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Appeal as Rare Breed Lambs Stolen from Sandwell Farm

Devastated staff at Forge Mill Farm in West Bromwich are appealing for help to catch thieves who stole two rare breed lambs on the evening of Sunday 25 July 2021.

The two Pedigree Shropshire ewe lambs were born in February and were due to join the farm’s breeding flock next year. The animals were particularly important to the farm and its work with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST). The Shropshire sheep is one of the success stories to come out of the RBST’s programme to boost numbers of vulnerable livestock in the UK.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member responsible for the borough’s farms and parks Councillor Maria Crompton said: “This theft is a huge loss for the team that works so hard to care for the animals throughout the year and for the people of Sandwell that visit our farm”.

“The farm staff are devastated by this callous act. These lambs are irreplaceable as it takes a huge amount of time and energy to produce rare breed sheep of such high genetic quality as these and for them to be stolen, and most likely slaughtered is disgusting.

“We are appealing for anyone who witnessed people acting suspiciously on Forge Lane, West Bromwich around 10.30pm on Sunday, 25 July or knows anything to call the police.

“The animals taken from Forge Mill Farm are not fit for human consumption. Don’t buy meat except from a reputable shop – it could be a health risk, not a bargain.”

We have CCTV of the incident taking place which West Midlands police are using to identify the individuals involved.

West Midlands Police have issued a crime reference number 20/146 4767/12 and an incident report number 849 26/07/2021. Anyone with any information is asked to report this using the reference numbers to the police via LiveChat at or by calling 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Any cases of illegal slaughter should be reported to Sandwell’s consumer protection team at


Have Your Say on Life in Sandwell Through Residents’ Survey

The enormous impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has been felt across the borough in many different ways. It’s why we are keen to hear what you think.

As we start to move forwards in what we all hope are better times ahead, this important residents’ survey is designed to provide the council with vital information that will help us better understand how individuals and communities in Sandwell have been affected by the pandemic.

This will help us shape our services and ensure we continue to respond to the needs of our residents across the borough.

Surveys should be completed before the deadline of 5pm on Monday 16 August.

Councillor Rajbir Singh, Sandwell Council Leader said: Please complete the survey to have your say so you can help shape our services going forward. “It is essential residents have the opportunity to be able to inform their local council on the things that matter to them.

“We’re aware this is just one snapshot of gauging people’s opinions of our services and life here in Sandwell. Understanding the views of residents is key when assessing our effectiveness as a council. I would encourage residents to fill in this questionnaire, the more responses we get, the more we can be sure we are focusing on the issues local people feel are most important to them.”

You can take part in the survey here.

Residents Urged to Look Out for Voter Registration details from Sandwell Council

Sandwell residents are being warned not to lose their voice on decisions that affect them by making sure their electoral registration details are up to date.

With elections taking place in Sandwell in May 2022, this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.

The annual canvass ensures that Sandwell Council can keep the electoral register up to date, identifying any residents who are not registered to vote so that they can be encouraged to do so.

This year, residents will receive an email or letter regarding the annual canvass – depending on what contact details the council holds for them.

For the majority of residents, unless there are any changes to their circumstances, they won’t need to respond. Please read your letter or email carefully.

A Sandwell Council spokesperson said: “It’s important that residents look out for messages from Sandwell Council so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in the borough.

“We will send you a letter or an email for you to respond to. To make sure you are able to have your say at elections taking place next year, simply follow the instructions sent to you.

“If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear in the messages we send. If you want to register, the easiest way is online at or we’ll send you information explaining how to do this in the post.”

People who have moved recently are particularly encouraged to look out for the voter registration messages from Sandwell Council and check the details.

Research by the Electoral Commission, published in 2019, indicates that recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those who have lived at the same address for a long time. Across Great Britain, 92% of people who have been at their property for more than sixteen years will be registered, compared to 36% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.

Melanie Davidson, Head of Support and Improvement at the Electoral Commission, said: “It’s really important that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to do so. Checking the messages that you will get from your local authority is the easiest way to see if you’re registered to vote. If you’re not, make sure you provide the necessary information to your local authority when it is needed and register to vote online at”

Further information on the electoral canvass is available at

Information on registering to vote is available on the Electoral Commission website.

Any residents who have any questions can contact the elections team by emailing or by calling 0121 569 3242.

Council’s iTrust Programme shortlisted for prestigious award

Sandwell Council’s iTrust Programme, which supported families against youth crime, is a finalist in the prestigious MJ Achievement Awards 2021, where the early intervention programme to address knife crime and violence has been shortlisted in the Transforming Lives category.

This acknowledges programmes, initiatives or changes to service delivery that have demonstrably transformed the lives of groups or communities of people.

The judges looked for evidence of why programmes were started; how needs were assessed; what the priorities and success factors were; how innovative programmes were; and how feedback from participants was used to shape the initiative.

ITrust (Supporting Families Against Youth Crime Programme) was developed by Sandwell Council, Sandwell Children’s Trust, Sandwell Council for Voluntary Organisations and West Midlands Police Sandwell Partnership Team to meet the principles of the national Troubled Families Programme which included early identification of those children and families at greatest risk.

The programme worked with children in Years 6 and 7 in the Smethwick and West Bromwich police impact areas and, by taking an approach based on very early intervention, aimed to engage children at this key transition period in school life. This linked to other successful programmes delivered in Sandwell and contributed to Sandwell Council’s Vision 2030 ambitions and the Safer Sandwell Partnership priorities.

The winners will be announced at the MJ Achievement Awards event on Friday, 17 September.

For more information, read the iTrust Sandwell evaluation here.

Sandwell Children’s Trust consultation with parents and carers of children with disabilities

Sandwell Children’s Trust would like to gain the views of parents and carers of children with disabilities to inform their Short Breaks Programme, commencing in April 2022.

If your organisation works with parents and carers of children with disabilities the Trust would like canvass their views via this short survey

A short break is part of a continuum of services which supports disabled children and their families. The Trust’s vision is that throughout the short break offer it will strive to enable disabled children and young people to lead ordinary lives. Disabled children will be able to choose from a full range of services, activities including specialist provision, accessible universal and targeted provision.

The consultation will close on 6 August 2021.

Domestic Abuse is a Workplace Issue

In July 2020 Sandwell Council reported that the workplace can be an invaluable lifeline for people experiencing domestic abuse. Employers also have a duty of care and a legal responsibility to provide a safe and effective work environment, and tackling domestic abuse is an integral part of this.

The Domestic Abuse: Toolkit for Employers, has recently been updated to include new case studies, initiatives and information on the recently passed Domestic Abuse Act.  Published by Business in the Community, the toolkit is sponsored by the Insurance Charities and supported by the Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse. It recommends a ‘four Rs’ approach by employers:

Help everyone in the company to recognise the signs of abuse and understand that it is a workplace issue that everyone can play a part in tackling.

Have policies in place for what happens when a member of the team discloses that they are being abused.

Know where and how to refer people for help, information and support.

Keep accurate details of what is said as this can be used as evidence if the police become involved.

The toolkit contains information and advice about how to spot domestic abuse, how to set out workplace policies and how to take appropriate action. It also gives practical examples of workplace support and how to start difficult conversations. The full toolkit can be downloaded from the Business in the Community website.

For more information and resources on domestic abuse, and other aspects of mental and physical health at work, please visit Sandwell workplace wellbeing page

Gospel Oak Road Park, Tipton, consultation

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) has secured funding through the West Midlands Combined Authority from Sport England to improve an area of land to provide an opportunity for local people to be more active, improve their wellbeing and potentially act as an area for education.

It is part of a wider project being managed by the West Midlands Combined Authority which also includes public spaces in Walsall and Coventry. The area of land adjacent to Gospel Oak, Tipton, has been chosen for the Sandwell project, and stakeholder engagement is required to enable ideas about the possible future for the site to be shared.

Following the stakeholder meetings which have taken place over the past year, Sandwell Council is now going out to public consultation to inform the final stages of the design of the park space on Gospel Oak Road. See attached documents:

Stakeholder information document
One-page adult feedback leaflet
One-page child feedback leaflet

The two double-sided single page leaflets are designed to be printed and filled out.

The information document provides stakeholders and interested parties with details of the site and an opportunity to share ideas for its possible development. It should be noted that additional stakeholder engagement sessions will be undertaken in the future once restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic are eased.

Responses and any questions can be directed to

The deadline for responses is Saturday 31st July.


Rooms to let at Great Bridge Library

Great Bridge Library has office space with two rooms as a single let. The space offers privacy whilst at the same time allowing you to meet and greet clients in the informal and relaxed atmosphere of the library, which has convenient public transport links nearby and is a short drive from the M5 and M6 motorways.

The larger room measures 52 metres squared with a small kitchen and en-suite toilet facilities (shared with library staff). The smaller room is 6 metres squared. Both have ICT network and power sockets. Wi-fi is also available.

Offers to lease the two rooms should be above £9,400 per year. However, a lower offer would be considered, especially from organisations that can contribute to the library’s core offers of reading, health, information, learning or culture, or supports other Sandwell Council objectives. Ideally, the library would like a partner that has a presence in the building during advertised library opening hours (except Saturdays) to avoid staff having to lone work.

Please contact Sarah Walker at if you would like to arrange a viewing, or to make an offer.

Please note: applications must be made on a formal application form available from the library. The closing date for applications is 4 pm, Friday 9 July 2021.

For information about current opening hours, see


Sandwell Council’s Small Town Grants Programme

As part of the Sandwell Council’s commitment to the voluntary and community sector, and to help ensure the authority responds positively to good ideas coming from residents, local community and voluntary organisations, Sandwell Council operates a ‘small town grants’ programme.

The local authority want to actively work with local voluntary organisations and community groups and invite you to share your ideas and projects with them.

For further information about the Small Town Grants Programme and how to apply, please see here.

SAFL’s New Courses for May

Learning new skills is more important than ever in today’s work place. To support continuous development, SAFL have responded with a range of new courses, on-line and in their centres, delivered Covid safe.

Maths for Parents
This course is designed to develop the basic maths skills of parents and carers. It will help you gain confidence with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division in everyday situations.

For many adults it has been a while since they’ve done any maths (perhaps not since school days!), and skills are easily forgotten along the way. If you struggled with maths when home schooling during lockdown, this is the ideal starting point to refresh those skills.

Paediatric and Adult First Aid
This course will enable you to provide safe and effective first aid treatment an emergency before professional medical help arrives.

Step into Care
This course is for adults who want to up-skill or gain employment within the care sector and will focus on the skills and knowledge needed within the sector.

E Safety for Parents
This short (two hour) on-line course will help you feel more confident and support you in keeping children safe on line.

Painting & Drawing
Hobbies are an important part of maintaining your mental health and wellbeing. Hobbies are enjoyable, give us something to be passionate about and can help to cope with worry and stress.
This course is suitable for complete beginners.

For more details and course dates, click here.

Contact SAFL on 0121 557 0837 or email

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Contact Us

Tel: 0121 525 1127

1st Floor, Landchard House
Victoria Street, West Bromwich
B70 8ER