The BID Needs You – Local MP Encourages Small Business to Get Involved

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

tamworth town centreChristopher Pincher, MP for Tamworth, has urged local businesses to get involved in the creation of Tamworth’s Business Improvement District (BID).

With support from the Council, local businesses and organisations of all sizes and sectors across the town are coming together to establish a Business Improvement District in Tamworth.  Similar projects are under way across the country and it is thought it could generate thousands of pounds extra on boosting the local economy in Tamworth and help regenerate the town.

Local businesses can get involved by participating in consultations and working groups aimed at researching how the BID can best serve the local priorities of the town.

Should the plan take off, it will see a range of projects launching across the town to benefit the local economy and community.  These projects will be funded by a small levy on participating businesses – a contribution that would allow them to have their say in how the money is spent.  The size of the levy will depend on the size of the business so big retailers in the town will contribute much more in pounds sterling.

Mr Pincher said, “I encourage any businesses operating in Tamworth’s town centre or Ventura Park to get involved in the vision of the town’s BID.  Taking part will allow businesses to play their own part in shaping the town’s future and creating the best possible economy and community for Tamworth.  BID projects put the businesses in the driving seat, allowing them to deliver a tailored business agenda that benefits the local area as a priority.”

Click here if you are interested in finding out more information about Tamworth’s BID or would like to register your business.

McIntyre’s Anti Pest Legislation Approved

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016
Anthea McIntyre MEP

Anthea McIntyre MEP

An MEP’s drive to protect farmland, gardens and countryside from deadly plant disease has cleared its final legislative hurdle.

A comprehensive set of measures negotiated by Anthea McIntyre to tackle the plant pests that devastate crops and woodland was approved today in Strasbourg at a plenary session of the European Parliament.

The Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, who sits on the Parliament’s agriculture committee, said, “I am delighted the vast majority of MEPs have voted through my report.  It offers robust and rigorous checks against the spread of disease without over-burdening commercial growers or traders with needless obstacles.”

As far as the UK is concerned, the measures aim to tackle plant pests by stopping them entering the country.  As lead MEP on the legislation, Miss McIntyre strove to balance steps to counter diseases such as Ash dieback with a regulatory regime that would not needlessly shackle farmers, foresters or the horticulture trade.

When it becomes law, the package will set out new basic standards to ensure EU countries work together to address plant pests and diseases.  These include mandatory surveillance for high-risk pests and better use of the plant passport system.

Miss McIntyre, herself a small-scale grower, said, “The recent spread of the bacterium xylella fastidiosa, which devastated olive groves, showed the weaknesses in our defences.  There are many other pests that will cause the same havoc with other plants and products if we let them.

“This time is was olives, another time it could be plums, pears or potatoes.  We need to protect our biodiversity by laying down basic procedures for all 28 Member States to adopt.

“The UK already has robust controls in place but approaches vary widely from country to country.  As a continent, we are only as strong as the weakest link.

“Plant pests and diseases do not respect borders and it is in the UK’s interest that the EU has effective systems in place.  This is good legislation, designed by the British, which will remain after we have left the EU.”

Christopher Pincher Praises Start Up Loans Company’s impact on Tamworth

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

tamworth town centreTamworth’s MP, Christopher Pincher, has welcomed the news published by the Start Up Loans Company (SULCo) that over £240,000 has been loaned to 40 individuals in Tamworth.

SULCo, founded in 2012, was set up to support individuals who want to start a business but cannot access traditional sources of finance.

The scheme is funded by the Government and British Business Bank which to date has helped create over 40,000 businesses and lent over £250m, some of which has been received in Tamworth.

To date it is estimated that for every £1 invested in businesses, over £3 has been returned to the economy.  The scheme also has a target to deliver 10,000 loans per year so that by 2020, 75,000 loans will have been delivered.

Mr Pincher said, “I warmly welcome the news that SULCo has invested so much in so many individuals looking to set up businesses in Tamworth.  It’s reassuring news, which shows confidence in the economic climate remains high, and further that businesses and entrepreneurs in Tamworth are as active as ever.

“If you would like more information about any aspect of the scheme please get in touch with me.”

Local MP Encourages Young People to Take up Vaccine

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

meningitis-nowChristopher Pincher, MP for Tamworth, has backed calls by leading UK meningitis charity, Meningitis Now, encouraging young people to protect themselves from a deadly strain of bacterial meningitis.

Following a worrying increase of 809% in meningococcal (group W) meningitis cases in the past 5 years, the government launched a vaccination programme to protect young people aged 14-15 through schools, and those aged 17 to 18 through their GP.

Despite the introduction of this vaccine, and the increased risk to students and young people, the uptake of the Men ACWY remains very low, with 17.7% of 17 and 18 year olds within the West Midlands taking up the vaccine, and 17.4% across England.

Young people and particularly first year university students are at an increased risk from meningococcal bacteria, which can cause meningitis and septicaemia.  Early signs can go undetected, and in young people can be put down to a bout of the flu, or even a hangover.

Mr Pincher said, “As many young people as possible need to be vaccinated against this dreadful disease.  Two deaths of students in September, one from Northumbria and the other from South East London, highlight just how prevalent this is and how preventative measures are essential.”

Liz Brown, Chief Executive at Meningitis Now, said, “We welcome Christopher Pincher’s support in calling on young people across the UK to get the Men ACWY vaccine.  It is particularly poignant given the sad news of a student death at the University of Northumbria from Men W.

“Young people, especially those attending university for the first time should, if they haven’t done so already, take immediate action to protect themselves from this dangerous meningitis bug.  The vaccination is free and available through GP practices for 17-18 year olds, and first year university students, up to the age of 25.”

For more information on the vaccine, or to download the signs and symptoms app for your phone visit www.meningitisnow.org.

Christopher Pincher shares Tamworth’s Road Safety Dashboard

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

20 mph signChristopher Pincher, MP for Tamworth, has drawn attention to the Constituency Road Safety Dashboard developed by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) alongside Direct Line.

The PACTS Road Safety Dashboard was developed to compare and analyse road casualty data in order to consider the progress already made, and how it can be improved.  It allows analysis of local areas to be run against national scores.  The United Kingdom has a good road safety record but there is still more to do to reduce casualties nationwide.

Mr Pincher said, “It is reassuring to see that Tamworth’s KSI (Killed or Seriously Injured) index is 30% lower than the national average, and that the work being done across the constituency to improve road safety is taking root.

“There are still too many victims of motoring incidents and too many grieving families and we should not take accidents for granted.  There is still work to do and this resource is invaluable to see where we can tailor our action as a community to stamp out road incidents in Tamworth and surrounding areas.”

To explore local results yourself using the Dashboard, visit www.pacts.org.uk/dashboard.

Local MP Urges Local Residents to Prioritise Fire Safety

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

fire safetyTamworth’s MP, Christopher Pincher, wants to make sure local people are kept safe from fire and to inform of the new services provided by Staffordshire Fire’s new Community Advice Team.

In order to ensure your home is safe from the dangers of fire, you should make sure you have a smoke alarm installed on each floor.

The Community Advice Team has been set up to provide tailored advice on how to protect your home or business from fire.  You can also book a risk assessment, which can include the fitting of equipment or smoke alarms.  Smoke alarms are an important way to ensure extra time for escape in the event of a fire by providing early warnings.

Each death involving a fire is thoroughly investigated and costs the Fire & Rescue Service and other blue lamp services approximately £1million.  So investing in fire prevention and awareness is not just the right thing to do, it is the cost effective thing for everyone to do.

Mr Pincher said, “I urge anyone with concerns about potential fire risks to contact the Community Advice Team now.  The services they offer can allow local people to fireproof their homes and businesses, as well as locate any potential risks that may have been overlooked.

“Do not take the chance of a fire in winter.  People should get their homes thoroughly checked this summer.”

Anyone interested in contacting the Community Advice Team can call 0800 0241 999 between 8am and 6pm from Monday to Friday.

Christopher Pincher urges Applications for National Lottery Investment in First World War Centenary

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

SommeAs the nation marks the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, Tamworth’s MP has called on local residents to apply for Heritage Lottery Fund money to explore their local stories of the First World War.

Following the success of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s community grants programme ‘First World War: then and now’, an additional £4 million has been made available for communities looking to explore, conserve and share their local heritage from this period.

Grants are available between £3000 and £10,000.  There are already 1,520 First World War projects taking place across the United Kingdom, with communities discovering interesting and inspirational stories of how events such as the Somme campaign impacted their local area.

Mr Pincher said, “It is remarkable to see such a range of projects emerging across the country, with such a variety of inspirational tales from the First World War.  It is important that we remember the impact this war had on our nation, and it would be fantastic to see Tamworth’s heritage remembered as part of this campaign.

“There is still time to apply for National Lottery investment and I would urge anyone in Tamworth with an idea for a project to get in touch.

”My own great grandfather, William Pincher, was killed on the first day of the Somme fighting in the South Staffordshire Regiment.  He came from Darlaston but he never went home.  His body was never found and his name is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial to all those killed on the Somme but with no known grave.

“I hope other local people will see if the Heritage Lottery Fund can help Tamworth unearth more Somme stories from this town.”

Local MP Calls on Public to Vote for Staffordshire Regiment mascot as “Westminster Dog of the Year”

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Watchman VChristopher Pincher, MP for Tamworth, is calling on local residents to support Staffordshire Regimental Mascot, Sgt Watchman V, in the Westminster Dog of the Year competition.

The 2016 competition will take place on September 8th in Parliament and will see the canine friends of MPs and peers battle it out to be named Westminster Dog of the Year – a very competitive, and political, event.

The competition is organised by the Kennel Club and the Dogs Trust and the winner is in part chosen by a public online vote. The competition celebrates the unique bond between man and dog – and aims to promote responsible dog ownership.  It is open to all dogs, regardless of breed, creed or “pawlitical” persuasion.

Sgt Watchman V has been nominated by Staffordshire MPs Amanda Milling, Jeremy Lefroy, Andrew Griffiths, Gavin Williamson, Bill Cash and Michael Fabricant, together with Mr Pincher.  The MPs are keen to see our local regimental mascot crowned Parliament’s top dog.

Mr Pincher said, “Watchman is a great Staffordshire icon and is the first military mascot to make it to the short list of the Westminster dog of the year competition.  I call on everyone in Staffordshire and especially Tamworth to vote for him in the competition and help him get the recognition he deserves.

“The Watchman mascot is a unique tradition and is owned by all the people of Staffordshire.  The tradition goes back generations. When a Watchman mascot dies, not only does another take his place, but the old mascot is buried with full military honours.  Something unheard of elsewhere in the country and is a matter of great pride to our local soldiers.  As a mascot of Staffordshire’s fighting men and women, this honour would be shared by them and the whole of the Staffordshire regimental family.”

The mascot tradition of the regiments of Staffordshire (which includes Staffordshire and the Black Country) stretches back to the 19th Century.

In 1882 The South Staffordshire Regiment was ordered to march with Lord Wolseley to the relief of General Gordon who was besieged in Khartoum.  They entrained at Cairo with their Staffordshire bull terrier, “Boxer”. Unfortunately Boxer leapt from the moving train and was seen lying unconscious or dead at the side of the track.  A few days later when the Regiment encamped at Assiut awaiting orders for the final phase of their march, a very thin and bedraggled dog staggered into their camp and collapsed. Boxer had walked for over 200 miles along the scorching desert railway track to rejoin his regiment.

From then on the tradition of having a Bull Terrier as a mascot continued with the battalions until after the Second World War. Since then the mascots have all been called Watchman, with one taking over from previous mascot.

Warrant Officer Greg Hedges, Handler of Watchman said, “It is a great honour to have Watchman recognised in such a prestigious competition. Watchman is a familiar sight at local parades and military events and we hope everyone can get behind him and support his nomination.  It would mean so much for the Staffordshire Regimental family.”

Adrian Burder, Chief Executive of Dogs Trust, explained, “The Westminster Dog of the Year competition is so much more than a canine beauty pageant. The competition is strictly apolitical; judges will be looking for the dog’s good deeds and devotion to their owner – rather than policies, opinions or ‘bottle’.”

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, continued, “The serious side of this competition is about MPs getting together with the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust to promote responsible dog ownership and develop a partnership on dog welfare issues.  The competition itself is light-hearted and an entertaining day out – not least because of the unusual criteria on which the dogs are judged!”

Click here to vote for Sgt Watchman V in the competition.

Philip Hammond Appointed Chancellor

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

.Philip HammondGreat Britain’s new Prime Minister, Theresa May, has appointed the former Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Having been in Parliament since 1997, Mr Hammond is one of the Conservatives’ most experienced politicians and it is said that he has long wanted the role of chancellor.

Before becoming a politician, Mr Hammond had a career in business – in the medical equipment industry.

Mr Hammond studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University and is seen as a “fiscal hawk”, which means he believes in prudent public finances.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP – the New Prime Minister of Great Britain

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Prime Minister Theresa MayTheresa May mp has been appointed the United Kingdom’s second female Prime Minister in a private audience with the Queen at which she was invited to form a Government.

Mrs May kissed hands with the Queen in a simple procedure at Buckingham Palace which made her the 13th holder of the post of Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury during Elizabeth II’s reign.

Mrs May arrived at Buckingham Palace by ministerial car with husband Philip, having set off from the House of Commons only after receiving the signal that predecessor David Cameron’s resignation as Prime Minister had been accepted by the Queen and that he had advised the head of state to appoint the former Home Secretary in his place.

Theresa May joins Margaret as the second female Leader of the Conservative Party to become the UK’s Prime Minister, a feet not matched by any other UK political party.  Mrs May is also the 9th Conservative Party Leader to hold the post of Prime Minister during Elizabeth II’s reign.

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