’s.

    February 2011 news

    A disastrous fish kill threatens the on-going success of a Walsall based charity.
    Established in 2006, the Catch Them Young Fishing Initiative acts as a means to engage disaffected young people through the popular sport of angling. Based in Walsall, with a fishing facility in Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire our mission is to make difference.

    Through a unique blend of mentoring and mediation support, the CTY initiative aims to break the cycle of negative behavior amongst young people, guiding them towards an alternative path to becoming better functioning adults and better citizens.

    Due to the prolonged severe weather conditions during December 2010 and January 2011, we have seen a significant fish kill at our lake in Abbots Bromley, resulting in the loss of some 250+ carp which has quite literally 'ripped the heart out the project'.

    One of the primary reasons CTYFI has been so successful in changing the lives of troubled and vulnerable young people was the fact they were guaranteed to catch big carp on each of their fishing sessions. The enjoyment they obtained from this meant that we were able to introduce other elements into our sessions with them such as education, mentoring and life skills without them losing interest.

    We have had some major successes on the project in turning these young people into valuable and positive members of society. Without intervention a projected path towards crime and unemployment was in most cases inevitable.

    We are now looking at ways to try and restock the water so that the project can continue to make a difference.

    We as a Charity have no financial capacity to purchase replacement fish and wondered if you would be willing to support us in regenerating this unique project by considering sponsoring a fish or even a number of fish.

    Carp scale patterns are as unique as our finger prints it is therefore easy to identify a fish by its scales or other physical features. In the world of specialist carp fishing and on some of the larger commercial fisheries many of the larger carp are easily recognised and as a result are affectionately given names.

    What we intend to do is name the sponsored fish after the organisation that sponsored its purchase.

    We are currently in the process of redesigning our website (www.ctyfishing.co.uk) and will be providing regular news updates and catch reports for those accessing the site, and plan to highlight named fish in any coverage here. We also have a dedicated sponsor profile page, with links to relevant websites.

    We have already secured a fish supplier in Shifnal who is willing to supply us fish stocks at a greatly reduced rate which will help us enormously.

    Carp prices range from £75 for a 10lb fish, £175 .00 for a 15lb fish, or £400 for a 20lb+.

    All the fish we have lost range from 10 - 26lb.

    Any help would be enormously appreciated. Contact details are:

    PC Darren Robbins (Project Manager) - e: darren.robbins@ctyfishing.co.uk t: 07792 794 783

    or log on to www.ctyfishing.co.uk and use the on-line form on the contact us page.

    Kind regards. Mark Lewis Trustee & Director

    The Planning Application to demolish the existing Aldridge Church Rooms and Rectory, and outline planning for housing on the site and adjoining church field. Appl. No. 10/1544/FL. ( see application online here ) About 2 years ago, Aldridge Residents were invited to a walk around Aldridge looking at the Conservation boundary with a firm that had been employed by Walsall Council, this walk took in the area alongside the Church Rooms and beyond, part of the Conservation area.

    January 2011 news

    Police Safe House and Crime Prevention
    Are you over 50? Would you like to attend a free 2 hour session at the police house in Brownhills and see how to protect your property and garden?
    Places are available on

  • Friday, 18th March,
  • Wednesday, 6th April,
  • Thursday, 12th May,
  • Monday 23rd May.
  • Transport arranged. Contact John Morris on 01922 652029.

    December 2010 news

    For sale, Cafe in the square , Aldridge, LEASEHOLD CAFE, COFFEE AND SANDWICH SHOP All fixtures and equipment are included in the sale price Ideal location in the town centre of Aldridge, Walsall, full details here

    Walsall Council welcomes new powers for local communities to get more directly involved in council services.
    The government’s Localism Bill, published on 13th December 2010, is part of the government's "Big Society" agenda.
    Some of the proposals include:

    * Local groups having the right to buy certain public buildings like libraries, pubs or shops. If a council is going to sell a property, community groups will get extra time to develop their bid.

    * Communities can question how services - such as care homes, leisure centres and transport - are being run and potentially take them over.

    * More power for local people to overrule planning decisions and protect green spaces.

    Councillor Mike Bird, leader of Walsall Council said: “We now know we are facing major reductions in public spending over the next few years. So we need to think radically about how services could be provided in very different ways.
    "If we carry on doing what we’ve always done we simply won’t be able to afford the type of services that residents of Walsall have come to expect.
    “But if we can put more power in the hands of local people to improve and even run some local services then perhaps we can avoid making painful cuts.
    “I’m a big supporter of what local community groups can do. They’re often more responsive and better equipped than the council is to deal with local issues. So this is a major opportunity for them.
    “But it’s not about transferring services out of local authority control for the sake of it - we’re going to need to approach this in partnership so we get the best outcome for local people.”

    November 2010 news

    Aldridge School reunion is being held on December 11 th in Whitman Hall starting 7pm till late, organised by Charlotte Rose, with full details provided on Facebook here

    Local bad weather news updates including school closures and road gritting details will be found here with upto the minute reports direct from Walsall Council
    Disruption to local services are updated here
    Road conditions and gritting services daily reports here

    Winter is a particularly hazardous time of the year. The plummeting temperatures, the treacherous weather conditions as well as a general lack of preparation for the season all combine to make injuries much more likely. Elderly people are especially vulnerable, as the unforgiving climate can exacerbate pre-existing medical conditions they may have as well as presenting them with unique dangers.
    Accidents Direct has produced an informal guide to help the elderly stay safe in the winter and here are just three of their tips:
    1) Not to walk on icy/snowy paths – instead look for routes which are dry or have been cleared
    2) Wall mounted heaters are preferable to portable ones as they do not pose a tripping hazard
    3) Replace old slippers and canes as these can become worn out and smooth, offering little protection to winter conditions
    To view the guide go to Accidents Direct

    Free Bitesize taster courses for the Walsall lifelong learning alliance on the MOVE truck at Aldridge Community Centre and the Collingwood centre Pheasey on the following dates and times. All courses below are free.

    Internet delights the easy way
    Trace your family history
    Just Dance with the Wii
    Sports with the Wii

    Times of sessions are as follows

    9 - 10
    10 - 11
    11 - 12
    1 - 2
    2 - 3
    3 - 4

    Pheasey:
    Friday 12th November

    Aldridge:
    Tuesday 16th November

    Pheasey:
    Tuesday 23rd November

    For more information or to book a place call 0808 156 3999 or call Jackie Hewitt 077 363 88424

     Local History society in asssociation with the BBC Turnback time project, in Aldridge, Walsall west midlands BBC One is creating a bold new TV moment by taking a modern day High Street and catapulting five modern shopkeepers and their families back to the 1870s when the High Street was born. Over the course of six episodes, they’ll be fast-forwarded through a fascinating century of change, right up to the modern era .The programme is to be called "Turn Back Time - The High Street. " BBC Learning has, invited Aldridge Local History Society to become a partner to the series and run their own activities and create local timelines, thus enabling more people to get involved in exploring and creating their own High Street history. Partner events are to be interactive and will be promoted on the new BBC Things to Do database. Aldridge Local History Society is pleased to have been accepted as a BBC partner for this venture. ALHS has been invited by MAPSEEKER Archive and Publishing to take up some space in the empty former Harmony Furnisher shop unit on High Street from 13th November through to Christmas which provides a venue to run the “Turnback Time Project” In the shop unit ALHS intend to build: a 'then and now photo display of Aldridge High Street; There will be a very large aerial plan that people can see where the old buildings and shops used to be; A living time line will be created that people can come in and add to with stories memories or even more photos; We hope that people will volunteer to have their memories professionally recorded. We may have some evening lectures or events pertinent to retailing or the High Street. MAPSEEKER and many Aldridge retailers and local artists will also have a presence in the shop unit. Aldridge Local History Society look forward to welcoming as many people as possible to their ‘Shop’ on High Street Aldridge (by Barclays Bank) over the coming weeks. If you have any old photos of Aldridge High Street we hope that you will bring them along to add to the display. (We will take a copy if you wish to keep the original)

    Whetstone Field Primary School has been inspired to 'grow their own' and develop eco-friendly school allotments. Whetstone Field Primary School recently received a very successful OFSTED report, and will also celebrate the official opening of their allotments with a visit from the Lord Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Gary Clarke, who is a keen gardener. Following requests and enthusiasm from the children, the project has allowed each class, from Nursery to Year 6, to have their own allotment plot installed on the edges of the playground, with a wooden seat flanking the side to allow simple weeding and care. Local landscape gardener Mr Machin installed the allotments over the summer holidays, ready for winter planting this term. Last year The Woodland Trust donated 30 saplings for the pupils to plant, and the enthusiastic response from the pupils encouraged Year 3 to start a small potato patch which were harvested in the summer. Year 2 were thrilled with their crop of radish, beetroot, onions, wild flowers and beans, grown in planters outside their classroom. Through holding fundraising events such as Whetstone Winter Wonderland and various after school activities through the year, the Whetstone Field Parents Association were able to raise the £2,450 required to install the permanent allotment plots and purchase enough plant plugs to last the year. By collecting shop vouchers for gardening equipment, the school have also been able to purchase gardening gloves, kneeling pads, trowels and hand forks. The project has had the knock-on effect of several children growing produce at home with family members.

    ALDRIDGE POLICE DRIVING BOY RACERS OUT OF TOWN
    POLICE in Aldridge will be installing cameras and signs to detect and deter ‘boy racers’ in Brickyard Road, Aldridge. ‘Boy racers’ have in the past blighted the Brickyard Road area of Aldridge and officers are fighting back with various tactics. A temporary Domehawk CCTV camera will be placed in the area and any vehicles recorded speeding or causing annoyance will be prosecuted. A LED display sign has also been fitted which will be used to warn drivers that if they flout the law they face losing their vehicle. Warning signs explaining the law and banners informing the public that police operations are ongoing, will also be on prominent display in the area. This follows on from an operation conducted in August when 20 drivers were served notices for causing anti-social behaviour. Since the operation in August, officers have continued to patrol the areas at optimum times and have seen such a marked improvement, no further notices have been served. The notices under the sec 59 of the road traffic act, says that if a vehicle is causing alarm, distress or annoyance, officers can warn the drivers not to use the vehicle in that area again. The warning is served on the person themselves and if they are stopped again by police in any vehicle within 12 months, they can and will have their vehicle seized. Acting Sergeant Natalie Bird, from Aldridge police station, said:” We have listened to our concerned residents and have taken action. With the help of our local businesses and residents we have been able to pinpoint the exact location and times when most of the vehicles turn up. We are happy to report that since the operation has been conducted we have seen a marked improvement and the problem have decreased. However, we will not rest until this problem disappears from our area completely and the CCTV cameras are a welcome addition to our tactical armoury. If you are affected by anti-social behaviour caused by ‘boy racers’ and off road vehicles, we want to hear from you. Please contact the team at Aldridge on 0345 113 5000.”

    Jamie Oliver at Home - Join the Party in Aldridge ! A fantastic opportunity to host a Jamie Oliver at Home Party, and enjoy the great products from the Jme collection. Beautiful homeware, not available in stores. Benefits of hosting a party include special offers on products and 20% value of the party sales for the host to spend on the Jme Collection. Fantastic opportunity to get some great gifts for Christmas. To book a party or for more information contact Lisa Kennedy by Email

    Walsall Hospice is cooking up a storm this Christmas with its new Cook Book. The “Naughty and Nice Cook Book” includes contributions from well known celebrities, read more on The Hospice page

    Aldridge Remembrance Parade is always well supported by the uniformed organisations of Cadets, Guides, Scouts, Brownies, the civil dignitaries, voluntary organisations and local Schools. The Parade will be led by the Royal British Legion with a march to the band of 425 Sqn Air Training Cadets band. It leaves the Community centre in Middlemore Lane/Leighswood Rd at 10.20, going via Leighswood Rd, the Rotary Peace Garden at Elms Island and Little Aston Rd, to the Cenotaph by The Croft and St Mary's Church. The Remembrance Service will commence at 10.50, with laying of Wreaths and at 11am, Two Minutes Silence, followed by the Service of Remembrance. Last Post and Reveille will be played by a 425 Sqn bugler. The Service is led by the Rector and Ministers from the Methodist and Roman Catholic Churches. Aldridge area Community turns up in force, with hundreds of members of the public to Remember those who have given so much for our freedom to live our lives as we do.
    Bob Cooke, on behalf of Royal British Legion and Rotary Club of Aldridge

    Congratulations Marion Hall of Streetly, who has been working tirelessly to transcribe details from Aldridge Parish registers. As a result of all this hard work, the Staffordshire Parish Registers Society has published details of baptisms, burials and marriages registered at the church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldridge from 1771 - 1900.

    October 2010 news

    APPEAL FOR INFORMATION AFTER BURGLARY IN ALDRIDGE
    WALSALL police are appealing for information to help trace a man wanted in connection with a burglary on Wednesday 27 October between 3.45 pm and 5.30pm at an address on Churnhill Road, Aldridge.
    A man in his twenties was in the Aldridge area selling cleaning products door to door. He visited an address on Churnhill Road and the owner purchased an item. She left the man unsupervised and noticed her purse had gone missing after the man had left the address. Inside the purse was a small amount of money, business cards and a computer memory stick. The man is described as around five feet eight inches tall, slim build, with distinctive dyed blonde hair. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a long sleeve dark top and carrying a dark red shoulder bag. Walsall CID are asking anybody who may have seen a man fitting the description in the area to call Walsall CID on 0345 113 5000. Acting Detective Inspector Richard Marsh from Walsall CID said: “This man appears to have been selling cleaning products door to door around the time of the incident and we would like to trace and speak to the man to help us with our enquiries. “We are treating it at this stage as an isolated incident. If you are visited by door to door sales people and are suspicious we urge you to contact us. Always remember to check any person identity before opening the door to strangers. ” For more information please contact Gina Lycett, Walsall media and communications, 0345 113 5000 ext 7881 6585

    Walsall based charity, Catch Them Young Fishing Initiative, has been listed as a finalist in the National Children and Young People's Services Awards for their unique work in crime prevention. read more here

    John Morris Walsall Partnership Area Manager wishes to hear your views on the way that Area Partnerships are performing for local residents. I am always available and you are welcome to contact me at any time, I will always endeavour to either talk to you on the phone or come and meet with you. If you have any comments and quotes that you would like to send me I would be very grateful, as I am looking for feedback on the progress we’ve made in the first few months and to see how the residents are understanding our role and what we are doing. I will carry out consultations on :

  • Wednesday, 20th October – Walsall Wood Library – 12 noon til 1pm
  • Thursday, 21st October – St. Martin’s Church, Daffodil Road – 10am til 12 noon
  • Friday, 22nd October – Streetly Library – 2pm til 3pm
  • Tuesday, 26th October – Aldridge Library – 10am til 12 noon
  • Wednesday, 27th October – Collingwood Centre, Pheasey – 11am til 12 noon
    Tel: 01922 652029 Mobile: 07852 421421 Email John Morris

    THE WEST END ON YOUR DOORSTEP!
    Fans of Musical Theatre in Aldridge and Streetly don’t have to venture far out of town this autumn, as they can find their own West End experience just up the road in Brownhills !

    Brownhills Musical Theatre Company, which celebrates it’s 40th anniversary next year, are performing ‘A Night at The Musicals’ next month. The show will be held at Brownhills Community Technology College Theatre from Monday 8th November until Saturday 13th November, with a matinee performance on the Saturday.
    The programme for this Musical extravaganza includes showstoppers from classic Broadway shows such as ‘Hello Dolly’ and ‘Anything Goes’ right through to current hits such as ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘Avenue Q’. Favourite songs from ‘Hairspray’, “Phantom of the Opera’ and Monty Python’s ‘Spamalot’ are also featured. The company have invited a group of local future musical stars to appear as the ‘Annie’ orphans for one section of the show. With amazing costumes, choreography and the faultless harmonies the company are renowned for, this is your chance to see local talent to challenge any West End stage! Tickets range from £7 to £12.00.
    The Terrace Restaurant, well known for it’s high standards and courteous service is only a few minutes walk from the show on the A5 Watling Street. The traditional English restaurant continues the West End theatrical tradition by offering a ‘Pre Show’ menu for the Monday-Friday and Saturday lunchtime for the run of the show. This Table d’Hote menu is priced at £12.50 for 2 courses or £14.50 for 3 courses.
    For Ticket sales and availability call Joanne-Marie Wilkins on 07532 189 689, alternatively, booking forms can be collected from Julie Homfray at 109a Walsall Road, Aldridge WS9 0AX (01922 456742). To book your early evening meal, call The Terrace Restaurant on 01543 378291, mentioning ‘A Night at The Musicals’.

    A music store who has recently relocated to Aldridge town centre from its long standing Stafford Street, Walsall premises, has already began to make a massive impact on the community. George’s Music Store made an incredible donation to Walsall Councils newest musical oriented mobile project the MOVE which is an amazing bespoke built 32’ vehicle, equipped with a hydraulic performing stage plus many more facilities. The MOVE vehicle is operated by Jackie Hewitt of Walsall Councils Community Development Team. Jackie said, “I can’t believe that just on the off chance when passing by, I called into the shop simply to enquire about karaoke discs because the discs I have on the MOVE project at present, are aimed towards the older residents I work with and although they love the likes of artists such as Patsy Cline, The Monkees, Tom Jones and Elvis etc, the MOVE project doesn’t only work with this age group, therefore the younger adults have never heard of the likes of Jim Reeves and struggle to cope with Marie Osmond’s Rose Garden never mind her brothers and their Crazy Horses. Because of this fantastic community spirited gesture, the young adults across the borough can now sing their hearts out to not only The Black Eyed Peas, Girls Aloud, Sugar Babes, The Killers, Cheryl Cole and the Artic Monkeys, Community Development team and Georges Music may have just created an opportunity to introduce them to some quality music like Frank Sinatra, Matt Munro, Led Zeppelin not forgetting of course the one and only Mr. John Lennon, watch this space and give peace a chance although I’m not too sure that the over 60’s will be rapping unless it is a Christmas present” A massive thumbs up to Georges Music, thank you very much.

    Friday 1st October at 8.20 am a road traffic accident between a mini bus and private hire taxi closed Redhouse lane, Dumblederry lane, Paddock lane and Station road. 2 fire engines, 2 ambulances, 3 police cars attended the scene and 1 person was taken away by ambulance.

    September 2010 news

    On Tuesday 21st September Princess Anne was flown by helicopter into Aldridge Airport and driven a short distance to visit Jabez Cliff & Company Ltd, saddle makers. Princess Anne was met by Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands Paul Sabapathy, Mayor of Walsall Councillor Gary Clarke and Mayoress Yvonne Clarke. Jabez Cliff moved its business from Lower Forster Street, Walsall, to its new Aldridge Road base in June 2009. The visit by Princess Anne had been originally arranged in February 2010, but was canceled at the last moment due to bad weather. During the rescheduled visit The Princess Royal toured the business, unveiled a plaque and spoke with staff and guests such as Staffordshire dressage multi-gold medallist, paralympian Lee Pearson CBE. During her visit she was presented with a saddle which will go to the Riding for the Disabled Association, of which she is a patron.

    Macmillan Cancer Support’s Birmingham and Black Country team are excited for their World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event, which aims to raise huge amounts of money to provide the vital services and support to people living with cancer.
    The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is a really fun event that gets the whole nation slurping and socialising and there’s no right or wrong way to go about it. You can tailor it to suit yourself, whether you hold a traditional coffee morning at home or work, organise a glamorous coffee- themed evening, or serve smoothies and herbal teas instead of coffee. It doesn’t matter how much you raise, every penny will make a difference to people living with cancer. World’s Biggest Coffee Morning intern for Birmingham and Black Country, Emma Bates, explains: ‘The help we provide people with cancer is absolutely essential and the money raised from this event will help us to give support to everyone who needs it. We encourage everyone to take part, its great fun and it really makes a difference’ This is a special year for the annual event, with it being in its 20th year and predicted to bring in over £8m nationally, helping change the lives of people affected by cancer. Last year World’s Biggest Coffee Morning raised over £280,000 for people affected by cancer in Birmingham and Black Country and this year we want to raise even more! For people living with cancer, the difference between a good day and a bad day can often come down to really small things. That could be getting answers on something they’re worrying about, finding out they are entitled to financial help, or just having a chat with someone who understands. As an example, £130 is needed to fund a Macmillan cancer support officer for one working day and raising just £24 will pay for a Macmillan nurse for an hour. So why not put a smile on your mug and join in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on Friday 24th September and feel good about raising money for a worthwhile cause. If you’re interested in hosting a coffee morning, the fundraising team would love to here from you. Register now at macmillan.org.uk/coffee or call 0845 602 1246.
    For local information on WBCM, please call Macmillan’s Birmingham and Black Country office on 0121 742 6393.

    Five new zones have been created for Walsall binmen to carry out their rounds, meaning households in Aldridge and Walsall wood will have their rubbish picked up on different days. Walsall Council will print new collection date calendars to be delivered to families detailing changes, which come into force on October 4th.

    August 2010 news

    Aldridge Prime – Improved Plans Coming...
    Hills Ltd, the team behind Aldridge Prime, the new live work development in Aldridge village centre, will soon be revealing new and improved plans for its redevelopment of the Law Courts in Aldridge.... continue reading on the Aldridge Prime Page

    17th September, Walsall Hospice annual Starlight Walk in Walsall Arboretum. visit the Walsall Hospice annual Starlight Walk website or call the fundraising team on 01922 423578

    July 2010 news

    Sports 4 All at summer holiday camp in Walsall wood

    A wide variety of sports will be available at the leisure centre in Walsall wood during the school summer holidays. Oak Park Leisure Centre, Walsall Wood will be offering a number of activities for 8 to 14-year-olds during July and August 2010. The programme includes traditional sports such as football and cricket together with other activities including Cyberzone dance mats and use of the Fitzone kids gyms. Stuart Webb, sports development co-ordinator for the council's sport and leisure development services team, said: "There is something for everyone in this summer's programme. For working parents we are also offering an early bird and extra fun option which means we will be providing activities between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Friday between 26 July and 27 August." Cost for a standard day which runs from 9am to 4pm is £8 or £35 for the week. The early bird and extra fun options cost £1 per session. For more information and bookings call Oak Park Leisure Centre on 01543 452849 or e-mail sports4allholidaycamps@walsall.gov.uk

    Oak Park Leisure Centre Skate park opens for summer holidays
    Up to 80 youngsters are expected to roll up to the launch of a refurbished skate park at Oak Park Leisure Centre on Saturday 10 July. The £88,000 scheme - paid for with a grant from the Youth Capital Fund - has involved overhauling existing equipment, installing new and improving drainage on the site so it can be used even in wet weather. Detached youth workers from the council's Integrated Young People's Support Service worked with local young people to organise the refurbishment with support from Oak Park Leisure Centre, local police and police community support officers, and officers from the council's greenspaces and parks maintenance teams. Cabinet member for children's services Councillor Rachel Andrew said: "This is a great example of us listening to young people and working with them to create positive things for them to do in their spare time. "Youngsters were directly involved right from the design stage and have been continuing to use the site while work has taken place. "It's already having a positive impact on the local community and feedback from police is anti social behaviour problems in the area have gone down because youngsters feel something is being done for them." The skate park's official launch will be on Saturday July 10 - coinciding with the start of SHINE WEEK which runs from the 10-18 July to promote National Positive Activities for Young People. Local police community support officers are attending to offer young people free bike security marking and Pelsall Community Watch volunteers will also be there cooking up a free BBQ for the skaters.

    Artistic Aldridge school children are cream of the crop in competition
    Pupils from Cooper and Jordan Primary school in Aldridge have won themselves £1,000 worth of sports equipment after impressing judges with their designs for a new milk carton package in a competition. The youngsters in Aldridge were among school children from across Walsall challenged to come up with a new design by Pritchitts Milk who supply Viva Milk to several schools throughout the borough. Judges from Pritchitts Milk were impressed by the artistic efforts of the school's pupils and picked out five pupils:- Lydia Hart, Ethan Allen, Luke Conway, Tasmin Toor and Chrishan Dalvair for special praise. In recognition of the outstanding designs from more than one pupil the judges selected the school to win a supply of sports equipment. Headteacher Robert Trawford said: "Congratulations to all the pupils who entered the competition and it's great to know the school has so much artistic talent in its ranks. "We're thrilled to have won this sports equipment. Sport is an important part of school life and there is no doubt we will be able to put this equipment to good use." Walsall Council's school meals service was responsible for co-ordinating the competition in partnership with Pritchitts Milk.

    Local Gardening experts grow funds for Walsall Mayor's charity
    An award-winning gardening couple will be helping the Mayor of Walsall's charity appeal to blossom by opening up their picturesque garden for visitors. The couple have agreed to stage an open day on Saturday 24 July from 10am until 5pm to help local charity, Walsall Hospice. Since 2006, Tony and Marie Newton have attracted almost 6,000 visitors to their Four Seasons garden at 26 Buchanan Road, Walsall, WS4 2EN, raising more than £17,000 for charity. The recent warm weather has made the summer garden spectacular. Visitors will be treated to a stunning display of flowering annuals, begonias and perennials and a beautiful collection of acers and conifers. There is also the unexpected - a jungle, complete with mist and tropical birdsong. Their garden won the National Garden of the Year Competition organised by the Daily Mail in 2007, beating 2,000 competitors and was invited to join the National Garden Scheme in 2008. Everyone who sees the results of all their hard work is absolutely amazed at its beauty. It really takes people's breath away and visitors from far and wide travel to see the garden. The garden was the subject of a BBC Gardeners World special in February 2010, chronicling their 17-year labour of love. Admission for adults will be £3 and visitors should note there are some steps at the garden. The Newtons are both aged 60 and retired in October 2009. Marie was Walsall Council principal regeneration officer - transport strategy, and worked at the local authority for 12 years. Tony worked as a GP in Walsall for 29 years.

    June 2010 news

    U CAN STORE IT ( Aldridge ) SELF STORAGE CELEBRATES THEIR 10TH BIRTHDAY with The Mayor of Walsall - Councillor Gary Clarke joining in the Celebrations
    U Can Store It Self Storage celebrate their 10th Birthday this year and to honour the occasion they are holding a Birthday Party at their site at Anglian Road in Aldridge on Saturday 3rd July. Adults and children alike are invited to join them in their celebrations where a bouncy castle, free gifts and refreshments will be available throughout the day. The Mayor of Walsall Mr. Gary Clarke will be opening the event at 10am and tours of the premises and facilities will be run hourly until 3pm.
    U Can Store It have a capacity of over 450 storage units and have served over 2,150 customers since they opened in 2000, U Can Store It is part of S Jones Container Services Ltd., a family business, which was originally formed in Aldridge in 1914.
    Self storage has become a popular solution to businesses and homeowners alike over recent years and U Can Store It certainly ensure that the customer gets exactly what they need, they provide 24 hour security, you can drive directly to your unit and they provide various sized units from 37.5sqft to 300sqft all of which are clean, dry and weather proof - perfect for storing just about anything.
    People who wish to attend the event can book a tour with Vikki on 01922 741757, text their name and preferable tour time to 07511 045253 or e-mail info@ucanstoreit.co.uk. Alternatively, just arrive on the day between 9am-3pm.

    Monday 21st June from 8am till 2pm Come along to Simply Delicious in High Street Aldridge with your bike and recieve a free Bike Check, free post-coding, Free magazines, maps and puncture repair kits will be avaliable as well as advice from Walsall Council Cycling Officer, and not forgeting free refreshments from Simply Delicious (subject to conditions) Full details available on www.bikeweek.org.uk/aldridge or call 01922 652577

    Free graffiti removal service from private properties by walsall council. A new initiative to remove graffiti without charge from privately owned residential properties has been launched by Walsall Council's Street Pride team subject to the owners signing disclaimers. Graffiti is one of the issues being targeted by the council as part of the Wipe It Out section of its ongoing Cracking Environmental Crime campaign. Between January and December 2009 180 reports were received of graffiti and 198 removals took place. Previously the Street Pride team was only able to remove graffiti for free from publicly owned land, street furniture and buildings. It is hoped the new approach will help improve the overall appearance of Walsall borough and encourage more people to report graffiti. The scheme will initially run on a six month trial basis upto approx December 2010 and if successful could be made permanent. Andy Ody, Street Pride Grounds Manager, said: "Traditionally people tend not to report graffiti and instead just accept it as part of the street scene. "Probably the one area which causes real concern to people is graffiti appearing on private properties. In the past we have been able to remove this but only at a charge. Service standards set by the council relating to publicly owned land, street furniture and buildings outline racist and offensive graffiti will be removed within 24 hours and the remainder as quickly as possible. Graffiti in parks will often by removed by park rangers with the more difficult cases referred on to Street Pride. On the spot fines of £80 can be handed out to anyone caught spraying graffiti. If a prosecution is pursued through the courts, the maximum punishment available is a 10 year prison sentence if the case is sent to crown court. Graffiti can be reported to Walsall Council on 01922 653344 or by e-mailing streetprideemail@walsall.gov.uk

    Aldridge Big Tidy Up event, linked to the Keep Britain Tidy national campaign, part of a series of Sunday clean up efforts across Walsall parks and open spaces takes place on Sunday 20 June The Croft, Aldridge. Meet by the children's play area from 11am to 1pm, and is an opportunity for residents to make a difference to their community. Equipment including litter pickers and bags will be provided and there will be a full briefing on the day. Anyone interested in taking part should meet just before 11am for a briefing by the park rangers. recently Walsall Council's Street Pride team and Community Payback have also been out and about taking part in litter picking and general tidy up work in the community. Areas being covered include litter picking and removal of flytipping at Pelsall Nest Common, general tidy up at Barnes Lane Pool in Rushall and litter removal from several alleyways in the Area Partnership covering Pelsall, Rushall, Shelfield and Brownhills. Councillor Anthony Harris, Walsall Council cabinet member for leisure, culture and environment, said: "It is important we all take responsibility for keeping our communities clean and tidy and these Sunday tidy ups are a great way for people to get involved. "We know from listening to residents one of the things they often highlight as an issue is rubbish on our streets and parks. Walsall council is working hard to keep our environment clean and tidy and for the next few weeks we are asking residents to join and support us in this ongoing work." Among those lending their support to the Big Tidy Up is Walsall Housing Group (whg)who will be holding a series of estate tours for their customers throughout June and July when residents can raise any concerns about their area.

    Aldridge town centre has signed up to take part in Europe's largest horticultural competition, Britain in Bloom. Aldridge entered the regional Heart of England in Bloom competition, urban community category, and if successful could be entered into the main Britain in Bloom event. The competition annually attracts over 1,350 entries from small villages to large cities. Walsall Council's District Centre Management Team is co-ordinating the entry, supported by the Town centre business partnerships. Judging will be around three main categories which are horticultural achievement, environmental awareness and community involvement. Residents are also being urged to play their part by adding their favourite photos of the area to Flickr by following the link http://www.flickr.com/groups/wda-in-bloom/. Areas featured can cover everything from the local park to a residential street but should illustrate why residents and the wider community should feel proud about the area. The winning picture in each area, as judged by members of the business partnerships, will receive a £20 voucher for a photographic shop and the most popular images of each district will be displayed locally. The deadline for entries is Friday 18 June. Councillor Adrian Andrew, Walsall Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: "This event will give us the opportunity to show off three of our district centres and I'm sure the judges will be impressed by what they see. "A lot of work takes place throughout the year to keep our district centres looking great and hopefully this competition will give these areas the recognition they deserve." Councillor Anthony Harris, Walsall Council cabinet member for leisure, culture and environment, said: "This competition is about promoting pride in our communities and striving for excellence. "It is not simply about floral displays and making the area look great on judging day but about achieving improvements which will benefit these communities year after year." Judging will take place in July.

    The previously named Three Crowns garden centre near Aldridge has new owners and a new name. Seasons Change Garden Village, Sutton Road, Walsall is now owned by Mark and Maria Litherland who would love you to come and have a look at their garden centre and enjoy drinks, snacks and succulent roasts in the restaurant. Open Mon - Sat 8 - 6 and Sunday 10.30 - 4.30. Extensive parking available. Call 01922 454 557 or visit Seasons Change Garden Village website

    From now until June 30th, two course Summer Special Carvery at Lakeview Restaurant and Bar, Calderfields Golf and Country Club, Aldridge Road, Walsall. £10 for two people with voucher - see local press. Contact 01922 632 243.

    Wednesday, June 9th till Saturday, June 12th The Circle Players present Dick Barton - Special Agent at Aldridge Theatre, Noddy Park Road, Aldridge. Tickets £8.00. Call 07949 358 814 or email gail-ashmore@hotmail.com.

    May 2010 news

    April 2010 news

    Walsall Centre for Independent Living has teamed up with Walsall Society for the Blind for a new project which supports people with visual impairments.
    In Walsall, more than 3,500 people have a visual impairment and one in three people aged over 75 lose their sight altogether. Half of all total sight loss can be avoided if early preventative measures are taken to avoid further deterioration. The new project will run at the Walsall Centre for Independent Living in Bridge Street, every Tuesday between 10am and 2pm. Janet Porter, Eye Clinic liaison officer, will be on hand to offer emotional support, information on various visual impairments such as macular degeneration, diabetes and cataracts and advice on equipment and other services to help people experiencing sight loss to stay independent. People can talk to Janet Porter, Eye Clinic liaison officer, in confidence in the centre and the session is also available to carers and friends who are also affected by a loved one's circumstances. People can drop it any time between 10am and 2pm on Tuesdays or call 01922 627683 or 01922 650790 for an appointment time.

    Young people interested in growing their own vegetables can go to Aldridge Garden Centre in Chester Road to take part in free vegetable seed-planting sessions on Saturday, April 17, and Sunday, April 18. Grow your own workshops will take place from 10.30am until 11.30am. and again from 2.30pm until 3.30pm call the centre on 01922 451401

    Saturday 10 April Aldridge Spring Market Bag a bargain at Aldridge Spring Market More than 30 stalls will set out their wares with face painting and an Easter egg trail. Outdoor living and garden stalls will be on offer at the market which is being held on Saturday 10 April from 9am until 5pm at Aldridge Shopping Centre in Anchor Road.

    Heart Care announces a Healthy Hearts Evening 13th April 2010
    A Healthy Hearts Evening is being help for the people of Walsall. It takes place At Walsall Heart Care, 12 Portland Street on Tuesday 13th April from 6.to 8.30 p.m. Cholesterol, blood pressure, urine, lung capacity and glucose levels will all be tested and you will also be able to get an ECG test plus advice on diet, general fitness and weight assessments. All results are available on the evening and everyone is seen by our specialists who will discuss any worries or queries. The cost is £50 per person and all proceeds will go to Heart Care which is a registered charity . The unit supports hundreds of patients to recover from coronary heart disease each year through a pioneering cardiac rehabilitation programme. Spokeswoman Sue Ursell said “ We really want people to make the most of this facility. It is ideal if you have a specific concern or just a want general MOT . A similar set of tests could cost hundreds of pounds if booked privately “ For additional information on our Healthy Heart Evening and to book an appointment contact Walsall Heart Care on 01922 725050

    Announcing a new pregnancy yoga class starting soon in Aldridge and Walsall area ! Contact Jill Nock on 0121 353 1153 or jillnock@aol.com for further details (Suitable for non-yoga prectitioners)

    A kind-hearted newspaper delivery boy has done his bit to help Walsall Hospice on his rounds by delivering 600 Joy of Six boxes to residents in Aldridge and Walsall Wood.
    James Pacino, aged 13, offered his services to Walsall Hospice fundraisers for free as it works to raise £1.5 million for equipment and initial running costs at the facility, which is being built on Goscote Lane, Goscote, as part of the palliative care centre. Building work is on target and the Hospice is expected to open early 2011, offering respite care to adults with life-limiting diseases. Aldridge School pupil James, of Queen Street, Walsall Wood, said he wanted to help out with the Joy of Six campaign because his grandmother had died of cancer. The Joy of Six campaign, which was launched in January 2010, is urging Walsall residents to collect just 25p a week in their collection boxes to raise £6 each by June 2010. A special event will take place on June 16 2010 on The Bridge, in Walsall town centre, to let as many people as possible take their collection bricks and sign a piece of lasting artwork for the Hospice. James's mother Sam said: "I was so proud when James said he wanted to deliver the collection bricks. The charity is becoming very close to our hearts." Cheryl Bradburne, head of fundraising at Walsall Hospice, thanked James for his contribution. "It's lovely that someone like James is keen to help us in our efforts to raise £1.5 million and thank him sincerely for offering to deliver the boxes," she added. She said that the Hospice fundraising team have been taken aback by the generosity of the Walsall community, as schools, playgroups, clubs and young people alike have taken up the Joy of Six campaign. "It's a tough target to raise £1.5 million, but the generosity of Walsall people has been astounding, so I really hope that by working together we can reach it," added Cheryl.

    New bus network in and around North Walsall From Sunday 25th April 2010
    There will be major changes to some bus services in Aldridge, Bloxwich, Brownhills, Streetly and North Walsall on Sunday 25th April 2010.  These changes will reflect modern journeys that people want to make.
    Partners Arriva Midlands, Centro, Midland, Midland Rider, National Express West Midlands and Walsall MBC are working together to deliver a better North Walsall bus network. The network will begin from start of service on Sunday 25th April, and in the run up to that date you will see some numbers and timetables changing at bus stops and shelters in key centres, and on roads across North Walsall. Please visit the website network westmidlands website and click on North Walsall for further information.

    Local Aldridge author Suzanne Wright has had her first book published and is looking forward to a book signing in Waterstones, Solihull in April.

    The book - 'The Love Child's Mother' - tells the fictional story of a teenage girl called Carol, in the 1960s, who is forced to give up her child for adoption. Suzanne is currently writing her second novel. For more information on her work visit Suzanne Wright's website Copies of her first book can be obtained from Amazon, or ordered from any book shop.

    March 2010 news

    Archaeological dig to explore the croft in Aldridge
    An archaeological dig aimed at uncovering hidden historical finds in Aldridge took place on Tuesday 16th March 2010, organised by Walsall Council, working in partnership with Aldridge Rotary Club as part of a plan for future ideas to enhance The Croft, including a possible heritage trail.
    Previous finds in Walsall range from flint tools dating back to the Mesolithic period, around 10,000 years ago, to 20th century industrial structures. There are currently around 1,500 records for Walsall included in the Black Country Sites and Monument Records.
    Geophysics work for the archaeological evaluation started last week to pinpoint the location of trial trenches which are being dug and recovered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Pupils from Cooper & Jordan Primary school will also be visiting the site to witness the dig taking place.
    Councillor Adrian Andrew, Walsall Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: "The Croft is an important village asset and some really exciting options are being looked at to enhance it even further.
    "This includes creating a heritage trail that will link The Croft to the village and its shops and really make it a focal point for the whole community.
    "We hope the archaeological dig will unearth evidence of The Croft's history which we can share with both current and future generations.
    "Our district centres are very important to us and this is another example of how we are working to make them a focal point for the people that live there and also encourage others to come and visit."
    Northamptonshire Country Council has been appointed by the council to undertake the archaeological evaluation. It is being funded through Section 106 money from a nearby housing development.
    Together with a heritage trail other ideas put forward so far for The Croft include further landscaping of the site, adding picnic benches, pathways, benches and litter bins.
    A public consultation day has been held giving people the opportunity to see the proposals and have their say. Workshops will also be held with local schools and youth clubs over the next few weeks to gain wider community input.
    Brian Wheat, Aldridge Rotary Club president, said: "We are very excited about this archaeological evaluation and hope it will enable us to draw up a detailed guide to The Croft's history.
    "The Croft is greatly valued by the Aldridge Community and we are keen to make it a focal point for the village by creating a heritage trail and adding to the facilities the community currently enjoy."
    Anyone who would like more information on the scheme can contact Cherry Shine, Walsall Council principal regeneration officer, on 01922 652537.

    All aboard for the young people's express in Aldridge
    A fleet of 3 new mini buses will be seen in Walsall over the next few weeks following a £160,500 investment in mobile youth services.
    The new mini buses have been purchased and Walsall's existing mobile mini bus unit has been fully refurbished using Walsall's allocation from the national Youth Capital Fund Plus.
    The mini buses will be aligned to existing detached youth work teams based in the newly formed Integrated Young People’s Support Services.
    Youth workers from Walsall council's Integrated Young People’s Support Service will be using the mini buses to get out among local young people offering them an opportunity to get involved in a range of activities in their spare time.
    The mini buses will offer a broad range of projects and programmes in partnership with other agencies to young people who do not otherwise engage in positive activities from existing venues. All projects will operate within the Every Child Matters framework helping to address local needs.
    They are inviting professionals from other agencies to come and see some of the mini buses at Aldridge Manor Youth House during special drop in sessions on Wednesday 31st March, 10am-12pm and 6pm-8pm.
    There will be the opportunity to book induction sessions and key workers responsible for the operational management of the mini buses will be present to discuss potential multi-agency projects.
    The mini buses will be out on the road from 1st April 2010. Up to September there is the opportunity for agencies to trial the mini buses in their areas with the support of the local youth service teams.
    Cabinet member for children's services Councillor Rachel Walker said: "This is a considerable investment in our mobile youth service that I hope young people who can't get to our network of centres will find very useful.
    "I'm sure it will make a huge difference to young people in the borough and provide them with a range of information, guidance and positive things to do."
    For further information contact Julie Nokes on 01922 655851

    Aldridge croft open green space is to be discussed as part of a review to make improvements, see full details and meeting venue at the What's on & Events page

    The Princess Royal was due to fly in by helicopter to Aldridge to officially open Jabez Cliff and Company Limited's new factory, Badgers Yard, Aldridge Road, Walsall, West Midlands, and then makes a second visit to RMD Kwikform Ltd, Brickyard Road, Aldridge, Walsall, West Midlands. on Thursday, 18th February, however due to bad weather, the visits were cancelled with plans for a new visit to be made.

    February 2010 news

    Walsall Police are checking cashpoints every hour 7 days a week in Walsall town centre for ATM card machine fraud devices. Three cash machine devices were found in Walsall area over the last few months, with gangs from eastern Europe thought to be most likely responsible. Three people were jailed in 2009 for attaching spy cameras to cashpoints and slipping plastic sleeves into Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds ATM cash machines in Walsall, which would retain customer bank cards. Romanian Viorel Mihut, aged 35, and Sorinel Dan, 38, travelled from London to Walsall in 2009 to commit cash point offences. Ukranian, Valic Birka admitted fitting a device to an ATM machine at Barclays Bank in Aldridge. Sergeant Richard Churchill, from the town centre neighbourhood team, said: “There was obviously more than one gang operating in Walsall, they can place a device on the ATM, and watch two or three people use it. There will be a hidden camera directly above the keypad and the gang will wait nearby collecting the information via Bluetooth onto a laptop, unsuspecting bank customers will find that the ATM machine appears to swallow the bank card, and by the time the customer talks to the bank to get it back, the gang has removed the trapped card and ATM device, plus withdrawn funds by using the video footage taken from the spy camera.”

    New trees will welcome Aldridge visitors and residents
    A splash of winter colour is guaranteed in Aldridge - thanks to a tree planting scheme in partnership with Walsall Council. The council's district centre management team and Aldridge Village Business Partnership have joined forces as part of a programme of environmental initiatives to boost the village. Trees have been planted at three key gateways to the village. Five autumn cherry trees have been planted near to High Street and Little Aston Road which will provide winter colour with their double pink flowers and blooms from November to March. A Princeton Elm is the fitting choice for the High Street side of Elm Island. It is a quick-growing canopy tree, believed to be the first of its variety to be planted in the borough. Four River Birches have been planted at the entrance to Anchor Road. These trees are recognised by their peeling barks and the only other example is in Walsall Arboretum. Councillor Adrian Andrew, Walsall Council deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration, said: "Aldridge - along with all our other district centres - makes an important contribution to the borough as a whole. "This is another example of the council working in partnership to improve and enhance a district centre and I'm delighted that the village gateway are being boosted in this way." The trees were planted by Walsall Council's Streetpride and the project was funded by Aldridge South and Streetly Local Neighbourhood Partnership. Councillor John Rochelle, chairman of Aldridge South and Streetly Local Neighbourhood Partnership, said: "Aldridge was always known as leafy Aldridge and if we can have some more trees it is going the right way towards giving it more of a village atmosphere."

    January 2010 news

    Online estate agency turtlehomes are delighted to offer a special half price offer for all subscribers to the Aldridge Village website. If you instruct Turtle Homes Aldridge area to sell your home, we will agree a marketing price with you, take multiple photographs, floor plans and all of the information required to upload to the top property websites including Rightmove, Findaproperty, Primelocation, Propertyfinder, Globrix, Ebay and many more. In fact our marketing network attracts approx 80 million buyer searches every month. We will arrange with you suitable times for viewings, provide feedback, negotiate the best price for your property and and progress the sale to completion. In fact pretty much the same as your local estate agent but for a fraction of the cost. All of this for the first instruction at just £99 +VAT marketing fee and £199 +VAT payable upon completion.

    Community to rally for opening ceremony with the worlds largest monument
    A colliery brass band will be part of the attractions as a community celebrates a landmark Walsall Council project. A replica Pit Head has been built on land off Lichfield Road in Walsall Wood. Sillouettes of real Walsall Wood people will also be officially opened at the event at noon on Saturday February 6 at St John's church, High Street. The pieces have been made by artist Luke Perry who has worked closely with the community. At the event, residents will be able to hear about the project at the church before being given a map and allowed to explore the works. The Highley Colliery band from Shropshire are set to play to recreate the feel of days gone by when Walsall Wood was a mining community. Councillor Mike Flower, chairman of the Walsall Wood regeneration steering group, said: "This has been a brilliant project. We wanted to celebrate Walsall Wood's proud past but it a way that will put it on the map for the future. "We asked what people would like to see and so many people told us that the village's mining roots are so important to them. "The sillouettes are amazing. They are life size representations of real people and they have their own stories carved into them and what Walsall Wood means to them. "I'd like to say a big 'well done' to Luke for working so hard and to all those who helped support this scheme." Members of Shrophire-based Highley Colliery Band will play at the opening ceremony which will be attended by civic dignitaries, residents who worked on the project and members of the public. Former miners and their relatives are expected at the opening event. Councillor Adrian Andrew, Walsall Council cabinet member for regeneration, said that the scheme was part of a wider plan to regenerate Walsall Wood. He said: 'This is another example of the council investing in districts and neighbourhoods across the borough. "The Pit Head is such an impressive structure. At more than 50 foot high I inderstand this is the largest monument to mining anywhere in the world. "This scheme will help put Walsall Wood on the map and help us as we try to attract new investment. "This is about celebrating Walsall Wood's identity and heritage. Congratulations to all of those involved in the Walsall Wood regeneration steering group." Walsall Wood was a thriving goods handling centre in the 19th century. As a key link in the road, rail and canal networks thousands of tonnes of goods and raw materials passed through the town. The Pit Head stands at the rear of Oak Park leisure centre, off Lichfield Road, close to the site of a colliery which was mined for almost 100 years until the 1960s. The mining landmark and the silouettes can be seen from the road while a silouette fisherman can be seen from the canal that runs through the town. Hopes are high the fisherman will attract narrowboaters to stop and explore the village. It is hoped that the £40,000 artwork scheme will create a strong identity for Walsall Wood that will help build pride in the town and attract new investment.

    Green light for new Neighbourhood model for Aldridge
    Local people in Walsall are set to be given new powers to influence decisions in the places in which they live after councillors gave the thumbs up to a new scheme at a special council meeting last night (Thursday 28 January 2010). Members were present to hear Walsall Partnership's proposals to replace Local Neighbourhood Partnerships (LNPs) with a new model, Area Partnerships. Chief Superintendent Kevin Bullas from West Midlands Police and Gary Fulford, Chief Executive of Walsall Housing Group both addressed the Council meeting and Denise McLellan, NHS Walsall’s Chief Executive sent a letter of support. Nine LNPs have been operating in Walsall since 2004 to help local people to become more involved in matters that affect them in the area in which they live. Despite early success however, their popularity has waned in recent years, with limited attendance at public meetings and lack of understanding of their purpose. A review of the LNPs, which began in September 2008, confirmed that a new way of engaging with the public was required for the council and its partners to work more closely with residents. The new model will see the borough divided into six community areas. Within each Community Area, there will be at least one 'Place of Focus'. These will be relatively small, locally identified places where residents and the council and its partners will work together to solve specific issues and problems. Instead of solely relying on public meetings, local people will be consulted in a wide range of places and at various times of the day, such as at local schools, supermarkets or from door-to-door. This will increase consultation with a wider cross section of the community and give people more of a say in shaping the services the council and its partners provide and the problems and issues they want addressed. People will also be encouraged to get involved in solving local problems by setting up their own initiatives and groups who can be consulted. Each Community Area will have a local budget of £40,000, managed by an Area Manager, which will be used to tackle issues affecting the people who live there. Of that, half (£20k) will be ring-fenced to the identified 'place of focus' within each Community Area. Councillor Mike Bird, leader of the council and chair of Walsall Partnership said: "It's clear that we have to change the way we engage with our local communities and give people the chance to have real influence over the issues and problems in areas where they live. "This was confirmed in our recent Audit Commission report that people living in Walsall feel they are not given a platform to discuss the concerns where they live. "Area Partnerships will give local people the chance to engage with the council and its partners more fully." Clive Wright, director for Walsall Partnership added: "We believe it's important for our local communities to have a greater say in how resources should be allocated locally. But it's equally important that we not only listen to the concerns of people but also explain what action has been taken to improve their neighbourhood. "This will be achieved through our "We Asked, You Said, We Did" promise, which will highlight how we have listened and what differences have been achieved in their area." Councillor Garry Perry, cabinet member for safer, stronger communities said: "This isn't a decision we have taken over night. We have consulted with residents, our partners and members of the voluntary sector to develop this model. Our partners including NHS Walsall, Walsall housing group and West Midlands Police are fully on board. "We believe it will positively change the way that partners work together and help to resolve small scale problems quickly." It is estimated that the implementation of the new scheme will cost the council £412,000 in 2010/11 and £357,000 in 2011/12. In addition NHS Walsall and Walsall Housing Group have committed financial support to the scheme. More information on Area Partnerships will be made available soon.

    The cashier at Foley Service Station was thrown to the floor as five masked robbers demanded cash at 6am Wednesday, January 27th Fellow staff member Ray Sarjant was pushed into the shelves and forced into the back room as the balaclava-clad group ordered they give them money. The gang then set upon a 59-year-old man who visited the shop – chasing him onto the forecourt as he attempted to flee the store. He was left with injuries to his head, leg and hand. A panic alarm was raised and the intruders escaped without any money. However, they made off with computer equipment containing CCTV footage. The men fled on foot although it is believed they may have had a get-away car nearby. Witnesses should call Walsall’s robbery team on 0845 113 5000.

    Work on Aldridge Playbuilder projects to get underway
    Work on the first phase of Walsall Council's £1.1 million Playbuilder scheme to enhance play opportunities for the borough's children is set to start this month. Eleven sites form part of phase one of the project with all the work due to be completed by 31 March 2010. They will not be traditional play areas with playground equipment but instead will have natural features such as mounds, tunnels, climbing boulders and tree trunks. The projects have been split into three different groups and contracts awarded to three bidders. Work on the projects in Tyne Close and Druid's Walk, both Aldridge, and White Horse Road, Brownhills, was scheduled to start on 4 January 2010 but has had to be delayed until the cold weather eases. It is estimated work will take five weeks to complete. Work on the final sites in Croft Street, Birchills; William Street, Butts; Foley Road East, Streetly and Doe Bank Park, Pheasey, is scheduled to get underway in the first week of February. It is due to be completed by the middle/end of March. Councillor Barry Sanders, Walsall Council cabinet member for leisure services, said: "Now the timescales have been set for the work to take place residents can see clearly how the Playbuilder scheme is moving forward. "These play areas will be aimed at 8 to 13-year-olds and will really enhance the play opportunities for youngsters in this age range across the borough." Play England is funding the £1.1 million project which will see a further 11 sites delivered in the 2010/11 financial year.

    We want your views - North Walsall Bus Network
    Partners Arriva Midlands, Centro, Midland, Midland Rider, National Express West Midlands and Walsall Council want your views on the current bus network in North Walsall to form part of a review of bus services in April 2010.

    We will be holding exhibitions where you can come and speak to staff and give us your views. Alternatively if you are unable to attend an exhibition you can fill in a questionnaire on line. Visit Network West Midlands website for details of the exhibitions or to fill in a questionnaire.

    Aldridge Buses first to trial new pre-paid systems
    The first pre-paid Smartcards are set to be introduced on National Express West Midlands buses as part of a trial being launched in January 2010. The new £20 million system will allow passengers to ‘top up’ their fares before they travel, similar to the Oyster card system used in London. The first trials of the Smartcard technology are currently under way in the region on some Silverline and Central buses, including the 679 Wednesbury to Yew Tree Estate via Friar Park system and the 118 Fort Shopping Park to Aldridge via Kingstanding. But trials are set to be rolled out to routes operated by National Express West Midlands, the region’s biggest bus operator, by the end of January. The first of its fleet to get the swipe card technology will be in the Yardley area of Birmingham. If successful it would pave the way for the scheme to go live across the region’s 2,500 buses later in the year. Centro spokeswoman Babs Coombes said the trial was already going well on the Central and Silverline buses since coming in at the end of November. “We are seeing how that goes at the moment and we are now looking to put the machines in the first National Express buses in the Birmingham area,” she said. “The trials are going well but we want to make sure we get it right.” She said there was no specific date for the general roll-out of the scheme as it depended on how the trials went. The new concessionary passes issued to pensioners all contain a chip to make them Smartcard-enabled and are being used in trials.

    Updated...The plans for an extension to Morrisons supermarket in Aldridge which was to include the demolishing of Aldridge ambulance station has been rejected by Aldridge local councillors on road safety and noise grounds. Morrisons wanted to knock down Aldridge Ambulance Station and build a bigger store in a move that would have created 100 jobs. It would have also paved the way for a reshuffle of paramedic bases across Walsall with plans for a smaller base in Aldridge, next to the supermarket’s proposed new service yard. But nearby residents who live in Croxalls Court sheltered flats directly opposite the proposed development in Anchor Road said they were unhappy with the plans due to current noise nuisance which is created by regular deliveries and 24 hour loading activity, this under the proposed plans, would have been increased and also located closer to the apartments. Ashley Turner, of architect’s WECC which designed the scheme, said his firm worked closely with the council and West Midlands Ambulance Trust, which was in favour of the plans saying its Aldridge base was to large for its purpose. The council’s planning officers had recommended the plans for approval. Councillor John Rochelle, of Aldridge, said: “I am appalled by this application. We were promised a reasonable facility for the ambulances. I think the people of Aldridge will lose out.” Councillors refused the application on grounds it would adversely affect the amenities of the neighbours at Croxalls Court, increase the traffic on the Aldridge Bypass, the access to the new ambulance base was inadequate and dangerous and an increase in noise levels.
    Morrisons expansion plan update January 2010
    Following the rejection, by the Planning Committee on 5th November 2009, there are 3 alternatives under consideration:
    1. Forget expansion plans
    2. Appeal the decision (which will involve Council facing paying their legal costs should the decision be overturned)
    3. Look at an alternative site outside Aldridge centre that would enable expansion to proceed.

    December 2009 news

    Aldridge Gala Ex-bingo hall sold
    The new owners of the former Gala Bingo in Anchor Road, Aldridge, are now “considering a number of proposals for the site”. Walsall-based Dorchester Land and Corum Property Investments Limited, based in Guernsey, have bought the one acre site in a prominent position on Anchor Road, Aldridge. John Phillips from Dorchester Land said: “It has the potential for a number of alternative uses. We are considering a number of proposals for the site and the intention is to submit a planning application in due course following consultation with the local planning authority and other interested parties.” The building was put up for sale by owners Gala Coral when it closed in August after more than 60 years of bingo at the site. Players told of their sadness at its demise and 18 people lost their jobs. The company blamed the tough economic climate and the hike in bingo tax duty in April’s budget for the closures. It is one of several branches the company has been forced to close, including Gala Bingo in Castle Hill, Dudley, which also shut in September. The company said at the time there was an interested buyer but refused to confirm the identity. The Aldridge club, which stands in the centre of the village was formerly the Avion Cinema built in the 1930s. It is a listed building and has been hailed as an example of fine architecture in the past. It is believed it was on the market for more than £1 million.

    Easy Fit Conservatories taken over by Indigo Products in Aldridge
    A debt-ridden Black Country conservatory firm that went into administration has been bought, halting fears customers would be left out of pocket. Easy Fit, in West Bromwich Road, Walsall, has been taken over by Indigo Products, which is based in Brickyard Road, Aldridge. Easy Fit went into administration last week, leaving 34 members of staff redundant. Few of those workers are expected to be taken back on. While former suppliers and contractors remain unlikely to recoup hundreds of thousands of pounds they were owed by the firm, the new owners today said they would honour agreements with hundreds of customers who had outstanding contracts with Easy Fit. Chief Executive Officer at Indigo’s parent company Tradeframe Holdings, Will Nicoll, revealed takeover talks had been held in the weeks before Easy Fit went to the wall. But he said that it had been clear the firm was in too much financial trouble. “I would like to reassure all Easy Fit customers that we will honour their deposits and fulfil their purchases,” he said. “Our buyout will ensure that no customer loses out and that Easy Fit has a sustainable future.”

    November 2009 news

    Bank raiders used sledgehammers to break a hole through a side wall at Lloyds TSB bank in Aldridge high street, taking a large sum of cash. The robbery took place between 1.30pm on Saturday, November 14 and 8.45am on Monday. Anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious at the premises over the weekend, or who has information to assist the inquiry, is urged to ring 0845 113 5000 and ask to speak to detectives at Walsall Police Station.

    Six Aldridge pupils, five girls and a boy were taken to hospital for checks, after drinking ethanol, pure alcohol, at Aldridge School in Aldridge, Walsall. Head teacher David Mountney warned of disciplinary action. In a statement Mr Mountney said: "Following the theft of a sample of pure ethanol from a science lesson on Thursday 12th November six students, having admitted drinking some of the liquid, were sent to the local hospital for a blood test." The six students returned home with no concerns about their health. Mr Mountney has made assurances that a full investigation would take place including a full health and safety report, and appropriate disciplinary procedures will be followed. The Health and Safety Executive confirmed it had been notified of the incident and said it would be investigating "in due course".

    Aldridge business man Richard Williams, aged 46, of Marshall Close, was sentenced to three years for money laundering as part of a five-man cocaine smuggling gang. In a separate case, he was jailed for a further two years for smuggling more than 2.2 million cigarettes into the country, estimated to have cost the taxpayer £400,000.
    He was found guilty of two counts of money laundering at Birmingham Crown Court last Friday, October 30, in a case which involved the importation of 6kg of cocaine, worth around £300,000. The drugs were concealed within a package of books flown from the Dominican Republic.
    The other four members of the gang were sentenced to a combined 45 years in prison following a West Midlands Police investigation.
    Mr Williams, who ran Aldridge Interiors kitchen shop, was arrested by Customs Officers in April 2008 after he had overseen the delivery of the cigarettes, all of which were counterfeit. They were discovered in a 40ft curtain-sided lorry, which had been partially unloaded, at a commercial unit in Willenhall. The plot which saw the cigarettes smuggled in a highly sophisticated reusable concealment within 144 industrial rolls of lino, each containing around 15,000 cigarettes.
    Adrian Farley assistant director of Criminal Investigation for HM Revenue & Customs, said: "We will not hesitate to take action against those dealing in smuggled cigarettes products and evading duty.
    "Selling illicit tobacco products is not a harmless tax fiddle -– it cheats the public purse of around £3 billion a year, which could be used to fund vital public services such as hospitals, schools and care homes.
    "The proceeds from cigarette smuggling are often used to fund serious and organised crime such as drug smuggling. The illicit cigarette trade breeds contempt for the law by encouraging otherwise honest people to trade with criminals and undermines genuine, honest retailers."
    He added: "I would urge anyone with knowledge of others importing or dealing in smuggled cigarettes to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000."

    BBC DOCUMENTARY SEEKS CONTRIBUTORS IN ALDRIDGE AND WALSALL AREA
    IS AN ELDERLY RELATIVE OF YOURS A DANGER BEHIND THE WHEEL?
    ARE YOU FACING THE DILEMMA: SHOULD YOU TAKE AWAY THEIR KEYS?

    Independent TV company Matchlight is making a documentary for BBC1 exploring the dilemma facing the families of many elderly drivers - are they safe behind the wheel or should you take away their keys? We would like to hear from people who are currently wrestling with this issue, and who might be interested in participating in our documentary. For many senior citizens, getting behind the wheel is perhaps the activity that most maintains their sense of independence. But the Department of Transport’s own statistics show that drivers over the age of 80 have more accidents per mile than any other age group. Would you intervene to prevent an elderly relative, whom you consider to be a danger, from driving? WheN is the right time to bring up the subject, and how hard is it to confront a relative about it? Or are you an elderly driver who feels pressurised to stop when you don’t feel it is necessary? If your family is dealing with this issue now, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us via email on keys@matchlight.co.uk or calling 0131 225 1711.

    Jobseeker’s allowance claims have risen by 100 per cent in Streetly, Aldridge, Pheasey and Pelsall as the recession continues to bite.
    A report to Walsall Council’s regeneration committee, due to meet Tuesday 3rd November, shows jobless claims have soared by 75 per cent across Walsall Borough, an increase of 4,818 taking the total to more than 12,000. But four Walsall areas, Streetly, Aldridge, Pheasey and Pelsall, have seen claims rise by 100 per cent in the last 12 months a reflection of how many people have either lost jobs or have been unable to find work in the economic crisis. calls are being expressed for more aid to be given to manufacturers in the region in a bid to speed up recovery. The report also highlights a decline in construction contracts throughout the Walsall borough, large scale redundancies and the closure of town centre stores such as Woolworths. Councillor Ian Shires, who sits on the regeneration committee, blamed the decline in manufacture for the impact the recession has had in the area. He said: “If you look at the countries who have bottomed out now they have all done it on the back of manufacturing, the problem here is we’ve lost our manufacturing. “This is a serious situation. We now have predominantly white collar jobs, we need to make sure we have a good cross section of opportunities for people. “The region needs to take a good hard look at itself, we need to stark making things. “Our MPs should be banging on the doors of Westminster to get more help up here.” Walsall North MP David Winnick said the recession had been devastating but had not had the impact of similar downturns in the 1980s. He said: “It’s having an impact as recessions always do, but it would have been much worse if Government had not continued with it’s policy of investment. “The danger was the recession turning into a depression and all indications are that isn’t happening, but we’re far from complacent. “Recessions always have an adverse effect and on those least able to be in a position to help themselves.”

    New Planning Applications for Aldridge and Streetly area can be found via the Walsall Council "Search for planning applications" on Planning Interactive (real time back office information) Search for Planning Applications, Decision Notices and view the Planning Registers including Weekly Lists of planning applications and more. Use this link:
    Walsall Council Local Planning Interactive Service

    High levels of cash point scamming over the past few months, in and around the Walsall area is part of a national problem which appears to be on the increase. Numerous arrests have already taken place in Walsall Borough but this hasn't deterred the criminals involved in these offences. Whenever you use a cash machine, especially those outside banks, supermarkets, etc. always check the front of the machine carefully, particularly around the card slot and across the top. If you find anything which is 'unusual' or which comes away, do not use the machine but alert bank or shop staff immediately and call the police. Be aware that these devices often have to be recovered shortly after someone has used the machine so the offender may be nearby. If the offender does attempt to remove the device do not interfere or put yourself in danger. To be absolutely safe always try to use machines inside banks or shops as these are unlikely to be tampered with. If you have any questions please contact Kevin Pitt or Crime Reduction Officer PC Mark Ledo, at Walsall Borough Community Safety Team, Walsall Police Station, Direct line: 01922 439103

    West Midlands Ambulance Service is searching for land in the Black Country for two new ambulance stations to improve its coverage of the region which includes an offer from the supermarket chain Morrisons to buy the Amulance Station in Aldridge, which could help fund the project. "The public can help us find the right sites for our service, which is about 1,400 sq m (15,000 sq ft) with good access to main roads so that vehicles can leave the station quickly." Barry Thurston, director of service delivery for WMAS NHS Trust, said the site at Aldridge was too big for its needs. Mr Thurston said no firm decisions had been made yet but the offer from Morrisons allowed it to review its services. He said "chances like this do not come along very often," to provide purpose-built facilities for staff. "They work extremely hard and it is only right that, when they get back to station, they have the proper amenities," He said: "All our research shows that we need to keep a base in Aldridge." He said the Morrisons plan would enable it to keep the same number of emergency vehicles on site and would not impact on commuting time for shift staff travelling to a new base. Paramedic Gary Fitzpatrick, a Unison staff representative based at Aldridge, said: "Staff at the two stations accept that this is an opportunity and we are happy to help the Trust look at possible changes."

    Two Masked raiders forced their way into Aldridge Co-op store Walsall Wood Road, threatening a worker with a crowbar before making off with cash, stamps and cigarettes. Ds Rob Bastin, of Walsall CID said: “This was a frightening incident and we are appealing for anyone who was in the area of the Co-op around 6.30am on Saturday 10th October 2009 or anyone who saw anyone suspicious or any suspicious vehicles in the area to contact the CID at Walsall.” Clare Rajan, spokeswoman for The Co-operative, said: “The member of staff was unharmed but badly shaken. CCTV footage has been given to the police who are investigating. “As with any incident such as this, The Co-operative is reviewing security measures at the store and we would appeal for anyone with information to come forward.” No-one was hurt in the robbery. The offenders are both described as being white men, wearing black balaclavas and dark clothes. Jane Mee, of The Flower Orchard, opposite the shop, said: “It does make us very worried but it doesn’t surprise us as there has been a lot of incidents around.”

    Aldridge Local History Society have been successful for many years with over 145 members and have a large regular meeting place at Aldridge Parish Church.
    A brand new ALHS website has also been launched publishing meetings and inviting new members or those who just want to attend any event that takes thier interest.
    see the new Aldridge Local History Society website here

    The book about world war 11 victoria cross holder, Charles "Gus" Bonner, a local man from Aldridge, was written by Sue Satterthwaite and is now available. All profits made from the sale of the book will be donated to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. More details and Charity order link are here

    Aldridge is being considered for a pilot scheme where all traffic lights, kerbs, markings and road signs could be removed leaving motorists to make all the decisions about driving and road safety to their own judgement, and consequently reducing speeds to reduce accidents and protect pedestrians. Based on the Dutch Woonerf system, it could be adopted all over the Walsall, West Midlands region if it proves successful.
    Walsall Council is considering introducing the system in approx 2011 based on the 6,000 similar schemes in Holland where statistics suggest they are playing an important role in cutting down on accidents. The system would see a speed limit of between 10 and 20 mph introduced with the concept based on drivers taking responsibility for each other and other users on the road. (comment by Aldridge website) If you have approached a set of traffic lights which are not working and seen how motorists seem to generally adopt a much more careful, observant and co-operative style of driving, then this is the aim of the project. Councillor Anthony Harris, cabinet member for transport, says the idea is a concept in its early stages but he sees Aldridge as a perfect town to apply the Dutch principle. He said: “It is all about the motorist being responsible for their own actions. “I am confident this can work. I think Aldridge has a perfect design to be incorporated into this.”

    The future of Walsall’s rail network and uncertainty over long-standing plans to build new stations at Aldridge and Streetly. Streetly councillor Gary Clarke, chairman of the West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority, and his colleagues has held discussions with bosses from Centro and Network Rail. Councillor Clarke said: “We are starting a big review of the rail network where we will endeavour to come up with answers to a lot of the questions people have.” Councillor Clarke recently spoke with rail minister Tom Harris, who announced funding was being withdrawn from the Wolverhampton to Walsall line. Councillor Clarke said he was also keen to get plans for rail stations at Aldridge and Streetly back on track. He said: “The more local railway stations the better.”

    Royal Sutton Coldfield Canoe Club is pleased to announce a new home at Rushall Olympic Football Club, Dales Lane, Rushall, Walsall, WS4 1LJ, just off Bosty Lane. The club was recently "evicted" from Aldridge Marina after the Marina Owners unfarily increased their mooring fees to over £4,000 a year! Everyone in the Canoe club is thrilled with their new home, and is looking forward to operating from here. Rushall Olympic Football Club has many more facilities to offer our Canoe Club members. We would like to thank the football club committe for offering us a new home.

    A group of Aldridge creative and arts people have got together to consider whether there is a call for a 'creative space' in Aldridge centre. This could be used for adult drama & music classes, teen arts classes, kids classes (subjects not provided for elsewhere), craft fairs and for discussion groups. A questionnaire can be found by clicking this link and your feedback is essential to see if the project is of interest to Aldridge area local people and to progress the idea.

    Aligators safe in Aldridge with their mystery keeper who has successfully applied to Walsall Council for a licence for the dangerous reptiles. “In the last 12 months a licence has been issued to a man in Aldridge in respect of two Chinese alligators,” Walsall Council principal environmental health officer Clive Potts told the Sunday Mercury. “Over the last five years, four have been issued to the same man for the same alligators. The licence is renewable annually.” Anyone wanting to keep an exotic animal must get a licence for it under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. They should only be issued when a local authority is satisfied the animal would not be a danger to the public, the owner is suitable and the accommodation is adequate and secure. It is Mr Potts’ job to carry out these checks, and he has no concerns about the alligators. “They have got a purpose-built enclosure in a detached building, “ he explained. “It is fully heated and has a pond for them, I would say it is about 15ft by 12ft and the animals are about 4ft long. “There is no way they could get out. I am not worried about that.” The endangered reptiles are usually only found in China’s Yangtze River, where there are thought to be less than 200 left. They can grow up to seven feet long and usually eat rats. Despite being considered a docile member of the reptile family, they are still capable of devouring a human. And animal experts are warning they should not be kept as pets. “These are dangerous beasts,” said Dudley Zoo spokeswoman Jill Hitchman. “You simply cannot hand-rear a reptile like that. They need expert care.

    New rail services linking Birmingham to places like Aldridge, Streetly, Castle Bromwich, Minworth, The Fort and Walmley are being investigated by Centro. The West Midlands public transport body is funding studies that will look at linking Birmingham with a number of possible new routes. It has commissioned the research, which if positive, could be a first step towards a series of vital new services. The plans include at least two new services an hour between Birmingham and Tamworth, calling at new stations at Kingsbury, Castle Bromwich and The Fort. Trains on the route would also call at the new £9 million Coleshill Parkway Station and at Wilnecote and Water Orton. They are also looking at services that would travel through Sutton Park between Walsall and Water Orton, calling at new stations in Aldridge, Streetly, Sutton Coldfield, Walmley and Minworth. Key to the plans is the proposed implementation of new Chord lines in Bordesley, which would allow new and existing services to access the newly refurbished Birmingham Moor Street station. Consultants Halcrow are carrying out the study and are due to complete it by November 2008. They will be looking at the cost, as well as key issues like overcrowding. Planners and economists will also assess passenger demand, congestion, emissions and accidents. Councillor Gary Clarke, chairman of Centro, said: "If these plans are realised, they will build on the significant investment already seen in regional rail network over recent years.

    Free loft insulation and cavity wall insulation is available to any Walsall ratepayer aged 70 or over.
    Contact Hayley Campbell on 01922 652 123. Walsall Council, Housing Standards and Improvements.

    Free venue for non-profit organisations
    The Innkeepers Lodge on Chester Road, next to the Parson and Clerk, is offering free access to its meeting room facilities to registered charities. This includes use of a LCD computer projector and screen, flip charts, TVs and videos. There is plenty of parking and disabled access. The room can accommodate 20 people for a business style meeting or up to 50 for a sit down event. The rooms will be available on a first come first served basis. 'Phone the duty manager on 0121 353 7785.

    Photography in Streetly and Aldridge area is now being used to show how residents are proud of thier community and will work together with local communities and organisations including the Police in a bid to tackle and resolve any decline or damage in the area, nothing is more powerful ....than a picture !
    See the photo Album

    You are welcome to send Photographs of the local area to highlight those scenes and views you enjoy most, you may also wish to send any photo which brings attention to any area of damage or in need of repairs which can then be swiftly alerted to the correct people to take positive action.

    Want to complain about Aldridge or Streetly area ?.... and get results ? well.....NOW YOU CAN....Its official...complaints get noticed when you take a moment to write it down on a NEW "One off Issue" FORM. Down load it , fill the essential parts of the form, then choose, take it to your next CAG meeting, post it, or even save it on your pc then email back. The aim of this form is to report details regarding a "one-off issue" that any resident of Aldridge South or Streetly may choose. This information will be logged with a unique reference number. Once the completed form has been actioned you can obtain the latest status of your issue by contacting the LNP team (01922 652029).

    Development vision of Aldridge upto the year 2021
    Aldridge environmental, economic and social vision, objectives and strategy for the future development around Aldridge as part of wider plans leading ahead to 2021

    Aldridge Parish Church
    proposed extension to be built on St Mary's Church

    Walsall People Ltd
    An Award Winning Service and a "not for profit, Social Enterprise" Provide Handyman, Gardener, and decorator services for Aldridge, Streetly and Walsall area.

    Talking Pictures
    Aldridge based group of artists have work on exhibition at R.A.F Cosford.

    Mr Dusan Popratnjak, Chairman Aldridge Residents Association, is writing a book about Aldridge Manor House and would be very pleased to hear about you memories and stories to be included in the book and very interested in any old photographs.

    You may contact Dusan by phone on 07790 446670 or by letter.

    Mr Dusan Popratnjak
    Mitype,
    106, Whetstone Lane,
    Aldridge,
    Walsall,
    West Midlands
    WS9 OEU.

    You may also send information to Alan at Aldridge website by using the contact link at the top of this page.

    The Hearing Company offers a free hearing check and also a buy one hearing aid system and get one free opportunity to anyone who mentions that they have seen the information on Aldridge website. Getting to the Hearing Company in Walsall is really easy because all the Aldridge buses terminate directly opposite the shop in the Walsall bus station so its very easy to find. 3-4 Butlers Precinct, Walsall, WS1 1LF (facing the bus station) Call 01922 645580 and speak to the Hearing Aid Audiologist, Wendy Hodge.

    Aldridge South & Streetly plus Aldridge North & Brownhills, Local Neighbourhood Partnership meetings are held on a regular basis to discuss local community issues including crime, facilities, services, planning proposals and any points raised by the public, see information for your local police, councillors & L.N.P.

    Aldridge Neighbourhood watch News
    The latest tips, advice & information from Kevin Pitt, the Community Partnerships Officer with Walsall police is now available on the Neighbourhood Watch Page

    Free Personal Fitness Consultation
    Total Personal Training offers a highly professional personal training service in Aldridge. More details TPT Free Consultation

    Regular meetings of Aldridge LNP and CAG's

    What is a (CAG) Community Action Group then?

    CAGs have been set up to support the Local Neighbourhood Partnership (LNP). The CAGs provide support for you to make a difference and create positive change in your area. Through creating closer links between services and the community.

    Safer and Stronger Communities CAG
    Covering issues to do with creating safer and stronger communities and tackling environmental issues, such as recycling and street pride.

    Health and People CAG
    Covering issues related around health and people, in particular vulnerable people, young people and economic development.

    What will you get out of attending?

    • Real opportunities for you and your neighbours to have your say and be involved in improving the local area

    • New ways of making organisations accountable for their services and performance

    • Improved and co-ordinated public services that are more responsive to local needs

    • A chance to use your local intelligence to help your local neighbourhood policing team and to make them aware of your community safety issues

    Dates and Venues of Future Meetings available on the Events page

    " Aldridge Agenda " is a summary of local issues, originally written by Councillor John Rochelle. These are details which have been presented at open public meetings like the Local Neighbourhood Partnership. I felt that it was so useful that it should be included here for your information, and i will keep adding further details as they become available.

    You may also find this link about the future of Aldridge very intersting: Aldridge Development Plan

    BAY TREE HOUSE
    A plan was approved subject to consultation for HOUSING 21 who run all WMBC Residential Homes to build a new Care Complex in Aldridge with each TENANT (new status) having an apartment rather than just a room. The development having many shared facilities such as a shop, lounge, restaurant and hairdressers etc. The new site off Northgate in Aldridge. All residents of Baytree House and staff moved there in September 2009. The existing Baytree House site will be demolished and the land sold to help pay for the project.
    APPLICATION NUMBER 07/2644/FL/E12
    DESCRIPTION, 53 EXTRA CARE APARTMENTS, COMMUNAL FACILITIES, DAY-CARE CENTRE, PARKING AND ASSOCIATED LANDSCAPING at the now demolished site of NORTHGATE REHABILITATION CENTRE, NORTHGATE, Aldridge, WALSALL, WS9
    APPLICATION TYPE FULL APPLICATION, DECISION DATE 29/02/2008.
    OFFICER DEVINDER MATHARU, TELEPHONE 01922 652429
    WARD ALDRIDGE/CENTRAL & SOUTH
    DECISION DETAIL, GRANT PERMISSION SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS.
    More details about Housing 21 new facilities in Northgate Aldridge are here: Heath and Care Services

    Aldridge LIBRARY
    Enlarged internally for books computers and toilet facilities at the expense of office space. See more info here: Aldridge Library

    PORTLAND ROAD
    Due to be fully resurfaced and upgraded in 2008 as part of the Roll out programme. Residents asked for the road chicane to be removed and the hedge at the cottage severely cut back, which was completed

    REDHOUSE SCHOOL SITE
    The school has been demolished and plans submitted to sell part of the site for housing with some Green space and Community Establishment to be built. There is more than one proposal and it should be adjudicated on by a Government Department some time in July 2007.

    MANOR HOUSE
    It is now administered by the Childrens Directorate for Youth. Now refurbished with an Internet Café proposed. It is rented out to other users such as the Bowling Club who met there when it was part administered as a Community Association, It has been reported that the Manor house is still in a state of on going refurbishment and re-decoration, and that much of the building will become the offices for the staff of Walsall Youth Services with a significant cost saving made by vacating thier present rented offices. More info here: Aldridge Manor House Youth Club

    WHG
    Is undertaking a large modernisation programme.

    Aldridge WAR MEMORIAL
    Was refurbished in 2007. New benches, Lighting and a flagpole installed. Plus a citation to our only V.C. Charles Bonner. See full details Here: Charles Bonner VC

    BEACON VIEW
    To be demolished and new housing for people with learning difficulties, purpose built to a more satisfactory design

    STEPS IN ANCHOR ROAD
    Repair and enhance with handrails, located directly outside Gala bingo club. Sadly, soon after installation these were partly dismantled by a number of people ( possibly for scrap metal value) however it is reported in April 2008 that both the persons responsible and the hand rails were found and taken to Aldridge police station.

    ANCHOR ROAD COMMUNITY NOTICE BOARD & BENCHES
    Located at the entrance area of Aldridge Shopping precinct along with some new benches. The new community notice board was installed in April 2008 and the recycled plastic benches installed nearby.

    BRANTON HILL LANE & BLISS SAND AND GRAVEL.
    A new access road is being costed to provide access to the Chester Rd. There will be some land needed to be sold for housing to enable this to be built. A number of executive houses preferred. Ongoing.

    Aldridge RAIL STATION
    Proposals continue to be advanced therefore it is important to retain the land at the back of Anchor Meadow for a Carpark extension. At present it appears that the New Station for Aldridge may be built by 2018, however this issue is gaining more support and generating the attention of more people involved in the planning of transport and rail services, which could see the whole scheme pushed forward along with other rail plans for Walsall area and a new target date set along the lines of 2013....to be continued ! see more info here: Aldridge Train Station

    AFFORDABLE HOUSING
    A great deal of new build has been for Apartments so we think our area has built its share. New development already means that we are already the largest Ward in WMBC

    FLIERS
    Should we undertake Aldridge in Bloom or perhaps a Victorian Theme Day ?....any thoughts on this idea or other suggestions...why not email aldridge website ?

    AIRPORT ADVENTURE CENTRE
    Completed essential services, access road and carpark. see full details here: Aldridge Airport

    CHRISTMASS TREE
    A live sapling Christmas tree was planted on the Elms traffic Island in Aldridge during November 2008, which over the coming years will grow to a size ideal for decorating with lights each year and save the cost of cutting down a tree from nearby forest sources. In December 2007 a 24 foot cut tree with 1200 LED lights was installed with the help of donations from local residents, businesses owners and clubs.

    41 & 43 LEIGHSWOOD ROAD
    Demolish both commercial, industrial properties and replace with residential dwellings

    PORTLAND ROAD FLATS
    Site currently levelled and fenced off and more information soon to be available regarding proposed development of hight tech specification flats. The architects who drew up plans had originally been working on a target build date of 2008 yet the site still remains a vacant levelled plot with no signs of any construction.

    For a copy of the Free Aldridge Newsletter delivered by email, please use the form below:
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    Free Newsletter from Aldridge Village website in Walsall west midlands uk Aldridge Archive Local News and Events have moved to:
    Archive Index

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