Turning the A34 into a real power house corridor for economic growth

Last week we announced our preferred delivery partner ‘Amey’ to provide integrated highways services for the county. The proposal goes to Cabinet in February and if agreed will see the company not only maintaining our 6,000km of highways, but delivering major flagship schemes and contributing to the running of the county’s street lighting, rights of way and country park maintenance. The deal is worth £80m a year and is for an initial ten years with the opportunity to extend further if the agreed performance is achieved.

The new partnership is great news for everyone in Staffordshire as it will help us deliver better value for money for taxpayers because we have negotiated hard to get the best deal we can, without compromising on quality. Working with Amey, we are also committed to making sure residents have an even greater say in shaping our services and your priorities.

Yet again we will all get the best of both worlds by joining forces with a strategic partner to combine the county council’s own experience with the expertise and resources of a private sector company. I have spoken often about this before, this is an approach we are keen to develop at the Council, which we know can help get the best deal for all of us, the county council and residents.

Another exciting future initiative is the proposed development of the former Meaford Power Station site near Stone. We will be investing around £6m in infrastructure around the site with developers St Modwen who have planning permission to build a brand new business park.

This is the largest undeveloped brownfield site in the county and once developed could create around 2,500 jobs. The scheme will see improved access with the building of a new roundabout and a second junction to serve the park. This coupled with our development at Redhill, north of Stafford is helping to turn the A34 into a real Power House corridor for economic growth, wealth creation and over 5,000 better paid jobs.

Moving from the A34 now and over to the A50, it was great to see the visit of TRADE minister Lord Livingston to Rochester and JCB’s HQ for a conference on exporting. The Minister reminded businesses about the help available from UK Trade and Investment to help them start exporting or break into new markets. This compliments the work we are already doing to support our local companies to make that move into the export market.

Finally, the latest jobseekers figures for the county were published, presenting encouraging news with a further drop in the number of claimants. This is the ninth month in a row where we have seen a decrease – more evidence that our local economy is heading in the right direction and giving people access to even more better paid jobs.

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