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Sandwell Council wins government funding to make Smethwick streets safer

Friday, 12 August 2022


Sandwell Council has been awarded over £200K from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund to target neighbourhood crime, violence against women and girls, and anti-social behaviour in Smethwick.

Tackling neighbourhood crime is core to the Safer Streets Fund. Neighbourhood crime can be upsetting and extremely intrusive to victims.

Women are disproportionately more likely to experience certain crime types; for example, they are around four times more likely than men to experience a sexual assault.

One of the goals of the Safer Streets Fund is to is to trial approaches to build evidence of what is successful in preventing and deterring these offences.

The £227,000 from round four of the Safer Streets Fund will be used to make Smethwick residents feel safer, with improvements along Bearwood Road and the surrounding area. The council and its partners are also supplying a matched funded contribution of officer time, bringing the total project value to nearly £350k.

New CCTV will be installed along Bearwood Road which will link to the council’s 24-hour control room and will be monitored by licensed operatives. This will be complemented by enhanced detached youth work in Lightwoods Park and Warley Woods. Additionally, an officer will work with partners to engage with businesses and the community, and support school transition projects at two primary schools in the area.

In being offered the grant, the council was advised that its bid effectively demonstrated analysis of the problems in the target area and it identified a suitable response to tackling the issues.

Councillor Danny Millard, Sandwell Council cabinet member for communities, said: “Everyone in Sandwell should have the security and confidence that comes from having a safe street and a safe home, and this is central to our Safer Streets projects in Smethwick. “We will employ a problem-solving approach, seeking to develop an in-depth understanding of the crimes/problems in the area through scanning and analysis, using data and consultation. And our solutions will then have the best chance of preventing crimes and issues, making residents and businesses feel safer.”

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “We are delighted to have secured Safer Streets funding for this important project in Sandwell, which delivers on key priorities in my Police and Crime Plan. “I am committed to rebuilding community policing, combatting violence against women and girls and the prevention of crime and anti-social behaviour. “My top priority is justice, safety and security for people, communities and businesses.”

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Wednesbury in Bloom – community comes together to celebrate town’s gardens

Friday, 12 August 2022


  Proud, green-fingered residents and businesses are in the running to win one of Wednesbury In Bloom’s four accolades when the results are announced at Wednesbury Summer Fete on Saturday, 13 August.

Wednesbury in Bloom graphic

The free fete takes place between 11am and 3pm at Wednesbury Town Hall, and the event will also feature live entertainment, homemade crafts and refreshments.

The competition and fete are supported by Sandwell Council and Riverside Housing.

The judging categories were:

Best garden

Best planters

Best hanging baskets

Best business.

The winner in each category will receive a £50 voucher.

Denise Ann Heginbotham, Community Engagement Officer at Riverside Housing in Sandwell PFI said: “Riverside Housing is delighted to sponsor and support Wednesbury in Bloom. It’s a special opportunity to highlight the creativity of the town’s gardeners, and the hard work they put into making Wednesbury a greener place.”

Councillor Luke Giles, Wednesbury Town Chair, said: “The first Wednesbury in Bloom since the pandemic has brought our communities and businesses together to celebrate the very best of the town in a friendly, competitive way. “I want to congratulate and acknowledge the efforts and dedication of all who have taken part: they have brightened Wednesbury and strengthened the sense of local pride.”

There will be free car parking for the event at Wednesbury Leisure Centre.

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