Welcome to my blog!

 I am one of the three Tamworth Borough Councillors for the Mercian Ward, elected in May 2011.  Do you have an issue I or any of my colleagues on Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council can help with?

Contact me by phone, e-mail or post

mobile: 07958 155 863
e-mail: Andrew-James@tamworth.gov.uk
post: c/o T.C.A., 23 Albert Road, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B79 7JS

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North Warwickshire’s MP to Step Down at General Election

Dan Byles MPDan Byles, MP for North Warwickshire and Bedworth, has announced he will not be seeking re-election at next year’s General Election.

Mr Byles, who won the North Warwickshire and Bedworth constituency by 54 votes at the last election for the Conservative Party, announced he would step down next by posting a statement on his personal website.

The full statement said, “For the last four years, it has been an honour and a privilege to represent the people of North Warwickshire & Bedworth as both a constituency MP and a national legislator.

“Before becoming an MP I served in the Army for nine years, deploying on operational tours in Bosnia and Kosovo.  By the time of the 2015 General Election, serving my country will have been the primary focus of my professional life for some 14 years.  For myself and for my family, whose support and understanding have been unerring throughout, I believe it is now time to move on to new challenges.  I will therefore not be standing for re-election in 2015.

“As I hoped it would be, my time in Parliament has been hard work but uniquely rewarding.  I am proud of what we have achieved as a Government – putting Britain back on the road to recovery following the worst economic collapse the country has ever faced. I am particularly grateful for the personal contribution I have had the opportunity to make, as a member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee; Chair of three active All Party Parliamentary Groups; on the Bill Committee of the Energy Act 2014; and as the sponsor of a historic Private Members Bill on House of Lords Reform.

“With almost a year still to go before the General Election, I remain absolutely committed to my constituents and to tackling the important issues that face us locally, such as HS2, ensuring that the George Eliot Hospital has a safe and secure future, and building on our recent successes in the local economy.  It will be business as usual in North Warwickshire & Bedworth for Team Dan.

“This has by no means been an easy decision, and I owe a great debt of gratitude to my parliamentary and constituency staff who have worked so tirelessly for the last four years on behalf of local people.  I would also like to thank all of the local Conservative Party volunteers and councillors.  Without their support, successfully overturning 18 years of Labour incumbency to return a Conservative MP with a significantly above average swing would simply not have been possible.  My Conservative successor is extremely fortunate to inherit such a dedicated and experienced team.  I will of course work closely with everyone to ensure a smooth handover and the best chance of success in 2015.”

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James Garner in Grand Prix

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R.I.P. James Garner

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Are You Happy

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School’s Out for Summer

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Meet the Mercian Ward Councillors Next Week

Tamworth Rugby Club

Tamworth Rugby Club

Tamworth Borough Council’s Mercian ward councillors will be holding their latest ward surgery for all local residents next week on Saturday 12th July.

The surgery will be taking place at Tamworth Rugby Club in Wigginton Park between 11am and Noon.

If you have any issues that you want to raise with Cllr Michael Greatorex, Cllr Andrew James and Cllr Richard Kingstone or you would just like to chat with them about the local area, please come along.

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Enough Uninsured Vehicles Seized to Fill World Cup Final Stadium – Twice!

cars behind barsOver 2,250 vehicles have been seized in a landmark crackdown on car insurance dodgers in Staffordshire and that’s enough to fill the Estadio Do Maracana stadium in Brazil, which will host the World Cup final on 13 July, twice over.

Cars Behind Bars was instigated by Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis and has proved popular with people across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.  The campaign carried out by Staffordshire Police has seen 2,254 cars, vans, motorcycles, mopeds, lorries and even a tractor seized, with around a third of these scrapped, since it was launched in May 2013.

Mr Ellis said, “Since its launch a year ago, the crackdown on insurance dodgers has been far and away the most popular thing raised with me by people I’ve spoken to across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

“Over 2,250 people have now had to learn their lesson the hard way thanks to tremendous work by officers from Staffordshire Police.  Those who drive without insurance can’t hide in Staffordshire. They are being caught and dealt with by having their vehicles seized and, in many cases, scrapped.

“It’s definitely struck a chord with law-abiding motorists who are hit by rising premiums because of these law-breakers.  Why should all pay more because some people don’t pay at all?

“It’s clear that the message is hitting home as the number of insured motorists on Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent roads has risen significantly during the crackdown.”

Some of the vehicles seized since the campaign launched can be viewed at www.staffordshire.police.uk/carsbehindbars.

Cars Behind Bars uses Staffordshire’s extensive automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system that identifies those flouting the law.

Chief Superintendent Jon Drake, from Staffordshire Police, said, “Staffordshire has an extensive ANPR system which allows us to identify vehicles that are uninsured, as well as those that have no tax or suspected of being involved in other crimes.

“This is part of daily activities for officers who seek out and target those committing these offences. We often find that those who choose to drive on our roads without insurance are linked to other criminal offences such as theft and burglary.”

The fixed penalty fine for people who are caught without insurance was increased nationally from £200 to £300 in August 2013.  Motorists also face their car being seized, could be summoned to court and be disqualified, and an endorsement of six penalty points.

Drivers re-claiming their car when they have proof of insurance have to pay £150 car recovery costs plus £20 per day storage.

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