Pound Force pounded by Magistrates

Coalpool Pound Force, Coalpool Lane, Walsall
Coalpool Pound Force, Coalpool Lane, Walsall

A Coalpool convenience store which was closed down by Walsall Council environmental health officers after they found mouse droppings and partly eaten food, including cakes, were ordered to pay £1,796.86 by Walsall Magistrates, on 22 June 2015.

Coalpool Pound Force, Coalpool Lane was issued with a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice, requiring its immediate closure, following a visit by environmental health officers on Wednesday 5 November 2014.

On Wednesday 12 November 2014 the owner was allowed to reopen the business having worked closely alongside environmental health officers to address the concerns they had.

The convenience store was ordered to close its doors after mouse droppings were discovered throughout the shop, along with gnawed food. Officers identified external and internal holes in the building providing rodents access to the shop.

As a result of the conditions found in November legal proceedings were instituted against the store owner Swindr Singh Seedana. Mr Seedana pleaded guilty to all four charges and was subsequently fined £170 for each of the offences totalling £680 and also ordered to pay £1,096.86 costs, with a victim surcharge of £20.

David Elrington environmental health manager, said: “This is the third such case brought before Walsall Magistrates this year as a result of rodent infestations in food premises.

“Whilst we understand the pressures faced by businesses and will try where we can to assist them we are absolutely committed to protecting public health and will not hesitate in using the legal powers available to us to achieve this.

“Mice spread diseases such as salmonella and their faeces can contaminate food products thereby placing the public’s health at risk if they are present in an area where food is being stored and sold.”

Walsall arboretum visitor centre opens

Walsall Arboretum's new visitor centre (pic Walsall Council)
Walsall Arboretum’s new visitor centre (pic Walsall Council)

A new visitor’s centre at Walsall Arboretum opened its doors to the public for the first time on Saturday 23 May.

Located in the heart of the park adjacent to the Centre Green it features a cafeteria, changing rooms, classroom, a meeting room, new toilet and baby changing facilities and offices.

Councillor Khizar Hussain, portfolio holder for leisure and culture with Walsall Council, stated: “I am overjoyed at the standard with which the new visitors centre has been finished.

“This brand new and prestigious facility is a major asset for the Arboretum and as was expected adds a definite wow factor to an already valuable resource.

“Visitors will now benefit from a truly fantastic building which offers some wonderful resources.

“The abundant wild bird population, varieties of trees, insects and plants can now be enhanced further by the use of this new facility as learning opportunity to groups wanting to use the parks new centre.

“Willmott Dixon Ltd has done a wonderful job on this multi-million pound restoration project and the integration of the original building has provided a really attractive addition.”

Work on the centre green will continue over the coming weeks and will be the final phase to the new facilities external landscaping.

Walk the Fair with the Mayor!

Walking the Fair
‘Walking the Fair’ is a centuries-old tradition in Walsall

This Friday, 24 April sees the annual ‘Walking the Fair’ event in Walsall.

Each year the Mayor, guests and townsfolk walk the symbolic route through the town centre and Walsall Market in recognition of the vital role that markets play in establishing enterprise in the town.

According to its organisers Walsall Civic Society, the age-old walk is steeped in history and dates back as far as 1662. It heralds the opening of annual fairs, or markets and celebrates the town’s right to trade. This right was originally granted in Walsall’s charter by King Charles I.

The Mayor of Walsall, Peter Smith will lead this year’s celebration from the town centre.

He said, “This is a vibrant and colourful event and a highlight of my Mayoral Year. It is important to value heritage events like Walking the Fair as it not only keeps the tradition alive, but provides entertainment for local people.  I’m delighted to be taking part and look forward to chatting to our time honoured traders along the way.”

Walking the Fair 2014 - then Mayor Cllr Mohammad Nazir leads (Pic: Stuart Williams)
Walking the Fair 2014 – then Mayor Cllr Mohammad Nazir leads (Pic: Stuart Williams)

The opening to the walk starts at 10.30am in the square outside The Crossing at St Paul’s in Darwall Street, adjacent to the Bus Station.

Performance highlights from outside the church include a special ‘Sister Dora Dance’ from The Glorishears of Brummagem Morris dancers, and a special call to order from the Town Crier, Cyril Richardson,  who will then give readings from the Ruffus Charter of 1225, the town’s oldest document.

The procession, which is expected to last an hour, will then cross The Bridge and move up Bradford Street and  through the Market, where the Mayor will meet with traders who have collected gifts for his charity.

All are welcome to join in the walk.

Bands ready to light up Beacon

Bands on the Beacon (Pic: Walsall Council)
Bands on the Beacon (Pic: Walsall Council)

Main Stage acts confirmed for Bands on the Beacon

From classic covers to a smattering of pop and funk with plenty of rock and some dance for good measure – 14 acts are already lined up to play this year’s Bands on the Beacon.

The family-friendly gig is being held over two days for the first time – Saturday and Sunday 27 and 28 June from 1pm-6pm on both days.

And organisers have arranged for arts and artisan stalls on both days to add to the festival atmosphere at the borough’s highest point.

As Heritage Lottery Fund cash, which part funded the event has now run out, music lovers are being asked to pay a small charge for tickets this year.

Tickets for each day will be £4 for adults with “kids for a quid.” Under fives will be allowed in free. Details of how to get tickets will be announced shortly.

Barr Beacon Trust has pledged £5,000 to this year’s Bands on the Beacon and £2,000 has come from Dinky bassist Wayne Moseley’s company, BBR Engineering. Wayne is supporting Barr Beacon Trust to attract sponsorship for the event.

Councillor Adrian Andrew, chair of Barr Beacon Trust, said: “We’re always inundated with bands asking to play at Bands on the Beacon which just goes to show how well supported it is across the whole borough.

“We’ve got 14 acts lined up for the main stage so far and will shortly be announcing details of how up and coming artists can have the chance to play too.

“It’s a family-friendly event that appeals to all ages and all tastes so we’ve chosen bands that cover a broad spectrum of musical styles.

“It’s shaping up to be another brilliant show and we’re all counting down the days till June. We may not have the Foo Fighters but it’s a lot cheaper – and cleaner – than Glastonbury!”

Among the acts confirmed so far for the Saturday are Venkman, Mr George’s Famous Last Words (who supported Seth Lakeman at Wolverhampton Civic Hall) and and Esther Turner with Sunday 44, Hidden Skies and Liberty Lies among Sunday’s line-up.

For regular updates check out Bands on the Beacon’s facebook page, @walsallcouncil on Twitter and the council’s website