Low Income Families Pay for Govt Cuts in Council Tax Support

Low income families in Walsall will be forced to pay more council tax due to further cuts to Government funding of local authorities. Reductions by the Department of Communities and Local Government more>

Call for Farage to Condemn Ukip’s ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Claims

The leader of Ukip, Nigel Farage, is being called on to disown comments made by  the chairman of the party’s Walsall branch who claimed  British people are being ethnical ‘cleansed’ by migrants. more>

Labour Keeping Its Promises On Education

Mirus Academy officially opened its new £2 million English department as local MP, David Winnick, cut the ribbon to the school’s latest wing. The ceremony was attended by governors, teachers and pupils more>

District Centre Parking Charges Rejected.

Proposals to introduce car parking charges in the district centres of Willenhall, Darlaston, Bloxwich, Brownhills and Aldridge have been rejected by council leaders following a hugely successful public consultation by Walsall council. more>

Labour Councils Tackling Boy Racers

Campaigners fighting the scourge of boy racers turning local streets into race tracks are backing a plan to give police more powers to break up meetings which attract spectators and drivers. The more>

Labour Deliver Pay Cut for Councillors.

  Walsall Councillors have voted overwhelming in favour of a Labour motion to cut senior members allowances despite opposition from the Conservatives. The 29% reduction in payments to the leader and deputy more>

Campaigners Win Site Victory

A controversial planning application to site a skip hire and material recovery works on land close to residential homes has been thrown out by council officers after protests by local people. The more>

Labour Delivering New Business Opportunities

Labour councillors are implementing another of their election promises  by encouraging businesses across the borough to bid for contracts worth millions of pounds. Walsall Council’s Meet the Buyer event, to be held more>

Walsall Council’s First Armed Forces’ Champion

Councillor Carl Creaney says he is immensely proud to be chosen as Walsall’s first Armed Forces Champion. The Labour member for Willenhall South, who served with the Royal Artillery for 18 years more>

Government Cuts: The facts speak for themselves

Labour’s has come to power in Walsall at a time when cuts imposed by national government and the failings of the previous Conservative and Liberal Democrat leadership have forced on the authority more>

Low Income Families Pay for Govt Cuts in Council Tax Support

Low income families in Walsall will be forced to pay more council tax due to further cuts to Government funding of local authorities.

Reductions by the Department of Communities and Local Government to the Localised Council Tax Reduction Scheme will mean working age households on benefits having to pay 25 per cent of their council tax.

The increase will impact hardest on low income families who are in work but need support to remain above the poverty Line.

Diane Coughlan, portfolio holder  for Social Care, said Walsall people were being made to pay for the Government’s austerity programme with cuts in services and benefits.

“The changes in Government funding means to continue the present level of council tax reduction scheme would mean having to take £7.7millon from services such as support for the elderly, disabled or children at risk. We face a balancing act: trying to set a legal budget while doing our utmost to defend those who need our help most.”

“The Government’s action is forcing authorities into hitting the most vulnerable and the lowest paid. It’s a Catch 22 with no escape for those who will carry the burden.”

Across the country 281 out of 326 councils have  introduced reductions including Tory controlled Surrey Heath where residents have to pay 30%

The Localised Council Tax Reduction Scheme was introduced by the Coalition Government who abolished council tax relief while at the same time reducing the amount councils received.

Cllr Coughlan added: “Regrettably we are recommending that working age families, who are eligible for council tax support, are given a maximum discount of 75 per cent rather than the full 100 per cent so as to minimise the impact of the Government’s decision while trying to safeguard critical services as much as possible.”

Call for Farage to Condemn Ukip’s ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Claims

Nigel-FarageThe leader of Ukip, Nigel Farage, is being called on to disown comments made by  the chairman of the party’s Walsall branch who claimed  British people are being ethnical ‘cleansed’ by migrants.

The Leader of Walsall Council, Cllr Sean Coughlan, said remarks by Phil Bottomley that immigration was leading to the ethnocide of indigenous people of the UK were ‘abhorrent and dangerous’.

On his personal blog, Phil Bottomley wrote that the ‘deliberate plan of uncontrolled immigration policy was a classic case of ethnocide. Put simply it is the cleansing or diminishing of an indigenous population by methods other than mass extermination.’

Calling for Nigel Farage and the three Ukip members on Walsall council to condemn the comments, Cllr Coughlan said the people of Walsall had consistently rejected messages of hate.

“Here in Walsall we’ve faced various attempts to spread hatred; from the BNP peddling their racist ideology, to the EDL who came to our town and rioted, and even a murderous attempt to bomb a Mosque. When those events happened, I am proud to say that members of all parties, faiths and communities, condemned them and stood against them.

Mr Bottomley’s remarks were published as Ukip’s candidate for South Basildon and East Thurrock was forced to stand down and resign from the party after making offensives remarks about homosexuals.

Cllr Coughlan added: “Mr Bottomley’s comments are more abhorrent and dangerous than those of Kerry Smith because as chairman of the local branch he has a pivotal role in choosing the candidates Ukip put forward in elections but his views are clearly not shared by the people of Walsall. Ukip claim they are a non-racist party who support immigration so I am calling on Mr Farage, along with the Ukip members on the council, to disown his comments and choose a new branch chairman.”

Walsall North MP, David Winnick . added: “We will continue to oppose those sorts of remarks, and will not retreat from this; in view of what the UKIP leader has said on more than one occasion when faced by such comments from some of his members, we would expect him to do likewise.”

Labour Keeping Its Promises On Education

Labour MP for Walsall North, David Winnick, opening the new English department at Mirus Academy watched by head teacher, Dan Neal.

Labour MP for Walsall North, David Winnick, opening the new English department at Mirus Academy watched by head teacher, Dan Neal.

Mirus Academy officially opened its new £2 million English department as local MP, David Winnick, cut the ribbon to the school’s latest wing. The ceremony was attended by governors, teachers and pupils from the 1000 pupil site which serves Birchills-Leamore and Bloxwich.

Mr Winnick was invited to open the new facility after he and local Labour councillors successfully lobbied the government for extra cash to carry out the improvements. “I was obviously very pleased that some of the substantial funding that was urgently required was approved; as a result, the new English block was opened on Friday. I will of course be supporting the further financial application which will be made next Monday.

“One of the nicest aspects of being an MP is seeing your efforts turn into solid achievements and enhancing and investing in our young people is surely the best investment we can make. The refurbishment of the Mirus Academy, like so many of our schools, is desperately needed and so it is a real pleasure to open this wing and see the impressive work of both pupils and staff.”

District Centre Parking Charges Rejected.

Labour have reasoned to people's concerns on parking charges. Sean Coughlan

Labour have reasoned to people’s concerns on parking charges. Sean Coughlan

Proposals to introduce car parking charges in the district centres of Willenhall, Darlaston, Bloxwich, Brownhills and Aldridge have been rejected by council leaders following a hugely successful public consultation by Walsall council. Walsall’s Labour cabinet rejected the proposal which was part of a set of options included in the consultation booklet to deliver £86 million of government cuts.

The decision comes after thousands of people took part in a major consultation exercise on £86 million of cuts which are being imposed by the Government on the borough over the next four years. Walsall council leader Sean Coughlan said the public response to the consultation so far had been extremely successful. “The reaction to this consultation has been the best we have ever had.

“People recognise these cuts are forced on us by central Government and it is clear residents care about council services. What the consultation has shown is that people are frightened by the impact of these government cuts on those services, their homes and their communities.

In the past, local town centres have been left to decline and shops and small business have struggled to cope. We decided the parking charges, though modest, would have a negative impact on those communities which we, as a Labour council, are determined to protect and we will also ensure that district centres are a priority in our future regeneration plans that we will bring forward in the coming months.”

Mohammed Nazir, cabinet portfolio holder for regeneration, said the council’s overall aim was to help businesses create more jobs. “Borough wide we are working to support and improve business opportunities but we won’t forget local communities who have, in the past, been ignored.

Willenhall Community activist and local businessman, Stan Taylor, welcomed the decision: “For many years our High Street has been in slow decline. We have seen row upon row of shops closing. We need to protect existing businesses and attract new investment into the area and I am pleased the cabinet has listened and acted to deliver that.”

Labour Councils Tackling Boy Racers

Campaigners fighting the scourge of boy racers turning local streets into race tracks are backing a plan to give police more powers to break up meetings which attract spectators and drivers. The legal move by four Black Country councils could outlaw late night gatherings in Moxley and Shire Oaks where young people meet before racing their cars on public roads.

car-accident-crash-9829673Walsall Council has joined with Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Dudley to obtain a court order banning the meetings within their four boroughs.
The order would allow police to break up the meetings and arrest spectators and car cruisers who refuse to leave after being ordered to do so. It would also allow police to tackle the problem if racers change the locations of their meetings.

The move has won the backing of Walsall Wood resident, Bob Grainger, and Darlaston South Labour councillor, Doug James, who have campaigned to eradicate the dangerous events in their local areas. Retired teacher and local campaigner, Bob Grainger, from Walsall Wood said the gatherings caused massive problems for residents and law abiding motorists.
“The noise alone is terrible for locals living near the Maybrook Industrial Estate where these gatherings take place but the dangers of cars travelling at high speed on roads are potentially lethal.

Cllr James said giving police the power to arrest would deter organisers, who arrange the events through social media and mobile phones.

“In Moxley we have the problem of boy racers using the Black Country route and surrounding roads as high speed race tracks putting residents, and their own lives, at risk. These roads cross local authority boundaries so I have been lobbying all four councils and the police for some time to take coordinated action. So I’m particular pleased a joint strategy has been agreed and Walsall Council is now playing its full part.

A decision on granting the order will be given by a Birmingham Court on December 1st.