Out and about in Staffordshire

Hi everyone – hope you all had a good weekend.  Like most of the country, I am still waiting to see what is likely to happen with the government after last week’s election.  The policies of the government will be really important to many things that we do, not least in the way they decide to tackle the country’s financial situation.  I will try to keep you up to date on issues and their impact on Staffordshire as they become clearer over the next few days and weeks.

As part of my tour of county premises I visited a couple of libraries last week, in Burton and Norton Canes.  At Burton I spent some time with a class of new arrivals to the UK who were learning English as a second language.  The library and the county council’s Adult and Community Learning Services hosts lots of these courses during the year, and it was great to be able to hear from the participants about the difference that a good understanding of the language was making to them. 

Norton Canes was a great example of really effective links with the local community – the community had been heavily involved in the design of the library as well as helping to secure funding for it and were actively using it as a learning and social hub for many of their activities.  It is a great example of the County working with local communities to help shape services that make a real difference to them.

On Friday I spent part of the day with colleagues from Development Services, visiting some of their sites in the South of the County, including a highways depot, a business park in Cannock, Chasewater innovation centre and Cannock Chase visitor centre.  The tour was fascinating and everyone I spoke to was really focused about improving what they did for the benefit of all our customers.  We finished the tour at Shugborough which I thought was absolutely phenomenal – a beautiful house and garden, with loads of attractions for visitors.  I will certainly be going back there with the family.

This coming week my visits include the prison library in Stafford.  Hopefully they will let me out again….

Bye for now

Nick

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