Welcome to my blog!

I am one of the three Tamworth Borough Councillors for the Mercian Ward, first 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

Become a Dementia Friend in Tamworth this Week

Dementia FriendsDo you live in or near Tamworth and would like to learn more about living with dementia and become a dementia friend?

Community Together CIC will be hosting a free dementia friends information session on Thursday 25th August 2016, 6.30pm until 7.30pm at their centre in Tamworth Castle Grounds, Tamworth, B79 7ND.

This session will be the latest one hosted by Community Together CIC.  Their aim is to deliver informative sessions over the next 12 months hopefully recruiting 100 dementia friends in the Tamworth area.

Community Together is supporting the work of Tamworth Borough Council to work towards making Tamworth a Dementia Friendly town.  Part of Community Together CIC’s commitment to being a Dementia Champion Organisation is hosting the information sessions and helping spread awareness in the community.

Lee Bates, Project Coordinator said, “More and More people are living with dementia and so it’s important as a community to have awareness and support people living with dementia.  We recently completed a Dementia Friendly Champion Training course through the Alzheimer’s Society, and we are committed to supporting working towards Tamworth’s dementia friendly status.”

If you would like to attend the session and become a Dementia Friend or would like more information about the session please contact Lee Bates on 01827 59646 or email ctcicinfo@gmail.com.

More details including the session plan can also be found on the Dementia Friends website.

Posted in Community, Health, Tamworth | Tagged , , , , , , ,

FREE Trampoline Fun for Youngsters in Tamworth

Jump XtremeYoung people aged 11 to 17 are being given the chance to end their summer holidays with a bounce – with FREE sessions at Tamworth’s new Jump Xtreme trampoline centre.

The trampoline sessions are being added to Tamworth Community Safety Partnership’s Summerwatch events to promote safety and crime prevention over the summer months, which is funded by the Staffordshire Police & Crime Commissioner’s Space scheme.

Summerwatch is being run by the Tamworth Community Safety Partnership, which includes Tamworth Borough Council, Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service, domestic abuse groups, drug & alcohol counselling services and the Clinical Commissioning Group.

A wide range of free activities aimed at 11-17 year olds have been running throughout the summer and will continue up until September 2.

Now, with two weeks left to go until the end of the summer holidays, Summerwatch has added free trampoline sessions at the new Jump Xtreme centre in Wilnecote to the free programme.

The centre has 115 interlinked trampolines and includes main court with 95 trampolines, dodge ball court, Xtreme stunt airbag, tumble tracks and slam dunk hoops.

Entry to the centre is free on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 5pm and 6pm to 11-17 year-olds.  There are 30 free places each night, which are available on a first come, first served basis.  Please quote SPACE on arrival for free entry.

Other activities running throughout Tamworth as part of the Summerwatch scheme are:

  • Boxing sessions at the Cornerpost Gym for boys and girls aged 11-17
  • Retro arcade games at Namco Funscape Bowling
  • Ten-pin bowling
  • Football and other fun sports run by Burton Albion Community Trust at Street Stadia in four venues throughout Tamworth

More information on the dates, times and places of all the Space activities taking place in Tamworth can be found on the Space website at www.staffordshirespace.uk.

Cllr Stephen Doyle, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, said, “Jump Xtreme has only been open a few weeks and is already proving to be hugely popular, so I am delighted that we have been able to add it to our Summerwatch programme, thanks to funding from the Staffordshire Police & Crime Commissioner’s Space project.”

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

Countdown is on to Popular We Love Tamworth Extravaganza

We Love Tamworth 2016The countdown is on to the popular We Love Tamworth event, which will bring wall-to-wall family fun to Tamworth Castle Grounds on Saturday September 3, marking the perfect end to the summer holidays.

A highlight in the town’s annual calendar of events, We Love Tamworth boasts a jam-packed programme of entertainment, including fairground rides, stalls, games, inflatables, Tamworth’s strongest man competition, a dog show, Amington Brass Band and much more.

At the centre of the festivities there will again be a special action-packed area to keep youngsters busy all day.  The dedicated Children’s Zone will feature a variety of activities including walkabout characters, mini zoo, bouncy castles and slides, face painting, giant games and craft activities.  Entry to the Children’s Zone is £3 for children – adults get in free of charge – and children can come and go as they please throughout the day.

Musical accompaniment will be provided by Amington Band, which will be filling the park with some favourite big band tunes throughout the afternoon, alongside live broadcasts from local radio station TCR FM.

The stalls arena is again being run by Tamworth Lions club, which has been supporting local charities and causes for almost 40 years.  A variety of stalls have already been confirmed including dance groups, scouts, guides, brownies, sea cadets, Shoebox Theatre, gifts, toys, food and drink, pet products, win a mini and more.

Dog lovers are invited to enter their four-legged friends into the fun dog show, with a various classes competing regularly throughout the day.  More information about the dog show is available by calling 0121 3130174 or 07894 644572.

Presented by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team, the extravaganza is now in its fourth year and attracted record-breaking crowds of 10,000 last year.

As this year’s event falls on Merchant Navy Day, it will also include a brief ceremony at 11.30am during which the UK Merchant Navy’s official flag, the Red Ensign, will be flown from the top of Tamworth Castle.  Tamworth will join other towns up and down the country to honour the men and women who kept Britain afloat during both World Wars and celebrate the modern merchant seafarers responsible for 95 per cent of the UK’s imports.

Cllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Culture, said, “We Love Tamworth promises to be another day of entertainment for the whole family with lots to see and do.  I hope people come along and join in the fun.”

The fun kicks off at 11am and will continue throughout the afternoon until 4pm.

We Love Tamworth is sponsored by Ankerside Shopping Centre.

More information about this, and all other outdoor events organised by Tamworth Borough Council, is available at www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk.

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

The Top 15 Funniest Jokes from this year’s Edinburgh Fringe

Masai Graham

Masai Graham

A one-liner about organ donation has been named funniest joke of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Masai Graham won with the gag: “My dad suggested I register for a donor card, he’s a man after my own heart.”

The festival’s best jokes were selected by a panel of 10 judges before being put to 2,000 people, who voted for their favourite.Graham, from West Bromwich, claimed the victory after making the shortlist in both 2014 and 2015.

Masai , from West Bromwich, claimed the victory after making the shortlist in both 2014 and 2015.

The Top 15 Jokes
“My dad has suggested that I register for a donor card. He’s a man after my own heart” – Masai Graham.

“Why is it old people say “there’s no place like home”, yet when you put them in one…” – Stuart Mitchell.

“I’ve been happily married for four years – out of a total of 10” – Mark Watson.

“Apparently 1 in 3 Britons are conceived in an IKEA bed which is mad because those places are really well lit” – Mark Smith.

“I went to a pub quiz in Liverpool, had a few drinks so wasn’t much use. Just for a laugh I wrote The Beatles or Steven Gerrard for every answer… came second” – Will Duggan.

“Brexit is a terrible name, sounds like cereal you eat when you are constipated” – Tiff Stevenson.

“I often confuse Americans and Canadians. By using long words” – Gary Delaney.

“Why is Henry’s wife covered in tooth marks? Because he’s Tudor” – Adele Cliff.

“Don’t you hate it when people assume you’re rich because you sound posh and went to private school and have loads of money?” – Annie McGrath.

“Is it possible to mistake schizophrenia for telepathy, I hear you ask” – Jordan Brookes.

“Hillary Clinton has shown that any woman can be President, as long as your husband did it first” – Michelle Wolf.

“I spotted a Marmite van on the motorway. It was heading yeastbound” – Roger Swift.

“Back in the day, Instagram just meant a really efficient drug dealer” – Arthur Smith.

“I’ll tell you what’s unnatural in the eyes of God. Contact lenses” – Zoe Lyons.

“Elton John hates ordering Chinese food. Soya seems to be the hardest word” – Phil Nicol.

Posted in Entertainment, UK | Tagged ,

Public Warned to Check Tattooists are Fully Registered

rose tattooMembers of the public planning on getting a tattoo are being urged to think before they ink – and ensure that the studio or artist is properly registered under the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1982.

Tamworth Borough Council’s Environmental Health department is responsible for the inspection and registration of all premises where tattooing, piercing, acupuncture and electrolysis is carried out – and all such studios must be registered before they can operate, to ensure that they are safe, hygienic and comply with the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.

Once the premises has been inspected and approved, the council will issue a Certificate of Registration, which must be prominently displayed.  If a tattooist is not displaying a valid certificate, they are operating illegally and should be reported to Tamworth Borough Council’s Environmental Health department on 01827 709709.

DIY tattooing kits are available cheaply online – allowing people to set up as cut-price tattooists without any checks or restrictions.  Unregistered tattooing is illegal – and can put those getting the tattoo at risk of a range of health dangers including hepatitis and HIV.

These ‘scratchers’ are also likely to offer their services to people under the age of 18 – which is a criminal offence, even if the young person has the consent of a parent or guardian.

Tamworth Borough Council’s Environmental Health team works closely with the borough’s reputable, licensed tattooists to ensure standards are kept high and is now encouraging anyone who knows of an unregistered tattooist or anyone offering to tattoo under 18s to report it directly to the police on 101.

Cllr Joy Goodall, Cabinet Member for Environment and Culture, said, “Our Environmental Health team regularly visits all tattoo studios in the borough and works with the businesses to ensure the risk to public health is eliminated by good practices, safe environments and competent people carrying out the procedures.

”We take a very strong line on unlicensed tattooists, as safeguarding public health is a top priority for us.

“We would encourage anyone planning a tattoo to make sure they go to a reputable, registered tattooist, and to report anyone they know of who is carrying out tattoos without being properly registered.

“We are also keen to stamp out the unlawful tattooing of people under the age of 18, and call on the public to report this to the police.”

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

UK Jobless Total Falls Again

jobTotal UK unemployment dropped between April and June, official figures indicate.

The UK’s jobless total fell by 52,000 to 1.64 million, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The number of people on the claimant count in July, the first month since the UK’s vote to leave the EU, was 763,600, down 8,600 from June.

Wages excluding bonuses rose 2.3% in the three months to June, the ONS said.  Including bonuses, earnings growth was 2.4%.

Posted in Business, Community, UK | Tagged , ,

Beware of Travellers’ Cheques Scam

scam alertStaffordshire Police are warning people to beware of employers offering payment via travellers’ cheques.

The cheques are offered as reimbursement for ‘initial costs’ for a new job.  Victims have been models or drivers looking for work online and in Staffordshire, they have all been aged under 40.

The scam works in the following way: the model or driver (victim) places or replies to an advert for employment.  The scammer contacts the victim and offers a contract of employment.  The scammer sends the victim a (counterfeit) traveller’s cheque to cover the cost of hiring a car or make-up artist and the victim is asked to deposit the cash into a beneficiary account.

The cheque is cashed/deposited and the model/driver unwittingly becomes a “money mule” which is someone who unknowingly launders money though their day-to-day accounts, or through accounts specifically set up for the purpose of receiving or sending illegal funds.

Det Insp Robert Harvmann of Staffordshire Police said, “This type of scam is becoming more prevalent.  It’s a clever system, as people don’t suspect anything.  Because they’re being paid for work they’ve done or expenses they’ve incurred, they don’t realise there’s anything criminal happening.

“By following this advice, you can protect yourself from being involved unwittingly in money laundering.”

Be wary of any employer who sends a cheque for more than the agreed amount and asks you to send cash to them, or anyone else.  Research as much about the individual or company who practice this type of scheme prior to making any financial transaction involving them.

Check any documents for poor spelling and grammar – this is often a sign that fraudsters are at work.

If you are uncertain whether an employer is genuine then give them a call, ask for references or use an online search engine to see if anything of concern comes up.

If you are uploading your CV onto an online job board avoid including valuable identification details and definitely do not include any financial details.

Unless you are sure the job advertisement is genuine, be protective of your National Insurance number, passport number and bank details.  This is all someone needs to pretend to be you and make purchases or open accounts in your name.

Warn the operators of the website where you placed your CV that their site is possibly being used by fraudsters.  “

If you suspect you have been a victim of this type of fraud, please contact Action fraud on 0300 123 2042 or online.

Posted in Community, Staffordshire | Tagged , , , ,