Key budget proposals over four years will be considered by the authority’s cabinet next week which seek to save £86 million by March 2019.

The council will have to reduce its budget by £29.2 million next year and save a further £57 million over the following three years as part of their four year budget plan.

Councillor Sean Coughlan, Leader of Walsall Council, said: "As I’ve said before, next year will see the deepest of cuts over our four year budget plan. 

“This is the first time Walsall Council has produced a forward-looking plan.  As the new administration, we have had only three months to do so.

“Faced with £47 million funding reductions from central government and the limitation on council tax increases, our hands are tied and it hasn’t been easy.  But our priority has been to protect the most vulnerable people and to do what we can to continue making Walsall a good place to live

Arriving like a crisp flurry of fresh winter snow, a book of all-new writings by members of Walsall Writers’ Circle is about to land in local bookstores – and online!

‘Winter Festivals’ is an anthology comprised of articles, poems, short stories and memoirs, ranging from poignant memories of Christmas as a child, to an eye-wateringly funny poem about the Christmas Crib, and from a story about how space travellers might celebrate Christmas on another planet, to a comment on the perils of commercialism.

Staff and students at Walsall Adult & Community College have plenty to celebrate this New Year after learning the college has been graded as Outstanding by Ofsted, for its teaching and learning.

The College is the first in the country to be judged as 'Outstanding' under the new Ofsted framework and short notice inspection regime and comes almost three years to the day since it was graded 'Good' in a previous inspection.

Under the leadership of its Principal, Maria Gilling the college received the highest grade possible for all five areas: Overall Effectiveness of Provision, Outcomes for Learners, Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and Effectiveness of Leadership and Management. All areas of provision were graded Outstanding including Apprenticeship training, programmes for 16-18 year olds, adults and community development courses.

A Walsall paediatric consultant and charity fundraiser will be presented as an Honorary Freeman of the Borough in recognition of his achievements in Walsall over the last 30 years.

Professor Abdul Rashid Gatrad OBE, who has been instrumental in establishing various breakthroughs in medicine for children and holds the highest award of Clinical excellence at the Manor hospital, will be presented with the honour at a special council meeting on Thursday at 6pm.

WALSALL POLICE are keen to trace a hooded man who flashed at a woman as she walked through Pelsall Wood Common.

An investigation was launched by local officers after a man exposed himself to the 38-year-old victim as she walked along a public footpath on 8 January.

The woman was heading from Wood Lane across the common at around 2pm last Tuesday, when she walked passed the man, whose trousers were undone and he was exposing himself. She was unharmed and police later launched an investigation.

The man is described as white, around 5ft 11in to 6ft tall, in his mid to late 30s, and he was wearing a red hooded top with the hood pulled over his head, and a grey waterproof jacket.