Local News

Business boost as temporary town centre parking scheme extended

Right for Business

A temporary scheme to enable people to park for longer in Stafford town centre if they’re using one of the businesses located there is being extended until March.

Staffordshire County Council, working with Stafford Borough Council, introduced the scheme in November last year after meeting with town centre traders about ongoing parking issues. With the town’s Kingsmead car park still to open, traders had asked if there would be any possibility of allowing longer on street parking than the usual two hours.

The temporary permit scheme allows people to park for up to two hours with permits distributed by the businesses to their customers. The scheme will apply to 37 spaces in North Walls and Salter Street. In addition to the car parking spaces, the scheme will also apply to five taxi rank spaces in Salter Street following agreement with Stafford Borough Council.

Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “We want to support local businesses wherever we can and launched the temporary parking scheme before Christmas after we met with local traders. We’re pleased to announce an extension to the scheme until early March. We understand the issues they face in terms of encouraging people to visit that part of the town centre, especially with the Kingsmead car park out of action. This scheme allows longer parking in certain spaces and is operated by the businesses themselves. In the longer term we will be looking to develop a wider parking strategy with the borough council. I’d again like to thank the borough council for working with us. This demonstrates how we can work with local businesses to overcome issues affecting their trade.”

The scheme has been extended until Monday March 6.


STAFFORD FM’s CRIMELINE: Appeal for information – armed robbery in Stafford


Stafford Police are appealing for information after an armed robbery occurred in Stafford on the evening of Sunday 15 January.

The incident occurred at just before 9pm at the Cooperative Food store on Holmcroft Road.

Three white men in balaclavas, one believed to be in possession of a firearm and another with a bladed weapon, approached the store on foot. The three suspects took a large quantity of cash, alcohol and cigarettes. They then made off on foot and were seen heading towards Eccleshall Road.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident 658 of 15th January. Alternatively, you can contact the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not need to go to court.

Young people urged to put pen to paper in Poetry Competition

Young people from across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are being invited to put pen to paper in an exciting poetry competition.

The competition is being organised by Staffordshire County Council’s Library Service and the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Young Poet Laurate, 16-year-old Isobel Horsley.

Isabel Horsley

Teenagers need to write their own original poem and take a photograph to go with it with the chance to win a Polaroid Snap instant print camera. The competition is open to young people aged 13 to 18 and closes on 11 February.

The Young Poet Laurate scheme and competition hopes to promote a love of poetry and showcase the creative writing skills of children across the area.

Gill Heath and Esme Hookway

Gill Heath, Cabinet Member responsible for Staffordshire County Council’s library Service said: “Isobel is our fourth young poet laureate now which is proving year on year to be a hugely popular scheme to get more young people into poetry.

“The competition was Isobel’s own idea and she now wants to show people how much fun writing and reading poetry can be. I would encourage anyone with an interest in writing to have a go, take a photo to go with the poem and enter the competition.  You never know, you could discover a real hidden talent, you could win a prize, or simply see how much fun writing poetry can be.”

Isobel, currently a pupil at King Edwards School in Lichfield, said: “I’m thrilled to be the Young Poet Laurate because I can now share my love for poetry with other young people my age and perhaps convince them it’s not as boring as they think it might be.

“I like writing about things I see or I think are interesting and as part of the competition, having a nice photo to go with the poem helps bring it to life.  I’d definitely encourage people to have a go.  In my year as poet laureate I want to try and organise lots of cool activities, events and  competitions and see if we can get more people enthused about poetry.”

People can find out more about Staffordshire’s Library Service and the Young Poet Laurate at www.staffordshire.gov.uk.  Youngsters should email their poems and photos to [email protected]

Pictured above Isabel Horsley and Gill Heath with Esme Hookway.

Staffordians urged to recycle Christmas trees


Residents in Stafford have been urged to recycle their real Christmas trees when this year’s festivities come to an end.

If residents don’t want to chop them up and put them in their brown bins, trees can be taken to these sites between Tuesday 3 and Tuesday 10 January:-

• Fletcher’s Garden Centre, Eccleshall
• The Allotments Car Park, Gnosall
• The Green Recycling Centre, Barlaston
• The Jubilee Playing Fields Recycling Centre, Little Haywood
• Wyevale Garden Centre, Wolseley Bridge

They can also be taken to Staffordshire County Council’s waste and recycling centres in St Albans Road in Stafford, and Beacon Road, Stone. There is more information at www.staffordshire.gov.uk

Meanwhile, residents have also been urged by Stafford Borough Council to check their bin collection calendars to make sure they put their bins out on the right days over the festive period.

There will be revised collection dates for green, blue and brown bins across Stafford Borough from Christmas Eve to Saturday 7 January. Changes to the collection dates are clearly marked on the calendar and residents can also check online by entering their postcode at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/collectiondays

Council £200k success in rough sleeper bid


Stafford Borough Council has been successful in securing more than £200,000 to help those sleeping rough.

The funding is part of a Government pot of money which was set aside for new initiatives to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness.

The Council has identified two projects which the money will support – with more details being released in the New Year.

The announcement of the winning bids was made last week by the Department for Communities and Local Government with Stafford awarded £211,629.

Councillor Jeremy Pert, Cabinet Member for Communities at the Borough Council, said it was great news to have secured such a large amount of funding:  “We have been successful in preventing hundreds of people from our Borough becoming homeless using a range of initiatives, and this money will help enhance that work.

“This successful award from central government demonstrates the confidence in our plans – not only to tackle rough sleeping, but to ensure that some of our most vulnerable people have the proper help and support available from the appropriate agencies.”

He added: “We will receive more details in the New Year concerning the awards but we will be working with our partners to ensure the funding is used quickly to help those sleeping rough in the Borough.”

The successful bids can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/homelessness-prevention-programme