Pelsall Youth Voice campaign begins

Young people are urging urged Walsall Council to think again about its plans to close down Pelsall Youth Club.

Pelsall Youth Voice with Coun Garry Perry

Pelsall Youth Voice with Coun Garry Perry

Pelsall Youth Voice was launched at the weekend, following reports that the youth club would be one of ten across the borough to close as part of the local authority’s budget reductions in targeted youth work from £1.96m to £888,000.

Youth club goer Brendan Delaney said: “We feel very strongly about the closure and don’t feel as though we have been consulted about this. Is this right?

“Nobody came and spoke to us about the youth club and what should happen, and we are the ones that use it, so we should have our say.

“The youth leaders support us in ways that family and teachers sometimes can’t; they offer advice and help us plan our leisure time. They help us think about our futures and help us become better members of the community.”

Katie Palmer added: “We know the council has lots to pay for and there isn’t much money but closing places for kids is not the answer to saving money – it’s likely to cost more in the long run. All we are asking is for people to listen to us, give us a chance and help us save our youth club. It’s all we have.”

The teens have been backed by Councillor Garry Perry.

He said that Walsall Council currently provides direct delivered services to Pelsall, which will change to out-reach provision only should the centre close, as planned, from the end of August 2015.

“The group fully understand the difficult decisions councillors have been making regarding cuts as a result of central government budget reductions,” he said.

“Regardless of who the Government of the day is, cuts will still be made and undoubtedly this will result in less services being provided and a more targeted provision for those most in need.

“Pelsall Youth Voice do, however, believe that their views have not been asked for and they want to ensure that no decision is made about them without them. They want to provide a formal line of communication with the council and other voluntary and third sector organisations about the future.”

Pelsall Youth Voice has agreed a five-point plan that will form the basis of their discussions with the council and other organisations as they seek to secure the future of the centre.

These are:

Creating a safe environment

For young people to meet, access information, advice and support

Learning something new

Training and employment support, apprenticeship opportunities and equipping young people with the skills to apply for jobs and be successful at interview is something seen to be desperately required.


Opportunities to work in partnership

Pursue sharing of resources and support for young people. There are a whole host of opportunities to progress this further with the voluntary sector, local community organisations, secondary schools and churches.

Building better relationships with the community

Anti-social behaviour, perceptions of young people’s behaviour and listening to each other is seen as a positive. How can we tackle this together?

Growing the opportunities – targeting resources

Pelsall Youth Voice realises there is more to youth support than just a building.  Opportunities exist and they want to be given the best chance to access them. Pockets of need exist in all areas, and in Pelsall’s case the centre and some services are accessed by young people from neighbouring areas with higher levels of need.

Walsall Council Cabinet members are due to discuss the situation further at its meeting on the 18 March, 2015.


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Pelsall Youth Centre users plan campaign to save facility

A group of young people is planning to launch a campaign to save Pelsall’s Youth Centre following reports that it is one of ten centres earmarked for closure.

Councillor Garry Perry said users of the centre were prepared to look at how they could keep the village’s youth facilities.

The campaign is being launched after the Walsall Advertiser revealed this week that ten local youth centres, including Pelsall, could close as part of measures to save £86 million over the next four years.

“The young group will be setting a ‘save the centre’ campaign group and they have asked for my help,” he said.

“We have had a positive discussion about the approach we will be taking, which will not be about ‘don’t shut the centre’ but more so ‘how can we do things differently?’.”

Speaking to third sector organisations, such as churches, community groups and academies, will be central to the campaign to see if any could help with running the youth facility.

“If Walsall Council pulls out, it does not mean that others cannot deliver a more engaging service,” said Coun Perry.

“The positive thing about this is the young people want to be the driving force and I think it’s our duty to support and empower them in doing so. This isn’t political but about doing our best within a limited resource.”

The campaign group is meeting tonight (March 13, 2015) to discuss first steps.

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Could you be Pelsall’s next carnival royalty?

Anyone wishing to enter the competition should call Ian Rhydderch on 01922 684695.

pelsall carnival poster

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MS Society information event planned

MS Society Health Poster

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Pelsall CC to host glittering event

pelsall cc pelsall cc2

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Road closure next week

Notice from Walsall Council:

ROAD CLOSURE – ALLENS LANE, PELSALL (between the junctions of  B4154 Walsall Road and Goscote Road)

Monday 02 March 2015 to Friday 06 March 2015

This section of Allens Lane will be closed to enable a new water main connection to be undertaken by Integrated Water Services on behalf of South Staffordshire Water.

A signed diversion route will be in operation for affected traffic using B4154 Walsall Road, Hall Lane, Mouse Hill, Allens Lane and vice versa.

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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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