Archive for January, 2012

What’s been happening lately?

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Well we’re really excited about our recent announcement of the biggest integration of social care and health services in the country. I’m sure you will agree this is brilliant news, it means less time in hospital and more treatment at home as we’ve moved social care workers to the NHS. We plan to transfer nearly 1,000 Adult Social Care staff to the NHS in what will be the UK’s biggest integrated health and social care provider.

As January is usually the month for saving money for most of us after Christmas, our finance lead has revealed plans to transform the way the county buys in services – bringing in savings of £5 million from 2012 and another  £10 million from 2013.

And I don’t know about you, but it finally started to feel like winter earlier in the week, maybe we will be getting some snow after all.  Well, if we do, our specialist salt trial will be all the more worthwhile.  We could be saving Staffordshire taxpayers £150,000 per year by using a powerful new grit solution which tackles ice and snow at temperatures as low as -10 degrees.

We also have the small matter of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year, and we are proud to be hosting a Service of Thanksgiving at Lichfield Cathedral on Sunday 19 February.  The event is being hosted both by the county council and the Lord-Lieutenant.  We are delighted to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, who will be in attendance.

Also coming up in February is the all important announcement of our next Lord-Lieutenant replacing the current Lord-Lieutenant Sir James Hawley who has served for 18 years.

200 days to the Olympic Games

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Happy New Year everyone and what a year it’s been.  2011 brought us plenty of success stories for Staffordshire……..

Now our eyes are firmly fixed on 2012 and the many events that are going to happen. We are busy getting ready for the Olympic Torch coming to Staffordshire and the Games in London.  Dust off your trainers and tracksuit, the countdown has begun! Only 200 days now to the start of the Games.  So, what are you doing for it?  I’m thinking of all the things you are likely to want to do and making sure something is there ready for you.

Everyone in Staffordshire will be extremely proud when the Olympic Flame comes to Staffordshire, passing through many of our communities and also visiting the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas.  The two days of celebrations, at the end of May and June, will shine a light on Staffordshire and highlight the members of our communities who have been chosen to run with the Olympic flame.

Do you know a local leader?  We are looking for ‘Local Leaders’ which is a programme to invite the county’s organisers, planners and doer’s to use their leadership skills to get involved.  At the heart of every celebration will be the one person who makes it happen. If this is you we want to hear from you and we want you on board.

If you’re a school, you can also get involved.  Get Set is the official London 2012 education programme which you can sign up for.  You can adopt a country, support them during the games and learn about their people, languages and cultures at school.

The 2012 Olympic Games are for everyone so we want to make sure everyone is included.  It’s also a great opportunity for Staffordshire to shine.  You can visit www.staffordshire.gov.uk/2012 to find out what’s happening or for ideas on how you can get involved.

…and a Happy New Year

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Wishing you all a Prosperous Staffordshire New Year!  I hope you recharged your internal batteries over the Christmas break.

Just to remind you of a few rapidly approaching deadlines as we enter 2012 and a taste of the exciting things ahead this year in Staffordshire.

 If you know someone who works tirelessly for their community – maybe someone who has been out and about helping others over Christmas and New Year – there’s still time to nominate them for a Volunteer Staffordshire award. The deadline for nominations is 6 January, so why not think about who you might like to nominate.

 There are also just a few opportunities left to have your say about how complaints and comments are handled by the NHS and social care sector.  That includes opportunities to attend some face to face consultation events , as well as let us know your thoughts online. Make sure you don’t miss out.

 This year sees the Olympic Torch come through Staffordshire twice with a visit to the National Arboretum Memorial in Armed Forces Week, celebrations around HM the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 50th anniversary of the German War Graves on Cannock Chase.

Lastly a belated congratulations to the Staffordshire citizens who were recognised in the New Year Honours List , including our own Commissioner for Community Safety, Mick Harrison. Huge congratulations Mick.