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cctv stills of three offenders from Wilnecote motors

STAFFORDSHIRE Police are appealing for help from the public to identify the three people captured on CCTV, after a number of vehicles were damaged in Tamworth on the 8 December.

At around 12.45am, offenders walked on to the forecourt of Wilnecote Motors on Watling Street, Wilnecote.

They caused approximately £1,500 worth of damage to five vehicles by jumping and sliding on the bonnets.

CCTV images of the youths were captured from the nearby McDonalds store.

CCTV Images of three youths

Image thanks to Staffordshire Police

Anyone with any information, or who recognises the individuals, is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 362 of the 8 December.

You can also report information about crime by contacting the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Business plan

A SMALL business grant scheme which has so far awarded 15 individuals a total of £14,753.68 is now open for a fourth round of applications.

The scheme helps promote new business start-ups, self-employment and entrepreneurship in Tamworth. New businesses in the area are now being encouraged to apply for a fourth round of grants of between £500 and £1500, before the application closing date on Friday, February 23.

Businesses including environmental cleaning; respite services for parents of special needs children; bespoke cakes; foot health practitioner; domestic, national and international relocation and media services have all benefited from the grant scheme since it was launched in April last year.

To receive these small business grants, individuals are required to meet some basic criteria. This includes attending the Enterprise for Success programme, which provides 12 hours of one-to-one advice and support delivered from Tamworth Enterprise Centre at Phillip Dix House in Corporation Street.

The Enterprise for Success programme ensures individuals and businesses have the right skills they need to run their business and results in the creation of a business plan.

Successful applicants include Ruminate Productions Ltd, which was awarded £836 towards the cost of equipment such as microphones, lighting and marketing. Emily Cowlishaw set the business up while studying for a bachelor’s degree in Media Production at the University of Lincoln. The business offers three main types of service – photography; videography and visual radio.

Emily at productions

Emily in ‘Action’


Emily said: “I can fully recommend this scheme to any business looking to start up or grow. Not only have I received a grant to help me develop, but the advice and support from the Enterprise for Success programme has been invaluable and I still speak to my mentor now.

“I am forever grateful to the council for allowing me to enrol on the programme and for the funding that has enabled me to invest in new equipment and establish my business further.”

Cllr Steve Claymore, Cabinet member for Regeneration, said; “This successful scheme continues to support individuals wishing to start up in new businesses or who have been trading for less than three years.

“Small businesses are the foundation of any thriving economy and using the new Tamworth Enterprise Centre as a ‘hub’ of support and advice can only help grow the local economy.”

Grant applications are recommended to the Cabinet Grants Committee on a quarterly basis for approval. An annual budget of £20,000 has been allocated to the scheme, with around £5,000 being distributed per quarter. This is subject to annual budget reviews and agreements up to March 31st 2020.

To submit an application in this round, individuals would need to attend the two day start-up masterclass on Wednesday February 7 and Thursday February 8, at The Tamworth Enterprise Centre. For more information on the masterclass visit:  http://www.tlforbusiness.co.uk/start-support

To register your interest and check if you are eligible for a grant please contact: Lorraine Farley (Business Liaison Officer) 01827 709525 or email: [email protected]

Mercian Parade

ON SATURDAY (13 January), soldiers of The Mercian Regiment paraded through the City of Lichfield, in one of a number of events to mark the 10-year anniversary of the regiment’s formation.

Saturday’s event was also in order for the former colours of the 3rd Battalion, Mercian Regiment, to he ‘laid up’ in the Cathedral after the battalion was disbanded back in 2014.

Exercising the Mercian Regiment’s freedom of the city, the soldiers marched with colours flying, led by The Band of the Mercian Regiment, and the new Regimental Mascot, Private Derby XXXII, a Swaledale Ram, for whom this was his first parade.

Also taking part in the parade were veterans from the Mercian Regiment Association and the antecedent regiments, including the Staffordshire Regiment Association, and also Army Cadets from affiliated cadet units.

During the parade, the Colonel of the Regiment, Brigadier Williams took the salute outside the Guildhall.  Below, you can see him speaking to Edna about the day.

The Colour Party carried the colours of the former 3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment (The Staffords), disbanded in 2014 as part of the Army 2020 restructuring plans and following the parade, a service was held in the Cathedral during which the Colours were ‘laid up’.

Below you can see the march past of the Mercian Regiment and others who took part in the parade.

Although this event was at Lichfield, Tamworth Informed were keen to cover the event as the Mercian Regiment is very much seen as being Tamworth’s regiment.

Staffordshire provides a large number of personnel to the Mercian Regiment and of course, with Tamworth being the ancient capital of Mercia, it really does hold a place in our hearts. Even more so for our cameraman, who himself, has served in the Staffordshire Regiment.

Below you can see the Colors of the 3rd Battalion in their final salute.

The Mercian Regiment

The Mercian Regiment was formed on 1 September 2007 at a parade held in the Tamworth Castle grounds. It was formed from the three antecedent regiments: the Cheshire Regiment, the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment; and the Staffordshire Regiment.

Known as ‘the Heart of England’s Infantry’, the Mercian Regiment is one of the most decorated and operationally experienced regiments in the British Army.

3rd Battalion Mercian Regiment: The Staffords

The Staffords as a regiment continued until 2007 when they merged with the Cheshire Regiment, the Worcester and Sherwood Foresters Regiment and West Midlands TA regiments to form the 3rd Battalion of the Mercian Regiment. An armoured Infantry Battalion, part of 7th Armoured Brigade, based in Bad Fallingbostel, Germany.

Since it’s formation the 3rd Battalion has served with distinction in Afghanistan. The Mercian Regiment has spent more than two-and-a-half years in Afghanistan. The Regular Battalions have served on Op HERRICK 6, 10, 12, 14 and 15 and the TA Battalion has deployed the highest number of territorial soldiers in the British Army.

By 2014 the men had merged into the 1st (Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters) and 2nd (Cheshire) Battalions.

You can read more about the history of the Stafford’s here.

Below you can see Edna talking to Colonel Richard Spibe, former Commander of the 3rd Batallion, Mercian Regiment.

Further videos

Watchman V and his handler Greg.

Staffords Regimental Assn Chairman on the laying up of the 3Bn Mercian (The Stafford’s) Colours.

Farewell to the Colours.



Politics and Representatives Video Series

TAMWORTH Informed are very pleased to bring you the first two videos which we have commissioned as part of our ‘Politics and Representatives’ series, to help bring greater understanding of various roles.

We bring you lots of news throughout the year and mention various roles and people that make decisions on our behalf and represent us; but does everyone know what all these people do?

Through this series of videos, we aim to give people a greater understanding of what everyone does and why.  In the series, we will bring you information about the role of an MP, Councillors, Leader of the Council and Opposition, Police and Crime Commissioner, Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff.

SEE MORE: You can see our videos on the role of the Lord Lieutenant and a High Sheriff here.

In this video, we can see Edna talking to Councillor Daniel Cook (Leader of the Council) and Councillor Simon Peaple (Leader of the opposition) about the role of being a Councillor.

This is Edna talking to Christopher Pincher MP, about the role of being a Member of Parliament and also a Party Whip:

We will bring you more videoes from the series over the coming weeks.

PC Emma Agyei

ONE of the country’s top cops is personally taking steps to highlight the impact of officers or police staff being assaulted or abused on our streets.

Two officers or police staff report being assaulted or racially or verbally abused every day in the West Midlands.

Between April and December 2017, 669 assaults on West Midlands officers and staff were recorded. As a result, 356 days were lost as the brave bobbies recovered from their injuries with a cost equivalent to around £65,000 in sick pay. And the problem is growing.

PC Emma Agyei was assaulted in May 2017 after being called to a domestic incident on Chapel Street, Bradley.

The footage below, from her body-cam shows the moment she is forced to the floor by a 24-year-old man who beats her and rips out a large chunk of her hair.

Emma’s attacker pleaded guilty to assault and was given a 12 weeks suspended sentence.

Chief Constable Dave Thompson, said: “I am stepping up to highlight the impact of assaults on our communities. Officers, PCSOs and staff are often the first and last line of defence.

“Our officers will always do the right thing and routinely put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public, but we need to bring to justice criminals who think that it is okay to abuse and hit out.

“Time off recovering from a senseless attack is time taken away from the very communities that need them policing their streets and protecting them.”

From 2018 cases where cop attackers are brought before the courts will include a personal statement from the Chief.

In the document – known as an impact statement – Dave Thompson will personally outline to the magistrate or judge and jury the effect the attack has had on the force, and its wider implications for the people of the region by having one of their protectors off patrol because of their injuries.

The move comes with the backing of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) who are the independent prosecutors in criminal cases in England and Wales. Their job is to make sure the right person is prosecuted for the right offence and offenders are brought to justice.

The personal statement, written by the Chief, will be used during sentencing and allows the judge to take into consideration the impact the assault has had on the force, the officer’s family and the public. It will be used in conjunction with statements from the victim.

“When it comes to prosecuting suspects, we have been working closely with CPS in our region.” said Dave Thompson.

“We will be making sure that for each prosecution of an assault on one of our officers or staff, the court understands the impact this has on us, our families, our workplace and the policing of the West Midlands.”

In the last three years, 2,336 assaults on police officers have been recorded. Of these, 89 were police community support officers and 131 were custody staff.

“The figures are unacceptable and we must work harder as a force to protect our officers and staff.

“No officer or member of staff should come to work and accept that being assaulted or abused is simply part of the job.

“As a victim of crime, they will be offered the same service any member of the public would expect. As an employer, we’re doing the right thing and adding in an additional layer of support.”

Dave Thompson became Chief Constable in January 2016 and pledged to do more on staff wellbeing. As well as introducing more staff welfare support services, he has backed the Police Federation’s Protect the Protectors campaign and overseen the introduction of spit guards, body worn video and double-shot Taser to help with officer safety.

He added: “All too often police officers and staff are subjected to assaults and threats. While the severity of such attacks changes, the impact upon society does not. It is never acceptable to assume that assaults upon police officers and staff should be tolerated, they are not ‘part of the job’.”

Backing the Chief Constable’s tough stance, Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “I am pleased that the Chief Constable is getting tough on these unacceptable crimes.

“The police protect the public, it is therefore important we protect our officers, PCSOs and staff too.

“Officers and staff should not have to put up with violence and assaults whilst keeping the public safe.

“West Midlands Police takes assaults against its staff and officers incredibly seriously. The force will do all in its power to bring those who commit such crimes to justice.”

Matalan at ventura park

TAMWORTH’S Matalan store is no longer closing its doors for a number of months whilst the expansion to the retail unit takes place to the store.

Planning permission was granted last year for an extension to the side of the store and the introduction of a mezzanine floor, meaning that the retail floor space will be spread across both the ground floor and first floor.

Whilst it was originally suggested that the store was to close for a period of up to nine months whilst the expansion took place, it has now been confirmed that they have no intentions to close the store in the foreseeable future.

In a statement, the company has said that they are still discussing options as part of the landlord’s plans to redevelop the retail park and that the exact location and format of the newly refurbished Matalan store has not yet been confirmed.

The question now is whether Matalan is to move into another store prior to the existing store expansion, making way for another big name in its place in the expanded store.

The plans for the store expansion are, after all, part of wider plans for a face-lift and modernisation of Ventura Retail Park.

Tamworth Informed first reported on the plans in January last year when the application was submitted to the planning department at Tamworth Borough Council.

Further Developments

Permission has been granted for the units on that phase of the Park to have new cladding to the outside and to modernise the look. The units look will be sticking to the appearance of Next. The plans show that the new frontages of the stores will be predominantly glazed and use new, modern materials.

In addition, units 2, 5 and 6; currently occupied by Halfords, Mothercare and the existing Toys ‘R Us are to have Mezzanine floors installed.  In the case of Halfords, extended.

The car park will also see a facelift, with extra spaces added and an improved access road; moving the main road away from the front of the stores to increase safety to pedestrians.  An additional 146 parking spaces will be created.

An artists impression of the new look stores.

An artists impression of the new look stores.

The planning statement which was prepared by the developers at the time of application stated that the whole development would bring significant economic benefit to Tamworth with the creation of around 66 jobs based on the additional floor space and the assumption of one full-time employee per 90m of floor space.  This could add around £2.5 million to the local economy.

It is hoped by developers that the plans will ensure the major retails brands remain in Tamworth for years to come, securing existing employment.

A reminder that this work is being funded by a private company, J.B. Auctott, and not Tamworth Borough Council.  The proposals, securing employment and big names is surely a good thing for the town!

Yes, as residents, we would love investments from big names in the Town Centre, but we cannot force the hands of the big names, they choose where they want to do business.

What do you think of the plans?

The planned parking layout

The planned parking layout

Christopher Pincher MP

CHRISTOPHER Pincher, the Member of Parliament for Tamworth has been asked to rejoin the Government after stepping down from his post as Comptroller of the HM Household late last year.

As part of Teresa May’s cabinet reshuffle this week, Mr Pincher was asked to take up the role of Deputy Chief Whip, Treasurer of HM Household; a relatively senior position within politics.

He takes over from The Right Honorable Esther McVey MP who was appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Mr Pincher held the position of Comptroller of HM Household, Government Whip, from June 2017 to November 2017; prior to that, Assistant Government Whip from 17 July 2016 until 15 June 2017.

Chris Pincher stood down from the whips’ office in November and referred himself to the new Conservative complaints procedure following newspaper reports that he made inappropriate advances on Olympic rower and Conservative activist Alex Story.

He was cleared of the allegations in December by a panel headed by an independent QC. The claims emerged at the height of the Westminster sexual harassment scandal.

Government Whip

Whips are MPs or Lords appointed by each party to help organise their party’s contribution to parliamentary business. They are responsible for making sure the maximum number of their party members vote, and vote the way their party wants.

Role of an MP

In our exclusive video interview, you can learn more about the role of an MP.

four police cars with lights

WEST MIDLANDS Ambulance Service have said that “nothing could be done” to save a twenty-year-old man who was pulled from the canal yesterday, Wednesday 10 January.

Officers from Staffordshire Police along with Medical staff from West Midlands Ambulance Service attended the scene at Kettlebrook Road at around 1:50pm yesterday.

After arriving at the scene, police were seen to tape off a section of the road which crossed the canal, along with the tow path. This is standard procedure in an incident such as this.

The body, now confirmed to be that of a twenty-year-old man, was removed from the canal, close to Tamworth Cruising Club and what was once the Barge & Barrel public house.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said that when the patient was fetched out [of the water] it became apparent that nothing could be done to save them and they were pronounced dead at the scene.

A spoksperson for Staffordshire Police has said: “There were no suspicious circumstances and we will not be investigating.

“This was a tragic accident in which a 20-year-old man lost his life.”

The identify of the person has not been released at this time. Our thoughts are with his friends and family, along with persons that attended the scene.

The area remained cordoned off by Police for over two and half hours and the road was reopened at around 4:30pm.

WMAS ambulance and car

A BODY has been pulled from the Coventry Canal in Kettlebrook today, Wednesday 10 January.

Officers from Staffordshire Police along with Medical staff from West Midlands Ambulance Service attended the scene at Kettlebrook Road at around 1:50pm today.

After arriving at the scene, police were seen to tape off a section of the road which crossed the canal, along with the tow path. This is standard procedure in an incident such as this.

The body, believed to be that of a man, was removed from the canal, close to Tamworth Cruising Club and what was once the Barge & Barrel public house.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said that when the patient was fetched out [of the water] it became apparent that nothing could be done to save them and they were pronounced dead at the scene.

A spokesperson for Staffordshire said that there was nothing to suggest the discovery was suspicious.

The identify of the person has not been released at this time. Our thoughts are with his friends and family, along with persons that attended the scene.

The area remained cordoned off by Police for over two and half hours and the road was reopened at around 4:30pm.

Saxon Gallery

A NEW interactive and family-friendly gallery at Tamworth Castle – devoted to Tamworth’s Anglo-Saxon history and the Staffordshire Hoard – has moved a step closer.

The step is following the awarding of a £499,900 grant funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

The project will create an innovative and engaging permanent exhibition exploring and celebrating Tamworth’s important Anglo-Saxon history. The exhibition will showcase pieces of the Staffordshire Hoard and artefacts from Tamworth Castle’s collection. It will explore many exciting aspects of the Staffordshire Hoard including themes of battle, Kingship and the warrior culture in Anglo-Saxon Mercia.

The first stage of the new gallery known as the ‘Battle and Tribute Project,’ was awarded a £55,500 development grant from the HLF and £13,900 in funding by Tamworth Borough Council, to enable full research and development of the project.

Extensive consultation and visitors surveys have shaped the new exhibition and will look to include a Battle film experience, a Mead Hall or Saxon Palace and an interactive battle touch-table game. Displays will help link the story of the hoard to everyday Saxon life and culture of the Mercian Kingdom.

The exhibition will be interactive and family orientated to suit a range of audiences.  Displays will examine the battle connections between the hoard pieces and the warring tribal communities that settled around Tamworth and who started to form the Kingdom of Mercia.

A computer image od how the exhibition in the Mead Hall will look.

A computer image of how the gallery in the Mead Hall will look.


The project will involve some conservation work to the castle building and also includes work in partnership with Tamworth Town Guides and Tamworth schools to develop accompanying activities including education workshops, living history characters, a Saxon Town Tour and an Anglo-Saxon festival to launch the new gallery.

The new gallery on the top floor of the castle is to go ahead following the awarding of the HLF grant, which is 65% of the project total of £768,379. The remainder of the cost will be match funded from Tamworth Borough Council, the Ready to Borrow Scheme supported by the Arts Council England and Friends of Tamworth Castle.

Cllr Joy Goodall, Cabinet member for Environment & Culture said: “Since the creation of the Staffordshire Hoard Trail and the subsequent exhibition of the Staffordshire Hoard at Tamworth Castle, we have been working towards developing an exhibition that will enhance the hoard display and Tamworth’s Saxon history.

“The first round of HLF funding allowed us the means to explore and develop the most advantageous ways to put forward a comprehensive second bid for funding to now carry out the work.

“Previous HLF grants have allowed us to carry out essential conservation work on the castle and detailed interpretation development and this latest funding will allow us to offer a state-of-the-art exhibition which will significantly add to the attraction for visitors for years to come.

“This project represents another huge investment in Tamworth Castle and our wider much-celebrated heritage.”

The new gallery will allow Tamworth Castle to fulfil its role as a key venue on the Staffordshire Hoard Trail, along with partners Birmingham Museums Trust, the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and Lichfield Cathedral.

The Staff at Tamworth Castle.

The Staff at Tamworth Castle.

Vanessa Harbar, Head of the HLF West Midlands said: “We are delighted to support this project, which will create a permanent gallery for objects from the Staffordshire Hoard at Tamworth Castle.

“This is a fantastic addition to the Staffordshire Hoard Trail in the West Midlands in the West Midlands, which also features National Lottery funded displays at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and will mean that more people will be able to get involved with, protect, and learn about the exciting heritage right on their doorstep.”

The Staffordshire Hoard is owned by Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent City Councils, and managed on their behalf by Birmingham Museums Trust and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent.

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