Walsall Christmas Market – Opening Dates Confirmed

Walsall Council has confirmed the opening dates for the Christmas markets in Walsall, Bloxwich and Willenhall for 2022.

The markets provide an excellent opportunity to buy some last-minute gifts from local traders.

Councillor Adrian Andrew, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Regeneration Walsall Council, said:

“Shopping local at Christmas is a great way to support the local area and those that live and work in it, and what better way to do that than to shop at our fantastic markets?

I’m delighted to see that our markets have extended opening times in the lead up to Christmas. I appreciate times are difficult for people this year, but I am confident that our markets will provide plenty of affordable options for our residents this Christmas.“

Christmas Market Opening Times

Wednesday 14 December 2022

  • Walsall Town Centre Market – Open
  • Willenhall Market – Open

Thursday 15 December 2022

  • Walsall Town Centre Market – Open

Wednesday 21 December 2022

  • Walsall Town Centre Market – Open

Thursday 22 December 2022

  • Walsall Town Centre Market – Open
  • Bloxwich Market – Open

Friday 23 December 2022

  • All Markets – Open

Saturday 24 December 2022

  • All Markets – Open

Sunday 25 December 2022

  • Christmas Day – all markets closed

Monday 26 December 2022

  • Boxing Day – Council closed

Tuesday 27 December 2022

  • All Markets Closed

Wednesday 28 December 2022

  • All Markets Closed

Thursday 29 December 2022

  • No Markets

Friday 30 December 2022

  • All Markets Re-open

Saturday 31 December 2022

  • All Markets open

Sunday 1 January 2023

  • New Year’s Day – all markets closed

Monday 2 January 2023

  • New Year’s Day– Council closed

From Friday 6 January 2023 Normal trading resumes for 2023

  • Walsall Town Centre – Friday and Saturday
  • Bloxwich – Tuesday, Friday and Saturday

Willenhall – Wednesday, Friday and Saturday

New Health And Social Care Centre Is First Of Its Kind In The West Midlands

A new flagship social care and health facility in Sandwell, featuring 80 en-suite rooms, is the first of its kind in the West Midlands.

Harvest View in Rowley Regis cost approximately £14m to build and will provide on-site specialist support from health and social care staff, to get people back home after a hospital visit or for people who need structured support to avoid a hospital stay altogether.

Councillor Suzanne Hartwell cuts the ribbon to open Harvest View

With a host of facilities such as kitchen space, a hairdressing salon, treatment rooms and a large outdoor space, Sandwell Council states that the “focus is on maintaining and improving independent living rather than specifically treating the medical condition.

Councillor Hartwell said: “This is such an innovative and collaborative project. Harvest View is a magnificent building. For Sandwell residents who will be using this facility, for their families and for the staff who will be working there, this is an amazing person-centred place.

“Harvest View offers residents choice and control over their care and also promotes independence, helping us with our ambition for Sandwell people to live well and age well.”

Sarah Oley said: “This is a fantastic example of partnership working between us at the Trust and our partners at Sandwell Council and we look forward to caring for those people of Sandwell who need the reablement support offered here at Harvest View.”

To find out more, watch the tour of the new centre below.

Walsall Town Centre Pub Faces Closure

The Crown Inn on Long Acre Street in Walsall could be closed and demolished if plans are approved by Walsall Council.

The Crown Inn in the Birchills area of Walsall.

An application from Gurmeet Shocker states that the public house, which has held a beer license prior to 1882, has never recovered from lockdown with the number of customers falling.

If approved, the property would be transformed into 14 flats.

Agents JBVJ said: “We feel the loss of the Crown Inn will not be detrimental to the area as there are a number of similar public house facilities within close proximity of the site in a more convenient location.

These are Rock Steady Eddie’s – 80 meters from the application site, The Pretty Bricks – 100 meters from the application site, Desi Starr Inn – 245 meters from the application site and The New Navigation Pub – 500 meters from the application site.

“The Crown Inn has seen a decline in patronage due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has created an inability to attract and retain new and existing customers.

“Its current state means it adds to the existing decline of character and activity, yet has the potential to be a landmark residential building for the local area.

“The very nature of public houses depends on attracting and retaining local custom.

“For this reason, the redevelopment of the public house is not economically viable for the applicant as they would require a good level of business which has since dispersed to other venues within the local area to the inability to modernise in the post-pandemic era.

“As the site currently stands, the opportunity for redevelopment allows the opportunity to enhance natural surveillance within the area and to complete the redevelopment of the whole site improving the overall street character.

“We feel that our proposal demonstrates a suitable response to the sensitivity of the area whilst also ensuring there is a not a detrimental effect on the local community.”

In better news for local pubs, The Swan on the Pelsall Road is due to re-open soon after Black Country Ales agreed to re-furbish and re-open the pub in the new year.

Walsall Council Wants To Fine Drivers For Moving Traffic Offences

Walsall Council has announced plans to apply for moving traffic enforcement powers, but is first seeking the opinion of residents.

The powers would allow the council to enforce certain restrictions, such as driving through a no-entry sign, driving where motor vehicles are prohibited and turning left or right when instructed not to do so.

This would allow the council to install CCTV traffic enforcement cameras in certain areas and charge motorists £70 for a traffic offence.

Areas in the town that would be an initial focus would be:

School street prohibition of driving at: Brownhills West Primary, Manor Primary, Pool Hayes Primary, Whetstone Field Primary, Palfrey Junior School, Holy Trinity Primary, Lodge Farm Primary, Pinfold Street Primary, Old Church Primary and County Bridge Primary.

Prohibition of driving at: Market Place / Wolverhampton Street / Stafford Street (Willenhall Town Centre) and Park Street / Station Street / Gallery Square / The Bridge / Digbeth / Lower Hall Lane / High Street (Walsall Town Centre)

Prohibited turn at: Hatherton Road into Lichfield Street, Walsall Town Centre banned right turn and High Street into Victoria Avenue, Bloxwich, banned right turn.

Yellow box junction at: Littleton Street West at New College Way and Wisemore and Littleton Street West at Stafford Street, Walsall Town Centre.

Councillor Adrian Andrew, Deputy Leader of Walsall Council said:

“Put simply, we want safe streets for all highway users. We want to reduce the dangers created by drivers who, often wilfully, ignore moving traffic restrictions.

“We want to improve safety around our schools as a priority. But we also want to lessen unnecessary traffic congestion that causes delays for public transport and other traffic within the borough.

“To prepare our submission to the Secretary of State, we are very keen to first listen to residents’ views on the proposals via a short survey.” 

Historical data has been examined and this has informed the draft proposals. Enforcement will take place using technology approved by the Department for Transport (DfT) such as CCTV traffic enforcement cameras.  

A survey for Walsall residents is available now until 30 December 2022.

Walsall Pub To Re-Open Following Black Country Ales Purchase

Local brewery Black Country Ales is expanding its pub ownership after agreeing to purchase The Swan in Walsall.

The Swan public house

Situated on the Pelsall Road, The Swan closed its doors in October, but with a deal expected to be completed before the end of the year, the Kingswinford-based company plans to re-furbish and re-open the pub in the new year.

Former Walsall CAMRA chairman, and local pub enthusiast, Mikee Evans said: “Black Country Ales are a well known local company already represented in Walsall with Black Country Arms and Pretty Bricks, along with Robin Hood in Willenhall and Duke Cambridge in Short Heath. They have their own range of Ales but allow for guests too. The Swan is a former Walsall CAMRA Pub Of The Year winner and everyone will be delighted to see it reopen with a great company behind it.”

The company has been brewing on the site of the Old Bulls Head in Lower Gornal since 1834, offering numerous beers, including Bradley’s Golden Finest, Pig on the Wall and Fireside Bitter.

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Sandwell Aquatics Centre set to be ‘one of the best leisure facilities in the country’

Plans to make the Sandwell Aquatics Centre one of the best community leisure facilities in the country are coming along nicely, according to council officials.

Sandwell Aquatics Centre ready to welcome visitors in Summer 2023

Due to open this summer, the centre is currently being transformed into a state-of-the-art leisure centre that includes the 50-metre Olympic-sized swimming pool and diving boards that were used by competitors in last year’s Commonwealth Games.

Additionally, residents can expect the following facilities:

  • three 150 sqm activity studios
  • two four-court sports halls (690sqm each)
  • 108-station fitness gym
  • 25-station women-only fitness gym
  • 33-station indoor cycling studio
  • changing village for up to 600 users
  • dry diving centre with mini floor trampolines
  • a sauna/steam room
  • new outdoor football pitch and changing facilities
  • new urban park and children’s play areas
  • parking for up to 300 vehicles
  • café.

Sandwell Council Leader Councillor Kerrie Carmichael said: “The centre will be fantastic for Sandwell people who, together with the region’s talented swimmers and divers, will benefit from having a world-class facility on their doorstep for decades to come.

“This amazing development is a key project for both regeneration and health – and the construction itself has already boosted the local economy by helping to create jobs, apprenticeships and work for local businesses in the supply chain.”

Other plans for the centre include a brand-new diving club and a packed swimming programme to benefit the local community, including schools.

When the centre was first built for the Commonwealth Games, it required a whopping 1.2 million gallons of water, 1,900 tons of steel, 190,000 tiles and 3,000 metres square of concrete!

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Sadistic Walsall Duo Go To Jail After Torturing Victims

Two men from Walsall, who imprisoned, degraded and humiliated their victims have been jailed at Wolverhampton Crown Court this week.

Roheed Ahmed, 22, and Kameron Hussain,23, admitted numerous offenses, including keeping three men as ‘slaves’ at a property in Cecil Street, Walsall.

Ahmed and Hussain

The judge said that all the victims suffered from mental health problems and probably addiction. “Each man was highly vulnerable, the two of you took advantage to enslave and abuse them, the level of vile treatment was at times equivalent to torture,” said Judge John Butterfield KC.

One victim, who was discharged from hospital with mental health problems in 2021, lived in the flat on Cecil Street where he met Ahmed. The court hearing revealed he was given drugs by the pair and threatened with violence.

Another victim was beaten with sticks and forced to bark like a dog, burnt with cigarette lighters and had his hair shaved. He told the court that if he did anything wrong he was punched in the face.

The victim was spotted with the two men in Asda in Walsall when staff became suspicious. Security then contacted police after they witnessed the men pushing their victim in a shopping trolley and deliberately making him fall out. Despite being arrested, they were bailed.

When one of their victims vanished, it appears that Ahmed and Hussain, turned to their next victim who suffered similar abuse, including being bit on the ear and repeatedly punched.

Other abuse revealed during the trial included forcing a victim to smoke heroin and pouring liquid on a victim and setting it alight.

Ahmed from Lewis Street and Hussain from Cecil Street were given jail sentences of nine years and eight months after being charged with false imprisonment, racially aggravated assault, two counts of assault, possessing an article and theft.

In addition to imprisonment, the criminals will spend another three years on extended licence.

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The New Art Gallery Secures Vital Funding

The New Art Gallery in Walsall has secured almost £3 million in funding over the next three years after a successful grant application to the Arts Council England.

The total amount of funding will be £897,706 each year and will be used to improve the gallery’s audience engagement programme and deliver exhibitions.

Councillor Garry Perry, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Resilient Communities at Walsall Council, said, “Walsall Council is delighted to receive an increase in funding from Arts Council England and we are very grateful for their continuing support. This endorsement shows that Arts Council England recognises the great work that The New Art Gallery is doing within our local communities and its important contribution to the Town Centre Masterplan in attracting visitors into Walsall town centre.”

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Win Tickets For The BBC Good Food Show Winter 2022

The BBC Good Food Show Winter 2022 is opening its doors at the NEC Birmingham between 24-27 November.

Be inspired to create your very own festive showstopping recipes as you watch your culinary heroes cook up delicious festive dishes live on stage in the Big Kitchen.*

Grab your tickets to see favourites including James Martin, Nadiya Hussain, Gennaro Contaldo, Ainsley Harriot, Jane Dunn of Jane’s Patisserie, John Torode, Lisa Faulkner and many more.

Taste The Festivity

Returning for 2022, get a taste for the season in the Festive Kitchen. Serving up a selection of festive showstoppers, take a seat in this free theatre and get ready to discover a whole host of alternatives to traditional Christmas meals.

Join Cyrus Todlwala as he cooks a delicious hot peppery pheasant tikka or Sabrina Ghayour as she prepares a wonderful venison meatball and mushroom stroganoff and a venison, barberry, pine nut and biber kofta. With so many amazing recipes, you are bound to find some delicious inspiration for the big day.

James Martin will be cooking live on Saturday and Sunday.

The Get Baking! Stage is also back for a second year, following the incredibly popular sessions at the show in 2021. It is the place to go to pick up plenty of sweet and savoury inspiration for your festive bakes, as well as top tips and new techniques from a host of baking experts.

Join Liberty Mendez as she serves up plenty of vegan inspiration from scones to ginger loaf cake, or Paul A Young who will be inspiriing us with a delicious chocolate tart and mouth-watering tripe-chocolate sandwich cookies.

Shop, Try And Buy

The show will be packed full of hundreds of big brands and artisan producers for you to try and buy from. Whatever is on your shopping list, they will have you covered. They have some seriously amazing and unique brands that your friends and family will love, from Fraser’s Mulled Wine, premium English-Jamaican treats from Woolery Forbes. Brussels sprout ketchup from The Sauce Shop and the mouth-wateringly good handmade chocolate.

Tantalise your taste buds

Win A Pair Of Tickets to BBC Good Food Show Winter 2022

To win a pair of tickets LIKE, SHARE AND COMMENT our dedicated BBC Good Food Show competition giveaway post before Monday 14 November at 5pm GMT. One winner will be drawn from all valid entries on 15 November June and announced via our Facebook page.

Terms and conditions

  • All entrants must be at least 18 years of age at the date of entry. Proof of age may be required.
  • Entry can only be made via the official Pioneer Magazines BBC Good Food Show Winter 2022 competition Facebook post and requires entrants to LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE the post on Facebook.
  • Entries must be submitted before the closing date of Wednesday 14 June, 2022 before 17:00 GMT.
  • Only one entry per household is permitted.
  • The prize is 2 x adult tickets. Not valid for Saturday entry.
  • Prize winners will be drawn at random from all valid entries on 15 November, 2022 and announced via the Pioneer Magazines Facebook page.
  • Prizes are non-transferable, non-negotiable and no cash alternatives will be offered.
  • The winner is responsible for ordering their tickets online and will be given a unique code enabling them to purchase their tickets for free.
  • By entering the promotion, the winner consents to any publicity generated as a result of the promotion.
  • Your personal information will only be used as set out in our privacy policy, available at: https://www.pioneermagazines.co.uk/privacy-policy-data-collection/

*Big Kitchen tickets not included in general admission, they must be purchased separately.

Walsall Butcher Forced To Closed Due To Cockroach Infestation

A Walsall butcher has been forced to close down his shop after being served with a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice this week.

The closure of SM Butchers on Stafford Street was given the go ahead at Walsall Magristrates Court on Monday 31 October following the discovery of a severe German cockroach infestation.

The butchers is forbidden to open until the infestation has been removed and the premises cleaned.

Councillor Garry Perry, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Resilient Communities said: “Cockroach infestations are a serious public health concern and I want to thank our environmental health officers once again for their hard work to keep our community safe. 

“As the weather gets colder, many pests will be looking for somewhere warm to live so business owners need to be even more vigilant to ensure that premises are kept clean and entry points into the property are dealt with. 

“We want to see local businesses flourish so these closures are not taken lightly. We are always keen to engage with business owners to give advice and guidance to help prevent these issues arising.” 

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