Archive for April, 2011

At your service throughout the celebrations

Friday, April 29th, 2011

The Royal Wedding was celebrated across the country and here in Staffordshire we marked the big day with entertainment for all the family at spectacular cultural venues like Shugborough, Tamworth and Tutbury Castles. In fact, two local couples were married on the very same day and staff from our registration service were on hand to ensure these ceremonies went smoothly. 

I’d like to pay tribute to our registration service and all our staff members who provide vital services 365 days a year. It’s important to remember that even on national holidays when most people are relaxing or having fun county council staff are on hand to deliver essential support services to the community, including home visits for elderly and disabled people, meals-on-wheels and work with vulnerable children

County Councillor Barrie Mycock

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

I was saddened and shocked by the news that my colleague County Councillor Barrie Mycock passed away at the weekend. Barrie, who represented Churnet Valley for ten years, was actively involved in a number of local issues and was a member and former Vice Chairman of the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority.

Barrie was rooted in the Moorlands and lived all his life in the community he served. He was a dedicated and hard working county councillor, respected and liked by his colleagues across the council and we are all dismayed by his sudden and untimely death.

His passing will of course be most keenly felt by his family and my deepest sympathies go out to them.

Planning for a more green economy

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Cabinet today. It was a very busy agenda with the economy again very much to the fore.

One of the interesting items was how Staffordshire County Council plans to use new technologies to develop power. The will help future-proof us against the inexorable rise in the price of fossil fuel.

We have already made a good start. The new Staffordshire Place development will be heated entirely using “biomass” – wood chipping from our own sustainable sources on Cannock Chase. This is not just good for the environment, but good for the economy. Staffordshire Wood Fuels has been established specifically to tap what is bound to be a growing market.

Other agenda items included progress with Blake High School’s progression towards becoming a sponsored academy which would bring significant investment.  We also briefly discussed plans to bring morehigh-value, well paid  jobs to North Staffordshire at the Keele University Science and Business Park.

Back on home turf

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

I was back on home territory today with a visit to Uttoxeter’s brand new fire station.

I visited along with Len Bloomer, a fellow county councillor and chairman of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and rescue Authority.

The new facility is light years ahead of the one it replaced, and will no doubt serve the local community for many years to come.

Whistlestop tour week

Friday, April 15th, 2011

I’ve been busy visiting the districts, doing whistlestop tours which have been enjoyable but exhausting.

 The first batch of visits took in the Moorlands, Newcastle and Tamworth.

In the Moorlands I visited a number of project including the new Moorlands Connects bus service that is a lifeline to some of the county’s most rural communities. I also looked at developments for older people and those with a learning disability.

In the village of Madeley, Newcastle, I visited a pioneering ExtraCare development for older people that has had an unprecedented level of involvement from members of the local community. What started as a project to develop a community centre has ended as a far more ambitious project that will serve people of all generations, with Staffordshire County Council heavily involved, not least as the land owners.

I also visited a one-stop-shop run by volunteers in Chesterton and a training initiative for young people.

 In Tamworth I inspected some of the major highways work we are doing that will help develop the Ventura Park area of the town, helping with our promise to put economic development at the heart of everything we do. I also visited youth and community centres.