Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Over 900 people have signed a petition to save the Black Country Bugle paper and keep it in Dudley.

The petition was set up by Dudley MP Ian Austin to show the strength of local opposition to plans that would see the Bugle moved to Tamworth.

The Bugle’s parent company Trinity Mirror have announced the move alongside plans to cut the number of reporters at the paper and leave it without an editor. The company is currently consulting with staff over the plans.

The Bugle is well-known throughout the region and has been in operation for 45 years, and currently operates from Dudley Archives.

Austin is hoping to meet with representatives of Trinity Mirror to put its plans on hold so that alternative plans to keep the paper running at its current location can be considered.

Ian Austin said:

“There’s clearly massive support for keeping the Bugle here in Dudley, with 900 local residents signing this petition in just a few days.

“I’ve been reading the Bugle for over 30 years. It does a brilliant job highlighting all that’s great about the Black Country and our history I triggering the industrial revolution and changing the whole of the world.

“Moving this Black Country institution to Tamworth is a ridiculous idea. This petition should make Trinity Mirror think twice and look at alternative plans to save jobs and keep the paper in the heart of the Black Country where it belongs.”

900 sign petition to save Black Country Bugle

Over 900 people have signed a petition to save the Black Country Bugle paper and keep it in Dudley.

A third annual climb of Ben Nevis is being launched to honour Dudley mountaineer, local hero, peace campaigner and charity fundraiser Bert Bissell and raise funds for local charities.

Dudley North MP Ian Austin has assembled the biggest team yet for this year’s climb taking place on Thursday 11th August.

Over twenty charity fundraisers from Dudley will be led by Austin and the new Dudley Mayor Mo Hanif, including Deputy Mayor Dave Tyler, local councillors Keiran Casey and Steve Waltho, Bert’s lifelong friend Astley Blake who now runs the Bible Class he established, and local charity campaigners Damian Corfield, Shaz Saleem and Steve Rayner.

There will be a photo opportunity with the group at the Mayor’s Parlour, Dudley Council House, Priory Road, DY1 1HF at 12:30pm on Friday 3rd June.

The trek follows a successful climb last August that raised £9,000 for good causes in Dudley including the Hope Centre in Halesowen, The What Centre in Stourbridge, More Mascots Please in Brierley Hill which supports disabled children and their families, the Georgina Unit at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, and the West Midlands branch of Lupus UK which is based in Coseley.

Bert Bissell (1902-1998) founded the Young Men's Bible Class at Vicar Street in Dudley. He lived at Selborne Road. He was a probation officer and climbed Ben Nevis on VJ Day in 1945 and many times afterwards, constructing a Peace Cairn at its summit. There is a monument to Bert at Coronation Gardens opposite the Council House.

Bert was a friend of the Austin family and someone the MP knew well as a child.

All funds raised this year will go to the new Mayor’s charities which are the Friends of Alfie Johnson who help children with disabilities, the Dudley Centre for Inclusive Living that supports local people with disabilities and Diabetes UK.

Anyone who would like to support the good causes can do so at www.bertbissellmemorialwalk.co.uk.

Ian Austin said:

“I’m delighted that the number of local people taking part in our climb and making a donation is growing every year, and it goes to show the enduring legacy of Bert’s work in the community.

“He was a great friend of my family and I remember him well. He was a legendary figure and an inspiration to so many of us.

“I’ve often thought we ought to do something in his memory and climbing the mountain he conquered so many times to raise money for local charities seems a fitting tribute.

“It’s an honour to be joined by Dudley’s new Mayor Mo Hanif as well as a whole team of local councillors and fundraisers. I’m relying on them to get me through it!”

MP assembles biggest ever team for third annual Ben Nevis challenge

A third annual climb of Ben Nevis is being launched to honour Dudley mountaineer, local hero, peace campaigner and charity fundraiser Bert Bissell and raise funds for local charities.

Dudley MP Ian Austin has stepped up his campaign to keep the Black Country Bugle in Dudley by tabling a motion in Parliament and meeting with the paper’s staff.

Austin will be meeting Black Country Bugle staff to discuss their concerns at 12pm on Friday 20th May at their office in Dudley Archives, Tipton Road, Dudley DY1 4SQ.

The Early Day Motion tabled by the MP sets out local opposition to the move and calls for the paper’s owner Trinity Mirror to put its plans on pause to consult on alternatives that would save jobs and keep the paper in Dudley. Black Country MPs Adrian Bailey, Emma Reynolds, John Spellar, Valerie Vaz and David Winnick have already added their names.

The Bugle’s parent company Trinity Mirror have announced the move alongside plans to cut the number of reporters at the paper and leave it without an editor. The company is currently consulting with staff over the plans.

The Bugle is well-known throughout the region and has been in operation for 45 years, and currently operates from Dudley Archives.

Austin is calling on Trinity Mirror to put its plans on hold so that alternative plans to keep the paper running at its current location can be considered.

Ian Austin said:

“MPs from across the region are supporting my campaign to keep the Bugle in Dudley, and I’m looking forward to meeting the paper’s staff to find out what else I can do to help.

“The Bugle is a much loved local institution that I’ve been reading for over 30 years.

“It reaches a million people and does a brilliant job highlighting all that’s great about the Black Country and our history I triggering the industrial revolution and changing the whole of the world.

“It’s the Black Country Bugle for God’s sake. How could it be produced thirty-odd miles away in Tamworth. It is a ridiculous idea and I am sure local MPs will want to fight it all the way.

“I want Trinity Mirror to put its plans on pause so we can look at alternative plans to save jobs and keep the paper in the heart of the Black Country where it belongs.”

EARLY DAY MOTION 7 - RELOCATION OF THE BLACK COUNTRY BUGLE

That this House opposes the decision to move the offices of the Black Country Bugle newspaper from Dudley to Tamworth; recognises the Bugle’s popularity with the million people it reaches across the Black Country; celebrates the contribution the Bugle makes in highlighting the best of the Black Country and the region’s history as the birthplace of the industrial revolution; and urges Trinity Mirror to pause its plans to consult on saving jobs and keeping the paper in the heart of the Black Country.

Austin steps up campaign to save Black Country Bugle

Dudley MP Ian Austin has stepped up his campaign to keep the Black Country Bugle in Dudley by tabling a motion in Parliament and meeting with the paper’s staff.


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