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Dosthill Co-operative (co-op) store

POLICE are appealing for information after an armed robbery at a local Co-operative store.

The incident happened at approximately 1025pm on Saturday 22 July.

Three males entered the store armed with a crow bar, kitchen knife and a metal bar.

The three men  stole cigarettes from the counter and money from the tills before speeding off from the locationin a red 63 plated Audi, possibly an S3 or an A3.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 0902 22/07/2017.

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.

health watch Staffordshire

RESIDENTS are being urged to have their say on the future of a health watchdog.

Healthwatch Staffordshire is being recommissioned from April next year and the County Council, which commissions the service, is looking at ways in which it could be delivered in future.

It’s keen to ensure Healthwatch meets the needs of local people and influences the delivery of health and social care services.

The Council has launched a public survey and will take all feedback into account before making its decision.

Wendy Tompson, Corporate Community Engagement and Consultation Manager at the County Council, said: “We are recommissioning the local Healthwatch service with effect from April 1, 2018.

“To support this we are exploring ideas for how Healthwatch Staffordshire could be delivered in future to ensure it meets the needs of local people and influences the future of health and care services.

“Healthwatch is an independent consumer champion for people who use health and social care services. Its job is to ensure that local voices are heard and that people’s views and experiences are used to improve existing services and help shape future delivery.

“It’s therefore really important that members of the public have a say about the future of this service.

“We’ve developed a questionnaire to capture opinion and want as many people as possible to let us know what they think.”

The closing date for all completed surveys will be Sunday, August 20.

Visit http://bit.ly/2taBnbo

free summer activities

THE Summerwatch campaign to promote safety and crime prevention over the summer months, has unveiled a host of FREE activities for young people after it secured £9,000 funding from the Staffordshire Police & Crime Commissioner’s Space scheme.

Summerwatch is being run by the Tamworth Community Safety Partnership, which includes Tamworth Borough Council, Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service and Staffordshire County Council.

The activity programme – Space – is aimed at 11 to17 year-olds and will run from Monday July 24 until Friday September 1. This is in addition to the programme of activities being organised as part of Tamworth Borough Council’s annual Summer Playscheme.

The activities, which take place throughout Tamworth, include:

  • Boxing sessions for boys and girls at the Cornerpost Gym in Orchard Street:
    • Mondays to Thursdays, 5.30pm-6.30pm, 11-13 year-olds
    • Mondays to Thursdays, 6.30pm-7.30pm, 13-17 year-olds
  • Football and other fun sports run by Burton Albion Community Trust who will be continuing their KICKS programme at various open space locations including: Wigginton Park (Monday evenings); Rothay Open Space/Rosemary Road play area (alternate Tuesdays); Dosthill Park (Wednesdays);Burgess Park (Thursdays). Sessions take place from 6pm to 8pm.
  • Jump Xtreme, Wilnecote, from July 27:
    • Thursdays and Fridays (6pm-7pm) 11-17 year-olds.

Trampoline sessions must be booked by phone quoting ‘SPACE17’ and will be confirmed by return email. No more than two people per booking. Maximum one session, per person, per week.

There will also be four sessions of nail art at the Cornerpost Education Centre in Orchard Street running on August 14 (12-4pm), August 15 (10am-2pm), August 16 (12pm-4pm) and August 17 (10am-2pm).

Activities will include polish practice with art pens and animal prints, gems and glitter, introduction to gel nails and introduction to dipping powders.

Further information on the dates, times and places of all the SPACE activities taking place in Tamworth and Staffordshire can be found at www.staffordshirespace.uk and via the Community Safety Partnership website www.safertamworth.org.

Cllr Stephen Doyle, Cabinet member for Communities & Wellbeing, said: “I am delighted that the Tamworth Community Safety Partnership has been able to secure £9,000 of funding from the OPCC to deliver with partners, a wide range of free activities for young people in Tamworth.

“The opportunities will promote further involvement and there are also places for people to volunteer and assist to deliver worthwhile activity to prevent anti-social behaviour and boredom during the long summer holidays.”

Yours 11

A BRAND NEW store opened it’s doors for the first time in Ankerside Shopping Centre today as the plus size fashion retailer, Yours Clothing began trading.

Well known for its wide range of ladies fashion in sizes 16 – 36, including clothing, lingerie, footwear and accessories, Yours Clothing opened its doors at Ankerside Shopping Centre today, Friday 21st July.

The arrival of the fabulous clothing chain at the shopping centre, which is located next to Bluc Inc and opposite Poundland, will see the creation of up to five jobs for the people of Tamworth, of which the store are still recruiting.

THE town’s shopping centre is set to welcome a brand-new addition next week as the plus size fashion retailer, Yours Clothing announces the opening of its new Tamworth store. Well known for its wide range of ladies fashion in sizes 16 – 36, including clothing, lingerie, footwear and accessories, Yours Clothing will open its doors at Ankerside Shopping Centre on Friday, 21st July.  The arrival of the fabulous clothing chain at the shopping centre, which will be located next to Bluc Inc and opposite Poundland, will see the creation of up to five jobs for the people of Tamworth, of which the store are still recruiting for a store manager and three sales assistants.

Ankerside Shopping Centre manager, Jeff Wigley with Yours Clothing staff.

Jeff Wigley, Ankerside Shopping Centre manager, said the opening of such a popular fashion store is a fantastic addition to the town. “It has been extremely exciting to be able to welcome Yours Clothing to the centre this week and even better to see so many shoppers enjoying the opening on Friday,” he said.

“We have a terrific mix of fashion retailers at Ankerside including Blue Inc, Peacocks and Select, so we’re thrilled for Yours Clothing to be a part of the offering at the centre,” Jeff added.

Former Yours Clothing model turned plus-size style advisor, Amy Steed at the opening of Ankerside's Yours Clothing.

Former Yours Clothing model turned plus-size style advisor, Amy Steed at the opening of Ankerside’s Yours Clothing.

The Tinkers Green estate.

PLANS to build 152 new council-owned homes in a massive £21.5m regeneration project by Tamworth Borough Council have taken a major step forward with the appointment of a developer.

The job of designing and building new housing estates at Tinkers Green in Wilnecote and the Kerria Centre in Amington has been awarded to housing and community regeneration specialist, Keepmoat Regeneration, part of the ENGIE Group, subject to contract.

In the biggest house building programme by Tamworth Borough Council since the 1970s, the project will see 136 houses, bungalows, flats and maisonettes being replaced with 152 new modern homes.

So far, the demolition of the Tinkers Green estate has been completed, with the knocking down of 100 properties, including seven outdated three and four-storey maisonette blocks. These will be replaced with 108 new homes fit for the 21st century, and an upgraded play area.

All residents of the Kerria Centre have now been re-housed and prior notification of the demolition work has been submitted to Tamworth Borough Council’s planning department. Demolition is expected to take place early next year with the knocking down of 36 flats contained within three and four-storey maisonettes. These will be replaced with 44 new homes. The five existing shops will be replaced by a supermarket retail store.

While outline planning permission has been granted for the redevelopment of both sites, Keepmoat Regeneration is now in the process of finalising the design and layout of each area before submitting a detailed planning application to the council.

The tender includes a requirement for residents living near both sites to be consulted throughout the design and development process.

The Tinkers Green estate, mid-demolition.

The Tinkers Green estate, mid-demolition.

Martin Smithhurst, Regional Managing Director at Keepmoat Regeneraton, said: “The need for new affordable homes across the UK is well documented, so we are very excited to be part of the regeneration of Wilnecote and Amington.

“We are looking forward to working with our partners and local residents to create a community where people are proud to live, work and play.”

Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Regeneration, Cllr Steve Claymore, said: “The redevelopment of Tinkers Green and the Kerria is the biggest council housing programme in Tamworth for a generation and it gives us the opportunity to provide much-needed affordable homes that are fit for the 21st century.

“The appointment of a developer represents a significant step forward in the project and we are confident that Keepmoat Regeneration will deliver new housing estates that everyone living in the Wilnecote and Amington areas can be proud of.

“It is also pleasing to note that the demolition of Tinkers Green estate was carried out with minimum disruption to local residents. City Demolition Contractors received praise from the local community about their successful management of such a large-scale demolition. Hopefully it will be a similar case when the demolition of the Kerria buildings takes place.

“I look forward to seeing the designs for the new estates taking shape over the coming months.”

Although a community engagement project will get underway in due course, anyone who has any questions about the regeneration project in the meantime can contact the Housing Conditions and Supply Team on 01827 709709 or via email at housingconditions@tamworth.gov.uk.

The previously approved outline planning applications can be viewed via Tamworth Borough Council’s planning portal at www.tamworth.gov.uk/planning, using the application number 0110/2015 for Tinkers Green and 011/2015 for Kerria.

POLICE were called to a serious road traffic collision in the Tamworth area shortly before 11am yesterday morning. (19 July)

A blue Suzuki GSX-R motorcycle and a white Citroen Relay van were involved in the collision on the A4091 at the junction with Salts Lane, Drayton Bassett.

Sadly, despite the efforts of paramedics and members of the public, the 25-year-old motorcyclist from Birmingham was pronounced dead at the scene. Specialist officers are working with his family.

The 47-year-old van driver was treated for minor injuries by ambulance staff at the scene.

An investigation by Staffordshire Police's Collision Investigation Unit is underway.

Anyone who saw either vehicle before or during the collision is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 224 of 19 July.

Our thoughts are with all that have been effected by this tragic incident.

Bus shelter art

A TAMWORTH bus shelter has been given a wild makeover as part of this year’s Arts in Unusual Spaces programme and in partnership with the Tamworth in Bloom campaign.

Local artist Simon Wingfield has transformed the bus shelter on Peelers Way, Kettlebrook, with striking images of a kingfisher, a great spotted woodpecker and a barn owl – all birds which can be seen at the adjacent Tameside Local Nature Reserve.

Simon could be seen in action throughout the day on Sunday, July 16, when the new look shelter took shape. As the bus stop is on the route the Heart of England in Bloom judges took through the town on Tuesday, July 18, it was chosen as the first to be given an artistic makeover to launch a major new project coming to the town this autumn.

‘Catch Art’, part of the two-year Arts in Unusual Spaces initiative, will bring art to a number of bus shelters across the borough. The project is being led by Vic Brown, of Art Recruitment Tamworth, who also organises the popular Urban Arts Festival which takes place every year at the Castle Grounds’ skate park.

Vic will now spend the next few months working with local artists and school children to come up with designs for at least a further five bus shelters in areas including Amington, Glascote Heath, Stonydelph and Coton Green.

The artwork being created.

The artwork being created.

Some will be designed by professional artists, such as Simon Wingfield, who painted the local landmarks depicted on underpasses at Riverdrive, and some will be designed by the town’s youngsters.

Catch Art is just one of a number of fantastic projects being delivered by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts and Events team, thanks to lottery funding from Arts Council England, to bring art to new and unusual spaces during the refurbishment of Tamworth Assembly Rooms.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedCllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment and Culture, said: “The idea behind Catch Art is to bring art to all areas of the town. We also wanted to involve the local community by inviting artists and school children to come up with colourful designs which will then be displayed on the bus shelters for all to see.

“The project has been made possible thanks to additional funding secured by the Arts & Events team from Arts Council England, which likes to support projects that encourage community participation in the arts.

“It made sense to launch the project with a bus shelter on the Tamworth in Bloom judging route and we hope this will help us in our quest to win gold for the eighth year in a row.

“I think the Wild About Tamworth bus shelter looks amazing, it brings some real colour to the street scene and shows people some of the amazing birds that can be found at the nearby Tameside Local Nature Reserve. I’m now looking forward to seeing what the rest of the project has in store later in the year.”

The artists with their completed artwork

MP Christopher Pincher and Cllr John Chesworth and his wife Tereasa, the Mayor and Mayoress of Tamworth.

TO celebrate their 50th anniversary this year, the Friends of Tamworth Castle held a special balloon race last Saturday.

The event took place on the top of Tamworth Castle where the balloons were released and was attended by many from the local area including local MP Christopher Pincher and Cllr John Chesworth and his wife Tereasa, the Mayor and Mayoress of Tamworth.

Visitors in the Castle Grounds waived and cheered as the balloons rose into the sky. The Friends will allow three weeks for the return of the balloon tags after which, we will award a prize of £100 to the person who bought the balloon that travelled furthest.

Christopher Pincher MP said: “I very much enjoyed releasing the balloons on what were rather tricky conditions! Although I am always happy to help the Friends of Tamworth Castle in whatever the weather. Now we wait with baited breath to see which balloon travelled the furthest!”

David Ansell, Chairman of the Friends, said: “The ‘Friends’ would like to thank Chris for his help and support on Saturday, his enthusiasm for releasing the balloons should be commended particularly as we had a degree of difficulty getting them up the tower to where he was waiting because of the swirling wind in the castle courtyard and around the tower.

“The steady stream of balloons rising from the tower made for quite a spectacular sight as they gained height quickly and set off in an easterly direction.”

MP Christopher Pincher and Cllr John Chesworth and his wife Tereasa, the Mayor and Mayoress of Tamworth.

MP Christopher Pincher and Cllr John Chesworth and his wife Tereasa, the Mayor and Mayoress of Tamworth.

bandstand concert

TWO favourite Tamworth groups will be performing some classic and vintage music from the Castle Grounds Bandstand as part of the Music Outside summer programme of free concerts.

On Saturday July 22, people are invited to enjoy an afternoon in the park listening to the sounds of brass band music at its best. Amington Band has performed at the Castle Grounds regularly since 1917, entertaining Tamworth audiences for 100 years with their mixture of popular and classical band music.

They will take to the bandstand at regular intervals between 12pm and 3pm.

Speaking on behalf of Amington Band Committee, Steph Morris, said: “We’re so proud to have reached our 100th anniversary.  It’s a really special time for us as current players but also for those who have played with us in the past – to see something you love get so far and continue to strive is just amazing.

“Our centenary concert went down so well last week and brought together so many old friends of the band.  Our centenary celebrations continue at Tamworth Bandstand this weekend where we hope to see many more friendly faces, both old friends and new.”

Amington Band will be followed by Tamworth vintage vocal group The Jays Vintage and Andy B Goode who will be taking audiences back to the golden era of the 1940s and ‘50s with the catching harmonies on Sunday July 23.

The Jays Vintage and Andy B Goode are a three piece Midland group that entertain and excite audiences with their vintage vocals. They recently performed at the National Memorial Arboretum for a vintage day and tea dance and were joined by professional lindy hop dancers ‘Red and Ginger’ who led the dancing in Hero’s square.

They will be performing between 12pm and 4pm. Songs will include hits made famous by the likes of the Andrew Sisters, Frank Sinatra, Chuck Berry and Cliff Richard.

The packed programme of summer concerts from the Bandstand continues through to September 2. Organised by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts and Events team, the entertainment will provide the perfect setting to an enjoyable summer afternoon for all tastes.

The remaining 2017 line-up is as follows:

  • 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

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).

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedCllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, said: “Amington Band is a firm favourite at the bandstand. The 100-year anniversary of the band will make their performance even more special this year.

“The Jays Vintage and Andy B Goode have become popular with the residents of Tamworth and always put on a toe tapping performance.

“The Bandstand Concerts are continuing throughout the summer with a range of performances to suit all tastes and we hope to see lots of people taking up the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing afternoon of live entertainment in the park.”

For more information please visit http://www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk/outdoor-events.

The Tamworth Enterprise Centre on Corporation Street

THE brand new Tamworth Enterprise Centre is now open for business, providing modern serviced offices to rent, meeting rooms for hire and state-of-the-art facilities for small businesses in the area.

The former Philip Dix Centre in Corporation Street has been renamed Philip Dix House and transformed into a business hub complete with16 fully serviced offices to rent, three well-appointed meeting rooms for hire, an executive lounge, virtual offices and conference facilities.

Although the centre doesn’t officially open until Wednesday, July 26, when a plaque will be unveiled in front of dignitaries, business leaders and guests, it is already home to an almost full complement of businesses.

Interest among the business community has been unexpectedly high and 14 of the 16 units have already been let, with interest shown in the remaining two.

However, there are still plenty of other services for businesses to take advantage of, including co-working space in the executive business lounge, ‘touchdown’ areas, three professional meeting rooms, conference space, boardroom facilities and virtual offices. The centre is equipped with state-of-the-art technology including superfast broadband, Wi-Fi and interactive TVs.

The three meeting rooms have all been named after Tamworth’s iconic Reliant cars, so users will be able to hold meetings in the Regal Room, the Rialto Room and the Scimitar Room.

Businesses can use the centre for a variety of purposes, whether they’re looking for a professional setting in which to meet a client, need room for a large training session or conference, or require an official registered address.

 

It is hoped the centre will encourage the creation and growth of small businesses in Tamworth by providing professional facilities with low set-up costs, along with on-site business advice and support from Tamworth Borough Council’s Economic Development and Regeneration team.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedCllr Steve Claymore, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Regeneration, said: “Tamworth Enterprise Centre is already proving to be a great boost to the town’s small business community by providing affordable, yet professional, offices and meeting rooms to help them start and grow successful enterprises.

“The demand has already hugely exceeded our expectations as we’ve had no shortage of businesses wanting to rent the serviced offices, which come with ‘easy in, easy out’ terms and no long leases.

The Tamworth Enterprise Centre on Corporation Street

The Tamworth Enterprise Centre on Corporation Street

“We hope to see lots of sole traders and companies using the executive lounge, touchdown areas and meeting rooms, so that the centre becomes a real hive of activity. It also offers a great opportunity for people who may usually work from home to come and interact in a busy professional environment. We’ve already seen examples of collaborative working among the businesses at the centre and we hope to see more of that in the future.

“Experts from Tamworth Borough Council’s Economic Development and Regeneration Team and other business organisations, such as the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP, will also be on hand at times, which will give businesses direct access to help and support in setting up or growing their ventures. Our aim is for the centre to help establish Tamworth as a great place to do business and it is already off to a great start in that respect.”

The centre’s new tenants include a variety of businesses from sectors such as recruitment, security, care provision, e-learning, research, website development and a trade body. Some are relatively new, while others are well established businesses which were looking for modern, centrally-located new offices.

The opening of Tamworth Enterprise Centre marks the completion of the first stage of the major Enterprise Quarter project to regenerate Tamworth town centre in a £6.1million project led by Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council. It has also been funded in part by the Local Growth Fund, through Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedStaffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Economic Growth, Cllr Mark Winnington, said: “Tamworth’s new enterprise centre is part of the wider regeneration of the town centre and the fact that it is already nearly fully occupied speaks volumes for the strength of our economy. It will be a real boost for small businesses in the borough, providing tenants with excellent facilities and flexible tenancy arrangements, allowing them to grow and prosper. Small business success is vital to our economy and they create thousands of jobs for Staffordshire people. We’re pleased to have worked with the borough council and LEP to support this project.”

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedStoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP Chairman, David Frost CBE, said: “We are delighted that this showpiece Enterprise Centre is proving to be so successful and attracting such strong interest from businesses – even before its official opening. It is a great example of the ‘can-do’ attitude of local business people and our partners at Tamworth Borough Council.

“The LEP is proud to be contributing a total of £2.95million to the creation of Tamworth’s Enterprise Quarter, which will revitalise the town centre and make a Tamworth a really vibrant place to live, work and do business.”

For more information about the facilities on offer, businesses can visit the website www.tamworthenterprisecentre.co.uk, or email tec@tamworth.gov.uk to enquire about hiring a meeting room. Prices range from £10 to £20 per hour depending on the size of the room.

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