Archive for February, 2019

Ten weeks to go

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

A few weeks ago I asked readers to put the date of Wednesday 1 May in their diary.

Some people will already be aware of this annual celebration but for those that aren’t, it’s Staffordshire Day and it’s our day to tell the world what a great place Staffordshire is.

This is our forth Staffordshire Day and it’s all about being proud of where we live while promoting our great county and attracting more visitors.

Our theme this year is ‘Made in Staffordshire’ and we’ll be celebrating all the great stuff made here including our world famous pottery heritage.

We’re also having the Great Staffordshire Day Quiz, Staffordshire Mug Shots and the World’s Biggest Oatcake morning back again this year.

Lots of our tourist attractions will also be offering special offers on the day and our libraries will be joining in the fun with a range of arts and crafts activities.

In a previous celebration over 60,000 people took part in activities and it generated over £1m for the local economy. We were also trending on Twitter last time too which was great.

Today is exactly 10 weeks to the day itself so it’s a good time to start thinking about what you’ll be doing. You can keep up to date with events and activities at www.enjoystaffordshire.com/staffsday

Approving a balanced budget

Friday, February 15th, 2019

Thursday saw our first Full Council meeting of 2019, and it was quite an important one as we approved our budget for the next financial year.

As I’ve written about many times before, we face real challenges as a county council with the rising costs in adult social care and children’s services. But, after taking early, decisive action to close a £35m forecasted shortfall over the next year we’ve managed to deliver a balanced budget.

Right from the start we have been honest with residents about the scale of the challenge and the difficult decisions we have faced and will continue to face. 

We have also listened to people’s concerns and responded where possible including: Continuing to fund the school crossing patrol service, keeping all-day concessionary travel for disabled people and providing funding transition for the community and voluntary sector.

As well as lobbying Government and getting some additional money for highways and social care, we also managed to secure additional funding by successfully bidding to be part of a national business rates pilot scheme.

While we can no longer do or fund everything we would like to, we remain focused on supporting the most vulnerable in our communities and supporting people to find their own local alternative and affordable options.

Council tax will rise by 2.95 per cent this year, less than 10p per day more for a Band D property and still the third lowest county council tax in the country.

We continue to have a good story to tell here in Staffordshire. With near full employment at 1.3% seeking work, the average full time weekly gross wage increasing to £551 per week, more job creation and 96 per cent broadband coverage, Staffordshire remains a fantastic and affordable place to live.

Launch of our Dignity in Care Awards

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019
Here’s last years Dignity in Care award winners

I think everyone would agree that having the highest levels of dignity and respect in care is something that we would all want to see.

To help us achieve this, we’re very proud to be launching our 2019 Dignity in Care awards and we are inviting people to nominate carers, work colleagues, friends and family members.

It’s our fifth awards and they continue to be a great celebration of the thousands of wonderful carers across the county who make a real difference every day. You will probably know someone who always goes that extra mile for those they care for.

This year there are seven award categories and we have simplified the nomination process which is easy and quick to do. Awards include; Dignity Champion, Leadership Award, Young Dignity Champion and Informal Carer.

So, it’s for those working in care, care companies, those providing informal care to a relative or family member and those who work in a voluntary capacity across Staffordshire.

You can nominate online here and nominating is easy. The closing date for nominations is 30 April 2019 and shortlisted nominees will be invited to a special ceremony on 10 July at Newcastle under Lyme College.

The awards are also running alongside a major recruitment campaign to encourage more people to join the adult social care sector. People can find out more at http://www.everydayisdifferent.com

Date for your diary – Wednesday 1 May 2019!

Friday, February 1st, 2019

In my earlier blog post I spoke about our tourism economy, how well it’s doing and why it’s so important for Staffordshire and people living here.

One of the things we are doing to encourage even more visitors to the county and to show how proud we are of Staffordshire is by hosting ‘Staffordshire Day’.

May 1st is now the day we celebrate everything that’s great about our county and is a very special day for us. We celebrate the anniversary of our most famous son, Josiah Wedgwood, who set up his pottery company in 1759 and helped to transform Staffordshire into the centre of the world’s ceramics industry during the Industrial Revolution.

This will be our fourth celebration and our theme this time round is ‘Made in Staffordshire’. Not only will we be celebrating our industrial heritage, including Wedgwood’s 260th anniversary, we’ll also be celebrating our unique culture, history and amazing places to visit.

It’s also just ten years in July since The Staffordshire Hoard was discovered, the largest hoard of Anglo Saxon gold ever found, opening a window on the life of England in the 7th century and the world of the warrior elite.

Alongside a whole range of activities, events and special offers at many of our attractions, once again, Staffordshire Day gives us the chance to tell the world about what a wonderful place it really is.

Last year we were trending on Twitter too with #StaffordshireDay, which was great.

Let’s not keep it a secret. Tell your friends what a brilliant place Staffordshire is and make a point this year to visit some of our wonderful treasures and be sure to join in the Staffordshire Day celebrations.