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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com. 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
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
Tamworth’s MP, Christopher Pincher, was happy to hear that this week new statistics revealed that crime nationally has dropped by more than a fifth under this government.
Statistics released by the Office of National Statistics revealed that crime has dropped more than one fifth since June 2010. The independent Crime Survey for England and Wales also paints a similar picture with crime falling by 20%. This year there were more than 2.3 million fewer crimes than the year before this Government came to power.
Responding to the new statistics Mr Pincher stated, ““I am delighted to hear of the news that crime has decreased by a fifth since June 2010, more proof that the long term plan this party is laying out is working for the people of Britain. The action plan we set out includes freeing the police to fight crime, giving criminals tougher sentences to put victim’s minds at rest and tackling the root causes of criminality.
“Since June 2010 there were 413,000 fewer violent crimes, a massive success in keeping people safe on our streets. It is great news that this government will continue to cut unnecessary red tape within the police force to ensure that police can focus on what really matters – fighting crime for safer communities around Tamworth.”
There were 962,000 fewer incidents of criminal damages, 413,000 fewer violent crimes and 290,000 fewer vehicle crimes since June 2010.
Sunday, October 19th, 2014
Christopher Pincher, Conservative MP for Tamworth, welcomed figures released that show unemployment in Tamworth has fallen once again to a new low.
Figures published by the ONS show that the number of unemployed claimants in Tamworth constituency in September 2014 was 515. This represents a rate of just 1.1% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64.
This number of claimants is a massive 725 lower than September 2013 and 63 lower than in August 2014. In fact, unemployment in Tamworth has almost halved in the last six months.
In March, the number of unemployed was approaching 1000. This means that Tamworth now has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the country.
Responding to these figures Mr Pincher said, “It is excellent news that unemployment in Tamworth has fallen once again and continues to drop below levels seen before the Labour government’s recession. Together with the fall in inflation, which we also saw last week, it is now clear that the government’s long-term economic plan is working, businesses are creating jobs and people are getting back into work.
“But we must not be complacent, there is still much to do. We must continue to make Tamworth the place to set up or expand a business and that is what I am trying do helping both the council and local enterprises.
“We must take care to guard against the old bad habits of the past which relied too much on public sector and financial services jobs as Gordon Brown and Ed Balls did. We need more small businesses and more skilled workers to deliver a broad-based recovery.”
Nationally too unemployment continues to fall. Between June and August, unemployment across the United Kingdom stood at 6%, the lowest figure since before the crash of 2008.
Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
UK unemployment fell by 154,000 in the three months to the end of August to 1.97 million, the first time it has been below two million since 2008, official figures show.
The drop took the unemployment rate to 6%, its lowest level since late 2008 and the employment rate is now 73%, close to its all-time high of 73.2%, the Office for National Statistics said.
Over the year, the number of unemployed people fell by 538,000, the largest annual fall since records began.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in September fell by 18,600 to 951,900; the drop marks the 23rd consecutive monthly reduction. In total, there are now a record 30.76 million people in work.
Youth unemployment – covering 16-to-24-year-olds – fell by 88,000 over the quarter to 733,000, giving a jobless rate among the age group of 16%.
Employment Minister Esther McVey said, “Today’s record figures show that the government’s long-term economic plan to help businesses create jobs and get people working again is proving successful.”
Sunday, October 12th, 2014
Tamworth’s Conservative MP, Christopher Pincher, has secured a public consultation meeting for local residents concerned at changes to services at Good Hope hospital.
The meeting will take place on Friday 24th October at the Holiday Inn Express, Leisure Island, River Drive, Tamworth, B79 7ND.
Mr Pincher wrote to Dr Mark Newbold, CEO of the Heart of England Trust, asking him to hold at least one of their consultation meetings closer to Tamworth so local residents can more easily attend to have their say. Mr Pincher believes that any changes to improve the expertise of services at Good Hope and other Birmingham hospitals must not adversely impact users from Tamworth.
Mr Pincher said, “I am pleased that has listened to local people and has agreed to hold further consultation meetings and listen to Tamworth residents. Indeed, he has already written to The Herald giving notice of the event so that more people know about the session to be held in Tamworth.
“I will submit my own feedback on the Trust’s proposals so they are left in no doubt about what I want to see for my constituents. I look forward to the time of the meeting being finalised and advertised widely as soon as possible.”
The timing of the meeting is being finalised and the event will be properly advertised as soon as possible.
copy of the letter to Christopher Pincher MP from Dr Newbold
Sunday, October 5th, 2014
Tamworth’s MP, Christopher Pincher, has welcomed the tax announcements made by David Cameron at the Conservative Party Conference held in Birmingham.
The Prime Minister revealed that a Conservative government will increase the lower rate threshold before paying tax from £10,000 to £12,500 in the next parliament. That will lift a million lower paid workers out of tax leaving them with much more money in their pockets. And the announcement that the higher 40p band will see its threshold increased to £50,000 will see middle earners saving over £1,000 each year.
Mr Pincher said, “I went to Birmingham calling for more help for tax payers and pensioners and so I am very pleased with the Prime Minister’s promise. His announcement will help a good many families and single workers in Tamworth. It will help boost our town’s economy and help cement our place as the best place in the Midlands to live and to work.
“I am also really pleased that George Osborne has pledged to slash the “death tax” on people’s pensions. Currently, a large chunk of personal pensions are lost to the taxman when the pensioner dies. The Chancellor’s decision to cut the rate from 55% to just 20% means that pensioners will be able to pass on much more of their wealth in their pension pots rather than their heirs having to hand it over to the Revenue. I think pensioners in Tamworth who have worked hard will be pleased with this news.
“The Conservative conference also made clear that it is the only party that will continue to reform welfare so it always pays to work, fix the economy so we can invest in the NHS, deal firmly with immigration by addressing the problem of free movement of people from the European Union and give us a referendum on our membership of the EU itself.
“I think this shows we are the only Party with a long term economic plan to fix our economy so that it delivers, long term, for families, for individuals and for community groups up and down our country and here in Tamworth.”
The Conservative Conference was also said to have contributed £15million to the Midlands economy as businesses, exhibitors and delegates from all over the country flocked to Birmingham to hear plans from David Cameron, George Osborne, Theresa May, Nicky Morgan and Boris Johnson. The Conference has also seen an immediate boost to Conservative fortunes with opinion polls showing them in the lead over Labour.
Friday, September 12th, 2014
Mr Pincher writing his opposition to the go kart application
Christopher Pincher MP has raised his “clear concerns” about an application made to North Warwickshire Borough Council to extend the karting track at Priory Park because of concerns about its future use and the impact this may have on residents in Acorn Ridge.
The noise from the karting track, which sits just over the border in Warwickshire, has historically been a significant nuisance for residents and increasing the capacity of the track will further exacerbate this problem.
A number of Tamworth constituents have also raised concerns about the size of the sound barriers that have been installed, which are not the 5m tall barriers described in the applicant’s submission (they are materially lower) and make little impact on the levels of noise.
Mr Pincher said, “I have raised my objections about this site before and have done so again. I have written to North Warwickshire in the clearest terms.
“I am concerned that given the location of the Chiltern loop and the roads off it, which is in Tamworth and known as Acorn Ridge, residents are not being given sufficient say about decisions that may be taken by North Warwickshire but which have a direct and negative impact on them. They may not live in North Warwickshire but my constituents are directly affected by decisions made by councillors that they do not elect over the border.
“As well as objecting to North Warwickshire Borough Council, I have also written to Planning Minister, Brandon Lewis MP, to clarify what support can be given to Tamworth Borough Council to represent residents in planning matters which are not within its jurisdiction, but which directly affect its own council tax payers.”
Stonydelph Conservative Cllr Stephen Doyle, who went along the North Warwickshire Planning Committee meeting on Monday night to speak up for local residents, said, “I believe NWBC Planning Committee must listen to local residents in Acorn Ridge who are concerned about the impact this application will have. It is not right to make any decision without making sure their lives are not unfairly affected. I will keep up the pressure on their behalf.”
Sunday, September 7th, 2014
Cllr Michael Greatorex
A change has been made to Tamworth’s Borough Council’s Cabinet following the promotion of one of the committee members to Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet.
Cllr Michael Greatorex, who held the portfolio for Public Housing and Vulnerable People, will take the role of a support cabinet member with Staffordshire County Council.
Cllr Greatorex represents the Mercian ward in Tamworth and is also Staffordshire County Councillor for Watling South Division (Dosthill, Two Gates and Wilnecote). He will continue to hold his position on Tamworth’s Planning Committee and all other duties associated with being a Tamworth councillor.
Announcing the change, Leader of Tamworth Borough Council, Cllr Daniel Cook, said the portfolio for Housing and Vulnerable People will be split between the remaining five Cabinet members for an interim period, which would also result in a financial saving.
The role Cllr Greatorex has accepted at Staffordshire County Council is the Support Member for Wellbeing, Prevention and Public Health, which will see him working under Cabinet member Cllr Alan White.
Cllr Cook said; “Cllr Greatorex has proved a huge asset to Tamworth Borough Council, both as a Cabinet member and ward councillor. He has worked on projects including the regeneration of Kerria and Tinkers Green, changes to housing legislation and the scheme, which has seen garages, redeveloped into affordable homes.
“Unfortunately a councillor cannot hold a Cabinet position on both a county and district council, and Cllr Greatorex has taken the difficult decision to accept the new challenge offered to him at Stafford.
“We will still be working closely with Michael – both in his county capacity and also as a borough councillor for Tamworth. I would like to thank him for all his hard work during the last few years on Cabinet and wish him every success in his new role.”
Cllr Greatorex said; “I am sad to be leaving my cabinet role on Tamworth Borough Council. I have found the work to be both stimulating and rewarding. I shall miss the support and encouragement, which the Leader of the Council, my cabinet colleagues and all the officers of Tamworth Borough Council have given me.
“The new challenge for me on the County Council’s cabinet is an exciting one and gives me the opportunity to help shape policies to support county residents, including those of Tamworth where I have happily lived for 29 years and will continue to live.”
The full Cabinet and responsibilities are as follows:
- Cllr Daniel Cook. Leader. Portfolio: Performance, financial planning, strategy and reputation
- Cllr Rob Pritchard: Deputy Leader. Portfolio: Operations & Assets
- Cllr Steve Claymore: Portfolio: Economy & Education
- Cllr Stephen Doyle: Portfolio: Community Development & Voluntary Sector
- Cllr Michelle Thurgood: Portfolio: Environment & Waste Management