Colors: Blue Color

Bad parking is being stamped out in Cradley Heath with a new red route banning parking and stopping at any time.
Vehicles will be prevented from parking on a mile-long stretch of Forge Lane, Lower High Street, Foxoak Street and Upper High Street.
The red lines will be put down overnight on Tuesday 2 May and the rules will come into force from Thursday 4 May.
The work is being done to prevent parking on the pavements and on narrow stretches of the road which causes problems for pedestrians and traffic.
The council has received multiple complaints about vehicles blocking pavements and preventing drivers from passing due to parked cars.
The scheme is costing approximately £4,000 and the lines are being put down between 7pm on Tuesday and 5am on Wednesday.

Old yellow lines will also be removed - the work may take a little longer if the weather is bad.

A University of Wolverhampton graduate has published her experience of studying at the Wolverhampton School of Art in a prestigious art magazine in Europe.

Patty Wouters, 60, an art teacher from Belgium, studied for her Master’s Degree in Applied Arts (Ceramics and Glass) and graduated in 2015.  Her article, which describes her experience of returning to study as a mature, distance learner, was published in the Dutch ceramics magazine, Klei.

She said: “Due to various circumstances, I felt I was ‘stuck’ in my own artistic work and was looking for a new challenge.  Some of my English colleagues encouraged me to go back to some kind of training or education.  Study for mature students isn’t really on offer for people in Belgium which is why I chose to study abroad.

“The University has a well-developed ceramic and glass department with renowned teachers who have exhibited worldwide and have been published in international ceramic magazines. Most of my learning was done online through Skype, WhatsApp and email and I continued to do practical work in my own studio in Belgium.

“What struck me in England was how many mature students were returning to study – this would be considered absurd in the part of Europe where I live.  My education at the University of Wolverhampton was a tremendous enriching accomplishment that I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for guidance and new inspiration.”

Dr David Jones, Ceramics Lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton, said:  “The published article describes Patty’s enriching experience of not only returning to education in later life, but learning in a different country and in a completely new way.

“As a long established School of Art, we welcome international students from all over the world and Patty’s success story is a great testimony to the expertise and commitment of staff who encourage students to push their artistic boundaries in order to achieve.”

Parents looking to buy a property close to a primary school rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted face paying a premium of more than £50,000.

New figures from Rightmove show the average asking price of homes in the successful admission zone of high-performing Grade 1 schools is £52,372 or 18 per cent higher than in areas around Grade 3 institutions.

There is also a 12 per cent (average of £37,000) hike in prices between properties near mid-range Grade 2 schools and those in Grade 1.

Kevin Shaw, national sales director at property specialist Leaders, says: “With 86 per cent of ‘outstanding’ primary schools already oversubscribed, living in an area with the best chance of being accepted by one has become a priority for many parents.

“Living close to the right school has long been an important factor for home hunters, but the latest figures suggest people are now willing to pay even more for the privilege. Indeed, many movers admit to compromising on other issues in order to live close to a school above all else.

“Buyers should remember that some of the top schools have a very small successful admission area – sometimes measured in metres – so they should always check whether a property was in this area in the last academic year before completing a purchase.”

Parents in the West Midlands face paying the largest premium to live near a Grade 1 school, with a mark-up of 32 per cent in comparison with properties close to Grade 3 schools. It was followed by the north-west (27 per cent) and Yorkshire and Humber (22 per cent). The smallest premiums were found in the East Midlands, north-east and London (all 13 per cent).

Kevin adds: “With incredible demand for properties close to the best schools and an overall lack of supply in the market also helping to push up prices, those who live within a successful admission zone may wish to consider the benefits of selling – particularly if they no longer have children of a school age.

“Many are likely to be surprised by just how much their home is now worth and how high demand from parents can help them to get a great price.”

The Vaisakhi open air celebrations is a not-for-profit community event taking place today, and celebrated in Birmingham; the most cosmopolitan and vibrant city in Europe. A cornerstone of Birmingham success has been that of its citizens celebrating their heritage together.

The Council of Sikh Gurdwaras in Birmingham (CSGB) organises the prestigious Vaisakhi Nagar Keertan event. This is a combination of 2 holy street processions and a communitiy celebration in Handsworth Park. This is the ultimate way to celebrate Vaisakhi in Birmingham.  This year the open air celebrations will take place on Sunday 30 April 2017.

Check out for more information!

In connection with Chief Minister Talent Hunt Program, Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC) arranged a divisional painting competition here on Monday aim to provide platform to young artists aged 18-35 years. The top three artists were given cash rewards of Rs.150,000, Rs.100,000 and Rs.75,000 respectively. Encouragement reward of Rs.10,000 each was given to ten artists of Rawalpindi region.

In the painting competition held at the RAC, Chairman Metro bus and PML-N Senior leader Muhammad Hanif Abbasi was chief guest flanked by Additional Commissioner Tariq Mehmood Tariq, Naheed Manzoor and Resident Director of RAC Waqar Ahmed. The competitors were given a portrait of Ustad Allah Bux to paint on the canvas provided by this Council.

Top three artists will take part in the provincial level competition to be held in Lahore. Shields were given to all participants of the competition. Asma Bibi got first position; Sonam Nawaz secured second position while Shumaila got third position. Ten awards of encouragement were given to Asher Masih, Numaira Javed, Wahaj Ahmed, Aleena Azhar, Anum Akram, Asifa Jabeen, Sadia Naurin, Sania Imtiaz, Fatima Naveed and Tayyaba Hassan.

Speaking on the occasion, Muhammad Hanif Abbasi said it was the vision of Chief Minister Punjab to make the youth self-employed and include them in national development. He said Chief Minister Talent Hunt Program is a positive step of the government where youth has been enabled to show their hidden talent.

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre are appealing for information on an actor who appeared in a production of The Little Minister in 1909.

The Little Minister is a play published in 1897 based on the 1891 novel by the author of Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie.

Chief Executive of the Grand Theatre, Adrian Jackson recently received a framed collection of old postcards featuring nine cast members, photographed in costume from the play, The Little Minister. On the back, they have been signed and posted to a Mr William Oliver at Darlington Street, Wolverhampton. Mr Oliver also features as a cast member on one of the cards.

The Grand Theatre heritage website, has no record of the production and based on the postmark and inscription on the mount it took place in December 1909.

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre are calling out to anyone who may have information on the production, a programme, or anyone who may be a descendant of Mr Oliver. Perhaps someone remembers seeing the framed postcard collection on display. It is hoped that the theatre can display the postcards for the public to see alongside any extra information.

Those who wish to contact the theatre with any information, to show or donate any programmes from the period should contact Scott Bird, Sales & Marketing Manager (Press & PR) on 01902 57 33 11 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Local singing sensation Bradley Simpson, from pop rock band The Vamps, joined sick children at Birmingham Children’s Hospital as excitement builds in the city for this summer’s free public art event, The Big Sleuth.

Heart-throb Brad took time out of rehearsals for The Vamps upcoming world tour to surprise the kids spending a few hours in the hospital’s Play and Admissions Centre designing and painting one of The Big Sleuth’s miniature bear’s, which could make it onto the 10-week trail.

The excited patients joined the 21 year-old lead singer from Sutton Coldfield, as he used inspiration from the kids’ hospital visits and their love of music to add his artistic flair to the project.

The Big Sleuth, so named because sleuth is the collective noun for a group of bears, will see up to 100 giant bear sculptures (and bear cubs created by schools and young people) leave their paw prints all over the city as it gets set to be known as Bear-mingham in 2017.

The project, brought by Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and creative producers Wild in Art comes hot on the heels of The Big Hoot which attracted more than 800,000 visitors and in total raised over £625,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

Airlines have awarded Birmingham Airport the Routes Europe 2017 Marketing Award in the 4-20m passenger category for its marketing activity over the last 12 months. The awards, voted by a panel of senior airline executives, are an annual event and highly regarded in the aviation industry. They recognise the outstanding marketing services that have supported the launch of new air routes or the development of existing services.

The ceremony held last night (Monday) in Belfast, Northern Ireland, saw the Midlands’ largest airport beat stiff competition from Warsaw Chopin, Budapest, Cologne Bonn, Marseille Provence and Larnaca Int’l Airports in its category.

Paul Kehoe, the Airport’s Chief Executive, said: “I’m delighted for the team on receiving this accolade which has recognised our airline marketing campaigns as well as business development and sales activities over the last year. The team have explored innovative new ways to engage with global audiences through traditional and new marketing channels and they should feel very proud of this award, as do I.”

In 2016, the airport saw a 14.2% increase in passengers and has celebrated more than two years of consecutive monthly record growth. Despite this boom, the airport managed to get more flights in and out on time than any other airport, becoming the world’s most punctual airport in 2016.

Following on from the launch of nine airlines in 2015, last year the airport launched six new carriers – Blue Air, Qatar, CSA, Iberia, Cobalt and Alba Star. So far in 2017, it has welcomed Jet2, bmi regional and has announced British Airways and Fly One, both due to launch this summer.

Steven Small, brand director, Routes, added: “Congratulations to Birmingham Airport on the winning the award. It’s not surprising due to the dedication and enthusiasm of the team, and the creativity and hard work put into the submission.”

The Brexit effect is creating uncertainty among people planning to retire in 2017, with more than one in four (27 per cent) of this year’s retirees worried the decision to leave the EU will negatively impact their finances in the long term, according to the latest research by Prudential.

Prudential’s unique research, which has monitored the financial plans and aspirations of people planning to retire in the year ahead is now in its tenth year. Its Class of 2017 research provides a snapshot of the views of people retiring this year, as the UK starts the process of leaving the EU. It found that, for one in three (33 per cent) of the Class of 2017, the result of last June’s referendum has impacted their plans for retirement.

One in nine (11 per cent) of those who had planned to retire in 2017 have now changed their retirement date as a direct result of the outcome of the referendum. In fact, more than one in every 20 of this year’s retirees (six per cent) have actually changed the country they had planned to retire in including some, who had always planned to stay in the UK, now looking at options to move overseas.

However, two thirds of people planning to retire in 2017 (67 per cent) say that the vote to leave the EU has had no impact at all on their retirement plans, and one in eight (12 per cent) believe that leaving the EU will be good for their long-term finances in retirement.

Uncertainty caused by the decision to leave the EU appears to have underlined the value of financial advice to many of this year’s retirees, with nearly one in five (19 per cent) saying they are more likely to seek financial advice as a consequence of the referendum result. Meanwhile, 14 per cent say they are worried about the negative impact of the post-referendum market volatility on their pension fund.

Kirsty Anderson, a retirement expert at Prudential, said: “People planning to retire this year are expecting the highest retirement incomes since 2008 – so on the face of it, Brexit has had little impact on their retirement expectations. However, looking below the surface, there is a degree of uncertainty and nervousness among many of this year’s retirees.

“As you would expect, for many people who have been planning and saving for their retirement for most of their working lives, even the biggest of political upheavals won’t make a difference to their long-term plans. But with one in three new retirees telling us that their retirement plans have been affected by the referendum result, it is clear that uncertainty is having an impact for some.

“It is encouraging to see that faced with uncertainty, be it around the performance of their investments or where they plan to set up home after their working lives, the Class of 2017 are seeking professional financial advice. It is also important to remember that pension saving is for the long term and, irrespective of single events no matter how momentous, the best way for most people to provide for a comfortable retirement is to save as much as possible from as early as possible, into a pension.”

It was 50 years ago in June 1967 that The Beatles released what is regarded by many to be the greatest album of all time - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. And it was 54 years ago that The Beatles made their third and final appearance in 1963 at the now sadly burnt down Ritz Ballroom next door to the Hare & Hounds on York Road, King's Heath, Birmingham.

Now King's Heath Walk Of Fame are delighted to present a very special show to celebrate this unique double anniversary starring John Lennon's sister's favourite tribute band The Mersey Beatles at the award winning Hare & Hounds on Sunday 4 June

Described by the British Beatles Fan Club as 'the Best Beatles tribute band', The Mersey Beatles were all born and grew up in Liverpool. They were the resident band at the legendary Cavern Club for over 10 years and now regularly tour throughout Europe and the U.S.A. Throughout May they will be performing an 11 date American  tour before returning to perform their Sgt Pepper show at Liverpool's prestigeous Epstein Theatre on 1 June.

Three days later they will bring the show to the Hare & Hounds on 4 June.

John Lennon's sister Julia Baird comparing them to other Beatles tribute bands said 'The Mersey Beatles are the most authentic I've heard ... and I've heard them all'.

Joe Flannery, Brian Epstein's assistant, said 'When I saw them in The Cavern they perfectly recreated the atmosphere that the original Beatles produced. It was like listening to The Beatles again'.

A British Beatles Fan Club review of a previous show said 'The quality of the music was superb with each song reproduced in the original key with spot-on harmonies and perfect guitar solos that had the audience marvelling at the sheer quality of the talent on view'.

In the first half of the concert The Mersey Beatles will perform Sgt Pepper in it's entirety and in the second half 20 of The Beatles' greatest hits.

A weekend stay at a luxury spa hotel complete with an off-road Land Rover driving experience is just one of the amazing lots available in the Mayor of Wolverhampton’s annual charity auction.

This year’s online auction – which launches at 10am on Monday (APR 24) - is the biggest ever with 38 lots up for grabs which have been donated by local businesses, organisations and individuals.

Mayor Cllr Barry Findlay’s chosen charities are Wolverhampton Samaritans, the MS Therapy Centre in Tettenhall and Help For Heroes and all money raised in the auction will go to them.

As well as the spa break with Land Rover driving experience – which was donated by Jaguar Land Rover – there are plenty of other fantastic lots to suit all budgets.

They include:

  • A Porche driving experience at Silverstone (donated by Porche).
  • Signed Wolves shirts and 2 tickets in the directors’ box at Molineux for a match of your choice (donated by Wolverhampton Wanderers)
  • Family tickets to Dudley Zoo, The Severn Valley Railway and Ironbridge Gorge Museums
  • Golfing experiences
  • Luxury hampers
  • An iPad
  • Various health and beauty products
  • Various DIY and gardening products

Cllr Findlay said: “I am overwhelmed by the quality of auction lots we have on offer this year. The generosity of our local businesses and organisations has been amazing.

“People have the chance to bid for some really exciting things – either for themselves or perhaps as a present for a loved one.

“You could be whisking someone away for a luxury spa break or taking the family for a wonderful day out to some of our top regional attractions.

“Perhaps you fancy bidding for one of the lovely food hampers or some of the DIY products. The great thing is that there is something for all interests and budgets.

“I would urge everyone to bid – you never know whether yours will be the winning bid. All money raised from this auction is for charities who do such valuable and inspiring work and rely on donations to help keep them going.”

To see all the lots and to place a bid visit and follow the link to the auction page.

Just weeks after announcing a 26-date summer tour of North America, Queen + Adam Lambert have revealed further live plans for 2017 which will now see the band return to Europe later this year for a series of concerts in the UK and Ireland. The tour will showcase a spectacular new stage production and a set list, which the band hints will provide some surprises.

Queen + Adam Lambert’s UK and Ireland tour will see them perform at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on 30 November and 16 December. 

These shows will mark the band’s first full British tour in almost three years, having last performed across the UK in January 2015 when they played 10 sold out shows. Their only UK appearance in 2016 was a one-off headlining set at the closing night of the Isle of Wight Festival on Sunday June 12, part of a 15-date European summer festival tour. Isle of Wight festival organiser John Giddings credited the band with “the greatest show we have ever had”

For their 2017 tour, the band will unveil a brand new show including a specially designed state-of-the-art production. The choice of performance material will no doubt acknowledge this year’s 40th anniversary of Queen’s biggest-selling studio album to date, News of the World from 1977, which yielded the immortal anthems “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”.

Queen drummer and co-founder Roger Taylor insists the 2017 tour “will look entirely different to the show we took around before. Production has really changed a lot, the things you can do now, you have a much broader palette, the technology has really come along. But we don’t use it all. We don’t play to click track. It’s 100% live. We're planning on doing stuff we either haven't done before or haven't done for a long time. We started as an albums band, that's what we were. The fact that we had hits was just a by-product.”

Guitarist Brian May confirms Queen’s 2017 shows will have a more ambitious musical agenda. “The general public knows the hits, so you've got to cater for that,” he says, “but we can chuck in a few things that people really don't expect. We’ll do quite a bit more of that this time around. There are so many dimensions to Adam, which of course fits with our music. He can get down and do the rock stuff really dirty, and you have all those dimensions, and we can explore that even more.”

Adam Lambert welcomes the challenge of digging deeper into the band’s canon of classics. “What people should know if they came to the shows a couple of years back, is obviously we will still be playing the big hit songs you know and love from Queen, but we thought it would be good to challenge ourselves a bit,” he explains. “Change it up a little bit, change the visuals, change all the technology, change the set list to some degree. We will probably be pulling some other songs out of the Queen catalogue which we haven’t done before, which I am very excited about.”


Unions representing workers in the cultural sector have written an open letter to candidates in the West Midlands mayoral election calling on the candidates to commit to securing a new TV and film studio for the region, greater devolution of arts spending to the region and a fairer deal for cultural workers.

The letter points out that whilst the region is the home of Shakespeare and other fantastic cultural assets the region is disadvantaged when it comes to per head of population arts funding with only £4.58 versus London's £69.

To maximise the region’s cultural potential a cultural manifesto has been published urging the incoming Mayor to address 6 key areas:

  • A Midlands film and television studio facility.
  • Trade union recognition and implementation of negotiated agreements as a condition of public funding.
  • An integrated local government policy framework to support live venues, festivals and street performers (including infrastructure, public transport, regulatory framework etc).
  • An increase in public spending on the arts in the Midlands until per capita regional arts spending is on a par with London.
  • Secure, properly paid, professional employment for cultural workers and arts educators.
  • Local control of all arts spending in the region (including Arts Council England).
In the letter, the culture unions state  “We know what needs to be done to support our cultural industries so we urge the Mayor to push for devolution of arts funding – it's time Whitehall trusted the West Midlands. By working together we can build a cultural devolution that offers fairness for its workers, grows our economy, and benefits all citizens in the West Midlands.”

Residents who want to bring out the bunting and organise street parties for The Great Get Together in June are being encouraged to get applications for road closures in to the City of Wolverhampton Council as soon as possible.

The Great Get Together is taking place nationally over the weekend of 17 and 18 June 2017, with people invited to join family, friends and neighbours for street parties, barbecues, picnics and Bake Off-style competitions.

This year's event is being organised by The Big Lunch and the Jo Cox Foundation, set up in memory of the Batley MP who was murdered last June, in association with a number of other groups and organisations.

Many of those taking part are expected to apply for permission to close their road to traffic in order to hold street parties for the local community.

To help them do this, the City of Wolverhampton Council is fast tracking applications from residents and community groups for road closures over the weekend of 17 and 18 June, and is also waiving the fee for road closures, which is normally around £600.

Councillor Roger Lawrence, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: "The Great Get Together is a wonderful opportunity for families, friends and neighbours to come together and have a good time, and we want to make it as easy as possible for people to join in the fun, particularly if they are planning to hold street parties.

“Road closures need to be agreed by members of the Safety Advisory Group, who include representatives from the council, emergency services and transport organisations, and so it is important that anyone who is arranging a street party gets in touch with us as soon as possible.

"We have waived the normal road closure fee for this special event, and in the vast majority of cases no additional licences or permissions will be required.”

A Hairdressing apprentice at Walsall College is set to compete against the finest crop of talent in the Midlands, in the regional heat of the Wella XPOSURE on Wednesday 26th April.

April Morgan, 18, an Advanced Level 3 Hairdressing apprentice at Boyd’s Hair Design in Cannock, is just one of 20 budding hairdressers who have made it through to the Midlands regional heat, after impressing judges with their photographic entries of commercial cut and colour looks.

Three further regional heats are also taking place across the UK, where students will compete and have just one hour to replicate their looks. Five students from each of these heats will then be selected for the national final at Wella World Studio in London on 5th June, where one student will be crowned Britain’s top student hairdresser!

Wella XPOSURE is the leading nationwide hairdressing competition for students. Now in its eighth year, it offers hairdressing students the opportunity to compete in an inter-college challenge.

Ideal for those looking to take their first step on the competition ladder, XPOSURE promises to celebrate imagination, creativity, and talent amongst young hairdressers. It is the ideal springboard for any college student or apprentice, with winners receiving great exposure within the industry.

Top prizes include £1,000 of Wella Professionals training vouchers, a £500 tool kit, a chance to work with a top hairdresser for the day and educational support for a year.

April said: “I’m really excited to have got this far and I’m looking forward to competing on the day. I’m also very grateful that the college and my employer encouraged me to enter this competition as it is a massive boost to my career.”

Walsall College is inviting students across the borough, looking to get on the career ladder, to come along to its ‘Get Set for an Apprenticeship’ event on Wednesday 26th April, 4-7pm. The event will help school leavers brush up their CV and interview skills and search and apply for vacancies.


The days are longer, the flowers are blooming, and Easter has been and gone. That can mean only one thing - spring has sprung in England and Wales.

While the sunny weather has put smiles on the faces of most, spring also means busy season is arriving for the RSPCA’s officers and wildlife centre staff as the baby boom begins. Because hand-in-hand with spring comes a surge of calls about baby wild animals and birds who need the charity’s help.

Whether they’ve been attacked and injured by another animal, separated from their mum, or even orphaned, the RSPCA is always there to help baby animals in need.

Since the beginning of February to today (20 April), the charity has take in 753 young wild animals, including fledglings, nestlings and juveniles - 499 of which were birds and 254 mammals.