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

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Jaguar Land Rover Fined £900,000 after Worker Loses Leg in Accident

Jaguar Land RoverJaguar Land Rover has been fined after a worker lost their leg following a car accident.

Birmingham Crown Court heard that on Sunday 8 February 2015 at Jaguar’s Lode Lane plant in Solihull, a Range Rover Sport vehicle was driven toward the start of the production line, an event that normally happens 48 times an hour.  On this occasion, the delivery driver lost control of the car and collided with the rear of another vehicle he had just delivered, causing a four car shunt.

At the same time, a worker was crossing the production line and became trapped between the second and third cars.  His injuries resulted in amputation of his right leg above the knee.  Two other employees also suffered minor injuries.

The investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that the company had failed to ensure that the driver of the Range Rover, who was covering the shift, was familiar with procedures.  They had also failed to properly separate the workers on the production line from the moving vehicles.

Jaguar Land Rover, were found guilty of breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc.  Act 1974 and fined £900,000 and ordered to pay costs of £49,800.

HSE inspector John Glynn said, “A worker has been left with life changing injuries that were completely avoidable, it was only good fortune that prevented this from being a fatal accident.  Jaguar Land Rover knew the risks of driving vehicles onto production lines and the possibility of shunt accidents, but failed to protect their workers.”

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Meet the Mercian Ward Councillors on Saturday


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Mercian Ward Councillor’s First Residents Surgery of 2017

Tamworth Rugby Club, Wigginton Park, Tamworth

Tamworth Rugby Club, Wigginton Park, Tamworth

Tamworth Borough Council’s Mercian ward councillors will be holding their first residents surgery of 2017 on Saturday 14th January.

The surgery will take place at Tamworth Rugby Club in Wigginton Park from 11am until noon. The meetings are well attended by the three Mercian ward councillors and residents alike.

If you have a concern affecting the North side of Tamworth or just want to meet your elected representatives then why not pop into the rugby club. Michael Greatorex, Andrew James and Richard Kingstone are there to support the residents with their concerns.

Cllr Greatorex said, “If you live in Mercian ward and have any concerns, questions or comments about the area you would like to raise with your local councillors, please come along and meet us on Saturday.

“If residents cannot make the surgery we can be contacted by telephone, in writing or via email. Our contact details can be found on the Borough Council website or by calling Tamworth Borough Council on 01827 709709.”

Mercian ward covers Lichfield Road, Riverside, Coton Lane, Coton Green, Leyfields, Comberford Road, Coton Lane Estate, Ludd Lane and Freville Close.

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Happy New Year


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Children Warn of Smoking Risks in Hard Hitting Campaign

smokefreeA new PHE film shows children creating personal images and warnings about the damage smoking causes to convince smokers to stop.

Public Health England (PHE) has launched a campaign to highlight the damaging effect smoking has on the heart, as it is revealed that, in England, 45 people a day die of cardiovascular disease (CVD) caused by smoking.

That is over 16,500 people a year.  CVD includes all diseases of the heart and circulation, including heart attacks and strokes.

PHE insights show that the 2 biggest motivators for smokers to quit are for their health and their families so PHE has released a new emotive short film featuring children’s TV doctor Dr Ranj Singh.  Primary school children in Coventry work with Dr Ranj to create their own heartfelt messages about the dangers of smoking.  The messages focus on the damage smoking does to the heart and circulatory system.

The latest hard-hitting campaign from PHE coincides with the first year when all cigarettes sold in the UK will be in standard packs with all attractive branding removed.  The packs, which will be mandatory from May, feature graphic pictures and health warnings, several of which illustrate how smoking causes cardiovascular disease and death.

CVD is one of the main causes of death and disability in the country and quitting has been identified as the single best thing a smoker can do to protect their heart.  CVD is usually associated with the build up of fatty deposits clogging up the arteries, known as atherosclerosis, that can block the flow of blood to vital organs and eventually cause fatal heart attacks and strokes.

Smoking increases the risk of heart disease by a quarter (24%) and doubles the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, said, “Smoking is the biggest cause of premature death in England, accounting for almost 78,000 deaths a year.  For every death caused by smoking approximately 20 smokers suffer from a smoking-related illness.

“However, you can change this.  Stopping smoking will have a dramatic positive impact on your health and the health of those around you, especially children, and is the single best health decision you can make this New Year.”

Professor Kevin Fenton, PHE National Director for Health and Wellbeing, said, “It is fantastic news that there are now twice as many ex-smokers in the country as there are smokers, but that still leaves 7 million that we are urging to quit this new year.

“We know that one of the main triggers that encourages people to quit smoking, alongside the health benefits, is their family.  Working with children to encourage their family to quit is a new element to our annual January Smokefree campaign.

“I hope the children’s’ heartfelt pleas will resonate with smokers around the country to encourage them to take advantage of the free campaign tools and support available, and to make 2017 the year they quit for good.”

Dr Ranj Singh, TV and NHS doctor said, “The new film featuring primary school children really brings home the damage that smoking does to your cardiovascular system.  Most people are well aware of the effects of smoking on the lungs, but are less aware of the awful impact it also has on the heart and arteries.

“We know that many people quit smoking for their family, and this film shows just how passionately children want to protect the health of smokers and want to help them quit.”

The campaign was launched today, 30 December 2016, with TV and digital advertising showing NHS Smokefree ‘Rotten Roll-up’ and ‘Mutations’ adverts, which highlight the serious damage that cigarettes can cause.  The campaign encourages smokers to search ‘Smokefree’ online for free quitting support and tools.

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Drayton Manor Park’s Chief Executive Receives OBE in Queen’s New Year Honours List

colin-bryanDrayton Manor Park’s Chief Executive Colin Bryan has received an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Colin Bryan, who runs the park near Tamworth, was recognised for his charity work and contribution to tourism.

He said, “I feel very honoured to receive this OBE.  I still love watching our guests have fun, enjoying themselves, knowing I have played a part in that.”

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Arise Sir Ken Dodd

ken-doddComedy legend Ken Dodd has been knighted for services to entertainment and charity, at the age of 89.

Ken Dodd, who is among the many included on the Queen’s New Year Honours list, told the BBC he was “very proud and highly tickled” to be knighted.

“I’m very proud and I’d like to thank all the people who wished it for me because they’re the ones that made it (happen), so thank you very much.”

Asked if the honour was overdue, he joked, “Oh no – my library books are, but this came as a complete surprise and it’s a wonderful feeling.”

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