Archive for July, 2019

365 Great Things About Staffordshire

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

I’ve often talked about what a great place Staffordshire really is, so you won’t be surprised with our latest campaign.….

Our 365 Great Things About Staffordshire is a year-long celebration of everything that makes our county a great place to live, work & visit.

We launched on July 1st and over the next year, we’ll be focusing on one good thing for each day. From our unique historical figures to some of the things we are famous for, like the Staffordshire oatcake.

But we also want to shine a light on the excellent work of individuals and organisations, and the incredible initiatives going on across the county that are positively impacting the lives of people.

This campaign isn’t just about what WE think is great about Staffordshire, but also what YOU think is great about the county too. We want your suggestions and ideas and you can get them to us via

It’s easy to do and no idea is too big or too small. If you feel that it’s a ‘Great Thing About Staffordshire’, then it counts!

There’s also many ways to keep up to date with the campaign:

Please share and comment on our posts using the hashtag #Staffs365 and help us tell the world what a great place Staffordshire really is.

Declaring a climate emergency

Friday, July 26th, 2019

At our Full Council meeting on Thursday, which also happened to be one of the hottest days of the year, the council took the decision to declare a ‘climate emergency’.

The declaration, which has cross-party support, comes a month after we launched our Air Aware initiative, which aims to improve air quality in the county.

This is an important first step for the council and we’ve pledged to refresh our climate change strategy and continue our support to local district and borough councils in tackling the issue. We also remain committed to providing a strong, unified voice on behalf of councils when lobbying the Government.

We have made good progress to reduce carbon emissions as a council to 80% by 2050 in recent years with our ambitions set out in Hard Rain, Hard Rain 2 and Green Shoots, and have already managed to reduce our carbon footprint significantly but we recognise that after ten years and many technological changes much more must be done.

What we are doing now is setting ambitious but achievable targets to protect our environment and reduce carbon emissions even further. As well as working with our partners and lobbying the Government to address the problem, we will also consider the implementation of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Many councillors wanted to take part in the debate which I am sure will continue, and it will mean subtle changes in the way we all lead our lives, locally, nationally and globally. By working together on this issue I’m confident we can make a difference. I will keep you up to date with our progress.

Developing local talent through apprenticeships

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019
Apprentices celebrating their achievement

I’ve blogged about the importance of apprenticeships to the UK economy and to our own here in Staffordshire many times before.

Around 7,000 people across the county have completed an apprenticeship over the past 18 months which is great news and they remain a key part of our plan to grow the local economy and create more better paid jobs for people.

It’s important to remember that Apprenticeships are now available at a range of levels leading to the equivalent of a foundation degree, a bachelor’s degree and even master’s degree level in some sectors. And, more of these specialised and highly-skilled Apprenticeships are being offered each year, giving individuals the chance to continue their professional development and fully realise their potential.

On Wednesday, 150 apprentices gathered at the County Showground in Stafford with their families, employers, and training providers for our fifth apprenticeship graduation ceremony. This is a really important event for us and not only highlights the importance of apprenticeships to our economy but it’s also a brilliant way to mark the achievements of those completing their training.

For year’s university graduates have enjoyed their day on the stage but this now gives apprentices that same recognition and experience. I would like to say a huge Congratulations to everyone who graduated on the day and I wish them every success in their future careers.

Recognising the county’s top carers and care companies

Monday, July 15th, 2019
Some of the attendees of this years’ Staffordshire Dignity in Care Awards

Every year we have a very special awards ceremony to recognise and thank the care services and individuals who ensure people in care are treated with dignity and respect.

This year was no different and over 120 guests gathered with family members and work colleagues for the Staffordshire Dignity in Care Awards at Newcastle College.

It’s always a wonderful celebration that recognises the best of the care sector in Staffordshire and once again it was great to see such a wide range of carers and organisations being recognised. And the one thing they all have in common is that they always put their clients or the people they look after first and put dignity at the heart of everything they do.

Here’s some photos of the award winners and I would like to say a huge well done to the winners and runners up and everyone who was nominated.

You can read more about all the winners on the Staffordshire Newsroom by clicking ‘County’s top carers recognised in Dignity Awards’.

Ten years on from the discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard

Friday, July 5th, 2019
I went back to the field where it all started to meet with Fred Johnson, the owner of the farm and Steve Dean, former Archaeologist for Staffordshire County Council who led the excavation work.

It’s hard to believe that this time ten years ago the Staffordshire Hoard was discovered.

I still remember how exciting it was, not just for all of us involved, but for everyone in Staffordshire and even across the globe. Even to this day, it still has people talking.

On the actual day of the find I was discussing ideas for a new logo for the county council with Cabinet Members and senior managers. Funny enough, one idea being using the Staffordshire Knot. I even suggested that it should be 24-caret gold which didn’t go down to well.

It was shortly after that meeting, that I was told there had been one of the greatest finds since Tutankhamun. Seeing photos shortly after verified just how significant this find was and seeing the story unfold is something I won’t forget.

During the early period, only a select few of us actually knew about it. I’ve never forgotten the day I told the senior leadership team and cabinet members and their reactions. The big challenge for the team was keeping the news a secret until the items could be safely taken out of the ground.

As the days went on, it quickly became clear just how significant the discovery was. Finding items like swords, the serpents and the millefiori and seeing them being pieced together was like seeing a puzzle coming together.

It’s interesting to look back at what the hoard has meant for the county. During the time of its discovery all eyes were on Staffordshire, even garnering interest from as far as China. Not to mention a phone call from the Vatican. 

It remains a truly remarkable collection and there is nothing comparable in terms of content and quality in the UK or mainland Europe. And, 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.