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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Mobile Library Consultation Ends Tomorrow

Staffordshire mobile libraryConsultation over the future of Staffordshire’s mobile and travelling library service ends tomorrow, (Wednesday Sept 2).

Since July 1st people have been able to give their opinions at one of the service’s regular stops, or at one of 36 drop-in sessions across Staffordshire, but there’s still time to submit a response online or by completing a form at one of the county’s 43 libraries.

The initial proposal concentrates on prioritising the service for those who need it most. Suggestions include retaining popular stops, which are more than two miles from a library building, and maintaining a service for deprived areas.

The catalyst for the review was research which showed In the 12 month period ending April 2014, less than one per cent of the county’s population borrowed an item from the mobile or travelling service at a cost of almost £7 every time someone steps on to a library vehicle.

Ben Adams, Staffordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Learning & Skills, said, “We aim to continue to provide a good mobile library service but one that is more focused on areas of need and takes into account the changing use of libraries and new technology such as E-books.

“We want to hear from different communities about how these proposals will affect them and how they think things can be done differently.”

Final proposals will be considered by cabinet and any changes will be implemented in April 2016. More information about the proposals can be found at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/mobilelibraries.

A previously approved review of opening hours has also been held over the same period at five libraries in Tamworth, Newcastle, Burton, Lichfield and Penkridge.  That consultation concludes a review of opening hours for all of the council managed and delivered libraries across the county.

More information about that can be found at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/openinghours.

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

New Service Launched to Support Victims in Staffordshire

Matthew Ellis 04Today a new approach to support victims has been introduced by Staffordshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis.

The Staffordshire Victim Gateway will put the needs of victims at the heart of the criminal justice system across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

Staffordshire is the first area across the country to pioneer the new Citizen Advice Bureau led approach which is unique because it is based locally, offering a tailored service for victims.

For the first time support will be offered to ALL victims, not just those who report crime to police, which means the Gateway will double the number of people offered help from 23,000 to approximately 50,000 a year.

Victims will get timely advice and emotional and practical support in the way that suits them best, whether over the phone or face to face.

Click here for more information.

Posted in Community | Tagged , , , , , ,

Attempted Burglary in Tamworth Foiled by Anti-Snap Locks

anti snap lockAn unknown offender has attempted to enter a property in Chapelon, Glascote, Tamworth via the rear door of the premises using an unidentified implement causing damage to the UPVC door.

Fortunately, the owner had fitted anti-snap locks only a short while ago and following his failure to enter the property, the offender fled the scene via the rear garden gate.

The fitted anti-snap locks may have prevented the burglary and may be a good idea for your own security too.

Posted in Community, Tamworth | Tagged , , ,

Diabetes Up by 60% in Last Decade

diabetes sugarThe number of people living with diabetes has soared by nearly 60% in the past decade, Diabetes UK warns.

The charity said more than 3.3 million people have some form of the condition, up from 2.1 million in 2005.

The inability to control the level of sugar in the blood can lead to blindness and amputations and is a massive drain on NHS resources.  The NHS said it was time to tackle poor lifestyle, which is a major factor behind the rise.

Diabetes UK called for the NHS to improve care for patients and for greater efforts to prevent diabetes.

Roughly 90% of cases are type 2 diabetes, which is the form closely linked to diet and obesity.  People with type 1 generally develop it in childhood and are unable to produce the hormone insulin to control their blood sugar levels.

The complications of uncontrolled blood sugar levels can be severe, including nerve damage, loss of vision and organ damage.  The condition even leads to 135 foot amputations every week across the country.

Data published last week showed that diabetes medication now accounts for 10% of the NHS drugs bill.  Nearly £869m was spent on drugs, including insulin and metformin, marking a sharp rise from the £514m being spent a decade ago, when the drugs accounted for just 6.6% of the prescriptions budget.

Part of GP pay is linked to diagnosing and treating diabetes – and has been for years.  The Government says this is to improve care.

The reasons why levels of type 1 diabetes are increasing are not understood.  However, the explanation for the soaring cases of type 2 are being placed squarely on the nation’s ballooning waistline.

Barbara Young, the chief executive of Diabetes UK, said the government needed to act to prevent new cases and improve treatment for those already affected.

She said, “Diabetes already costs the NHS nearly £10bn a year, and 80% of this is spent on managing avoidable complications.

“So there is huge potential to save money and reduce pressure on NHS hospitals and services through providing better care to prevent people with diabetes from developing devastating and costly complications.”

Dr Martin McShane, NHS England’s Director for Long Term Conditions, said, “These figures are a stark warning and reveal the increasing cost of diabetes.  We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, it’s time to get serious about lifestyle change.”

Posted in Community, England, Health, UK | Tagged , , , , , ,

Christopher Pincher Attends World War Two Weekend Commemorations

 Christopher Pincher MP lays a wreath of remembrance

Christopher Pincher MP lays a wreath of remembrance

Tamworth & Fazeley’s MP, Christopher Pincher, attended both the VJ Day Commemoration at Fazeley and the Colin Grazier memorial in Two Gates over the weekend.

On Saturday at Fazeley, Mr Pincher joined Fazeley Mayor Brian Hoult, Police Commissioner Matthew Ellis, Council Chair Janet Eagland and Lichfield District Chair Cllr Norma Bacon at the town hall war memorial.  He laid a wreath on behalf of Parliament to commemorate those men from Fazeley who died fighting in the Far East during World War Two.

Mr Pincher also spoke at the ceremony paying tribute to the courage and hardship of everyone, including his grandfather John Pincher, who fought in Field Marshal Lord Slim’s 14th Army in India, Burma and Malaya.

He said, “Seventy Years ago local people celebrated.  In Hockley there was a carnival; in Bonehill there was an all-day tea party.  In Wigginton children were taken on a trip to Dudley Zoo.  Across Tamworth and Fazeley and local villages the church bells rang out and people gave thanks that peace had come and their loved ones could return.

“Seventy years on we remember and reflect.  We remember all who fought in the 14th Army, the forgotten army and the courage and sacrifice of the men of the Burma Star Association.  We must remember, for only by so doing can we have a hope that the terrible endurance inflicted on them will never be inflicted upon us.”

The service was also attended by many members of the Tamworth Royal British Legion and local residents.

On Sunday the annual service of remembrance for Tamworth’s VC hero Colin Grazier was held in Two Gates.  Mayor of Tamworth, Cllr Maureen Gant and County Council Chair Janet Eagland laid wreaths with local councils and Member of Parliament Christopher Pincher looking on.

Mr Pincher said, “Colin Grazier sacrificed his life for his comrades and his country and we are right to pay his memory this annual tribute.”


Posted in Community, Fazeley Town Council, History, Political, Staffordshire, Tamworth | Tagged , , ,

Fazeley Remembers VJ Day 70 Years On

VJ Day 70th anniversary - FazeleyFazeley came together on Saturday to remember the 70th Anniversary of VJ Day and pay tribute to those who fought and died in World War 2.

Fazeley’s Vicar, Rev Jonathan Iddon, led a service of remembrance at the Town’s War Memorial, which included a bible reading from the Mayor of Fazeley, Cllr Brian Hoult, and a few words of remembrance from Tamworth MP, Christopher Pincher. Mr Pincher paid tribute to Great Britain’s 14th Army that fought in the Far East, which included his Grandfather.

During the service wreaths of remembrance were laid by Christopher Pincher MP, Cllr Janet Eagland, Chairman of Staffordshire County Council, Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Cllr Norma Bacon Chairman of Lichfield District Council and Fazeley’s Mayor, Cllr Brian Hoult. Wreaths were also laid by Peter Watterson on behalf of the Royal British Legion Tamworth and Mrs Carol Graham on behalf of St Paul’s Church Fazeley.

After the service Fazeley’s Mayor, Cllr Hoult, said, “It was an honour and privilege to take part in the service of remembrance for both VJ Day and the ending of the 2nd World War. Many residents of Fazeley fought in that conflict and unfortunately, some did not return.

“I was pleased with the turnout from Fazeley and very thankful that the weather held off throughout the whole day. I am also looking forward to paying tribute to all of our residents who have fought and died in both World Wars to keep this country free from tyranny on Remembrance Sunday 8th November.”

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Prost! Enjoy Beer and Sausage German-style at Oktoberfest

OktoberfestBeer, sausage and schnitzel will be available German-style when Oktoberfest returns to Tamworth Assembly Rooms this year as part of the annual Tamworth Beer Festival.

After a successful first year in 2014, Oktoberfest will again celebrate the German ‘bier keller’; serving the best in German food alongside some of the nation’s most popular brews.

Organised by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts and Events team, the Oktoberfest was introduced last year to welcome visitors from Bad Laasphe, Tamworth’s twin town in Germany.  It took place in the bar at Tamworth Assembly Rooms and ran alongside the annual CAMRA beer festival in the main hall.

The event was a major success with more than 150 bratwursts and 100 schnitzels being served to the hungry hordes attending the festival.

Cllr Steve Claymore, Cabinet Member for Economy and Education, said, “Last year’s event was a huge success and so much fun for all involved.  We had such great feedback that we just had to do it again and this year we are planning to make it even better.”

Taking place in conjunction with Tamworth Beer Festival on Thursday September 3, Friday September 4 and Saturday September 5, Oktoberfest will invite people to sample a range of German delights including bratwurst, schnitzel, pretzels and cheese platters.

These can be washed down with a range of beers, from Krombacher to Warsteiner, or any of the 90-plus real ales being served in the festival main hall.

The annual Tamworth Beer Festival is now in its 22nd year and offers a huge variety of cooled cask ales, as well as ciders, perries and continental bottled beers.

It is open from 11am until 11pm each day. Admission is £3, apart from Friday, between 5pm and 11pm, when entrance is £4.  Entrance to Tamworth Beer Festival is free for CAMRA members.

Visitors can enjoy the German atmosphere of the Oktoberfest free of charge once they have paid their entry into the beer festival.

For more information please visit www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk.

Tickets for all events at Tamworth Assembly Rooms are available online at www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk , in person from Tamworth Tourist Information Centre in Corporation Street or by calling the Box Office on 01827 709618.  A transaction fee of £1 is payable on all online and telephone bookings.

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