Colors: Blue Color

B:Music, the charity responsible for Symphony Hall and Town Hall in Birmingham, is calling on the public to support its festive fundraising campaign to help enrich the lives of young and vulnerable people in and around the West Midlands through music. The donations raised will enable the charity to create 10,000 musical memories by supporting talent development, providing rehearsal and performance spaces, facilitating workshops, and making music accessible to all.

The Digbeth Estate (Oval Real Estate) is set to re-launch The Bond on Fazeley Street, Digbeth, as a home for the best creative talent in the West Midlands.

Oval, working with Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and Create Central, has partnered with some of Birmingham’s best designers and architects to reimagine The Bond for the next generation.

The Mortgage Guarantee Scheme will be extended by a year to the end of December 2023, helping people with 5% deposits on to the property ladder. Under the scheme the government offers lenders the financial guarantees they need to provide mortgages that cover the other 95%, subject to the usual affordability checks, on a house worth up to £600,000.

Today we are announcing the appointment of Joe Kennedy III as the U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs.

In this capacity, he will focus on advancing economic development and investment opportunities in Northern Ireland to the benefit of all communities as well as strengthening people-to-people ties between the United States and Northern Ireland.

Care leavers will be having a Christmas to remember this year thanks to the generosity of the people of Wolverhampton.

The City of Wolverhampton Council’s Reach Leaving Care Team would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who donated to this year’s Care Leavers Christmas appeal via their Amazon Wish list and drop-off donation point.

City of Birmingham chauffeur Kenneth Bond is 2022’s Professional Driver of the Year. He collected the gold award at the prestigious Professional Driver QSi Awards – having received the silver award 12 months ago. Professional Driver Editor Mark Bursa said: “Kenneth operates at a high level, chauffeuring dignitaries in Birmingham, including the Lord Mayor.

Birmingham City Council has announced a new grants scheme to help enhance the growing network of Warm Welcomes across the city.

A £210,000 funding pot can be accessed by community, faith and voluntary groups to enhance existing Warm Welcome Spaces, by applying for a grant of up to £5,000. In addition, a limited number grants of up to £10,000 will be made available to establish a series of Warm Welcome Hubs, which will be larger sites offering a wider range of services and support.

This year's Orange Wolverhampton campaign came to a moving end on Saturday 10 December, 2022, with a minute's silence in memory of all the lives lost to, or affected by, the crimes associated with gender-based violence.

The safeguarding campaign is held annually between 25 November, the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and 10 December, UN Human Rights Day, and supports the United Nations’ Orange the World campaign to end violence against women and girls.

Festive shoppers are still planning to ‘give the gift of local’ this Christmas to support British farmers and independent businesses, new research from leading rural insurer NFU Mutual reveals.

While 38% of people surveyed said they planned to spend less this Christmas, seven in ten said they will still shop with independent retailers this year.

Birmingham City Council is seeking a High Court order to ban street cruising from all city roads, with an interim application to be heard in the Royal Courts of Justice in London tomorrow (20 December)

If successful this interim injunction will prohibit people from participating in, which includes spectating, at a street cruise in Birmingham. Anyone breaching the order could be arrested and face up to two years in prison, a fine, or have their assets seized.

Martin Reid from Leamington Spa, Warwickshire with his dog, Get it With Eager To Work (Selfie), a two-year-old Shetland Sheepdog, beat hundreds of dogs and their handlers to win the small Agility Stakes final on Friday 16 December.

Martin and Selfie competed in qualifying heats across the country to earn their place in the small final at The Kennel Club Agility Stakes, one of the most prestigious agility competitions in the world, held at The London International Horse Show at ExCeL London.

Fly tippers who thoughtlessly dump their rubbish will now see their images shared in public as City of Wolverhampton Council launches a crackdown on the crime.

Photographs of fly tipping offenders will be shared on lampposts to appeal for information to help identify the culprits. The crackdown is being introduced after statistics revealed that in the period between 1 January 2022 and November 30 2022, the council dealt with 2,945 incidents of fly tipping on the highway.

Among the items dumped were 484 mattresses, 419 fridge/freezers, 390 pieces of furniture, 606 other types of bulky household items and 196 tyres. Of the 2,945 incidents, 574 fly tips included more than five bags of waste and in some cases, more than 100 bags were dumped. Fly tipping costs taxpayers more than £260,000 per year in Wolverhampton and officers attend an average of 12 fly tips every day, ranging from individual items to large scale fly tipping.

But identifying offenders in order to fine or prosecute them is not always easy. Under the new crackdown, the council will be positioning CCTV in key hot spots across the city to catch offenders in the act.

Images will then be shared locally on posters which will give local residents information on how to ‘Shop a Tipper.’ If the information given helps to identify culprits under our Shop a Tipper scheme they could get a £100 reward following the payment of a Fixed Penalty Notice or a successful prosecution.

Outcomes of enforcement action will also be shared through the council’s social media channels in a bid to encourage perpetrators to dispose of their waste properly. This will also remind residents that fly tipping is a crime and there are consequences to getting rid of waste in this way. By law, residents are responsible for making sure anyone collecting waste is a licensed waste carrier.

Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for city environment and climate change, said: “Fly tipping is not just anti-social, it’s a crime. Tipped rubbish can be dangerous, it causes pollution and costs the taxpayers of the city significant amounts of money to clean up.

“Our Environmental Services team works really hard to respond to reports of fly tipping and clean up as quick as possible. But we are not always able to identify the culprits, as quite often the rubbish is dumped overnight or in hidden spots. By positioning camaras at sites around the city and sharing images of fly tipping offenders in public, we hope that we’ll receive information that will help us catch the culprits.”

“People need to think carefully before they fly tip. Not only could you be fined or prosecuted, but your images will be shared in public and we’ll be appealing for information to catch you. Fly tipping is a national issue and Wolverhampton is no different to the rest of the country but we are determined to make a difference in the city with our approach.”

Residents are reminded that waste can be disposed of free of charge at our Household Waste and Recycling Centres (tips) which are open 7 days a week from 8am – 4pm. Centres are at Anchor Lane, Lanesfield, Bilston and Shaw Road, Wolverhampton. A bulky item collection service to dispose of big unwanted items is also available, find out more at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/recycling-and-waste/book-bulky-item-collection