Archive for June, 2017

Planning for new Staffordshire History Centre moves ahead

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Artists Impressions of Staffordshire History Centre

You will have heard me speak about our plans for a new Staffordshire History Centre before and It’s exciting to see the project moving ahead with partners and design team now all on-board.

The new £4m centre will be in Stafford, between Eastgate Street and North Walls and will incorporate both the existing Records Office and the William Salt Library building.  Home to some of our most important historical records and collections, the centre  will also have modern community exhibition space and reading and research rooms along with extra storage space.  The project is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and we hope that work could start as early as April 2019.

The project team have already been out talking to local history groups, partners, young people and teachers all sharing their ideas to help develop an exciting programme of activities.  We do hope to be in a position to share more detailed plans with the public later in the autumn.  In the meantime you can hear what the team have to say on the Video link: Excitement builds as planning for new Staffordshire History Centre moves ahead

If you are interested in following the progress you can keep up to date with the project at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/archives/ourvision and sign up for a new e-newsletter.

 

 

Celebrating Armed Forces Day

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Staffordshire County Council Chairmen Michael Greatorex

Armed Forces Day is this Saturday (24 June) and as a big supporter of the forces we all hope people will join the county council in showing our support for the brave men and women who make up our Armed Forces community.  From currently serving troops at home and abroad, to service families, veterans and cadets.

We will be proudly flying the Armed Forces flag from the top of Shire Hall to show our support and pay tribute for their hard work, dedication and efforts to keep us safe in the UK and across the globe.  The #SaluteOurForces campaign on Twitter is another great way of showing your support and I would encourage people to join in.

There will be lots of activities taking place right across the country including at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, near Lichfield.  This is a wonderful attraction and we’re incredibly lucky and proud to have it here in Staffordshire.  With flypasts, a field gun display, military band and the RAF Falcons Parachute Display team and adventure activities, There’s something for all the family and if you have never been, it’s well worth a visit.  It’s also ten years since the dedication of the famous Armed Forces Memorial that remembers those forces who died in service.

Staffordshire has strong connections with the county’s Armed Forces and is home to three Signal Regiments in Stafford, the Defence Medical Services in Whittington, as well as a large number of Reserve units and Cadets.  And with sites such as the National Memorial Arboretum, Commonwealth Graves and German Cemetery on Cannock Chase, Staffordshire continues to play an important role in both supporting and honouring our Armed Forces.

Click here to find out more about the National memorial Arboretum and visit

Click here to find out about events happening in your area.

Celebrating three years of Superfast Staffordshire project

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Superfast broadband is recognized as the next essential utility for everyone, whether it’s for business, schools, or leisure and when we don’t have good access we miss it.

You should be already aware of our ground breaking Superfast Staffordshire project, working with BT and BDUK, that’s delivering high speed fibre broadband to homes and businesses across the county.  We’re now celebrating the three year anniversary of the project launch which has been followed by a hugely successful programme. When complete, together with commercial roll-out, 96 per cent of properties will be able to access fast broadband by the end of 2018.  To date we’ve enable connection to over 70,000 properties across the county.

Having this kind of speed on this kind of scale is great news and is cutting edge technology that will have a huge impact on our county. This will be some of the fastest internet tech available to nearly every house and business in Staffordshire, making us one of the best connected counties in the country.

Right from the start of this project we have always said we would do all we could to reach the final four per cent in the most remote areas and now the Community Fibre Partnership Support Fund initiative is helping us do this. This additional funding allows the project to co-invest along with local communities.  £400,000 has been set aside to help local eligible communities get connected with additional funding towards engineering work coming from Openreach, BT’s local network business.

Stafford borough has been the first area to benefit from this with three communities – Cotwalton, Brookside Business Park near Stone and Cold Norton. Cotwalton will have the necessary upgrade work completed in the next few weeks. Cold Norton is the most recent addition to the project with around 50 premises, including the recently opened Norton Bridge Golf Club.

I firmly believe that access to superfast broadband is now an essential utility service. It helps improve quality of life for people and means businesses can thrive. That is why connecting communities remains a priority for us

Celebrating Volunteers’ Week

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

VIDEO: How ‘Leek Food Co-op’ is Helping people lead healthier and happier lives

Throughout this week we have been recognising and celebrating the contributions of the thousands of volunteers helping out across the county to make Staffordshire a great place to live.

We will all know people who work tirelessly, giving up their time working with voluntary organisations, groups and charities to help improve the lives of others.  Well, National Volunteers’ Week, is when we put these selfless individuals in the spotlight and thank them for the great work they do.

Whether it’s helping out at a local sports group, youth club, library or children’s centre, or simply supporting those people in communities that are  most in need –  elderly, young people,  and children and families it all makes an amazing difference.

There are some amazing examples happening right across the county, such as the ‘Leek Food Co-op’  project which is helping people live healthier lives by providing families with bags of fresh fruit and veg.  We have over 800 people volunteering in our libraries and in our children’s centre’s volunteers are helping support some of the most vulnerable families in our communities.  There are also over 8,000 people volunteering in youth groups, of which over 1,500 are young people aged under 18 which is very encouraging to see.

But volunteering is not only great for those receiving the help, it can also greatly benefit the people who give up their time too. Whether it is learning new skills, keeping active, improving mental health and wellbeing, or simply meeting new people, volunteering can have real benefits.

There are lots of volunteering opportunities available and we are working closely with our partners in the sector to make sure volunteers get the support they need.  Anyone interested in getting started with volunteering and exploring flexible opportunities that suit their lifestyle can visit www.staffordshire.gov.uk/volunteering