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Staffordshire OPCC


STAFFORDSHIRE’S Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Ellis, has today asked the Government to consider removing or raising the cap on the level of council tax determined by PCCs in order to bolster policing at the most local level.

‘I’ve not called on Government for any more funding for policing since being elected in November 2012. I’ve coped with budget reductions and taken the view that what was already there could be spent better. My office has worked closely with Staffordshire Police to achieve better use of the money which is why here, neighbourhood policing numbers were 434 in 2013 and are 440 now with no change to response officers,’ he said.

‘However, the world we are now living in, especially post the Manchester and London terrorist attacks, means it is not credible that current budgets can maintain the increased levels of police resources required for what is likely to be a long period in Staffordshire, and I’m sure elsewhere.

Mr Ellis has frozen the council tax people pay locally towards policing in Staffordshire for 4 years out of his 5 years in office, but believes removing the cap now could help immensely in the current debate around boosting police resourcing at the most local level.

He wants to see the current cap of 2 per cent on the policing part of the council tax scrapped or at least increased because of the current environment and threats.

‘Government I’m sure will review the wider counter terrorism resources on a national basis, however, locally elected PCCs are accountable to their electorate meaning we are best placed to know the needs of our specific areas and be directly accountable for the funding decisions we make. That was the whole principle around PCCs, said Mr Ellis.

‘I froze the amount people paid in council tax towards policing every year in Staffordshire until this year, when the need to ensure new threats were met head on, meant I made a decision to increase.

‘I have written to the Home Secretary today to suggest she considers this proposal around local funding for policing. It is for local Chief Constables to determine what resources are needed and I’m sure most Commissioners will have no issue with being accountable for the budget decisions they make.’

Mr Ellis also emphasised this would also bring local accountability for the level of reserves held which varies across the country.

‘Where Police and Crime Commissioners still hold large reserves, these could be utilised ahead of making extra increase to council tax and that can be done in a more transparent way.’

‘This is an option still open to many PCCs now, as there can be little doubt we’ve reached that rainy day. But we also need that added flexibility to increase the precept.’

Crowds at the outdoor cinema

MOVIE LOVERS who want to watch a cult classic film on a big screen under the stars have just over a week to get their Outdoor Cinema tickets at the early bird price.

Just 60 tickets remain for The Goonies, which is the late-night movie being shown in this year’s Outdoor Cinema event on Saturday, August 5, in Tamworth Castle Grounds. Tickets booked before July 1 are available at the early bird price of £8 (usual price £10).

Tickets for this year’s popular Outdoor Cinema have been selling like hot cakes, with more than 1,000 people booking up in the first week of the event going on sale.

The 9.15pm film of Pretty Woman sold out in five days with movie lovers jumping at the chance to see the rom-com classic on a big screen in the great outdoors.

This year, the film selection was again put out to a public vote, giving audiences the chance to decide which films they want to see.

More than 1,100 votes were cast online and via social media, with Pretty Woman coming out in first place for the 9.15pm slot, followed by cult adventure film The Goonies for the midnight movie.

Tickets for The Goonies can be purchased online at www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk, in person from Tamworth Information Centre in Marmion House, Lichfield Street, or by calling the Box Office on 01827 709618. A transaction fee of £1 is payable on all online and telephone bookings.

Cinema goers are invited to take warm blankets and a picnic, although food and drink will be on sale during both events. No glass, gazebos or alcohol are to be taken on site, but a licensed bar will be available throughout.

Gates open 45 minutes prior to Pretty Woman and 15 minutes before The Goonies. Entrance is by ticket only and ID may be requested for both movies.

Castle Grounds flower beds are looking 'blooming' great.

A YEAR of hard work, planning and planting will soon reach its climax when the Heart of England in Bloom judges take a tour of the borough on Tuesday 18th July.

Preparations have been made to the Lichfield Road roundabout

Preparations have been made to the Lichfield Road roundabout

Residents are being encouraged to get involved with making the whole of Tamworth look beautiful to help the borough take gold for the eighth year running, in the regional Heart of England in Bloom campaign.

The two judges – Nicola Clarke and Roger Tait – will be taken around Tamworth, where they will be shown some of the many fabulous floral displays and community projects which make up this year’s Tamworth in Bloom entry, on the theme ‘Mercian 10 – the Heart of England’s Infantry’.

This year’s campaign theme will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Mercian Regiment, marking a decade since the regiment was first formed in Tamworth Castle Grounds by its Colonel-in-Chief The Prince of Wales.

The judging tour will begin with a short presentation at Tamworth Town Hall, followed by a walk through the town passing though the street market to the War Memorial and St Editha’s churchyard.

The judges, along with the organisers of the Tamworth in Bloom campaign, will then be driven in a council Street Scene vehicle onto Holloway, along Lichfield Street to the Moor Street island, where they will get a view of the impressive Mercian Regiment Crest as well as the statue of a First World War soldier made entirely of plants, which will be newly-refurbished.

The tour will then visit the Broad Meadow Nature Reserve and meet volunteers and representatives from Wild about Tamworth and Tame Valley Wetlands, before being picked up in a limo, kindly donated for the day by sponsors – EF Edwards.

The judging routeThe judges will then leave for Cheatle Court sheltered accommodation – joint winners of last year’s sheltered accommodation gardening competition.  There they will meet the resident’s and Local Nature Reserve (LNR) volunteers.

The limo will then take the judges past Wilnecote Cemetery, before arriving at Marlborough Way Community Fire Station where judges will meet teachers and pupils of Rawlett School, representatives from the probation services and volunteers from the community allotments.

The tour will then take in Tamworth Railway Station, Ventura Park and Riverdrive, where the judges will be dropped off at the gates to the Castle Grounds.

Castle Grounds flower beds are looking 'blooming' great.

Castle Grounds flower beds are looking ‘blooming’ great.

They will then walk through the Castle Grounds, taking in the wisteria garden, rose garden, the stunning raised flower beds beneath the bandstand and the newly-refurbished Saxon Man and Torch Man.

The final stop will be at the bottom of Tamworth Castle slope for photographs, before the party head into the castle for refreshments.

Cllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth in Bloom Champion, said: “We are really looking forward to showing the judges the result of all the hard work, which has been carried out not only by our Street Scene staff, but also the many community and voluntary organisations and businesses.

“But it’s not just about the floral displays and what’s happening on the route – we hope that people will get involved again across Tamworth to make sure that the whole borough is blooming.

“The community and our staff are all working exceptionally hard to portray Tamworth at its best and we hope that the judges will be impressed enough to award the town gold for the eighth year running.”

Don’t forget we still have our resident and sheltered housing garden competitions running during the ‘in Bloom’ campaign. The closing date for entries to both competitions is 12 noon on Monday July 31st.  To enter just take a picture of your garden and either email it to Garden Competition at graphics@tamworth.gov.uk or drop a copy in to reception at Marmion House in Lichfield Street.

VANDALS have completely destroyed a large section of the boardwalk on Warwickshire Moor at Bolehall.

The plastic boardwalk with wooden supports was extended by 160m just a few months ago, in March this year to allow more visitors to enjoy the local nature reserve.

An Aerial shot showing Warwickshire Moor Local Nature Reserve and the extent of the damage. Credit: Mark @ DronemanUK

An Aerial shot showing Warwickshire Moor Local Nature Reserve and the extent of the damage. Credit: Mark @ DronemanUK

It is understood that the damage occurred Friday night, 23 June.

Around 30 meters of the plastic and wooden pathway has been completely destroyed, along with the ‘pier’ that carries you out to the river.

The Warwickshire Moor Local Nature Reserve has been described as one of Tamworth’s most valuable Local Nature Reserves.

The site sit off Moor Lane in Bolehall and is one of seven LNRs in Tamworth and is a valuable wetland habitat.

It is one of the last remaining and most accessible wetland sites in the borough and is home to numerous bird species, as well as moths, damselflies, dragonflies and small mammals.

The site is owned and managed by Tamworth Borough Council and is looked after by the Friends of Warwickshire Moor under the Wild About Tamworth project – a partnership between Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

It is now feared that without the boardwalk, the woodland and wetland path is muddy and impassable during wet periods.

An Aerial shot showing Warwickshire Moor Local Nature Reserve and the extent of the damage. Credit: Mark @ DronemanUK

An Aerial shot showing Warwickshire Moor Local Nature Reserve and the extent of the damage. Credit: Mark @ DronemanUK

If you have any information as to the persons responsible for the damage then please contact Staffordshire Police on 101.

You can also report 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.

An Aerial shot showing Warwickshire Moor Local Nature Reserve and the extent of the damage. Credit: Mark @ DronemanUK

An Aerial shot showing Warwickshire Moor Local Nature Reserve and the extent of the damage. Credit: Mark @ DronemanUK


Busking, Tamworth

BUDDING young performers from Tamworth will be kicking off a great summer of entertainment with the first in a fantastic line-up of concerts from the Castle Grounds Bandstand.

Tamworth Borough Council’s programme of Summer Bandstand Concerts begins on Saturday, July 1 and will see a variety of bands, singers and clubs taking to the stage to delight audiences on weekends throughout the season.

This year’s programme will be launched in style by talented Tamworth youngsters who have spent the past few months honing their skills as part of a free mentoring scheme with music industry experts, called Tamworth Jam.

The 12 to 19-year-olds have been developing their song-writing, musicianship, performance and promotional skills and will be showcasing their improved talents with live acoustic, rock and solo performances throughout the afternoon on Saturday, July 1.

Tamworth Jam is part of the ‘Music Outside’ element of the major two-year Arts in Unusual Spaces project which is funded by Arts Council England and Tamworth Borough Council to create and nurture new performers and audiences.

Tamworth Jam is being delivered in conjunction with Staffordshire’s number one music charity, Make Some Noise.

This year’s bumper programme of Summer Bandstand Concerts also comes under the Music Outside element of Arts in Unusual Spaces, to maximise opportunities for people to entertain and be entertained.


The full 2017 line-up is as follows:

  • Saturday July 1 – Tamworth Jam
  • Sunday July 2 – Wilnecote St John Band
  • Sunday July 9 – Tamworth Wind Band
  • Saturday July 22 – Amington Band
  • Sunday July 23 – The Jays Vintage & Andy B Goode
  • Saturday July 29 – Tamworth Voices
  • Sunday July 30 – Claret
  • Saturday August 12 – 58 Blues Band
  • Saturday August 19 – Brindley-Hunt
  • Sunday August 20 – Liquid Brass
  • Saturday September 2 – Mr Wilson’s Second Liners
wilnecote St Johns band

Wilnecote St Johns band

Sponsored by Ankerside Shopping Centre, all the concerts are free of charge, so bring your picnic baskets and blankets down to Tamworth Castle Grounds for an afternoon of music. Performances take place at intervals between 12pm and 4pm (subject to weather conditions).

Cllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, said: “The Summer Bandstand Concerts organised by our Arts & Events team provide the perfect opportunity for people to enjoy an afternoon of live entertainment in beautiful surroundings. The Bandstand is an historic feature of the Castle Grounds and it’s great to see it being brought to life with live music and performances.

“Whether you’re taking a break from shopping, or enjoying a picnic with friends and family, we’d love to see you there enjoying the music on offer.”

The bandstand concerts are part of a great calendar of outdoor events organised by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team. For the full 2017 line-up please visit http://www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk/outdoor-events

Samuel Barlows

THE Samuel Barlow at Alvecote Marina is thrilled to be hosting Tamworth Acoustic, Blues, Country, Folk and Roots’ first ever music festival over the weekend of 30th June to 2nd July.

The festival will take place upstairs with the bar open throughout. There will be 4 sessions of fabulous music.

On Friday night we will be entertained by the awesome Harp and a Monkey, recent winners of folking.com’s Best Folk Group Award. With their unique harp and banjo led form of electro-folk storytelling, the trio’s third album War Stories, released in 2016 has been described as brilliant, sensational and captivating and has received huge critical acclaim from across both the folk and mainstream music world.

Entry to see this exceptional group is entirely free!

Saturday night’s session will see us joined by two great Midlands based groups, Soundboard and The Dominic Crane Band.

Dominic’s timelessly poetic lyrics have earned him huge respect in folk music circles and this is definitely an evening not to be missed. Tickets will be available on the door and cost £6.

On Saturday and Sunday afternoons we will be hosting a plethora of local musical talent so do come along and show your support!

We have plenty of car parking (B78 1AS) and are a comfortable stroll along the canal from Tamworth and Polesworth. Our normal menu will be available throughout the weekend. As ever, booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.