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Less than four weeks to register to vote!

A giant ad-van is touring Sandwell this week reminding people they have less than four weeks to register to vote.

The deadline to get registered to vote in the general and local elections is April 20. It’s easy to register – it can be done online and takes less than five minutes.

For anyone who doesn’t have access to the web, free internet access is available at all Sandwell libraries and at the council’s One Stop Shop in Oldbury.

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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.

As the countdown to No Smoking Day begins, Walsall residents who have vowed to quit the habit are being reminded they stand a much better chance if they make use of free support services that are available.

Residents who use Stop Smoking Services can take advantage of: 

An assessment of their nicotine dependence

Support that can be on a one to one basis or in a group setting at a range of times and places to suit - including  at home or at work

Medication support including Nicotine Replacement Therapy

A measure of smoking status at 4 and 12 weeks

Further support options via telephone, text, online and via Skype may also be available

 

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.

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.”