Team Mates’ Memorial Match For Tim Oliver

A memorial match for former Walsall Health skipper Tim Oliver will take place on Sunday August 24. Two clubs which Tim held close to his heart – Walsall Health and Rushall – will more>

Labour Welcome Tory U-turn On Living Wage.

The Labour Party have welcomed Walsall Council Conservative leader’s sudden conversion to  its policy of paying council staff the Living Wage; after he condemned the proposal as too costly only two days more>

Labour’s Hard Work Brings Win

Labour Party supporters celebrated last night as they held the Birchills-Leamore seat on Walsall Council, despite a concerted effort by Conservatives and Ukip. Local candidate, Chris Jones, took 47% of the poll more>

Labour Combating Beechdale’s Dangerous Drivers

  Local residents and campaigners have welcomed the announcement of measures to tackle speeding cars which have been caught in excess of ninety miles an hour through a large housing estate. The more>

Community Giving Making Communities Great

Regulars at a Darlaston gym have thrown their weight behind Birmingham Children’s Hospital by raising £1500 for the care of ill youngsters. Members of Sprintz Health and Fitness Centre came together to more>

Ukip’s Support for NHS Privatisation

The Labour candidate for the Birchills-Leamore’s by-election has said the planned visit by Ukip’s Deputy Leader, Paul Nuttall, to the ward will expose the reality of voting for the party. Chris Jones, more>

Social Care At Tipping Point

Social Care budgets are reaching a tipping point where funding is being outstripped by demand and the elderly and vulnerable face the prospect of having no support from their local councils; senior more>

We Need An Honest Debate On Vital Services

Labour councillors on Walsall Council are calling on the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to spell out the real impact of £84 million cuts on the most vulnerable such as the elderly, the more>

Prioritising Services: Children’s Safety or Councillors’ Perks

The decision by Conservative and Liberal Democrat run Walsall Council to sack over half of the borough’s school crossing wardens has shown the cabinet’s true colours and concerns. The decision to change more>

Ukip, Lib Dems and Tories In Council Of Self Interest

Labour are deeply disappointed other parties  on Walsall Council have chosen to put self interest before the needs  of the borough by backing  the defeated Tories in an alliance ranging from independents more>

Team Mates’ Memorial Match For Tim Oliver

A memorial match for former Walsall Health skipper Tim Oliver will take place on Sunday August 24.

Cricket and politics were Tim Oliver's twin passions.

Cricket and politics were Tim Oliver’s twin passions.

Two clubs which Tim held close to his heart – Walsall Health and Rushall – will be taking part in the game which will include many of his former team mates from down the years, as well as current players.

Tim – who was leader of the Labour group on Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council – died in May after a long battle with illness.

The game at Rushall’s Carter Park home in Pelsall Lane will start at 2pm with a BBQ and a disco and karaoke afterwards. A multiple record holder for The Elf, Tim started playing for the club in the late 80s and soon took over as skipper, continuing to play right up until 2012.

Tim will be remembered as a fiery, committed and supremely talented batsman and bowler whose trademark ‘square-jaw’ look at crucial stages during games served as an inspiration to his team mates and a warning sign to the opposition.

Steve Fell, a long-time team mate of Tim’s, said: “Tim was a much-loved character on the local circuit with both players who played with and against him. As a result, a lot of players around the local circuit will be taking part in the match and it promises to be a great day It might involve trips into the loft to retrieve kit and some sore Bank Holiday limbs for some of the older players, but it will all be worth it.

“The game will be a great opportunity to raise funds for Rushall and also for charity, in addition to celebrating Tim’s life and his love of cricket.”

Team mate Rick Jarrams said: “On the field Tim was a colossus, amazing with both bat and ball and a reluctant but successful captain for several years. Tim will always be a true WHCC legend and will be sadly missed by your team mates past and present and also by many of our friendly opponents over the years.”

reproduced from Walsall Health CC

 

 

Labour Welcome Tory U-turn On Living Wage.

Mohammed Nazir. 'A hand brake turn at speed'

Mohammed Nazir. ‘A hand brake turn at speed’

The Labour Party have welcomed Walsall Council Conservative leader’s sudden conversion to  its policy of paying council staff the Living Wage; after he condemned the proposal as too costly only two days earlier .

Labour councillor, Mohammed Nazir, said Cllr Mike Bird had pulled off the quickest U-turn in the authority’s history; only hours earlier he  had attacked the party’s idea of £1.34 an hour increase for the lowest paid staff by claiming it would cost the authority £2 million a year.

The living wage is a central plank of Walsall Labour Party’s manifesto and is part of its programme to tackle the massive imbalance in wages in the borough where people earn £3432 less a year than the national average.

Presently, low paid authority workers, many who work in schools as cleaners and catering staff, have to rely on council tax relief and housing benefit.

In a front page article on Friday, Cllr Bird firmly ruled out the proposal saying giving the rise to council staff would lead to contractors having to pay their workers the same amount. But by Sunday Cllr Bird issued a statement saying: “I believe it’s the right thing to do.”

Welcoming the sudden about turn the Deputy leader of the labour Group, Cllr Nazir, said: “This isn’t a road to Damascus conversion, more a hand brake turn at speed. I’ve never seen the council leader change his mind so suddenly!”

Speculating  Labour’s recent by-election win in Birchills-Leamore , giving the party 30 seats in the 60 seat council chamber,  may have influenced Cllr’s Bird’s decision, he added: “Mike Bird knows full well that Walsall Labour Party promised to bring in the living wage so as all our staff have a decent standard of living. He also knows the cost of paying all council staff a minimum of £7.65 an hour is approximately £340,000 a year. That cost would be shared between the council and schools.  The Labour Party does want to encourage council contractors to match this reasonable amount when paying their workers but not, as Cllr Bird had implied, by imposing it as a condition of any contract.

Mike Bird; On Friday it was No. On Sunday it was Yes

Mike Bird; On Friday it was ‘No’. By Sunday it was ‘Yes.’

“By misleadingly tying council and contractors’ staff together he claimed it would cost the authority £2 million a year. That was simply not true and he has now had to admit it.”

Cllr Nazir went on to explain that, according to the Office of National Statistics,  the average weekly wage in Walsall is £351 per week compared to the national average of £416; an average loss of nearly £3500 a year to each household.

He added: “We can’t go on accepting that people in Walsall are worth less than the rest of the country and we can’t ask employers to pay more if, as the council, we leave our own staff to struggle on low pay.”

 

Labour’s Hard Work Brings Win

Chris Jones, and Labour supporters, celebrate his victory in Birchills-Leamore  by election

Chris Jones, and Labour supporters, celebrate his victory in Birchills-Leamore by election

Labour Party supporters celebrated last night as they held the Birchills-Leamore seat on Walsall Council, despite a concerted effort by Conservatives and Ukip.

Local candidate, Chris Jones, took 47% of the poll with 1075 votes; a majority of 365 over his nearest Conservative rival’s 710. Chris’ victory gives Labour 30 out of 60 seats on Walsall Council

The by-election was called after the death of former Labour Group Leader, Cllr Tim Oliver, who represented the seat for 17 years.

Chris said his victory was down to the hard work of party members and supporters who spent weeks canvassing and persuading people to vote Labour.

“Tim Oliver’s legacy gave us a great base to start from but we never took this election for granted.  Party members and supporters were out on the streets every day for weeks, wining people to our policies and ensuring our vote turned out on the day.

I want to thank them and all those people who voted for me for their support and I look forward to helping Labour to take control of Walsall Council. “

The Labour Group  have now called a special meeting of all councillors to decide who will run the authority.

The night was a disaster for Ukip who saw their vote almost halved as they were pushed into third place only two months after May’s local elections when they came second.

The total votes cast were: Labour – 1075, Conservatives – 710, UKIP – 445, English Democrats – 20,  voter turnout 22.4%.

Seats on council: Labour 30, Conservatives 21, UKIP and the Liberal Democrats both hold three, one Democratic Labour councillor and two Independents.

Percentage share of last night’s vote:  LAB – 47.8% UKIP – 19.8%, CON – 31.6%  English Dems  - 0.9%

Results for   May 2014 election: LAB – 1194, Ukip – 854, CON – 707, BNP  -140

Labour Combating Beechdale’s Dangerous Drivers

 

Councillor Tina Jukes and Labour Party candidate campaigning for a better Birchills and Leamore

Councillor Tina Jukes and Labour Party candidate, Chris Jones, campaigning for a better Birchills and Leamore

Local residents and campaigners have welcomed the announcement of measures to tackle speeding cars which have been caught in excess of ninety miles an hour through a large housing estate. The move comes after three years of complaints and campaigning by local residents about vehicles racing down Cavendish Road and St Stephenson Avenue which run through the heart of the Beechdale estate.

Walsall Council is now preparing a report to North Walsall area panel outlining measures to enforce the existing 30mph speed limit and deter drivers from racing down the roads. The measures include speed limit signs and new technology to warn drivers when they are breaking the law.

Community activist and Labour Party candidate , Chris Jones, said the measures were overdue. “I welcome these proposals but it should have happened earlier. Mostly, we are talking about drivers who are unaware of how fast they are travelling but tests by police with a speed gun recorded one driver doing 93 miles an hour; an accident at that speed would be lethal.”

Birchills and Leamore Labour councillor Tina Jukes said the steps would be welcomed by local residents who feared for their safety. “Me and my fellow councillors, along with residents and Beechdale Housing Group, have been lobbying for sometime for action. St Stephenson Avenue is particularly bad as it’s a long, broad road which some idiotic drivers think they can gun their cars along. It runs straight past the local shops, social club and community centre creating a real danger for pedestrians and responsible drivers turning left or right.”

The measures are part of a package of road improvements in north Walsall including steps to tackle dangerous driving along the Harden Road and Elmore Green, Bloxwich which has seen 19 accidents in 36 months.

 

Community Giving Making Communities Great

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Shiri Samra -far left- with Maisie Worton and supporters who raised £1500 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Regulars at a Darlaston gym have thrown their weight behind Birmingham Children’s Hospital by raising £1500 for the care of ill youngsters.

Members of Sprintz Health and Fitness Centre came together to raise the money in memory of Shiri Samra’s wife, Kulvinder, who died recently from cancer.

Shiri said: “Me and my friends wanted to commemorate my wife so we decided to collect money for the children’s hospital and donate it her name. Our main fund raising efforts were running a half marathon which brought in £1300, and the manager and owner of the club, Dave Leppar generously rounded it up to £1500.

“I want to thank all those who have given money and supported us. Everyone has really worked hard and it’s great to be able to pass the money on in memory of Kulvinder.”

The cash was formally accepted by ten year-old, Maisie Worton, from Bentley who recently underwent a successful hole in the heart operation at the hospital.

Mr Leppar added:  “We enjoy a real community spirit at the club, so when Shiri and his friends asked us to support such a worthwhile cause we couldn’t say no, and they have done such a great job they really should be congratulated.”

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Local Labour councillor ,Kieth Chambers, showing his support.

 

The event was supported by local councillor, Keith Chambers, who said: “The club, Shiri and his friends epitomise what is so good about local communities coming together for the benefit of each other. Their generosity and spirit is the glue that makes where we live great.”