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Tributes to leader of Walsall Labour Party, Tim Oliver, who has died after fighting cancer

Tim Oliver, who has died at the age of 56 Credit: Walsall Labour group

Tributes have been paid to Walsall Council's Labour group leader, Tim Oliver, who has died at the age of 56.

Councillor Sean Loughlan from the Walsall Labour group said Mr Oliver, who was Director of Palfrey Community Association and councillor for the Birchills and Leamore ward for 18 years, passed away at his home this morning after 'a long and painful battle with cancer'.

Mr Loughlan added: "My friend was a socialist, conviction politician and community activist. Up to his last days he never stopped striving for the causes he held dear.

"Even though he was seriously ill, he still shaped the Labour Party’s manifesto for the May elections and continued working to safeguard Palfrey Community Association’s future.

"He believed that politics was not about oneself but about others. He thought that securing the best deal for ordinary people was a duty not a choice. He was committed to safeguarding the vulnerable and making sure that those less well off didn’t get left behind or forgotten."

Family of blue tits make cigarette bin their new home

The cigarette bin is now home to a family of blue tits Credit: BPM Media

A family of blue tits have found an unlikely new nesting place- in a cigarette bin at a hotel near Walsall!

The birds have opted for the ash-filled bin over hedgerows around the Fairlawns Hotel in Aldridge.

It's believed the pair have chicks inside the bin Credit: BPM Media

The tiny birds have been keeping guests fascinated as they fly in and out of the ash tray, but smokers are less impressed.

After the tits arrived, hotel management immediately took the bin out of action.

Hotel deputy manager Neil Wyatt said:

The bins at the Fairlawns hotel is now out-of-action for smokers Credit: BPM Media

“The bin is only waist high, so we were very surprised the blue tits chose it for a home.We first noticed they were flying in and out two weeks ago. Since then, they’ve been very busy.

“They’ve been taking food inside, so we know there’s young in there.It’s just a case of waiting for them to come out – hopefully, without a nicotine addiction.”

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Former soldier admits possession of explosives and ammunition

A former soldier from Walsall has today pleaded guilty to possessing explosives and ammunition after what police are calling the largest recovery of its kind in ten years.

Joanne Morris, a former nurse from Ivy Cottage in Bloxwich, was arrested at her home on 14 November last year.

A number of homes and parts of Bloxwich Police Station were evacuated after a large amount of military style ammunition and explosives were found.

A cordon remained around the 48 year-old's home for three days while a controlled explosion took place.

Morris pleaded guilty to four counts of unlawfully possessing ammunition and one count of possessing a shotgun. She also admitted four counts of unlawful possession of an explosive substance and one count of making an explosive substance.

She was remanded into custody and will be sentenced in July.

Young mother hunted over theft of pension money

A young mother is being hunted by police after CCTV appeared to catch her stealing an 84-year-old woman's pension money from a post office counter in Walsall.

The pensioner visited Beechdale Post Office in Stephenson Square to take out the money, but accidentally left her wallet on the counter.

She returned shortly afterwards when she realised her error - but it had been taken by a woman, who had a child in tow, and was caught on CCTV.

Police are hunting this woman in connection with the theft of pension money
Police are hunting this woman in connection with the theft of pension money Credit: West Midlands Police

The woman was white, in her late 20s, with brown hair pulled back into a pony tail, while the child was wearing a red top or jacket.

PC John Giles appealed for the woman to come forward, or for anyone who knows who she might be to tell police.

The victim in this case is elderly and clearly vulnerable, she obviously relies on her pension money.

The suspect, who had with her a young child, gave no thought whatsoever as to who the money might belong to and what impact the theft may have had on the rightful owner.

I would appeal for this woman to do the right thing and call me or one of the team. If anyone recognises the woman then please get in touch.

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Police tweet details of ambulance vehicle crash

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WALSALL: Three people have been injured following a collision involving an ambulance service response vehicle and a BMW car.

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It happened at 9:26am. A paramedic and the driver and passenger from the BMW are in hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

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Broadway North is currently closed between Princes Avenue and Walhouse Road while officers investigate.

Three hurt after crash involving ambulance vehicle

File photo: An ambulance response vehicle Credit: West Midlands Ambulance Service

Three people have been injured after a crash between an ambulance response vehicle and a BMW in Walsall.

The collision happened shortly before 9.30am on Broadway North. A paramedic and passenger in the BMW are in hospital with what police say are 'non life-threatening' injuries.

Broadway North is currently closed between Princes Avenue and Walhouse Road while officers investigate.

Body found in search for man feared drowned in Walsall

A body has been found by police searching for a man feared to have drowned in a lake at Walsall Arboretum.

The lake at Walsall Arboretum
The lake at Walsall Arboretum Credit: ITV News Central

Officers were called to the lake yesterday to reports of a man in difficulty in the water and have been searching the area ever since.

They recovered the body of a man from the lake this afternoon. His death is currently being treated as unexplained.

Police appeal as search continues for man in Walsall lake

Police have appealed for information as they continue to search for a man who is feared to have drowned in the lake at Walsall Arboretum.

We have been making enquiries in the local area overnight in an attempt to identify the man seen in difficulty and to determine how he came to be in the water.

We continue to appeal for information from people who may have been in the Arboretum or in the local area at around 7.30pm and may have seen something that can assist the police investigation.

– Inspector Colin Mattinson, Walsall Police
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