Monday, May 12th, 2014
Conservative Party candidates for the 2014 Tamworth Borough Council election
Amington – Cllr John Garner
Belgrave – Mrs Joy Goodall
Bolehall – Alastair Whitby
Castle – Cllr Allan Lunn
Glascote – Roy Rogers
Mercian – Cllr Michael Greatorex
Spital – John Chesworth
Stonydelph – Francis Worrall
Trinity – Michael Oates
Wilnecote – Cllr Tina Clements
If you have an issue you want them to deal with, contact them by phone 01827 57156 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, February 24th, 2015
Alan ‘Chippy’ Lees BEM
It is with sad regret, we have to announce our very good friend Alan “Chippy” Lees BEM passed away yesterday, Monday 23rd February 2015.
Chippy Lees, as everyone who knew him, has been a part of Tamworth for many many years, as a judo specialist, a martial arts tutor and more recently a resident who represented Castle ward on Tamworth Borough Council.
Chippy was one of a kind who preferred to eat jam doughnuts, custard tarts, Eccles cakes, chips and jelly babies to, as Chippy put it so well, the so called healthier options. Chippy also liked to put his views across in his many letters to the local press that were always printed, not worrying what anybody said or thought.
Chippy was also a long standing member of the Conservative Party in Tamworth and he stood for election to Tamworth Borough several times before being elected in 2000 to represent the Castle ward where he had lived for so many years and continued to live. Chippy was proud to live in Tamworth and represent his neighbours and friends on the Borough Council and he will be sorely missed.
Sunday, January 4th, 2015
Police in Staffordshire are to be given tablet computers in a bid to get more officers on the streets.
Matthew Ellis, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for the county, claimed the rollout in April would “fundamentally transform” policing. He said using the computers to access information and input data would free up about 5,000 man-hours a week or the equivalent of 100 extra officers and the project is expected to cost £500,000.
Currently, front-line officers spend about six out of every 10 hours in communities, rather than at police stations, Mr Ellis said. Using tablet computers is expected to take that up to almost nine out of 10 hours.
He said the technology was also expected to reduce the number of mistakes and incomplete reports.
Mr Ellis said, “It’s about police being given more time to do what they want to be doing and what the public want them to be doing, which is out-and-about policing.”
He said the project would cut the number of times officers have to return to police stations for both information and to enter reports and statements.
Instead of taking statements on paper and later transcribing them on up to six different systems, officers would write statements directly on the tablets and then upload them to a central server. Mr Ellis said the force took about 200,000 statements a year.
Investigators will also be issued with the tablets, while the PCC said they could prove a “real game-changer” for forensics.
Mr Ellis continued, “I have to say police technology across the country is not good, it’s not what you’d expect in nearly 2015. So a radical overhaul of the way technology is used, the way it works, will fundamentally improve policing and get more police out and about for more of the time.”
Mr Ellis said the use of tablets was part of a wider focus on technology and IT systems that he said was expected to cost £46m over the next seven years.
Thursday, January 1st, 2015
Thursday, December 25th, 2014
Saturday, December 20th, 2014
Philip Bradbourn MEP & Christopher Pincher MP
Philip Bradbourn, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands and member of Tamworth Conservative Association, passed away on Friday after a battle with bowel cancer.
63-year-old Mr Bradbourn, who represented the West Midlands, had served in the European Parliament since 1999. He was diagnosed with bowel cancer shortly after being re-elected in May and died on Friday night.
The Prime Minister said Mr Bradbourn had a “truly admirable” dedication to public service and described him as a “well-respected and effective” politician.
Mr Bradbourn was appointed an OBE in 1994 for his public and political service. He had been a town planning officer in local government for more than 20 years before becoming political adviser to the Conservative group on Wolverhampton City Council.
Born and bred in the Black Country, Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps MP said Mr Bradbourn took “immense pride in championing the West Midlands” and would be “sorely missed”.
Ashley Fox, leader of the Conservative MEPs, said, “His no-nonsense approach to politics made him a powerful voice for the West Midlands as well as a resolute defender of the British taxpayers’ interests in Brussels and Strasbourg.”
Tuesday, November 4th, 2014
Traders, shoppers and visitors to Tamworth are being given an early Christmas present, free festive car parking for the eleventh year in a row.
Parking will be free in all of Conservative controlled Tamworth Borough Council’s car parks on two Saturdays leading up to Christmas, December 6 and December 20. The car parking fees are being waived on those two days in a bid to boost town centre trade by encouraging more people to come into Tamworth to shop.
The first free parking Saturday is on December 6, when the town centre takes part in the nationwide Small Business Saturday campaign to encourage people to shop with independent traders. Every town centre shop taking part in the campaign will display a Small Business Saturday poster in their window.
Small Business Saturday began in the USA four years ago and has grown to become a national event. It aims to promote small independent traders and encourage people to support their local businesses.
The initiative is being spearheaded in Tamworth by the Destination Tamworth team, with the support of Tamworth Borough Council and Christopher Pincher MP.
This year, shoppers are being offered another incentive to support local traders by buying a Destination Tamworth Loyalty Club card, which provides discounts and offers. The cards are available from the Tourist Information Centre.
Tamworth Borough Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Robert Pritchard, said, “We are keen to support the town centre, especially at important times like Christmas. We made the decision to waive parking charges on these two very busy shopping days because we want to support traders and boost town centre trade.
“There has been a lot of support for Small Business Saturday in previous years, and I hope that a lot of people will support it again this year. Please tell your family and friends so we can make this the busiest Christmas for the town centre ever. Please come out and support YOUR town centre.”
Extra markets will also be take place in the run-up to Christmas. As well as the usual Tuesday and Saturday markets, there will be additional markets on Friday December 19, Monday December 22 and Wednesday December 24.
Sunday, November 2nd, 2014
A new project is working in Tamworth to help educate young people about how to stay safe.
Keeping Safe is a project designed to empower young people, their parents and carers with the knowledge and skills to combat the growing threat of child sexual exploitation and encourage positive emotional relationships.
The project has been funded by Conservative controlled Tamworth Borough Council and the Staffordshire Public Health Team for 12 months and is being delivered by Staffordshire-Safety.Net, a not-for-profit social enterprise experienced in working with young people.
Workers from the project have been talking to young people in informal settings – going down to the skate park in the Castle Grounds and the shops in Glascote Heath. They also offer one-to-one sessions with young people identified as ‘high risk’.
It is estimated that one in five teenagers have been abused by their boyfriends or girlfriends. Figures also show that six in ten 12 to 15-year-olds have a smart phone, giving them the ability to easily communicate with strangers and share images.
Keeping Safe raises young people’s awareness of issues they may face and gives them the skills to deal with situations, which could potentially become negative. The project also explores positive relationships and encourages young people to support each other to stay safe.
Cllr Stephen Doyle, Cabinet Member for Community Development, said, “This is an excellent initiative, which fits in very well with the great work that the Tamworth Street wardens are doing to educate young people about the dangers facing them online.
“I am delighted that Tamworth Borough Council is able to provide funding for the Keeping Safe project.”
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
Last Friday Heart of England Foundation Trust officials came to the Holiday Inn Express in Tamworth to talk to local people about proposed changes to services provided at Good Hope hospital.
Two information sessions were held on the day with Tamworth’s MP, Christopher Pincher who persuaded HEFT to hold the event, in attendance at the morning session.
Each session featured a presentation by the Trust on its proposals, a short video and a Question and Answer session with clinicians. Their object is to create a “centre of excellence” in surgery in each of their hospital sites so that patients receive a better outcome.
Mr Pincher said afterwards, “First of all I am pleased that Trust officials and surgeons made the time to come to Tamworth to outline their proposals in a very clear and I think transparent way. Their approach is an object lesson to other Trusts in how to engage with people.
“The proposals will see services such as orthopaedic and thoracic (chest) surgery moved from Good Hope to Heartlands. However the Trust was keen to point out that only the surgery element would be moved with all pre and post-operative care and support taking place locally such as at Good Hope.
“My key concern is to ensure that as they aim to improve quality of care, the Trust does not lose sight of the importance of access to care. Heartlands is a notoriously difficult hospital to get to and we must ensure that any change does not make it more difficult or more costly for patients, and importantly their families, to get to hospital.
“The doctors and officials made clear they are aware of this and promised to ensure that transport options will be provided for the surgery element of care when those patients need to go to Heartlands. I will keep a careful watch on this issue as getting transport right is crucial to these proposals.
“But I was pleased to learn that some new surgery services will be moved into Good Hope such as urology and some gastro intestinal surgery. That means for some local patients, they will now be able to get their operations done at Good Hope and will not have to travel as far as they do now.
“My biggest concern however is to ensure that both HEFT and the Burton Trust are talking to each other so that the cumulative effect of their individual proposals at Good Hope and the Sir Robert Peel do not reduce care services for my constituents. I was pleased to hear that HEFT is planning to have detailed discussions with the Burton Trust in the next two weeks and I have asked that they keep me in touch.”
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
Christopher Pincher and Jeremy Hunt in the Department of Health last week
Last Wednesday Tamworth’s Member of Parliament, Christopher Pincher, secured a private meeting with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP at the Department of Health to highlight his concerns about the proposed change to services at the Robert Peel hospital, which are being pursued by the Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Mr Pincher told Mr Hunt that the Burton Trust wants to transfer day case surgery to other hospitals. He said that will leave patients at risk of having to travel further and wait longer for their day surgery. He spent over half an hour in a private meeting with the Secretary of State.
After the meeting Mr Pincher said, “I am pleased I was able to see the Secretary of State and raise my concerns about the Burton Trust’s proposals at the highest level. Mr Hunt was very concerned by what he heard and has promised to look into the situation urgently.
“We all accept that the NHS is not set in aspic and is not immune to change. It has changed a great deal over the last sixty years in response to new medicine and new needs and it must continue to adapt to meet changing demands from an increasingly ageing population across our country. But changes, which unfairly disadvantage local people, are not acceptable. We also need to hear from the Burton Trust what new services they will operate from the Sir Robert Peel in response to changing patient needs.
“I will let local people and hospital staff know when I hear back from Jeremy Hunt. Meanwhile, if people want to raise the issue with me, they can do so by emailing email@example.com or by writing to me at 23 Albert Road, Tamworth B79 7JS.”
Earlier this year Mr Pincher highlighted his concerns about potential changes at Sir Robert Peel in a special debate on the issue in the House of Commons. Together with Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton, he also led a local health delegation to see junior Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter.
Saturday, October 25th, 2014
Tamworth and Hopwas MP, Christopher Pincher, has spoken up on behalf of objectors to the proposals for a quarrying site in Hopwas Wood.
He has written to Staffordshire County Council making his objections clear and has delivered hundreds of surveys to local residents in Hopwas to ensure that they make their concerns clear.
Mr Pincher said, “I am hugely concerned about these proposals which will do great damage to our local landscape around Hopwas Wood if they are ever implemented. I have already written to the County Council about their Minerals Local Plan and have sought meetings with County officials.
“I know that there has long been quarrying in our part of the world, and some local people are employed by the quarries, but the scale and impact of the extension towards Hopwas woods is just not acceptable. The proposals must be rejected. The woods, some of which is ancient, could be ruined and their loss is irreplaceable.
“I encourage everyone to give their clear opinions to the County Council, which is running a consultation on its Minerals Plan, to ensure the idea is rejected. Residents can do this by contacting the County direct or by writing to or emailing me, and I will pass on their concerns.
“I will also raise my concerns with fellow Members of Parliament, with ministers and in the House of Commons. I am pleased my colleague and local County Councillor Alan White has spoken out too.”
The current site option is also located less than 200m from Hopwas village which is where owners LaFarge Tarmac want to quarry. You can object by writing to Staffordshire County Council directly using the details below.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Write to: Planning, Policy and Development Control, Staffordshire County Council, Wedgewood Building, Tipping Street, Stafford, ST16 2DH. Tel: 01785 277275.
You can visit the consultation online: https://consultation.staffordshire.gov.uk/environment/new-minerals-local-plan-additional-sites-consultat
The deadline for County consultation submissions is Friday 5th December 2014.
If you would like to make clear your objections to the proposals on my website, please follow this link and I will make sure I send your objection to the County. http://www.christopherpincher.com/your-issues/hopwas-wood