Staffordshire’s Paralympians do us Proud

I am sure you enjoyed like me the exciting and busy summer of sports we have had with the Olympics and thrill to see Team GB and many of our local athletes do so well.  And now half way through the Paralympics we have had three more Staffordshire athletes taking part.

Equestrian rider, Lee Pearson from Cheddleton, Goalball player Jessica Luke from Gnosall in Stafford and Richard Dobell born in Biddulph in the sitting Volleyball all gave it their best for the Games.

Lee won a further gold, silver and bronze medal to add to his already impressive 9 gold medals in the last three Paralympic Games, 3 in Sydney in 2000, 3 in Athens in 2004 and 3 at Beijing in 2008.

Jessica and Team GB reached the quarter finals in the Goalball event and Richard  also made it through to the quarter finals in the sitting volleyball.  Congratulations to all of them, the whole of Staffordshire is very proud of you.

I have been to see the construction work at Jaguar Land Rover’s i54 South Staffordshire plant along with our continued infrastructure work.  Last year we worked  closely with our colleagues at Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire councils to ensure we had done all we could to attract Jaguar Land Rover and other global firms like Moog and Eurofins UK to this site and key to JLR was our delivery.

It is rewarding to see it as an active location for leading business and job creation  and we can now see our vision for i54 South Staffordshire being fulfilled. Our next big job is to construct the new slip road off junction 2 of the M54 which is a significant project.

And what a summer! The ‘wettest in 100 years’ according to the Met Office, making farming really difficult for everyone. I’ve got my wheat harvest done, just acres of wet straw to dry out before bailing now! Thinking of those still to gather their harvest, but at least  we’ve had a few days sun to help.

But for some more good news the Academy at Rodbaston opened its doors on Tuesday. JCB in Rocestor is set to create 100 apprenticeships and Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire has been ranked in the top three Local Enterprise Partnership or LEP areas for attracting inward investment.

On a more cultural note, I’m looking forward to Stafford Arts Festival, starting on Saturday 15 September.  There will be lots happening, including the Festival of Authors at County Buildings, featuring over 20 authors and book signings.  A real treat for all bookworms.

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