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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Joint Works to Support Hew Homes Development Set to Begin Next Month

roadworks signCareful coordination of works to support a major new homes development in Tamworth will mean a big reduction in the number of roadworks and less disruption for people and businesses.

The Bellway Homes development adjacent to Ashby Road and the northern side of the railway bridge will see 535 houses and a new school built.

Work has already started in the area, which will see the provision of new access and utility services including water, electricity, telecoms, gas and sewerage to the site, while making sure existing services to the local community are not affected.

To allow the works at the bridge to be carried out safely, the B5493 Ashby Road will be closed to through traffic from 6 March.  Highway and utility teams will be working together to minimise disruption and the closure is expected to last no more than a month.

Access to homes, businesses and the Landau Forte Academy along Ashby Road, will be maintained via Comberford Road/Upper Gungate junction.  Traffic access cannot be maintained across the railway bridge during the works.

Further phases of work will involve a new footbridge across the railway line and highway resurfacing work, which may see further overnight only closures.

Staffordshire County Council’s highways team have been working closely with the utility companies to co-ordinate the works and reduce the impact.  By combining road, utility and services works, it is estimated to have reduced the roadworks period by a month and avoided a possible five further sets of individual traffic controls.

Cllr Mark Deaville, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport said, “We’re always striving to work smarter and more closely with our partners when works are needed to support developments like this.  The Bellway Homes project is a significant one for Tamworth, bringing hundreds of much needed homes, which we’re pleased to support.

“This is a good example of how we can really cut down on disruption for local communities through careful planning and coordination.  With major developments such as this, there will inevitably be some disruption as a result of the road closure, but every effort has been made to limit this.  We would thank people for their co-operation while the work is being carried out.”

Nearby residents and businesses are being notified about the scheme, informing them why the work is needed and details about accessibility during the works.

A clearly signed temporary diversion will be in place during the works period.  The A5 and M42 via junction 10 are likely to offer a suitable alternative route (in either direction).  And, for those unable to use motorways, a route suitable for all traffic types will be signposted on site.

Further updates on the work along with diversion routes are available at www.roadworks.org.

Posted in Borough / County Council, Business, Community, Enviroment, Tamworth | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Could You Produce a Visitor Guide for Tamworth?

welcome to TamworthTamworth Borough Council is looking for an organisation or individual to help us with producing our Visitor Guide, potentially over the next 3 years.

Our annual Guide is a fantastic success with 40,000 copies printed and distributed to numerous region wide sites. The Visitor Guide is specifically aimed at promoting Tamworth and its surrounds as a Tourist Destination, providing a good mix of offers, adverts and general information.

The Council is now looking for support in enhancing the guide even further and making it even more appropriate for its audience, focusing on the following main areas:

Design, Print, Advertising Sales and Income Generation.

Click here if you feel this is something you can help us with, and download the relevant documents.

The closing date is Friday 24th February 2017!

Tamworth Borough Council look forward to hearing from you and working together to promote Tamworth and the Tourism opportunities it offers!

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Could You Be The UK’s First Small Business Commissioner

federation-of-small-businesses-logoApplications are open to become the UK’s first Small Business Commissioner – a high profile role supporting small businesses in payment disputes with their larger customers.

The successful candidate will provide general advice and information, handle complaints about payment issues and direct small businesses to existing dispute resolution services.  Recent findings from the payment processor Bacs report that nearly half of the UK’s small-to-medium sized businesses experience late payment, with £26.3 billion owed to them in total.

Applications open today (12 February 2017) and run until Monday 13 March 2017.  The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is looking for candidates who have credibility with both small and large businesses; can advise parties in resolving disputes; and who have an appetite to become a national spokesperson for small businesses affected by payment issues.

The final appointment decision will be made by the Secretary of State, supported by a panel, which will include Mike Cherry, the National Chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses.

Small Business Minister Margot James said, “We all rely on the UK’s 5.5 million small and medium-sized businesses for jobs, goods and services, and an unfair payment culture that hurts these firms has no place in an economy that works for all.  This is why we are looking for an exceptional individual to help smaller firms resolve payment disputes and champion a culture change in how businesses work together.

“Addressing the barriers businesses face when scaling up and growing is an important part of a modern Industrial Strategy, and this appointment will play an integral role in ensuring small businesses have the support they need to thrive and grow.”

Mike Cherry, National Chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, said, “I am delighted to be invited by the Secretary of State to be part of the selection process for the Small Business Commissioner.  There is simply no excuse for a business culture where supply chain bullying or poor payment practice are acceptable.  FSB research shows that poor payment practice is on the rise, causing 50,000 business deaths each year.

“Small firms need a Commissioner who will make a meaningful difference to the £26bn currently stuck in bank accounts as payments outstanding to SMEs.  He or she must be given the powers and resources to tackle this, to step in to save small firms whose livelihoods are under threat, and to promote a prompt payment culture right across the economy.”

The Small Business Commissioner, expected to be based in Birmingham, is just one part of a package of measures designed to tackle this and drive a real change in the UK’s payment culture.  Regulations coming into force in April 2017 will require big businesses to publicly report on the time taken to pay their suppliers, and guidance to help large businesses comply with these changes was published last month.  This will shine a light on poor payment practices and allow suppliers, including small businesses, to make informed decisions about who they do business with.

Apply to become the UK’s first Small Business Commissioner.

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Meet the Mercian Ward Councillors on Saturday

Mercian Ward surgery - February

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New Bus Service from Tamworth to Hockley Starts on Saturday

people-movers-9a-servicePeople Movers have announced a new bus service, the 9A, running between Tamworth and Hockley will start on Saturday 11th February.

The new service, which will serve Two Gates and Ninian Way, will run every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday from 7:40am until 5:50pm.

People Mover new service will see the reintroduction of regular buses along Tamworth Road in Two Gates, and along Ninian Way and Hedging Lane in Wilnecote serving the Co-op Superstore and other retail outlets, along with Valley Drive and Peel Drive.

The new service will also see the wheelchair and pushchair friendly buses serve Overwoods Road and Tinkers Green Road, and offer a faster service to the town centre than is presently available.

People Movers will accept all ENCTS concessionary passes, and the Your Staffs U16 & U20 discount passes.

Click here for more information on People Movers, including the timetable for the 9A bus service.

Posted in Business, Community, Tamworth | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Optimistic About Future of Sir Robert Peel Hospital

Sir Robert Peel hospital

Sir Robert Peel hospital

Last Monday (16 Jan), I attended Staffordshire County Council’s Joint Health Scrutiny Accountability Session with Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and I have to say that I was very surprised not to see any opposition Councillors from Tamworth especially as the meeting had a 30-minute slot for questions from the public.

You would have thought that as the future of the Sir Robert Peel hospital has been questioned so much, the councillors who have been so vocal would have jumped at the chance to question Burton Trust’s Chief Executive in public as I did.

If they had turned up they would have heard Helen Scott-South say that the Trust are in talks with local GP’s to enhance the services at the Sir Robert Peel, including more out-patient services and more diagnostic services including more x-ray and endoscopy.

The meeting was told that the Trust are also looking to install a blood fridge at SRP, which could lead to more day case surgery such as gallbladder operations that currently cannot take place there. Also, the opening of a GP surgery at the Peel is part of the talks between the Trust and local GP’s.

Having attended the meeting and heard what the Trust had to say, I am a lot more optimistic about the future of the Sir Robert Peel than some of the other elected members of Tamworth Borough Council.

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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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