Archive for December, 2019

Growing places, growing Staffordshire

Tuesday, December 24th, 2019
Dunston Business Village

Growing our economy and creating more better paid jobs for people has been a priority for us for many years now and one that will continue into 2020 and beyond. And, as the year draws to an end and we continue to see near full employment here in the county we have lots to be happy about.

Calling Staffordshire businesses! Local companies might be interested in the Growing Places Fund, which provides interest-free loans to support the growth of projects in the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership area.

The fund is now in its 14th round and over the years has seen both large and small companies benefit. Feedback from those who have benefitted from the fund has also been hugely positive. One such project supported by the fund was the award-winning Dunston Business Village, which is now not only completely occupied but also has a long waiting list. This just goes to show once again that Staffordshire remains an attractive place for companies all over the UK.

There’s further details at, just click on the Enterprise Support section. Alternatively, you can call 01785 277706. But make sure you get your applications for this round submitted before the closing date on Friday 31 January.

A busy year for Trading Standards

Friday, December 20th, 2019
Sniffer dogs Scamp and Yoyo

This year has been a particularly busy one for our Trading Standards team, and indeed a successful one as a recent report from the Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers has revealed.

I blogged about the teams work and some of their recent successes back in September but looking back over the last twelve months there’s lots to shout about.

Counterfeit goods are a real blight on our communities, they pose a serious risk to people’s health; whether they are cosmetics with dangerous chemicals, electrical goods which can cause fires, toys which can seriously harm children or food or drink which can damage your health. In addition they take legitimate trade away from local businesses and drain vital money away from our communities, whilst bringing organised crime further into our County.

The annual report revealed that trading standards services nationally had detained over 20 million illegal products including more than 15 million potentially dangerous cigarettes in the last year.  And, in Staffordshire alone over the same period, 34,300 counterfeit items with an estimated value of £204,000 were taken off the streets, including, 24,000 illicit cigarettes with a street value of £12,500.

Dealing with counterfeit goods reflects a small part of what the team gets involved in. Trading Standards cuts across the whole of our lives from protecting vulnerable people from predatory criminals, maintaining the safety of food and drink, the welfare of our farm animals, the safety of goods, as well as maintaining a level playing field for businesses across the whole trading environment. The team support legitimate business whilst focussing on those who prefer not to play by the rules.  

The full report can be viewed here.

The ’12 Myths of Christmas’ busted by our foster carers

Thursday, December 19th, 2019
Staffordshire foster carers and our Fostering & Adoption team are working together to bust fostering myths!

As in previous years, our Staffordshire foster carers have joined together in a Christmas campaign to encourage more families to consider fostering.

Christmas can be a tough time for many of our children in care but it can also be a good time to highlight the need for more families to help.

This latest campaign, ’12 Myths of Fostering’ is all about busting some of the most commonly reported myths holding people back from fostering.

We know from talking to potential foster carers that there are a lot of misconceptions about who can and cannot foster, and this campaign is all about exploring those myths and debunking them. There are 12 videos online, on Youtube, on Facebook and on Twitter for you to watch and share with your friends and family.

It’s really important that we get the message across as with record numbers of children being in the unfortunate position of being placed in care, it’s vital that we have a strong network of foster families to give them the love they need. If fostering is something you might consider, then you’ll find out more at

Have a very merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.