News

Up to date, dynamic news feed on local issues and subject that impact the voluntary sector.

FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY AT ARMED FORCES DAY EVENT

Thursday, 07 June 2018

News

People are invited to show their support for Britain's armed forces community at a special event in West Bromwich.

The event will be held in Dartmouth Park to mark Armed Forces Day on Saturday 30 June, with children's activities and entertainment all planned.

A military parade will start the event at 11am, so allow enough time to arrive on site and get a good position to watch the parade.

After the formal part of the event, people will be able to enjoy a family fun day running until 4pm with various stalls and attractions.

It's free entry with a small charge for some activities.

Councillor Bill Gavan, Sandwell Council's cabinet member for leisure, said: "This is a great opportunity for people to come along and support our armed forces community. We hope that there will be a good turnout. "People can see the parade and then get involved with some family fun entertainment in one of our fantastic Green Flag-awarded parks."

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FREE SWIMS HELPING KEEP OLDER PEOPLE HEALTHY AND ACTIVE

Friday, 18 May 2018

News

People aged 60-plus in Sandwell can swim for free all year round under a popular Sandwell Council scheme.

Free swimming for people aged 60 and over is available at Sandwell swimming centres – check with individual centres for times of the free sessions.

Sandwell Council has recently extended its free swimming scheme, which also provides free sessions for young people aged 16 and under during the school holidays.

More than 7,500 older people have become members of the scheme since it launched in June 2013, and they have enjoyed nearly 90,000 swims since the programme was first extended in April 2015.

Recent surveys have also showed that people aged 60-plus swim more often when free swimming is available, with them keen to boost their health.

Councillor Bill Gavan, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for leisure, said: “Our free public swimming scheme for older and younger residents has been a great success and we felt it was very important to extend it for a further two years.

“Swimming has big benefits for people’s physical and mental health – and is also good fun and an opportunity to socialise. “I’d encourage people of all ages to check out our fantastic swimming centres across Sandwell, including our new pools in Tipton, West Bromwich and Wednesbury.

We also have the state-of-the-art aquatics centre on the way in Smethwick.” Sandwell Council works with Sandwell Leisure Trust and Places for People Leisure, which run swimming centres in Sandwell. Go to www.sandwell.gov.uk/leisure for more information.

Councillor Elaine Costigan, cabinet member for public health and protection, added: "I am very pleased that the council is carrying on this great free service for people aged 60 and over."

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WARNING ON ROGUE TRADERS AND BOGUS CALLERS

Wednesday, 09 May 2018

News

Sandwell Council’s trading standards team is warning residents to be on their guard against rogue traders and bogus callers.

As the weather improves and homeowners look to give their homes a spring clean and do repairs, rogue traders can seize the opportunity to offer to carry out gardening work, mend or clean roofs and jet wash or resurface driveways.

Bogus callers – also called distraction burglars or doorstep thieves – often pretend to be from the council, utility companies or other organisations to trick their way into people’s homes to steal money or property.

Common rogue trader scams include:

* Offering to replace a tile or slate on the roof but saying water is getting into the roof and needs replacing;

* Giving a cheap price to clear out the garden but then charging much more for ‘extra’ work carried out;

* Saying they are working in the area hand have a lot of road/drive surfacing materials left over which will go off if they aren’t used; and

* Saying they will replace rotten wooden soffits, fascia boards and guttering but using cheap plastic to cover the problem instead.

Advice from Sandwell’s trading standards team is to:

* Avoid agreeing to have work carried out on the spur of the moment when people knock your door.

* Before starting on a project be clear about what it is you want to do and have a good idea of what you want to pay.

* Get a number of quotations from traders.

* Make sure that the quotation is detailed setting out the nature of the job, the price, the components and the time taken to complete the work.

* Make sure you know who you are dealing with.

Do you have their name, address and contact details?

* Don’t hand over any money in advance.

* Agree staged payments if possible.

Consumers can search the Tradewell in Sandwell register at www.traderegister.org.uk

or have a search carried out for them by ringing Citizens Advice consumer services on 0121 569 6628.

To combat bogus callers, follow this advice:

* Stop and think – if you're not expecting a caller and they don't have an appointment, then don't let them into your home.

* Chain – use the door chain before opening the front door.

* Check – ask to see identification and double-check this by calling the organisation/company they are representing before letting anyone into your home. If in any doubt call 999 immediately.

Councillor Elaine Costigan, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for public health and protection, said:

“I would urge everyone to be vigilant and to keep an eye on older or vulnerable people who these criminals may prey upon.” Bob Charnley, Sandwell trading standards manager, said: "Be very wary of anyone turning up on your doorstep offering to carry out work.

Ask yourself if you would trust important and potentially expensive work to someone you have never heard of, and may never see again.

"Responsible traders will know the rules and will supply the correct paperwork before starting any work.

This includes when entering into a contract at home the right to cancel the contract within 14 days." If you notice any suspicious cold calling activity please report it to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06. Alternatively, contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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