Archive for December, 2011

Merry Staffordshire Christmas

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

This time of year is traditionally when we look back and reflect on the 12 months just gone.

When I do that for Staffordshire County Council and the county, I think we can look back with satisfaction at the things we’ve achieved.

Despite the tough global climate, we’re been able to achieve some real successes:

  • Playing an integral part in bringing JLR to Staffordshire, creating jobs and prosperity.
  • A three year council tax freeze, benefiting Staffordshire people up to 2014.
  • A successful move of our staff into Staffordshire Place, meaning we can get rid of 17 outdated buildings, saving taxpayers £25,000 each year.
  • The Hoard going international! A trip to Washington for the exhibition after a successful summer tour of Stafford, Lichfield and Tamworth.
  • More and better working with our partners including the Police, Fire and our fellow councils.
  • And many more…

Throughout the year we’ve been working extremely hard to give you the best possible value for money for your council tax. You can expect much more in 2012!

With best wishes to you all for a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous Staffordshire New Year.

Top of the League

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

It’s fantastic news that the Inward Investment Quarterly report has shown Staffordshire topped the latest independent national table for job creation The report shows Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent leading with new projects set to create 1,873 jobs.

It shows the hard work we’ve been putting in behind the scenes on making Staffordshire a prime place for international business is really working.

Find out about some of the different ways we’re supporting business and enterprise and great news stories including Small business loans, i54 South Staffordshire, Amazon, Nestle, Enterprise Centres and Made in Staffordshire

You can also read the report here.

The European view

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Back from Brussels where I’ve been for a few days discussing EU policies with MEPs and other local authorities from across Europe.

Although Belgium is a long way from Burton, Biddulph or Brewood, discussions like this are hugely important for Staffordshire and the wider West Midlands region.

Topics like where future regional funding is allocated, lessening the burden of regulations and the different needs of our urban and rural communities affect us all and events like this one are an opportunity for some valuable views and practices to be shared and lobby opinion formers and rapporteurs who write the reports that go to the commission.

Of course, things didn’t stop in Staffordshire while I was away.  The Chancellor’s Autumn statement came out on Tuesday with news of Government plans to improve infrastructure and support small businesses.

I’m pleased to say that neither of these areas are new to us here in Staffordshire.

When we took control over 2 years ago, we invested £30m in the county’s roads and we will also be investing in a new motorway junction to support the Jaguar Land Rover plant to be built in Staffordshire. We have also lent £1.2m to 47 small companies across the county – creating and protecting jobs and boosting the local economy.

The latest Government plans can only further enhance the successes we are already having locally.