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

Posted in Andrew James

Take a Trip through the Ages with Tamworth Castle History Events

Princess Ethelfleda's statue by Tamworth Castle

Princess Ethelfleda’s statue by Tamworth Castle

Visitors to Tamworth Castle are being invited to take a trip back through time this summer, with a series of living history events.

Throughout July and August, Tamworth Castle will be hosting the living history events, which are aimed at the whole family.

The events are:

  • Saxons at the Castle, July 21-23 – Find out what life was like in Tamworth during Saxon times.  Learn about the warrior princess Ethelflaeda and find out about Saxon battle tactics.  Have a go at making Saxon jewellery or solving a runic puzzle.
  • Medieval history, July 28-30 – Meet the medieval characters as they carry out their duties.  Hear from the Armourer about how chain mail was made and have a go at handling some replica weapons.  The Laundress will talk about how the washing and dyeing was done in medieval times and the Lady will display some children’s board games.
  • Tudor history, August 4-6 – Join in with the servants’ daily duties as they prepare for a banquet for visiting guests, try out some Tudor children’s games and learn Tudor dances.
  • Georgian history, August 11-13 – In Georgian times, Tamworth Castle was owned by the prominent Townshend family and was host to many affluent guests.  Learn more about them, as well as the lives of the servants.
  • Victorian history, August 18-20 – This was the last era in which the Castle was used as a family residence. Get a taste of life both upstairs and downstairs, from servants including the Maid, Housekeeper, Governess, Butler and Stablehand.

Tamworth Borough Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Robert Pritchard, said: “This is a unique opportunity to get a taste of life at Tamworth Castle throughout the ages.  It’s a series of events not to be missed and is just one of the wide range of ongoing events and cultural offers from Tamworth Borough Council to suit everyone.”

All the living history events run from 11.30am to 4pm. Admission costs £7 for adults, £6 for OAPs and other concessions, £4.50 for children ages five and above, £1.50 for children aged 2-4 and under twos go free.  A family ticket for two adults and two children is also available for £21.

There is no need to pre-book for the events – just turn up and step back in time!

More information is available at www.tamworthcastle.co.uk or by calling the box office on 01827 709581 or 01827 709618.


Posted in Borough / County Council, History, Tamworth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Summer of Free Sporting Activities Coming to Tamworth

Calling_all_sports_starsWith the Women’s World Cup in full swing and the Rugby World Cup set to be hosted in Britain in September, kids are being encouraged to take part in a free summer of sport.

Tamworth Borough Council’s Sports Development Team has unveiled its brand new programme of sporting events, which will run throughout the school summer holiday.

The seven-week scheme starts on July 20 and runs until September 4, with a wide range of activities.  And this year, for the first time, all activities will be completely free of charge

A whole host of traditional sports including rugby, swimming, boxing and tennis are all on offer.  In addition, there will be a range of more unusual activities including the Sky Trail rope, bridge and beam course, tenpin bowling, ice skating, watersports week and street dance.

Activities take place across the borough, with venues at the Castle Grounds, Tamworth Boxing Club, Wilnecote Leisure Centre, Tamworth Assembly Rooms, Planters Garden Centre, Cliff Lakes and Tamworth Namco Funscape bowling alley.

Cllr Rob Pritchard, Tamworth Borough Council Deputy Leader, said, “This programme has been designed to offer something for everyone and we are hoping that young people from across Tamworth will sign up to try out a wide range of sporting activities, completely free of charge.

“We have been working with sports clubs from across the borough to put together the summer programme, which means we can offer a wide range of events for the seven-week break.”

Details of all the events can be seen on the Tamworth Borough Council website at www.tamworth.gov.uk.

To get involved or for more information, please contact James Hazlehurst from Tamworth Borough Council’s Sports Development team on 01827 709387 or email james-hazlehurst@tamworth.gov.uk.

Posted in Borough / County Council, Community, Sport, Tamworth, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Meet Your Mercian Ward Councillors on Saturday 13th June

Mercian ward surgery June

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Meet The Mercian Ward Councillors on Saturday

Tamworth Rugby Club, Wigginton Park, Tamworth

Tamworth Rugby Club, Wigginton Park, Tamworth

Tamworth Borough Council’s Mercian ward councillors will be holding their latest ward surgery for all local residents on Saturday 13th June.

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.

Posted in Andrew James, Borough / County Council, Community, Tamworth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Active Tamworth Launches Online Way to Get Fit and Have Fun

referal gymAn exciting new website, which encourages people to get fit by teaming up and tracking fitness activity against other teams, has been launched by Active Tamworth.

Active Tamworth Yomp (Your Own Marching Pace) is a website specifically for Tamworth residents, which can be used to fitness goals and track progress.  Users can set milestones for number of activities, calories burnt, exercising time or distance travelled.  From people starting their exercise journey to master marathoners – this is a site for everyone.

It is also a team-based challenge, allowing friends, families and work colleagues to come together in teams of three to five and compete against other teams by tracking their fitness activity – whether that is running, walking, cycling, rowing, swimming, gym sessions, studio classes, racquet sports and team sports.

The tracking can be done via the website or on the go with the Yomp app for Apple and Android phones.  Sign up to Yomp at activetamworth.yomp.co.

The site contains a number of fun features, including leader boards to create a bit of healthy competition between teams and individuals, team and individual goal setting, virtual badges to earn as different activities are completed and much more.

Every activity earns ‘Yomps’ – rewards for being active, which can then be exchanged for deals, prize draw entries or even charity donations.

The Yomp® app lets users keep track of all fitness activities and is available on all iOS (Apple) and Android smartphones.  For those without smartphones, there is also a manual activity tracker on the website, which allows users to add activities or download data from other devices.

Active Tamworth will soon be launching a borough-wide Yomp challenge, with more details coming soon.

The new Yomp website has been funded by the Tamworth Strategic Partnership, made up of Tamworth Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council, South East Staffordshire & Seisdon Peninsula Clinical Commissioning Group and Staffordshire Police.

Cllr Stephen Doyle, Cabinet member for Communities & Public Health, said, “Improving the health and wellbeing of the residents of Tamworth is one of our top priorities and the new Active Tamworth Yomp website and app is a fun and exciting way of encouraging people to take steps to improve their health.

“I am delighted that Tamworth Borough Council is supporting and promoting this project and would encourage as many people as possible to sign up.”

Posted in Borough / County Council, Community, Health, Tamworth | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

HS2 Construction to Start Within 2 Years

HS2 new routePatrick McLoughlin has confirmed high-speed rail and Northern Powerhouse are a priority and the construction of HS2 will start within two years  in a speech in Leeds this week.

Helping to end the decades old economic gap between north and south through billions of pounds of transport investment is a top priority for the government, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin pledged to northern and midland leaders on Monday 1 June 2015.

In a keynote speech in Leeds, he said that boosting growth in the north, rebalancing the economy and creating a Northern Powerhouse were a vital part of the long-term economic plan.

The Transport Secretary said the election result was a massive vote of confidence in favour of High Speed 2 (HS2) and confirmed construction is on track to start in 2017.  Work is also well underway on developing plans for high-speed east-west rail links.

He confirmed that £13 billion government funding would be invested to transform transport infrastructure in the north over the next five years – better connecting up the region so that northern towns and cities can pool their strengths and create a single economy, helping Britain better compete on the world stage.

And he pledged that the north will be empowered to shape its own future – by devolving power away from Whitehall.  He said that by the autumn, Transport for the North (TfN), the body established by the government to work with it on delivering a Northern Transport Strategy, will have a new independent chair to speak on behalf of the north with one voice on delivering improved train and bus services, rolling out smart ticketing, looking after passengers, reducing road congestion and speeding up links to ports and airports.

In his first speech since the election, Patrick McLoughlin told northern and midland leaders at Leeds Civic Hall, “If you think it is significant that I am making it here, in Leeds, on the eastern leg of HS2, and in the north, then you would be absolutely right.  And if you think it is a sign of intent that my themes today are growth, infrastructure, and HS2, you would also be right.

“Nothing is more important to this government than a healthy economy which benefits all working people.  It means rebalancing our economy and building the Northern Powerhouse.  We will not waste a moment getting on with the task.”

He confirmed that rolling out a national high-speed rail network – both HS2 and east to west links – would be at the centre of the government’s plans.

The HS2 hybrid Bill committee will restart Parliamentary scrutiny of the bill for phase one – between London and Birmingham – shortly.

The government will announce the way forward for Phase Two from Birmingham to Leeds and to Manchester, later this year.  During this Parliament, the government will also make significant strides in getting HS2 to the north sooner, maximising the benefits of the transformational scheme, which will free up space on the crowded rail network, improve connectivity, promote regeneration, boost skills and generate tens of thousands of jobs.

The Transport Secretary confirmed that legislation would be prepared in this Parliament, looking at bringing HS2 to Crewe faster than planned, subject to further analysis and decisions on the preferred route.

Work will also continue to look at ways of using the HS2 line to introduce faster regional services and at the case for speeding up construction of the Sheffield to Leeds section.

Building on the concept of High Speed 3 (HS3), the government will also progress plans to transform east to west rail connectivity with high-speed services linking Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle and Hull, radically reducing travel times, increasing frequencies and improving the customer experience.

Mr McLoughlin said, “The general election result was a massive vote of confidence in favour of HS2.  So the argument has been won.  HS2 will be built, the full ‘Y’ network, from London to Birmingham and Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds, with construction starting in just 2 years.

“HS2 will change the transport architecture of the north.  But it will also change the economic architecture.

“And we are moving forward with plans for new high-speed rail links, running right across the north, from Liverpool in the west, to Hull in the east.  It will slash journey times, provide a substantial boost to capacity and help bind the north together as a single, powerful economic force.  We believe in the power of transport to change things.”

Posted in Community, England, Enviroment, Parliament, Political | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Tinkers Green Regeneration Application to go to Planning Committee

TBCThe application for the regeneration of Tinkers Green in Wilnecote is expected to be determined by Tamworth Borough Council’s Planning Committee next Tuesday (June 9).

The 13-member committee will consider the proposal to demolish seven outdated three and four-storey maisonette blocks containing 86 homes and replace them with 108 new, modern homes.  The application also includes the upgrading of the existing children’s play area.

Planning officers have recommended that the application be approved, subject to a number of conditions.

The Tinkers Green application is part of a proposed £21.5 million regeneration programme to demolish a total of 136 houses, bungalows, flats and maisonettes across Tinkers Green and Kerria in Amington, to be replaced with 152 new homes in total.

The application to redevelop Kerria with 44 new homes will be determined at a later date, to enable officers to carry out additional assessments of the proposals relating to ecological and highway matters.

If the redevelopment programme is approved by the planning committee, it will result in the first new Tamworth council homes being built in Tamworth for some 30 years.

The next stage of the development will be the appointment of a building contractor.

Posted in Borough / County Council, Community, Enviroment, Tamworth | Tagged , , , ,