Archive for September, 2009

Staffordshire’s treasure unveiled

Friday, September 25th, 2009

IMG_7422 copyAs many of may have seen or heard in the media, extraordinary archaeological treasures have been discovered in Staffordshire and I am so pleased that Staffordshire County Council has played a crucial role in this discovery.

In July this year an amateur metal detectorist discovered some gold items in a farmer’s field; to their great credit they informed the authorities. This led to a major archaeological excavation led by our own Historic Environment Team in our Development Services Directorate. Colleagues from the communications team have played a lead role in organising all the media and communication activities. 

The items recovered are a magnificent treasure trove of Anglo-Saxon gold which will become known as the Staffordshire Hoard. The Hoard is the largest ever find of Anglo-Saxon gold treasure, and is unparalleled in terms of size and quality. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first saw it! Some of the official photographs that we had taken of the treasure are truly amazing and really illustrate the beauty of these pieces. It is a world class find, and possibly the most significant treasure discovery in the British Isles since the Sutton Hoo excavations of 1939.
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I attended the fantastic unveiling of the Staffordshire Hoard yesterday where I publicly vowed that we will now work tirelessly to do justice to the county’s heritage. I for one am so excited that this new discovery will become part of our history here in Staffordshire!

Well done to all those who work for Staffordshire County Council, our archaeologists and communications officers who worked to make this unveiling a success.

You can find out more information about the Staffordshire Hoard at www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk

The knot unites

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

As some of you may know Staffordshire County Council unveiled its new logo this week and I am really pleased with the end result!

The new logo incorporates the historic Stafford Knot, which over time has become a symbol that is recognised countywide.

I think the design reflects the county council as a modern organisation but also emphasises a sense of pride in Staffordshire and its heritage.

SCC_logo_RGBWe worked together with the public throughout the design process which proved to be really useful. It was interesting to discover that most of you out there now recognise the knot as a county wide symbol which ultimately contributed to the final design being used. We also had the pleasure of working together with Lord Stafford and receiving his approval to use the historic knot.

I think the knot symbolises not only Staffordshire’s great tradition but also bringing together the county’s many different communities. These are two things that as the new leader of the county council I am keen to revitalise throughout our county.

It is important to note that the logo will be phased in gradually across all county services only when replacements are needed.

I do hope you all like the new logo. I would appreciate your feedback and comments as always. Throughout the consultation process we received many comments of this nature but I think a comment from one gentleman summed it up nicely, “Well that logo is just Staffordshire all over isn’t it?!”

Thanks to everyone for your feedback.

Watch Wednesday’s live webcast

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Tomorrow’s cabinet meeting is being webcast live and will be an important one for everyone concerned about the economic recession. Cabinewebcasting - live wednesdayt will be asked to endorse our newly proposed recession action package. The package includes a new scheme which will lend money to cash starved local businesses. A decision will also be made to provide extra support for the Citizens Advice Bureaux to help people in financial trouble.

Find out more and tune in live at 10am tomorrow to see if our proposals are agreed!

Something for the weekend?

Friday, September 11th, 2009

H_MAGENTAA lot has happened throughout history that placed Staffordshire firmly on the map and I think it is very important that as Staffordshire residents we celebrate our heritage and culture.

This Saturday is national Heritage Open Day and we are marking the occasion with a range of free events in Stafford for the whole family. Visitors will be able to discover the darker side of Stafford in a brand new exhibition on crime and punishment in our historic courtroom. Over the road in County Buildings, the Judge’s quarters will be opened up to the public for the first time. I have seen their Quarters and recommend you take the opportunity to have a look around the old rooms and find out more about the characters that once inhabited the quarters.

Pop over to Eastgate Street to the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service who will be putting on ‘The Home Front’ exhibition to mark the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War. Original letters, leaflets, posters and photographs will tell the story of our heroic Staffordshire servicemen. The Shire Hall gallery will also be opening their doors for their latest exhibition.

I will be taking a break from the combine harvester this Saturday to go to these fantastic free events and I would encourage all the Staffordshire public to do so also. There are great family prizes to be won and who knows, you may discover some hidden secrets from your past!

Visit our Heritage Day website for more details.

A time for change

Friday, September 11th, 2009

blog picAs many will know we have announced that we will soon be recruiting for a new Chief Executive following the news that Ron Hilton will be retiring.

Ron became Chief Executive in October 2007 and since then he has introduced a real can-do culture at Staffordshire County Council. He has always ensured achievements have been celebrated and has worked in the best interests of Staffordshire residents.

While I am sad to see Ron go, I am confident we will find a replacement that continues his success and provides excellent services for the people of Staffordshire. As fifth largest county in the country we will need someone who can develop and expand our position as a leading county nationally.

Lark in the park

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

I hope everyone who visited the Lark in the Park in Uttoxeter at the weekend enjoyed the events as much as I did.  It was really nice to see everyone out and about enjoying the sun. There were great attractions for all the family. My Lark in Park John Evansfavourite was definitely the international strongman John Evans. Here is a picture of him carrying my round, but he dropped the lot!
Another busy week lies ahead. I am meeting with the County National Farmers’ Union to ensure we get the best out of our farms in Staffordshire and do everything we can to support them. This also ties in nicely with our new Shop Uttoxeter campaign which will encourage Staffordshire residents to shop locally and remind them about the quality of produce that comes from our our local shops. It is important we support independent small businesses through the recession.