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Planning chiefs have given the green light for a new, permanent location for Walsall's historic market at The Bridge in the town centre.

The decision at last night's planning committee cements the future of the 800-year old market, along with a number of public realm improvements in the town.

The Market will comprise of 70 pitches housed in a back-to-back layout so traders face pedestrian routes and two dedicated catering vehicle spaces focused around The Bridge.

Stalls can also be de-mountable, so when the market is not operating it can act as a public open space.

Changes to the market layout will be carried out in two main phases to minimise disruption to traders during the ongoing regeneration activity in the town centre.

With a shorter course for novices and a number of free places to encourage those who are totally new to exercise, organisers of Walsall's 2015 Triathlon are urging residents of all abilities to "Tri-It."

Last year's event was a runaway success with entrants of all ages declaring it "a great experience, a fantastic event and a good atmosphere." Places were snapped up within just a couple of weeks.

This year's triathlon, will take place on Sunday 12 July and is being organised by Walsall Council's Sport & Leisure Services with funding from Public Health Walsall. The event will once again be held at Oak Park Leisure Centre in Walsall Wood.

A fitting tribute to Walsall born Victoria Cross recipient, John Henry Carless VC, was unveiled this week by the Mayor, Councillor Pete Smith, at St Mary’s The Mount RC Primary School.

The family of John Carless VC organised a commemorative service with the school on 11 November 2014 to mark the centenary of the First World War with the paving stone donated by the Department for Communities and Local Government.  Also in attendance were Walsall Council members and officers including the Leader, Councillor Sean Coughlan, and fellow alumni of St Mary’s The Mount, Councillor Marco Longhi.

The Mayor addressed the school assembly and said, “We are all here today to remember a very special man.”

 

Walsall Council bosses approved changes to the council tax reduction scheme at Full Council on 12 January 2015 whereby all working age residents will have to pay at least 25% of their council tax bill.

 Councillor Sean Coughlan, Walsall Council Leader, said: “In April 2013 central government replaced the national council tax benefit scheme with a new scheme administered by the council.

 “Since then the government funding to support the new scheme has reduced year on year and the council has been able to protect all residents from the impact of these changes until now.

“From April 2015 this will no longer be possible as the council is faced with the challenge of having to save £86 million over the next four years.

Visitors will be able to see Walsall's premier park in a new light next year when its key features and main routes are illuminated as the finishing touch to its multi-million pound restoration.

Contractors Willmott Dixon Ltd are currently hard at work on Walsall Arboretum's new visitor centre, housed on the site of existing park buildings at the Centre Green.

It will feature a cafeteria, classroom, changing rooms, new toilet and baby changing facilities and a meeting room and offices with a completion date set for early 2015.

Walsall Council has allocated £270,000 in its Mainstream Capital Programme to focus on the illuminated park aspect of the restoration.