Colors: Blue Color

Organisations in Wolverhampton are organising ‘orange events’ in support of the United Nations’ Orange the World:  End Violence Against Women and Girls campaign. The 16 days of action started on Wednesday 25 November - International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – continues until Thursday 10 December, 2016, which is Human Rights Day.

Anyone who uses or has used one of Birmingham’s housing advice centres is invited to have their say on the future homeless and housing advice service. Cabinet member for Neighbourhood Management & Homes, Cllr John Cotton, said: “We currently have four housing advice centres across the city, however some people have experienced delays in receiving the support that they need and we want to make sure that everyone receives a consistent service.

The following is a statement from Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, on the latest developments in the plan to welcome 50 Syrian refugees to the city… “I am pleased to announce that following a robust procurement process we have appointed Refugee Action to provide support services for the 50 refugees we will be welcoming to Birmingham through the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme.

Paloma Blanca conveys a message of hope and love with her new novel, which follows a family’s struggles while the wheel of “Karma” goes on. It shows how people are affected by loss, by sudden change and the things they must do as they themselves experience transitions, all while having only each other as anchors for turbulent times.

Somehow no matter how much we may try to make December a happy month, there are always some people who tend to take a negative view on life. In a business situation, such as tourism, negativity can be deadly. It is essential that not only front-line personnel maintain an upbeat view of the world, but also those who work behind the scenes. The basic rule is that negativity not only breeds further negativity but also tends to be self-serving in that negative and pessimistic people tend to create self-fulfilling prophecies.

A bus that offers a safe haven for vulnerable town centre visitors is rolling through Haringey once again. Following success last year, the SOS Bus is returning to the borough’s streets for a series of weekends until the New Year. The bus, which is funded by Haringey Council and the Metropolitan Police and provided by Colchester-based charity Open Road , is manned by volunteers from HAGA (Haringey Advisory Group on Alcohol) and BUBIC (Bringing Unity Back into the Community).

IT’S A case of being upfront and dropping those hints early for locals in Birmingham where Christmas presents are concerned, according to new research. 1 in 4 say the earlier loved ones drop hints, the more likely they are to fulfil them - and as 32% of residents will start their Christmas shopping after November pay day, now really is the time to start dropping hints.  

Christmas is fast approaching, and as ever looks set to be a busy and potentially stressful time. While 43% of people feel that buying presents is the main worry at Christmas, cooking Christmas dinner comes second along with family arguments! That’s not surprising, considering that nearly a third of people will be eating Christmas dinner with more than seven guests and nearly half will spend over five hours preparing and cooking the festive meal.

Residents in Birmingham are being reminded of this year’s Christmas waste collection arrangements with one month until festivities begin. As is normally the case, the council’s crews, who work on all other Bank Holidays, will not operate on Christmas Day, Boxing Day (or any Bank Holidays staged when either of those two days are at the weekend).

Haringey “will become London’s first zero-carbon borough” as it bids to lead the way in tackling climate change. The ambitious pledge was made as the fifth annual Haringey Carbon Report was presented to Full Council. Haringey remains the only borough to track and publish its record on reducing local carbon emissions.

A wonderful seasonal start to Christmas will sound out when Sandwell’s mayor hosts the 126th annual Civic Carol Concert at West Bromwich Town Hall. And there'll be plenty of mince pies to tempt the taste buds during the interval. The popular concert, compered by the BBC’s Mike Wyer, features the Langley Band, Sandwell & District Scouts Choir and well-known singer Maggie O’Hara.

The borough’s brightest sporting talent took centre stage on Wednesday at the Haringey Celebrating Sport Awards. Gongs were given out in a host of categories as the glitzy event enjoyed its ninth year at Tottenham Green Pools and Fitness. The awards – backed by the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, Haringey Sports Development Trust; Tottenham Grammar School Foundation; Fusion Lifestyle and Haringey Council – recognise sporting excellence, top quality coaching, volunteering and performance through 12 categories.

Green-fingered council tenants and leaseholders spoke about the joy their gardening gives to their communities, at the annual Birmingham in Bloom awards ceremony at the Council House. Around 50 district winners and their guests attended the ceremony in the Banqueting Suite.  City-wide winners in each category received a trophy, cash prize and gardening tools from the city’s Lord Mayor, Cllr Raymond Hassall.

Housing and homelessness charity Shelter is urgently appealing for support for its helpline, after receiving over 35,000 calls from the West Midlands in the last year alone – equivalent to 96 calls from the region every single day. In the last year, the number of calls to the charity’s free helpline from the West Midlands, which is part-funded by Marks & Spencer, has increased by 5,510.