Archive for April, 2019

Over 60 ways to celebrate Staffordshire Day

Friday, April 26th, 2019
Date for your diary – 1st May is Staffordshire Day

I’ve been keeping you posted about our Staffordshire Day celebrations and with less than a week to go, here’s a quick update.

There are now more than 60 events to enjoy across the county throughout the celebrations, highlighting the range of visitor attractions on offer and helping communities show their pride in their county.

As the day itself falls midweek, the celebrations have been extended to include the weekend before and the weekend after.  That means there are events to enjoy from Saturday 27 April right through to Monday 6 May.

As I have spoken about in previous posts, the day is all about celebrating what’s great about our county and we’re really delighted with the way people have rallied to the Staffordshire Day cause.  It promises to be a great day and we hope as many people as possible turn out and show their pride in their county.

See an awesome Hurricane fighter plane fly-past as part of the Museum of Cannock Chase’s VE Day Celebrations or help to celebrate the Staffordshire Hoard, ten years after it was discovered, by creating a Saxon Shield at Cannock Library.  These are only a taster and you can view the full list of events at www.enjoystaffordshire.com/staffsday.

You can also find out how to get involved in the ‘Staffordshire Day mug shots’ and our ‘Made in Staffordshire Playlist’ by clicking on the links. 

Hawaii, Australia, Barcelona and once again Staffordshire

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019
IRONMAN 70.3 returns to Staffordshire

Here’s another date for your diary! Staffordshire’s biggest triathlon competition IRONMAN 70.3 returns for 2019 on Sunday 9 June.

This will be our fifth IRONMAN event in Staffordshire and the second time the race will finish in Stafford town centre. Once again, the race will see around 2,000 competitors take on the gruelling challenge of completing a 1.2 mile swim at Chasewater, 56 mile bike ride through the Staffordshire countryside and 13.1 mile half marathon in Stafford.

It’s always a popular event with thousands turning out to watch the action first-hand and I’m sure this year will be just as exciting.  IRONMAN run events all over the world including Hawaii, Australia, and Barcelona, so it’s great for Staffordshire appearing right up there next to these world famous locations.

Previous events have not only provided a welcome boost to our local economy and tourism businesses but have also helped to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity.

And remember, as like in previous years, organisers are looking for volunteers to help make the day run smoothly. There’s a variety of roles on offer, all of which give you a great chance to gain experience of working behind the scenes of a world-renowned event. You can find out more about volunteering at IRONMAN here.

Finally, there will be some road closures on the day to ensure the event runs safely, so to help you make plans for any journeys you may have to make on the day it’s best to plan your route accordingly. You can find out details about road closures here.

Extra cash for potholes for the third year running

Friday, April 12th, 2019

We are all well aware of how important good roads are for everyone.  Not only are they vital for local communities and for businesses but they are essential to growing our economy and supporting better access to jobs, education and housing.

That’s why, for the third year running we are investing an additional £5m into tackling potholes and improving our roads and the journeys we make.

This additional funding is part of a package of £30m and includes an extra allocation of £20,000 for each local county councillor to help them deal with more localised highways issues.

Maintaining such a huge road network, (more than 6,000km)  is a constant challenge for us.  That’s  why we need to make the best use of every pound we invest and focus where we can on schemes which deliver the best value and longer-term benefits.

The full 2019/20 Highways and Transport Capital programme will be presented at our meeting of the Cabinet for approval next week. 

Preparing for Brexit

Monday, April 8th, 2019

Like me, I am sure that you have been following the ongoing developments about Brexit with interest and wondering what is going to happen.

Clearly this still remains in the hands of the Government and our MPs in Westminster, but there is no doubt that whatever happens, the whole issue will affect all of us

I want to reassure people that as part of our normal contingency planning, we continue to work closely with all our partners including district and borough councils, police, fire and the NHS, to put together plans for various outcomes.  

For some time now too, we have also been working with various Government departments and organisations that represent councils to help shape the national direction and raise Staffordshire’s profile in preparing for the future.

Our priority, and mine as leader of the county council regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, is to make sure that Staffordshire remains a place where everyone has the opportunity to be prosperous, to be healthy, and to be happy. 

I have blogged about this many times before, but a major part of this work is to encourage investment in Staffordshire and means Staffordshire continuing to be an attractive place for people to live and work.

By doing so, we can help people to access more and better jobs, the schools and training that they need, and the infrastructure – homes, roads, health services, schools, and transport links to be able to maintain the excellent quality of life that we enjoy.

This work would be happening whether Brexit was an issue or not. What Brexit has shown is that Staffordshire is a place that people still want to invest in and that our county is an area where people want to live, despite the uncertainty of the past few years.

I do know that there is still some uncertainty in both the business community and within the communities of Staffordshire about Brexit, but rest assured, we are keeping a close eye on whatever happens so that Staffordshire remains prepared and ready for whatever the future may bring.

Less than a month to Staffordshire Day

Friday, April 5th, 2019

This year’s Staffordshire Day (1 May) is now less than a month away and there’s plenty to be excited about.

As I have blogged about before, the theme for this years’ event is ‘Made in Staffordshire’, which as the name suggests is a celebration of all the great things to come out of Staffordshire, from its brewing and ceramic heritage, as well as food and drink, to the music and some of the most famous people from the county.

Tying in with this years’ theme is the Made in Staffordshire Playlist. The playlist can be found on Spotify and showcases some of the best music to come from the county, from big named musical legends to rising stars. You can even add your own tracks to the playlist and recommend songs by tweeting @enjoystaffs.

Returning once again are the Staffordshire Day mug shots. It was a huge success last year when hundreds of people got involved and perfectly fits the Made in Staffordshire theme. All people need to do again is take a quick selfie holding a Staffordshire mug and share it on social media with #StaffordshireDay and we’ll do the rest.

As in previous years, there’s plenty of other events and activities happening all around the county, such as the Staffordshire Day Plate Raceday at Uttoxeter Racecourse, the Staffordshire Day Vintage Fair at the National Memorial Arboretum, the Made in Staffordshire art exhibition at the Guildhall Gallery in Stafford and many more.

Many libraries across Staffordshire are getting involved in the celebrations too. See a full list of Staffordshire Day library events here.

Make sure the date is in your diary and keep up to date with events and activities at www.enjoystaffordshire.com/staffsday

New homes development near Stone

Monday, April 1st, 2019

We are all aware of the importance of growing our economy and attracting high quality jobs to the area and how everyone will benefit from this. But, just as important as this, is the need to have more homes and in particular a good mix of different types of homes that people want to live in.

Earlier this week we got exciting news that plans for a 10,000-home development near Stone would be receiving £750k from the Government to support the project.

It’s the garden village development at Coldmeece near Stone and would be sited on former Ministry of Defence land. Not only would it bring much needed homes to the area, but it would also attract further investment in the future along with many community improvements.

We continue to work hard with our partners to prepare the foundations for business growth and job creation across Staffordshire and new housing will certainly support this.

We are still in the very early stages of the project but look forward to developing the plans with the Borough Council along with the necessary infrastructure.

I’ll keep you posted on progress.