From roads to sports – now we have lots of young sporting talent

We all know that good quality roads are important to both residents and businesses alike and just before the Christmas break we got the news of an extra £104m funding for road maintenance over the next six years.

Staffordshire will be getting its share of around £20m per year which will be invested in general road maintenance, surface dressing and resurfacing roads where necessary to help reduce the number of potholes. With a vast rural network stretching across 6,000km, improving the network in Staffordshire is a huge on-going and costly challenge for us.  Over the past five years, the county council has invested an extra £50m to help improve the network. When the weather allows, our highways teams are able to fix around 350 potholes per week.

From roads to sports now and we have lots of young sporting talent here in Staffordshire, which we wish to nurture for future success.  That’s why we’ve introduced our Staffordshire Talented Athlete Fund.  We are making available grants of up to £750 and want to hear from young people who are excelling in their sports.

Staffordshire is fast becoming an area for both national and international sports events.  Next year we’ll be holding the international Staffordshire IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon and hosting the 2015 UK Corporate Games.  To be eligible for the Staffordshire Talented Athlete Fund, young people must live or go to school in Staffordshire.  Further details can be found at www.sportacrossstaffordshire.gov.uk.

It was my privilege on Friday to be able to officially open the Limewood Dementia Centre in Stafford after six years hard work planning and building by all our County Council teams to bring our care vision to fruition.  It’s an impressive sight and is part of the wider £25 million Northfield Village scheme.  The state of the art centre provides residential, respite, nursing and palliative care for people with dementia as well as support services for families and relatives. An interesting part of the centre is the 1950’s style street with its very own barbers shop, Fox and Duck pub and even a cinema. This helps create a familiar and comfortable setting for residents and their families when they visit.

The Northfield Village scheme combines Extra Care, Dementia Care, an NHS Health Centre, Community Hub, and Learning Disability supported accommodation.  It’s a great example of what can be achieved through partnership working and how specialist services and accommodation can be brought together in the heart of a community.

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