Archive for May, 2015

Still time for businesses to enter the UK Corporate Games taking place in Staffordshire

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

You may already be aware that between 25-28 June, Europe’s largest multisport festival for businesses and organisations is coming to Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

As I have mentioned before, this is a great opportunity to show off our great county and for our local businesses, giving local firms the chance to network with executives from top UK companies.

Over a dozen local companies have already signed up including Bet365, Vodafone, Alton Towers, Portmeirion, Matrix Fitness, Knights Solicitors, Johnsons Health Tec, Environmental Essentials, and Staffordshire Police.

Companies can still enter up to 3 June, so I’d encourage them to take advantage of the opportunity.  Businesses can contact the UKCG team on 01733 380888 Or at

Over 4,000 athletes from over 50 top UK companies will battle it out in 22 sports, including hockey, cricket, football, netball, volleyball, and dragon boat racing.  As well as showcasing the regions investment potential and what a great place Staffordshire is to visit, the Games are also expected to generate over £3m for the local economy.


Paying tribute to Stephen Sutton

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Stephen Sutton was an incredible young man and last week was the first anniversary of his untimely death.  His story touched the hearts of the nation and on Thursday, people in his home town of Burntwood tied yellow ribbons around the town to mark his anniversary.

Stephen raised a staggering £4.5m for his charity the Teenage Cancer Trust which has been used to fund specialist units in hospitals, training for nurses and support staff and establishing support networks.  We will never forget Stephen and what he achieved in his short life.

Several of our tourism businesses got the chance to shine at this year’s Visit England Tourism Awards.  Well done to Simply Staffordshire from Denstone who were highly commended as Tourism Information Provider.  Congratulations also to Colton House B&B near Rugeley, who won Gold in the accommodation provider of the year and Gladstone Pottery museum who won bronze in the small attraction category in the same awards.  Again, this is more proof that Staffordshire is a great place to visit and stay, with top quality facilities.

We also got the fantastic news this month that Jaguar Land Rover is looking to expand its operations at i54 South Staffordshire. The Planned expansion at its engine production facility and the creation of more jobs will be great for the area and the county’s economic growth.  This highlights how well the company is doing and is positive to see the additional investment at the site.  We will be working closely with the company and local residents through the planning process.

VE Day commemorations at Shugborough

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Great news for our county as we celebrate the promotion of one of our local Staffordshire football teams. Burton Albion Football Club are well deserved Champions of their division when they won the league title after their 3-2 win against Cambridge United on Saturday after gaining promotion two weeks ago.  This means that Burton Albion will be playing at their highest ever level when they start their season in League One in August which is a huge achievement for them and great news for the county.

Staffordshire is the home of the National Football Centre at St George’s Park in Burton, so it is fitting that Burton Albion are enjoying such success.

This week John Henderson took the reins as Chief Executive of the County Council. John was the former Commander of British Forces in Germany and brings with him more than thirty years’ experience leading complex change in the army.  Building on a distinguished global military career, John brings a unique combination of skills and experience to lead the innovation and change needed to achieve our ambitions.  I am confident in John who will be working even closer with Government, partners, employees and residents to secure a successful and prosperous future for Staffordshire.  We all welcome him to his new role.

May 8th is VE Day and marks the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe in World War 2. This is a day we should remember the many who fought for freedom and those who sacrificed their lives in that cause for our country.

On Friday, Staffordshire will join more than 200 locations around the country in lighting a special beacon to mark the anniversary.  The beacon will be lit at the Shugborough Estate at 9.32pm. The gardens will be open from 7pm and people will be able to see the beacon being lit in front of the Mansion House. Members of Stafford’s Military Wives Choir will also be performing on the hall steps from 8.50pm.  The event is free to attend.

With the lighting of the commemoration beacon, activities at the National Memorial Arboretum and many local services happening across the county, Staffordshire is once again playing it’s part in helping focus the nation’s remembrance and commemorations of past sacrifice.

Promoting a healthy ageing population in Staffordshire

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Promoting a healthy while ageing population in Staffordshire is a key theme of this year’s annual report on the public health of the county.

As we look to the future, more and more people in Staffordshire can expect to live to be more than 100 years old which is good news as old age is something that should be celebrated and seen as a positive rather than seen as a burden.

As I have spoken about before there has been an increasing demand on health services, long-term care and also on funding.  In Staffordshire although only 15 per cent of people are currently classed as “frail elderly” this small group of people account for almost 70 per cent of health and care resources.

The report highlights the need for a more positive focus on promoting healthier, active and independent ageing where possible.  To do this we need to create the right environment around areas such as health and housing, promoting healthier lifestyles and choices, social inclusion and the provision of quality care services.

We have to change to meet the growing demands of supporting an increasing ageing population, but also embrace and value the contribution older people in our communities can make. This is all about encouraging more independence and less dependence through prevention, early intervention and quality support to help more people lead better, healthier, active lives as they age.

From health to food now, Staffordshire’s agriculture and food production industries provide thousands of jobs and millions of pounds to our local economy, while so many more people earn their living from the retail and restaurant side.

With the county 80% rural and this sector so vital to our overall economy we need to understand it, be in a good position to support it and plan ahead for the future.

Our ‘from farm to fork’ survey will look at every aspect of growing and rearing, production, manufacturing, marketing and selling and will use the results along with interviews  to give us a clear picture of the industry.  The information will help us to understand the size and make-up of the sectors, their supply chains, whether they need more people with specific skills coming into the market and what support they will need to continue thriving in the future.

We want to hear from both businesses and organisations involved in the sector and the public.  The survey is available at with options tailored for different groups.