Archive for July, 2017

Supporting people living with dementia and those caring for them

Friday, July 21st, 2017

Dementia is a subject that many of us don’t talk about, but is something that can have a devastating impact on not only individuals, but on their family and friends too.

In Staffordshire the good news is we have an increasing numbers of an older population. We predict that the total number of people aged 65 and over with dementia will rise from around 11,100 in 2016 to 17,400 in 2030, an increase of 57%.  These are huge numbers and why we are doing everything we can to ensure people living with dementia and their carers have access to the support they need in their local community.

These plans include the construction of a brand new Dementia Centre of Excellence in Burton, and on Friday I was at the ground breaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction.  The Centre will enable us to give people coping with dementia a better quality of life, enable them to lead fulfilling, independent lives for as long as possible and provide continued support as their condition changes.

This centre, and others like it, will mean that we are ready to meet the challenges that dementia poses and support individuals, their families and the wider community.  Added to this, we want to ensure local people have more of an understanding of the condition, so we can create communities that actively support those living with dementia. This means ‘People will be Helping People’ to live independent lives and be part of an active and supporting community

Exciting times for our county town

Monday, July 17th, 2017

You will have heard me talking about growing the county’s economy before, attracting more better paid jobs that put more money into people’s pockets to spend in our town centres in their leisure time remains a key priority for the county council.

Take Stafford as an example.  Over the years we have seen huge development in the town such as the new £100m Riverside Shopping Centre and the continuous development at Redhill Business Park which now has around half a million square foot of space for businesses.  Both projects are delivering more job opportunities.  We’ve also seen the expansion of the army barracks also completed with hundreds of new homes either having been built or in the pipeline and potential for a new housing estate at the former Police HQ.

There is more to do however to improve the town and this month saw the announcement of The Stafford Gateway Masterplan., This lays the plans to develop land near the railway station and could see the development of 650 apartments, 150 houses, a new hotel and a 1,400 space multi storey carpark.

Key to this is the creation of the Stafford Western Access Route which will link the A518 Newport Road and the A34 Foregate Street. This will not only enable the ambitious Gateway project but will also ease congestion in the town centre, particularly around the railway station as we prepare for Javelin trains using the HS2 connection.  Work to improve the junctions at Foregate Street was completed last month and the next phase will see us assembling the required land along the route.

It really is an exciting and changing time for Stafford with such great opportunities to grow our local economy and make life better for people working and living here.

New bridge successfully installed over A50

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Over the weekend we saw the successful installation of a new bridge on the A50 near Uttoxeter as part of wider plans to improve transport links, support business and unlock land for new housing and economic growth.

The operation to place six steel beams, each 47 metres long and weighing 45 tonnes apiece started at 8pm on Friday night and was completed for the Monday morning rush hour.  This was no mean feat and as a major piece of work It’s a credit to everyone involved how quickly, safely and smoothly the work went.

The A50 is the most important transport link between the West and East Midlands. The planned improvements will not only benefit people in Uttoxeter but also major employers and their employees, making journeys  between Staffordshire and Derbyshire quicker, easier and safer.  Managing to condense the necessary work into just one weekend did help to minimise inconvenience for people and I would like to thank everyone for their patients.

You can read more about the operation on the Staffordshire Newsroom, as well as being able to watch a Time lapse video of the installation.