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Walsall couple arrested on suspicion of terror offences

A man and a woman from Walsall have been arrested on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offences.

The pair were arrested at Heathrow Airport last night Credit: PA

The couple were detained by officers from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit at around 10.30pm last night at Heathrow Airport, as they disembarked a flight from Istanbul.

Two addresses in Walsall are being searched. The man, aged 20, and the woman, aged 19, are both currently in custody in the West Midlands area.

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Drunk wrong-way motorway Polish lorry driver jailed

A Polish lorry driver who drove the wrong way down the M6 while he was three times over the legal drink-drive limit has been jailed for eight weeks and banned for three years.

Tomasz Kruchowski was stopped by police at around 2am on Monday when they saw the lorry travelling away from the M6 junction on the wrong carriageway.

The 35-year-old pleaded guilty at Walsall Magistrates Court.

Appeal to trace family of pensioner who died alone

Credit: Walsall Council

The life of a 72-year-old man is being painstakingly pieced together with photographs and documents found at his house - after he was found dead at his home on Wednesbury Road in Walsall.

Council officials are desperately trying to find Alan John Pickering's relatives - so they can plan his funeral.

They know he was born on 15 September 1942 but have little more to go on.

They've unearthed some photos, including one of him at a wedding around 2000, and with an unknown woman and some children several years previously.

It's thought he could have worked in the machine shop at Bloxwich Engineering on Bell Lane until 2006.

Next year will see 'deepest cuts' to Walsall budget

The leader of Walsall Council has warned that next year's budget cuts of £29.2 million will be the harshest over the coming few years.

A further £57m will then have to be slashed from future budgets as part of a four-year savings plan ending in 2019.

Walsall Council leader Sean Coughlan has warned next year will see the 'deepest' cuts Credit: Walsall Labour party

Council leader, Councillor Sean Coughlan, said:

As I've said before, next year will see the deepest of cuts over our four year budget plan.

Faced with £47 million funding reductions from central government and the limitation on council tax increases, our hands are tied and it hasn't been easy.

But our priority has been to protect the most vulnerable people and to do what we can to continue making Walsall a good place to live.

– Councillor Sean Coughlan, Walsall Council leader

What's under threat at Walsall Council?

As council chiefs in Walsall prepare to make more than £86 million of cuts over the next five years, a draft budget has been drawn up.

They include proposals to make savings in the following areas, among others:

  • 487 council jobs to be axed
  • Eight libraries to close
  • 12 Children's Centres to be shut
  • Walsall Museum to close
  • Bin collections to go from weekly to fortnightly
  • Charges introduced for green waste collections
  • £2 million to be saved from the youth services budget

The council also plans to review the council tax reduction scheme and the discounts on offer to residents, in the hope of saving an extra £3m.

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Consultation over £86m of council cuts begins in Walsall

A public consultation over £86 million of budget cuts at Walsall Council will begin today.

Walsall Museum is under threat as part of the plans Credit: Google Maps

The cuts, of which £29m will have to be slashed next year, includes hundreds of job losses and the closure of Walsall Museum.

The consultation will give people the chance to have their say on where the axe should fall in the next five years.

Long-serving Midlands MP to stand down

Black Country MP Sir Richard Shepherd is to stand down Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

One of the West Midlands’ longest-serving MPs is to stand down after 35 years in Parliament.

Black Country MP Sir Richard Shepherd has written to the chairman of his constituency party to say he will not stand again at next year’s general election.

The Tory, who has represented Aldridge-Brownhills since 1979, is 71. He was knighted in 2003.

50-year-old woman from Nottingham goes missing

Police are searching for a missing 50-year-old woman from Nottingham.

Anyone who has seen Gloris or knows her whereabouts is asked to call 101. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

Gloris Smith disappeared at 2pm yesterday, and officers are growing increasingly concerned for her welfare.

They believe the Nuthall resident may be in the Worksop area.

She is described as black, about 5ft 4ins tall, of slim build, with black hair.

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