Thieves have stolen hundreds of pounds of photography and gardening equipment used by adults with disabilities after smashing their way into Goscote Greenacres.

They forced padlocks on a shed at the site in Goscote Lane and forced their way into the community cabin there some time overnight on Saturday 18 October 2014.

Paul Mason, Goscote Greenacres community development officer, said: "It's a real blow to everyone who uses the site as well as all those who've been involved in making it such a great community asset.

Alcohol-related crimes have been falling in Walsall over the last five years – with the number of under 18s being admitted to hospital as a result of drink reaching their lowest levels since 2004.

The encouraging statistics from Public Health Walsall follow recent figures from Alcohol Concern  that showed more than 370,000 people across the Black Country and Staffordshire ended up in hospital or needing NHS care because of drinking.

Walsall has an estimated 34,058 hazardous drinkers and 10,772 who are alcohol dependent, although the prevalence rates are rising slower than both regional and national rates.

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

Walsall communities suffering anti-social behaviour will benefit from new powers which came into force on Monday to help police and partners tackle this high profile issue.

Under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Police Act 2014, the government has reduced the number of powers to deal with anti-social behaviour from 19 to 6 simpler and more flexible powers.

These new powers are Civil Injunctions, Criminal Behaviour Orders, Community Protection Notices, Public Space Protection Orders, Closure and Dispersal Powers.  Civil Injunctions will replace the current Anti-Social Behaviour Orders however this aspect of the bill has been delayed nationally until next year.

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.