Archive for August, 2019

Celebrating our community managed Libraries

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

This month’s transfer of the day-to-day management and delivery of Penkridge library to Penkridge Parish Council is our 27th successful completion. It also marks the end of the fourth phase of this very successful four-year programme.

This has been an important process for us and has meant that we have been able to develop many of our smaller libraries by handing over day to day running of them to other organisations and voluntary groups.

I’ve blogged about the approach many times before and you can track the progress below:

Your help is needed in making sure our library service is ready for the future

Opportunity for groups to run the remaining four community libraries

More community managed libraries

This latest transferring of Penkridge library is a real landmark for the service, and it has not only helped to make our libraries more relevant to their communities but in many cases we have also seen the introduction of a whole range of new ideas alongside the core library service.

This has only really been possible because of Staffordshire people’s passion for their local libraries and their enthusiasm to make a difference in their communities.

The library service now has more than 950 volunteers contributing at its 27 community run libraries and the 16 that remain under direct council management. We’re incredibly grateful for their support and the positive impact they are having on local communities.

Sticking with libraries, this week we’re also celebrating the great news that over 10,000 children in Staffordshire have taken part in this years’ Summer Reading Challenge. It has been incredibly successful and encouraging to see so many children visiting libraries over the summer holidays. It’s a great scheme that helps keep children reading over the six-week holiday, so well done to everyone who took part and again to the many volunteers who supported the scheme.

Work on major road scheme for county town underway

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019
Graphic of how part of the Stafford Western Access Route will look

This week work got under way on a really important multi-million-pound road project in Stafford which will help boost growth and ease congestion in the town.

The Stafford Western Access Route essentially is a new outer ring road that will link the A34 Foregate Street at Madford Retail Park to the A518 Newport Road Castlefields junction. It’s something I’ve blogged about before, and how it will help to relieve traffic and also open up new development areas for housing and employment sites.

This is another important flagship project for us and is expected to take around two years to complete. Not only will it help to ease traffic, improve conditions for bus services, pedestrians and cyclists, attract additional investment but there will be environmental benefits too. This will be mainly through the redevelopment of areas of derelict land and landscaping along the route.

The road is being funded by developers and with £15.5million secured by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership through the Government’s Local Growth Fund.

With a project of this size there will inevitably be some disruption but as most of the construction will be taking place off the existing road network we are confident that any disruption will be minimal.

I will keep you up to date with progress.

Smoother journeys in Burton ahead with £1m investment

Thursday, August 15th, 2019
Highways improvements underway in Burton

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 local towns and supporting better access to jobs, education and housing.

That’s why we’ve invested £1m into two highways improvements schemes in Burton. Work is now being carried out on Borough Road, near the railway station, as well as Shobnall Road and Forest Road.

At Shobnall Road and Forrest Road crews are working seven days a week and overnight to resurface the entire road. Signed diversion routes, including a designated one for HGVs are in place to ensure the work can be carried out safely. Work is progressing well and crews hope to have the job completed by the end of the month as originally scheduled.

The additional £350,000 scheme at Borough Road is part of a wider Network Rail project to improve access in and around the railway station. Work will see the widening of the road to create bus lay-bys, new bus shelters, the relocation of the existing zebra crossing and the resurfacing of the road and pavements. Two weeks in and the work is still on schedule to be completed in late September.

Both these schemes are vital for the town and once complete will not only benefit motorists who work or live near the area but also local businesses.  You can Watch this video to find out more about the schemes