Archive for August, 2016

New weapon to zap the county’s potholes

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
roadmaster fills pothole

The New Roadmaster machine in action.

This month we are rolling out a new weapon to zap the county’s potholes to help improve our roads. Earlier this year the Department for Transport awarded us just over £1m to help us fight against potholes and maintain our 6,400km of roads. Now we’ve purchased a new high-tech pothole-patching machine and hired two more to help repair our roads more quickly over the summer months.

The 18-tonne ‘Roadmaster’ is part of a package of measures to speed up repairs on the county’s highway network. It can patch a pothole in one pass and is a pretty impressive machine to see in action. It single-handedly clears an area, seals any potholes, bonds the ground and applies the aggregate and tarmac before passing over to finish the job. The machine also creates no waste and is more environmentally friendly than other methods. You can watch a video of the machine in action here.

By investing in the very latest technology we have a less labour intensive and more cost-effective way of repairing potholes more quickly, while giving tax-payers better value for money. During good weather crews are now fixing 350 potholes every week. Updates on road repairs can be found on the Staffordshire County Council website. You can also report any potholes you find via the website or by downloading the MyStaffs App. 

And congratulations to all our AS Levels, A-level and GCSE students over the last few weeks. On Thursday, GCSE students across the country received their results and Staffordshire’s schools came out ahead of the national averages which is great news. The final results are still being collated, but early indications show 59.5 per cent of our students achieved 5 A* – C grades including English and Mathematics. This is compared to 56.1 per cent last year. I want to congratulate each and everyone involved on their achievements and remind people that we will continue to support our schools to help them improve even further.

The Staffordshire Hoard seven years on

Friday, August 19th, 2016

hoardAbout this time seven years ago, our archaeologists were busy digging out the largest ever haul of Anglo-Saxon treasures known in Britain. The discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard is an amazing story and still has people talking today. I don’t think any of us will forget the find but it was a metal detectorist who used the proper channels to report his find when he quite literally struck gold in a field in Hammerwich. The cache amounted to just over 5kilos of gold, 1.5kilos of silver and 3,500 cloisonné garnets and was valued at £3.285 million.

It’s hard to believe it was seven years ago but after years of research, conservation, cleaning and reconstruction, secrets of the hoard are still being revealed today. And now, hundreds of small pieces have been painstakingly reassembled to recreate the objects they once made up 1,300 years ago. These are now on display in the Birmingham Museum and well worth a visit.

The discovery of the Hoard is an amazing story and still has people talking today, and without doubt it’s certainly helped to put Staffordshire on the international map. With designs of the objects now being linked to many regions across Europe, it’s now part of our fascinating history and giving people another great reason to visit Staffordshire.

Staffordshire goes for gold

Saturday, August 13th, 2016

Who would of thought it, but one week into the Olympics and Staffordshire had already won both of Team GB’s gold medals.   It was an incredible turn of events. Thousands of people from across Staffordshire burned the midnight oil to watch our very own Uttoxeter-born swimming superstar Adam Peaty make history in the early hours of Monday morning.

It was an amazing achievement as Adam took Gold in the 100m breaststroke while smashing his own world record with the incredible time of 57.55 seconds and putting himself firmly in the history books. But Adam’s Olympic tour de force wasn’t done yet, and he earned a silver as part of the Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay team on Friday night.

We’ve all followed Adam’s career closely, from his early teenage days at the Dove Valley Swimming Club in Uttoxeter, right through to the world championships and now to Rio for the ultimate prize. Adam is a remarkable young sportsperson and along with his mum, dad and nan, we are all incredibly proud of his achievements. He’s a real inspiration and role model for all our young people and proves that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things.

And as 23 year old Joe Clarke from Stone stormed through the K1 canoe slalom final and secured Britain’s second gold medal, Staffordshire’s triumph at the Olympics was assured. I’m sure all the county will join me in saying how proud we are of all our young competitors and look forward to giving them a hero’s welcome when they return home.

Staffordshire – Opening doors and paving the way

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
Adam Peaty swimming

Superstar Uttoxeter swimmer Adam Peaty is heading to the Rio Olympics

As a County Council we believe in taking the initiative to grow our economy and create jobs for the future and I am delighted to report the completion of the road and infrastructure works for the new Meaford Business Park, near Stone.

 

This work paves the way for a further 2,200 jobs to exist on what before was one of the county’s largest brownfield sites. The new roads not only allow us to move on with the next stage of building work, which when finished will see over a million square feet of office, industrial and warehouse space created, but we have also improved access to the area for local communities including pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. Another successful County Council construction project delivered on time and on budget, and another major step forward for our economy.

Staying with jobs and helping people get their careers off the ground, our Open Door programme is also going from strength to strength, helping hundreds of people get their foot on the career ladder. This is a very effective programme that helps people who face difficulties in finding work by offering them a twelve week work experience placement. It was first introduced in 2009 and has already supported over 600 people from across the county in that time, helping many secure full-time employment. Just recently, our trading standards department welcomed Karen Seamen to their team as a technical support officer after spending the last twenty years unable to work because of a disability. I’d like to welcome Karen to the Council and applaud Open Door for all their work.

And now for the sports bulletin –  I’m sure all of Staffordshire will join me in wishing our county’s representatives in the 2016 Rio Olympics the best of luck. Jetting off to Rio we have superstar swimmer Adam Peaty from Uttoxeter, Stone slalom canoeist Joe Clarke and women’s rugby sevens team member Heath Fisher from Tamworth, while Paralympian Lee Pearson CBE, from Cheddleton, will be looking to add to his 10 gold medal haul as part of the equestrian team.

What a terrifically talented team we have heading to the games this year and I’m sure people will be cheering them on. We’ll have them home again in a few weeks, and hopefully a few medals heavier.