There’s a school reunion for former pupils of Kingston Secondary Boys’ School, Dartmouth St, Stafford (all years) at Stafford Rangers Social Club on Friday 30th March 2018 from 8pm. The last reunion was back in 2010 and previously to that 1997. I’m trying to get everyone together for one last time. Please pass on the details to anyone who maybe interested, there will be more details to follow. There’s some interviews from last time (to wet your appetite) here,
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Children from across Staffordshire are invited to join Animal Agents as part of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.
Staffordshire’s library Service are backing the campaign and are asking the county’s 4-11 year-olds to borrow and read any six library books during the summer holidays.
This year’s theme is Animal Agents, based on a detective agency staffed by all kinds of clever animals – furry, scaly and slippery – who are out to crack a case at the library with a little help from their friends.
To take part in the challenge, all children need to do is to head to their local library where they will be given a collector folder to keep a record of their reading journey. As children read their library books over the summer, they collect stickers which will help them crack the clues and help the Animal Agents find out what’s really been going on behind the scenes!
Gill Heath, Libraries Chief at Staffordshire County Council said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is always incredibly popular amongst our young readers and this year’s campaign sounds even more fun.
“Reading is the perfect way for youngsters to let their imaginations run wild and keep the boredom at bay during the six week holiday. The challenge is great news for moms and dads too, as it provides a free source of entertainment and it’s educational, so it’s a win – win for everyone. Each year we also get lots of volunteers helping out, so once again, I’d like to pass on a big thanks to them too.”
Tony Ross, the UK’s best-selling children’s illustrator (creator of the Little Princess books, illustrator of the Horrid Henry series by Francesca Simon, and of books by David Walliams and Claire Balding), has created this year’s exclusive artwork.
Animal Agents runs throughout the summer with a range of events and activities planned in the county’s libraries. The campaign finishes on 11 September and people can find out more at their local library or at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/libraries
Tally Accounts has released a fun video to showcase the range of landmarks and fun to be had around Staffordshire. Featuring the likes of Trentham Monkey Forest, Stafford Castle and Cannock Chase, the county has been explored in its entirety, reflecting the role Staffordshire plays in driving the UK economy.
The Welcome to Staffordshire video was officially launched on social media and features Stafford FM’s presenter Ed Marshall, it’s generating much discussion on the economic prosperity that Staffordshire has to offer the UK; as well as monkeys. While this video focuses on one area, the rapid digitisation across all sectors, including accountancy, means that businesses don’t need to be in any particular location to monitor cash flow and get the support of chartered accountants.
“Staffordshire is a thriving county where many businesses are growing,” said Richard Stonier, Partner at Tally Accounts. “We have great connections all over the UK because of the county’s centralised location, and this is reflected in the highly skilled and successful businesses in the area.
“This video is a celebration of all things Staffordshire, and while some businesses may outgrow and expand their business footprints to outside of Staffordshire, they can still continue to use the same accountancy software. You can be anywhere in the world to access the cloud, and it is this cloud-based approach to accountancy that will drive the continual growth of Staffordshire businesses.”
Many locations across the county have been recognised as part of this video, including the Oatcake Boat, the Stafford ghost walk and Penkridge town centre. The video also features Georgie, a Staffordshire bull terrier, as a mascot for the Staffordshire bull dog breed.
The official video can be viewed below, if you would like to have your say on the video, the social media discussion has been categorised using the hashtag, #StaffordshireRocks.
Work on a £2.5 million restoration of the award winning Victoria Park in Stafford will go ahead thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.
The Borough Council have announced it has been successful in its bid for over £1.7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund as part of the ‘Parks for People’ programme.
Plans have already been approved for the restoration work that will concentrate on the historical section of the park, which boasts a bowling green and aviary along with historical features such as the Mottram Shelter and County War Memorial with the River Sow running through the centre.
Feedback from residents and community groups has revealed the majority of those using the park would like an enhanced catering facility, a better aviary and have a horticultural learning centre – among a number of ideas put forward.
The £2.5 million project is made up of the £1,716,300 National Lottery money with the additional £800,000 coming from the Council. Work is expected to start in January.
You can see the proposed improvements with a virtual tour of the park from www.staffordbc.gov.uk/hlf.
Staffordshire Police have a dedicated proactive online child abuse investigation team, Operation Safenet, to protect vulnerable young people.
The team actively pursue those who present a risk to children online across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Such is the team’s success that Operation Safenet was adopted across the region and is now a well-established part of everyday policing.
Since its creation in July 2015 they have been involved in 532 incidents, these are made up of criminal investigations, intelligence gathering and safeguarding.
Each week the team uses the latest digital investigative techniques to identify where illegal images are being viewed, then using this intelligence apply to a magistrate for a search warrant, to allow the police and digital forensic experts to raid the home address to seize evidence and arrest those involved.
Since its launch 183 warrants have been obtained from the courts and actioned across the county.
The 532 incidents the team have been involved in have led to 168 arrests, with an additional 41 suspects being interviewed under police caution.
DS Steve Chadwick, from the team, said: “The investigations have led to 106 offenders being convicted with offences against children with a further 58 suspects still being currently investigated.
“My officers have gained significant skills in this area of policing and working with Digital Forensic Experts and the Crown Prosecution Service have been able to present evidence to such a standard that we have achieved a 100% conviction rate at court.
“Furthermore the efforts of my officers have identified 75 suspected offenders who reside out of Staffordshire with this information being passed to colleagues to action.
“Whilst we hope these figures reassure the public that those individuals who pose a risk to children are being rooted out and held to account, without doubt the most important aspect of this work are the children who have been safeguarded as a result of our proactive approach.
“Of those suspects dealt with, 275 children were identified as being in direct contact with the suspect and were therefore referred to children’s services. What we cannot measure, but equally as important, are those children that we have prevented from becoming future victims.”
If you have any concerns about a young person, or wish to report a crime, please call Staffordshire Police on 101, or alternatively call CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555 111. You can also use the anonymous reporting form here,
For help and advice please see the following websites: