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At a Cabinet meeting on 12 December Walsall Council members approved that a report - put forward to increasing Council Tax on residential properties which have been left empty and unfurnished for long periods of time, be taken to full Council for consideration in January 2019.  Increases could be introduced in April 2019 as part of a range of Council measures to address housing need, reduce homelessness and support the borough’s residential property market.

Health and fitness programmes suitable for everyone from children to pensioners  are available in Walsall through a dedicated team whose aim is to increase the borough's activity levels and support them to lead healthier lives.

WS Health and Fitness is part of Walsall Council's sport and leisure services team and is responsible for initiating and developing projects that will appeal to a wide range of people.

Some sessions are specifically targeted at children and young people while others are for adults. The young people's programme currently includes Fun 4 Life, Skilz4Sport and Way4ward and a schools based healthy education programme.

Patients who are well enough to leave hospital but not quite ready to return home could live in borough nursing homes for a short time with support if Walsall Council's Cabinet agrees to a new plan.

Health and social care chiefs across Walsall are working to ease pressure on the Manor Hospital as well as support patients who want to be discharged.

A report to Cabinet next week details plans to commission beds in borough nursing homes. Up to 40 beds could be available from early November to ease the pressure on the Swift discharge suite at The Manor Hospital and help people who may need physio and other therapies before being able to go back to their own homes.

The issues surrounding young people leaving care in Walsall are being highlighted through various focused projects.

There is an extensive range of support already in place throughout the borough for this important group of young people and further support is being developed and refined through work with members, the council's transition and leaving care team, the council's housing support team, housing providers, voluntary organisations and other partners.

The issues facing several young people who have recently left the care of the council have been explored by a working group of members.

Councillors from the children and young people's scrutiny panel spoke to staff from the transition and leaving care team as well as care leavers themselves to find out what their concerns are, what support they get and how this meets their needs.

Walsall’s Mayor and some of the former First Citizens will be opening the doors of the Mayor’s Parlour and other historical buildings with a series of guided tours.

Doors open to the public next month for the first of four guided tours of Walsall’s Council House, Town Hall and Mayor’s Parlour.

The tour concept is the brainstorm of the Walsall Guild of Former Mayors and Consorts which gives the public the chance to see the magnificent Mayoral Regalia and the many historical items throughout the Town Hall and Council House.