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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Tamworth Borough Council’s Chief Executive Pays Tribute to Former Councillor

Alan "Chippy" Lees BEM

Alan “Chippy” Lees BEM

Having known Councillor ‘Chippy’ Lees long before he was elected in May 2000, I know how big a void his passing will create.

Whether it was a ‘kata guruma’ or ‘Osoto Gari’ on the judo mat or a curve ball question in the Council Chamber, it came from the heart and you knew in both cases that he wouldn’t take a step backwards.

A man of few words but great passion and integrity, ‘Chippy’ had a yearning for the ‘good old days’.  While some of these views may be frowned upon in the 21st century, they contributed to who ‘Chippy’ was and what was important to him.  He was incredibly comfortable with who he was and what he was – always ‘Chippy’ to the staff, never Cllr Lees. He was liked and respected for being straight, honest and unpretentious.

I personally will miss our ‘sparring’……those exchanges that only people who have served in the armed forces understand.  There will be those who will miss him for other reasons; he touched the lives of many people in different ways and for different reasons but always as ‘Chippy’.

RIP the little man with a big heart.

Anthony Goodwin, Chief Executive, Tamworth Borough Council

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

Long Standing Resident and Former Borough Councillor Passes Away

Alan "Chippy" Lees BEM

Alan “Chippy” Lees BEM

Long standing Tamworth resident and former Borough councillor Alan “Chippy” Lees BEM passed away yesterday, Monday 23rd February 2015.

Chippy Lees, as everyone who knew him, has been a part of Tamworth for many many years, as a judo specialist, a martial arts tutor and more recently a resident who represented his part of Tamworth on Tamworth Borough Council.

Chippy was one of a kind who preferred to eat jam doughnuts, custard tarts, Eccles cakes, chips and jelly babies to, as Chippy put it so well, the so-called healthier options.  Chippy also liked to put his views across in his many letters to the local press that were always printed, not worrying what anybody said or thought.

Chippy was proud to live in Tamworth and represent his neighbours and friends on Tamworth Borough Council and he will be sorely missed.

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

Local MP Congratulates Flaxhill Junior School Success

Christopher Pincher outside Flaxhill Junior School

Christopher Pincher outside Flaxhill Junior School

Tamworth’s MP.  Christopher Pincher, last week visited Flaxhill Junior School to congratulate head teacher Richard Lane and his staff on being named the West Midlands Pupil Premium School of the Year in 2014.

The school won the award over tight competition from other schools in the region to be invited to London to receive the award from the Deputy Prime Minister.  The school recently became part of the Mercian Primary Academy Trust.

Mr Pincher said, “It was a real pleasure to visit the school and meet enthusiastic staff and motivated children all working hard together.  Even after a short visit, you can see why Flaxhill won – all the children were working away, focused on their work, enjoying their classes and really well-behaved.

“Of course, there is always room for improvement and right now the school is focusing on delivering better maths results.  However, it is clear that Flaxhill is doing really well and it has been properly rewarded with recognition.  Teachers also raised with me the amount of administration placed upon them by Ofsted, the schools inspectorate.

“I think we all agree that schools should be rigorously checked but I will certainly raise the administrative burden concerning teachers with Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.  I know she is also looking at this issue and has recently consulted teachers about how the situation can be improved.”

Posted in Education, Political, Tamworth | Tagged , , , , ,

Working Together to Support People into Work across Staffordshire

jobVoluntary and community organisations from across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire are being invited to a series of free workshops to improve the way they work with each other to help support people into work.

The workshops are being organised by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership as part of the £25m Building Better Opportunities Fund.

Following the success of three events held last year attended by over 130 organisations, the workshops will show how organisations can improve the way they work together when applying for funding.

Voluntary and Community Sector Forum Chair on the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Judith Kirkland explained that the events before Christmas had helped raise awareness about the Building Better Opportunities fund.

Judith said, “We were delighted with the number of organisations attending the first workshops and these next events will help explore ideas and share resources and skills to better support those looking to get back into work.

“In particular we want to encourage smaller community organisations working at the grass-roots level to get involved.  Many of our smaller organisations work directly with people who experience the greatest barriers to employment, including, for example, those with health problems or a lack of skills.  If we can help organisations access funding they may be able to achieve even more for the people they work with.

“We are very fortunate to have the support of the Big Lottery and the European Social Fund which have between them created the £25m funding opportunity that the Building Better Opportunities Programme represents.  It’s a great opportunity for some of our smaller community and voluntary organisations to really demonstrate the contributions they make to improving life opportunities for people in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.”

The workshops are being organised by VAST and organisations can book a place or find out more at www.events.vast.org.uk.

The workshop dates and locations:

  • 23rd February – Assembly Rooms, Tamworth
  • 26th February – Burton Albion FC, Burton-upon-Trent
  • 27th February – Dudson Centre, Stoke-on-Trent
  • 2nd March – The Hub, Stafford
  • 5th March – Council Offices, Codsall
Posted in Borough / County Council, Community, Staffordshire, Tamworth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Best Local Pub, Restaurant, Shop and Market Stall Campaign Launched

best in Tamworth 2015Tamworth MP, Christopher Pincher, has launched a competition to find the best and most popular traders in the Tamworth constituency.

His competition gives the public the chance to vote for their favourite pub, restaurant, shop and market stall in the area.

Mr Pincher said, “We have many wonderful and unique independent retailers, restaurants and market stalls here in Tamworth and in our surrounding villages such as Shenstone, Stonnall, Elford and Clifton Campville.

“They are the lifeblood of our local communities and make our town centre and villages what they are. It is important that we celebrate and support our local pubs, shops and market traders so they are here for generations to come.  That is why I am launching ‘Tamworth Constituency Best Local Shops, Restaurants and Market Stalls 2015’.”

Between now and the 20th of March you can support our local independent shops, restaurants and market stalls by voting for your favourites.  There are four categories – your favourite independent shop, pub, market stall and restaurant in the Tamworth constituency.

It could not be easier, all you need to do is go to www.besttamworth.co.uk or fill in a nomination form.  These can be found in local shops, stalls and pubs taking part so please ask at the counter.

Nominations close on the 20th March 2015.  Each of the winners will receive a certificate and a one-hour e-commerce session with Product Nation.  There will also be a special prize for the most votes across all categories and the winner will also receive a £50 voucher for printing and design from The Printing Shed.

Mr Pincher added, “This competition is just a small way of letting our local independent shops, restaurants, pubs and market stalls know how much we appreciate and support them.  I encourage everyone to vote for their favourite trader.”

Posted in Business, Community, Entertainment, Parliament, Staffordshire, Tamworth | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Meet Your Mercian Ward Councillors This Saturday

Mercian ward surgery

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Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do

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