Lib Dem candidate announced for general election

History teacher Ian Garrett has been selected by the Liberal Democrats to fight the Aldridge-Brownhills seat in May’s general election.

Garrett is head of history at St Francis of Assisi School in Aldridge and has served as a local councillor. He has also been a parliamentary candidate for the party in Sandwell.

Announcing his candidacy, Garrett said: “The last few years have not been easy for many people, as the government takes action to tackle the Budget deficit.

“However, I am proud of steps Liberal Democrats have taken, like the Pupil Premium, which targets school funding on to those most in need and increases their chances in life.

“I want us to build on what has already been achieved by Liberal Democrats in government.”

The Aldridge-Brownhills seat is being vacated by Conservative MP Sir Richard Shepherd, who has represented the constituency since 1979. Conservative vice-chairman Wendy Morton has been selected by the party to try to retain the seat, which returned a Tory majority of 15,256 in the 2010 election.

UKIP candidate Paul White announced this week he had stood down from the election battle, while Labour will be fielding John Fisher.

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Quiz night at Methodist Church

mathodist church quiz

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Pelsall author seeks information on local pubs

Pelsall author Annita Bates is asking locals for their stories about pubs in the village for her next book.

The writer, who has written five local history books about the history of Pelsall, is now researching the watering holes that have opened – and closed – in the village over the years.

“Due to the closure of yet more public houses in Pelsall, ie The Old Bush and Pelsall Labour Club, I have decided to write a book about the history of Pelsall pubs, which I began researching at the end of last year,” she said.

She asked anyone who has any information or anecdotes about any existing or now-closed public houses to contact her.

“I always like to include personal accounts in my books if I can,” added Annita.

Anyone who would like to contribute their stories, should contact Annita via email: or write to her at 73 Mill Road, High Heath, Pelsall, Walsall, WS4 1BT.


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UKIP PPC stands down

The Walsall branch of UKIP has confirmed that its would-be MP for the Aldridge-Brownhills constituency has resigned and will not contest the seat in May.

Paul White had been selected by the party to fight the seat, which is being vacated by Conservative MP Sir Richard Shepherd. The sitting MP is standing down after winning the seat in 1979.

Derek Bennett, acting chairman of Walsall UKIP, said: “I can confirm that Paul White has resigned his position as Ukip PPC for Aldridge-Brownhills.

“Having left Walsall for pastures new last year, Paul no longer feels that he can effectively campaign for a seat so far away from his new home.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Paul for his tremendous contributions to the Ukip Walsall Branch and wish him every success for the future.”

“Ukip is now in the process of selecting a replacement candidate for Aldridge-Brownhills and we will provide further updates once this process is complete.”

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Warning after child approached by man

Primary schools in Pelsall have issued warnings to parents after a reported attempted abduction of a young boy in the village on Saturday (February 2, 2o15).

In letters to parents, Pelsall Village School, Ryder’s Hayes School and St Michael’s CE School said they were contacted by West Midlands Police about the incident.

The young boy described how he was approached in Paradise Lane by a man wearing a balaclava when he went outside to retrieve a ball.

The man is said to have tried to force the six-year-old into a dirty white van but the youngster kicked out and managed to escape.

(*added Feb 10: the incident is said to have happened at about 4.30pm)

Statement from West Midlands Police added, February 10, 3.30pm:

Police have launched an investigation after a child was approached by a man in a white van in Pelsall at the weekend.

The six-year-old child was walking along Paradise Lane alone at around 4.30pm on Saturday 7 February when it is believed a van pulled up alongside him.

A man got out of the van and approached the child who hit out at the stranger and ran away.

The police were made aware of the incident on Sunday 8 February and the child and parents have been spoken to.

The man is described as white and was wearing dirty clothes and is believed to have had a face covering. The van was described as white and dirty.

Officers have visited the schools in the local area to remind them of the ‘stranger danger’ messages.

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National Libraries Week events

National Library events-page-0

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Pelsall councillor loses out in parliamentary seat selection

Pelsall councillor Marco Longhi has lost his bid to be the Conservative parliamentary candidate for the Aldridge-Brownhills constituency.

Coun Marco Longhi

Coun Marco Longhi

At a selection meeting last night, the Conservative association chose Conservative Party vice-chairman Wendy Morton to fight Sir Richard Shepherd’s seat.

Four candidates were shortlisted.

Morton, who has built up an electronics and manufacturing business with her husband, describes herself as “typically Yorkshire”:

“I am a bit like where I am from. Yorkshire people work hard and talk straight – and I understand I am no exception,” she says on her website.

“I am sure I inherited my work ethic and common-sense approach from my parents who are typical Yorkshire people. I was brought up in a small community and have lived the word community all my life. I believe in the power and potential of community life and know that when communities work together, they can bring about significant change.”

She first stood for the Conservatives in the 2005 general election in the Newcastle upon Tyne seat and five years later in Tynemouth.

Sir Richard, who has represented the Aldridge-Bronwhills ward since 1979, announced in October last year that he was stepping down at the next general election.

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