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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?

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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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Charities’ Pledge sees Funding for Landmark Dementia Research Institute Soar to £250 million

dementiaA quarter of a billion pounds has been pledged towards the UK’s first ever Dementia Research Institute (DRI), as 2 major UK charities announced £100 million of new investment yesterday.

Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK have both pledged £50 million each towards the work of the Institute, led by the Medical Research Council (MRC), in one of the single biggest financial commitments to dementia research in the history of both charities.

Announced by the Prime Minister in his Challenge on Dementia 2020 last year, the Institute has been backed by £150 million of government investment.  It will bring together scientists and experts from across the globe to transform the landscape of dementia research and firmly secure the UK’s reputation as a world leader in research and development against these devastating diseases.

Set to be fully up and running by 2020, the Institute will have a central UK hub with a network of regional centres and is expected to engage hundreds of scientists.  It will focus on the innovative, discovery science needed to unlock our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the development and progression of the dementias.  This research will help to drive new approaches to diagnosis, treatment, care provision and ultimately prevention of the disease.

The involvement of the country’s 2 leading dementia charities will be essential in drawing together the work of scientists and medical professionals with experience of people living with dementia across the country, helping to create the link between research findings and delivering real changes for the treatment, care and prevention of dementia.

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said, “This government has been crystal clear that we want Britain to lead the way in tackling this terrible condition, and scientific research and understanding is crucial to this.

“This Institute, with unprecedented funding from government and leading charities, presents a unique opportunity to pull together the UK’s world leading scientists and cutting edge research tools to get on with the job of defeating this disease for good.”

Sir John Savill, Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council said, “I’m grateful to Alzheimer’s Society for leadership in supporting an impactful and comprehensive research mission for the Institute.  Also to Alzheimer’s Research UK for committing funds to the DRI that are additional to groundbreaking investments in Drug Discovery Institutes, which are well positioned to ensure translation of DRI discoveries into therapies.

“The MRC is delighted to welcome both charities as co-founders of a partnership that we hope may attract further members in time.  Together, we will lead the UK’s dementia research efforts, to search for new means to prevent and cure dementia and to transform the supportive care that people and families affected by established dementia receive.  The UK Dementia Research Institute will be the research cornerstone in the fight against dementia.”

Jeremy Hughes CBE, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Society said, “The UK Dementia Research Institute heralds an exciting era for global dementia research as it launches an unprecedented collaboration of world-leading dementia expertise and provides the largest single investment in dementia research to date.

“Alzheimer’s Society is working to create a better world for those living with dementia and their families, and this significant investment emphasises how important research is in achieving our ambitions.  We offer people affected by dementia, and all of us, hope for a better future in much the same way that cancer research has transformed how we diagnose, treat and care for those living with cancer.”

Hilary Evans Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK said, “Alzheimer’s Research UK’s £50 million commitment to the UK Dementia Research Institute as a founding partner adds major impetus in our drive to deliver new dementia treatments.  As the largest joint effort in dementia research the UK has ever seen, this commitment sends a strong signal that we are serious about taking the fight to the condition.

“Through world-leading research we can transform the lives of people with dementia, and our investment will help accelerate progress, as well as uniting the brightest scientific minds to focus on this great medical challenge.  Alzheimer’s Research UK’s existing strategic initiatives, such as our Drug Discovery Alliance, will ensure promising breakthroughs made at the Institute are fed directly into the development of much-needed new treatments.  The Institute, the power of the partnership around it and the potential it holds to transform UK research mark the next major step in our journey towards defeating dementia.”

The Medical Research Council is also launching its search for an outstanding scientist to lead the Institute in the role of Director – expected to be an expert in the field and responsible for driving forward the world-class research of the Institute.

Posted in Health, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Police Urge Caution over Doorstep Deals

AntiCrimeStaffordshire Police have warned residents to be on their guard when arranging to meet people they do business with online.

The alert came after a woman was robbed of two mobile phones by two men who called at her home in Burton-on-Trent in response to an advert she had placed on Gumtree.

The woman had advertised two mobile phones for sale on the classified ads site but the men, who went to her home shortly after 2.30pm on Wednesday (April 27), sprayed her in the face with an unknown substance when she answered her door and then stole the two phones.  The woman was left with discomfort in both eyes.

DS Neil Poultney of Staffordshire Police CID said, “We want to warn people to be on their guard against all strangers calling at their homes, including those they have dealings with online.

“Always be cautious if you are going to reveal your address to online contacts.  Try to ascertain exactly who the person or people you are dealing with are and check their home address, name and telephone number before arranging for them to call round.”

Posted in Community, Staffordshire | Tagged , , , , ,

Dementia Loved Ones Benefit from Visits

dementiaSpending time with loved ones with dementia is important even after they fail to recognise the faces of friends and family, a dementia charity says.

A survey found that 42% of the public think there is no point in keeping up contact at this stage, but the Alzheimer’s Society said family visits stimulated feelings of happiness, comfort and security.

Even as the condition progresses, it said people with dementia can still hold an “emotional memory.”  This means they continue to feel happy long after a visit or experience that they may have forgotten.

The charity is calling on people to visit friends and relatives with dementia regularly and help them take part in activities they enjoy.

In a separate survey by the charity of 300 people affected by dementia, more than half said they were no longer taking part in any, or hardly any, social activities and 64% said they felt isolated following their diagnosis.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said, “Spending time with loved ones and taking part in meaningful activities can have a powerful and positive impact, even if they don’t remember the event itself.  We’re urging people to get in touch with us and find out how we can help you stay connected.”

A survey of more than 4,000 members of the public indicated that 68% would still visit someone with dementia who no longer recognised them.

However the charity says that people’s busy lives often mean they don’t manage to follow up on these good intentions, leaving many living with dementia feeling isolated.

There are around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK.

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

Beware of Bogus Ad Sellers

scam alertStaffordshire Police are warning business owners across Staffordshire to be on their guard against bogus advertising sellers.

An incident has been reported by a care home in the Blythe Bridge area, which received a phone call from a company claiming to be selling advertising space on behalf of Staffordshire Police.

Insp Ian Hancock of Moorlands Local Policing Team said, “Fortunately, the person at the care home took the precaution of checking with us before agreeing to pay for anything.  Staffordshire Police does not produce any publications where advertising would be sold to businesses.

“There have been a number of reports of bogus ad sales and conmen use a trusted name or organisation to dupe their victims.

“If you are approached by a company telling you they have been authorised to sell advertising space on our behalf, our advice is to tell the caller you will ring them back on 101, our non-emergency number, and ask for an extension number or a name.  Do not agree to ring them on any other number.”

Posted in Business, Staffordshire | Tagged , ,

PHE Urges Parents to Vaccinate against Measles, Mumps and Rubella

vaccinationPublic Health England (PHE) experts are calling for all parents to get their children vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) when the vaccine is offered, or for them to take it up now if they didn’t have it at the scheduled time.

MMR vaccine is offered routinely to infants in England, as part of the NHS Childhood Immunisation Programme, from 12 months of age with a second dose offered at 3 years and 4 months of age.  Those who missed out will remain susceptible to the diseases, but are still recommended to get the vaccine.

The call to get vaccinated coincides with European Immunisation Week, which is run by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with the theme to ‘close the immunisation gap’.  It also coincides with an increase in measles cases currently being seen in England.

Vaccine uptake rates in England are currently among the highest in Europe, but an increase is still needed to reach the WHO’s 95% target for MMR vaccination in 2 year olds.

The measles immunisation gap in England equates to approximately 24,000 children in England every year (2,000 a month) who are not currently receiving MMR vaccination at the scheduled time (from 12 months of age) and who remain susceptible to the diseases the vaccine protects against.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and sometimes lead to serious complications.  It’s now less common in the UK because of the effective MMR vaccination programme.  Although usually a mild illness in children, measles can be more severe in adults.

Those who are unvaccinated, remain susceptible to the disease.  2 doses of MMR vaccination also provides protection against 2 other common highly infectious diseases: mumps and rubella.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE said, “We’re asking parents, young people and healthcare professionals to help us eradicate measles in this country.  Back in the days before a vaccine was available, hundreds of thousands caught measles and around a hundred people died each year.  But now, the whole community benefits from the herd immunity the safe and effective MMR vaccination offers – fewer people get ill and the disease’s spread is restricted.

“Following the introduction of the measles vaccination in 1968, the number of cases dropped dramatically and deaths from measles are now extremely rare.  That number could fall even further if more people get vaccinated.

“This is an opportunity to consign measles to the history books.  The cases we are seeing currently in England are being confirmed mainly in adolescents and young adults, and it’s never too late for them to have the vaccine.  Those who have not received 2 doses of the vaccine in the past – or who are unsure – should speak to their GP.  There’s no harm in receiving an additional dose where there is any uncertainty.

“Public Health England asks that parents, and young adults, remain alert to measles.  Signs to look out for can include cold-like symptoms, sore red eyes, a high temperature or a red-brown blotchy rash.  Those experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention, but phone ahead before visiting GP surgeries so arrangements can be made to prevent others from being infected.

“It’s crucial pregnant women have been vaccinated with MMR as rubella in particular can cause serious complications during pregnancy.  The MMR vaccination provides you and your baby important protection and can be given before you become pregnant or after you’ve given birth.  Pregnant women who are unsure if they’ve been vaccinated should check with their GPs.”

Posted in England, Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Attempted Burglary in Castlehall, Tamworth

AntiCrimeStaffordshire Police are warning the residents of Glascote, Tamworth to be alert after unknown offenders tried the break into a secured detached garage in Castlehall.

The incident occurred during the hours of darkness on 23/4 unknown offenders approached a secured detached garage in Castlehall, Tamworth and tried to force the handle on the door using unknown instrument to gain entry.  No entry was gained reported but damage caused while attempting to break the lock.

Police are warning residents to be on their guard and observant at all times and please make sure all doors and windows are locked and secured at all times.

Anyone with information in relation to this crime can call the Police on 101 quoting incident no 0340 of the 24/04/16.

Posted in Community, Tamworth | Tagged , , ,

Happy St George’s Day

St George flag

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