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Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire PCC at the launch of the 2017 Space programme.

THIS summer’s Space programme for young people is being hailed a success. Indications are that the summer of fun coincided with a reduction in youth-related, anti-social behaviour across Staffordshire.

The Space programme was originally an activities scheme led by police in Staffordshire during the 80’s and 90’s to provide fun activities for young people during the school summer holiday.

The new version of Space was relaunched by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and is aimed at young people up to 17 year-olds. The activities are delivered by a partnership of public and voluntary organisations, including the Police.

The latest figures relate to a six week period this year when over 2,000 activities were staged across Staffordshire and Stoke-On-Trent.  Thanks to the support of the Police and Crime Commissioner, many events are free and participation is expected to be up on last year.

Speaking about the results, PCC Matthew Ellis said: ‘A lot of work has gone on to ensure that activities are fun and stimulating for young people to keep them active and engaged over the summer holidays.

‘The approach is clearly having a positive impact in communities in terms of reducing youth-related anti-social behaviour, combined with a pro-active approach by beat officers and PCSO’s.’

Chief Superintendent of Local Policing in Staffordshire, Wayne Jones said: ‘It’s clear that young people benefit from positive activities that focus their energy and the Space programme provides welcome support to the work of our community police officers.’

Ankerside Big Toddle 1

THE town’s shopping centre will be showing support for Macmillan next week as Stay & Play returns for free mug decorating.

Ankerside Shopping Centre’s monthly Stay & Play morning will return on Thursday, 28 September, where little ones will have the chance to decorate mugs to take home and donate to the centre’s Macmillan fundraising day on Saturday, 30 September.

Alongside all the drawing fun, children along with mums, dads and grandparents will also be able to enjoy inflatables, a bubble machine and a visit from Ankerside’s colourful monster between 9.30am and 11.30am.

Jeff Wigley, Ankerside Shopping Centre manager, said he is looking forward to starting the fundraising fun early at the centre’s monthly Stay & Play. “The response to our Macmillan fundraising day is fantastic each year, so we thought this would be a great opportunity to create something extra special to mark the annual event.

“Throughout the morning, little ones will be decorating mugs with their very own drawings,” he said. “These will then be donated and sold at our Macmillan fundraiser the following Saturday.

“Thursday is also a chance for children to fill in their learning books that they bring along to each event and it’s a great little memento for parents.

“We hope everyone has a lovely time at our Stay & Play morning next week and we can’t wait to see the children’s fabulous mug creations.”

The Stay & Play fun takes place from 9.30am to 11.30am in Druckers Café on the last Thursday of each month and is free for anyone looking after children to attend with the little ones.

we love tamworth event

RESIDENTS and visitors to Tamworth will be able to sample what the town has to offer on Saturday 2 September when ‘We Love Tamworth’ brings the Castle Grounds to life with fairground rides, a dog show, assault course, stalls and much more.

Organised by Tamworth Borough Council with help from the Tamworth Lions Club, it aims to raise awareness for local organisations and charities, as well as promote healthy living.

All money raised through the event will be invested back in to local community projects, with money from previous events having helped finance the installation of a defibrillator in the town centre.

There will also be a dedicated Children’s Zone featuring walkabout characters, mini zoo, inflatables, obstacle course, junior Gladiators, face painting, balloon modelling, craft activities and more. Entry to the Zone will be £3 per child, with adults getting in free of charge.

Dog lovers are invited to bring along their pets and enter them for the fun dog show. There are categories for waggiest tail, junior handler for owners between seven and 13, cutest puppy, prettiest crossbreed bitch, handsomest crossbreed dog, scruffiest scamps, prettiest pedigree bitch, prettiest pedigree dog and golden oldies – for dogs aged seven and over.

Entry into the dog show is £1 per class and sessions take place on the half hour from 11.30am until 3.30pm. Organisers will also be accepting donations of dog food, blankets, towels and treats for the Dog Rescue Centre on the day. More details about the dog show can be obtained by calling 0121 3130174 or 07894 644572.

Stalls already booked for this year include Tamworth Arts Club, Citizen’s Advice, Parkinson’s UK, Tamworth Samaritans, and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

Also present at this year’s event is Silver Star Diabetes, an organisation which campaigns for diabetes awareness.  There are currently over 3 million people in the UK diagnosed with diabetes, with another estimated 1 million people living with diabetes who are unaware they have it. With that in mind, Silver Star Diabetes is offering free screenings and advice for people who may be concerned about their health.

Whether you’re looking for some inspiration or just want to celebrate Tamworth’s community, the ‘We Love Tamworth’ is sure to hit the spot.

For more information on setting up a stall at the event, or other general inquiries, contact Mark Kyte on [email protected].

DPCC Sue Arnold, DCO Graham Smout, Uttoxeter Racecourse CEO David MacDonald and Staffordshire Police Cadets.

UTTOXETER Racecourse is the latest business to support the Staffordshire Police Cadets after donating 50 tickets to the BBQ Family Fun Raceday and a voucher for a table in the 1907 restaurant.

Staffordshire Police Cadets have been busy raffling the 50 BBQ Family Fun Raceday tickets in order to raise funds for the cadet units. The event, which takes place on 30th July, will include a great British BBQ and family entertainment including a Burton Albion shoot out, Wildlife displays, assault courses and inflatables.

Uttoxeter Racecourse have also invited the cadets to attend the Beer Festival Raceday on Saturday 18thNovember to promote the cadet programme and do a collection to raise funds for new units.

The Staffordshire Police Cadets have in return offered their services to Uttoxeter Racecourse and will be available to provide assistance at raceday events, including traffic management and assisting members of the public.

Mrs Arnold said: ‘This is wonderful news for the ongoing success of the Cadets in Staffordshire and I would like to say a big thank you to Uttoxeter Racecourse for their generosity.

‘The money we raise from raffling the BBQ Family Fun Day tickets, the table for four in the 1907 restaurant and the collection day will allow us to plan activities and training for the cadets. This will help the scheme to be as effective as possible, and allow more and more young people the opportunity to become a Cadet.’

David MacDonald, CEO of Uttoxeter Racecourse, added: ‘Uttoxeter Racecourse are proud to support Staffordshire Police Cadets. Their work is providing the youth of the county with skills they will need in future years.

‘It is humbling to hear stories of youngster’s lives being transformed since joining the cadets, getting themselves back on track and giving them a new found confidence and a purpose.”

 DPCC Sue Arnold, DCO Graham Smout, Uttoxeter Racecourse CEO David MacDonald and Staffordshire Police Cadets.

DPCC Sue Arnold, DCO Graham Smout, Uttoxeter Racecourse CEO David MacDonald and Staffordshire Police Cadets.

The Staffordshire Police Cadet Service was launched by Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis in 2013 to strengthen links between the police and young people and promote good citizenship. Seven successful Cadet units have been launched so far including a unit in Tamworth.

The Police Cadets work towards several nationally recognised qualifications including team-working and citizenship. Many of the Cadets have found that through the scheme they are becoming not only more confident and outgoing, but that they are also benefiting both socially and academically, all while helping to build links between the police and young people.

Businesses are invited to become Patrons or Sponsors to help fund uniforms and equipment for the Cadets. In return for becoming a Patron, businesses’ contributions are recognised through publicity, a framed certificate and other opportunities. More information is available at www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/police-cadets


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 [email protected].

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.

Christopher Pincher MP

TAMWORTH MP Christopher Pincher has welcomed the news that in a report by the Commonwealth Fund, a US think tank, the NHS has come out as number one in the world compared to 11 other countries.

The NHS was praised for its safety, affordability and efficiency, but fared less well on outcomes such as preventing early death and cancer survival.

It is the second time in a row that the NHS has come top.

The news comes despite critics claiming that the NHS is in its tightest financial situation since its creation.

Mr Pincher said: “Today our healthcare system has been ranked the best healthcare system of 11 wealthy countries. The NHS cam top in 5 of the 11 areas assess, including access and safety of care.

“Not only does the NHS rank the highest in measures related to the equity of health systems with respect to access and care process, but it also ranks first based on the performance across prevention, safe care, coordination, and patient engagement. This is a clear reflection of the dedication of the NHS staff who, despite increasing pressures, are delivering safer, more compassionate care than ever.

“Ranked the best healthcare system of 11 wealthy counties, the NHS has again shown why it is the single thing that makes us most proud to be British.”

Skey PArk

PLANS for a future retail and community facility in Wilnecote went on display to the public earlier this week.

Central England Co-operative have announced that the existing Co-operative supermarket at Ninian Way, Wilnecote will be closing soon. The Society has been working with Hawkstone Vale Developments Ltd to look at regenerating the site.

There is an opportunity to redevelop the whole site and bring forward a new retail and community facility. This development is proposed to be named ‘Skey Park’ and is set to show an investment of £15.2 million.

Once the site is operational, it is estimated that it will create around 234 jobs directly, with a further 105 jobs created indirectly.

This will create a net wage of around £1.6 million which could potentially increase expenditure in Tamworth.

The existing site

The existing site off Ninian Way, Wilnecote

As part of the consultation on plans the company held a public exhibition this week, 12 July in store. At the exhibition display information was available to view. You can download the exhibition boards here for more detail on the proposals.

The site is described as a sustainable, brown field site and developers have said that as it will soon become vacant, it provides an ideal location for a new development.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedHawkstone Vale Developments have said: “Your views on the project are important to us and we will consider them as we finalise the proposals for the submission of the planning application to Tamworth Borough Council.

“We would therefore be very grateful if you could take the time to complete our feedback form or contact us on [email protected] or by calling 0121 233 0902″

Skey Park Proposals

Skey Park is being proposed to regenerate a central site in Wilnecote to bring forward an exciting retail and community offer.

The proposed development will include the demolition of the existing store and the petrol filling station. By re-contouring the site this will create two at areas to develop upon (the site is currently sloped).

In the west of the site it is proposed to build seven retail units varying in sizes. Two of these units will include mezzanine floors.

In the east part of the site it is proposed to build a new discount food store (seen in green), it is also proposed to develop three restaurants / cafes (seen in blue).

To the south of the site a crèche is proposed.  In addition to this, a new gym can be provided on one of the mezzanine oors of the new retail units.

New planting and landscaping will also be introduced throughout the site.

A car parking area is provided including 467 car parking spaces; comprising of 433 car spaces, 27 disabled spaces and 7 parent and child spaces.

The proposed site layout

The proposed site layout

Some people may ask why is the existing Co-operative Store is closing down; well the company says that the existing store has seen a decline in sales. Like other retailers, Central England Co-operative need to constantly adapt to retail challenges at a local level. This decision was taken to close the store to protect the long-term future and growth of the Society as a whole.

As for the company that a looking at the redevelopment, who are Hawkstone Vale Developments Ltd? Hawkstone is a privately owned, property development and investment company which founded in 1997. They have gained a reputation for high quality developments throughout the UK.

Their current portfolio is comprised of retail, leisure and mixed use, residential and of ce schemes nationwide, many of which are retained within a £115 million investment portfolio.

AS fundraising continues for a new Staffordshire Regiment memorial in Tamworth, modelled after the regiments iconic Staffordshire Bull Terrier mascot, the artist commissioned to make the memorial has a stunning sculpture going on display at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Johanna E Domke-Guyot has produced a sculpture called ‘ Silent Memories’. The sculpture took over a year to make and is coming to the National Memorial Arboretum on July 22nd.

The sculpture was previously shown at Westminster Abbey for the Blind Veterans UK Centenary, commemorating the struggle and suffering of veteran’s blinded in the first World War.

The life-size sculpture depicts each soldier holding on the shoulder of the soldier in front, leading the way to an uncertain future.

The sculpture will now be exhibiting at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas from July 22nd until November, with Johanna E Domke-Guyot there in person on July 22nd to talk with visitors about the piece.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedJohanna said “I will be there on the Saturday from 10am, please come along for the opening around 11am. It took me over a year to produce the piece, I put my heart and soul in this work.

“I would love this to be a permanent reminder of the suffering of these young lads of WW1. Each holding on the shoulder of the one in front leading the way to an uncertain future. The comments from people that saw the piece were amazing, some people even cried and said it was so poignant.“

More examples of her work can be found at http://www.johannadomke-guyot.com/index.php

The sculpture that is to go on display. Credit: Johanna E Domke-Guyot

The sculpture that is to go on display. Credit: Johanna E Domke-Guyot

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedCllr Robert Pritchard said, “We are so lucky to have an artist of Johanna’s skill and passion to make our new memorial. The volunteers involved in the project have been working hard and donations have been pouring in from local businesses, residents and veterans.

“We need to raise £10,000 for the bronze Staffordshire Regiment memorial for the Castle Grounds and we have already reached the £7,000 mark.”

Anyone wanting to donate to the Staffordshire Regiment memorial for the Castle Grounds can do so by visiting the Community Together CIC Activity Centre in the Castle Grounds, opposite the Tennis Courts, or by visiting www.watchmanv.co.uk.

Next Place Property Agents

A SMALL independent estate agency in Tamworth has been named the best in the West Midlands when it comes to achieving the advertised asking price on homes for sale.

Research by consumer body Which? found Next Place Property Agents sold 60% of its properties for the asking price (29%) or above (31%) – which is double the regional average. Just 1% of properties sold by Next Place had the final sale price reduced by more than 5%, compared with a regional average of around 20%.

Hundreds of estate agents selling more than 100 properties per year were assessed and the findings put Next Place above all others looked at in the West Midlands region.

The single branch sales and lettings business was set up by Anton Plackowski three years ago out of frustration following the poor service he had received during his own experiences of buying and selling homes.

Originally from an IT and sales background, Anton uses a business-to-business approach to provide a high level of service to every customer looking to buy, sell or rent a property.

For Anton, the findings from Which? come as little surprise.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth Informed“Considering we are just a small independent business, operating alongside some major chains, the findings from Which? are brilliant news for us. However, I’m not surprised by the figures themselves because we don’t overvalue properties to win business,” he said.

“We tell people what they need to hear, rather than what they want to hear and by valuing a property correctly in the first place, we are able to sell it for what it’s worth, and sometimes a bit more.”

“The way we do things is very different,” Anton explained. “We are open until 8pm, seven days a week; we can get properties listed within 24 hours and we use social media and hundreds of websites to market properties effectively.

“We do not employ pushy sales tactics and we are in constant communication with customers. People appreciate our straight-forward, honest approach and the fact that we always deliver on our promises. As a result, most of our business is through recommendation.”

In the three years since opening, the business has experienced incredible growth. It now employs six members of staff and has been the top selling agent in the B77 and B78 areas for the past two years, according to Rightmove.

The achievement by Next Place was highlighted as part of an in-depth feature in a recent edition of the Which? magazine.

The report claimed that sellers across the country are losing billions of pounds due to inflated house prices as overvalued properties often suffer several price reductions, take longer to sell and eventually sell for a much lower price compared to homes which are realistically valued in the first place.

To uncover the scale of the overvaluing problem, Which? analysed more than 370,000 property sales in England and Wales between October 2015 and September 2016. It used data from property portals to reveal the differences between listed prices and sold prices.

The investigation found homes which had been heavily reduced by more than 5% of initial asking price took 64 days longer to sell than other properties.

Dr Oliver Tearle, English Lecturer at Loughborough University

ON Monday 10th July academic and author Dr Oliver Tearle visits Tamworth to talk about his latest work, ‘The Secret Library: A Book-Lovers’ Journey Through Curiosities of History.’

Oliver’s revelations in The Secret Library highlight some of the most fascinating aspects of our history and reveal the surprising connections between various works and historical figures.

 Learn about the forgotten Victorian novelist who outsold Dickens, the woman who became the first published poet in America and the eccentric traveller who introduced the table-fork to England.

The talk, organised by Tamworth Literary Festival, takes place in Tamworth Town Hall, 7.00pm for 7.30pm start.

Tickets, which include refreshments, cost £3.50 per person available by telephoning 07562 653565/07913 686295  or email [email protected]  

Local author Heide Goody, who gained second prize in the Tamworth Short Story competition, for her entry ‘Wilfrith and Rowena’ will also be presented with her prize.

Sara Read will also be on hand to sign copies of her book, ‘Maids, Wives, Widows: Exploring Early Modern Woman’s Lives 1540-1714.’

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