Local News

Staffordshire Youth Endeavour Grants Award Launched To Help Young People Follow The Dreams



A new fund has been created to help young people living within a 20 mile radius of Stoke on Trent break down barriers and follow their dreams in a sport, hobby or pursuit. The Youth Endeavour Fund has grants of up to £500 available, per person, for those aged 14-25, for items including equipment, clothing, travel costs, educational trips and volunteering costs. Applications are now open until 20th September 2017.

Young people try new activities on a more regular basis than adults and can be restricted to engaging with a narrow range of pursuits due to costs. The Youth Endeavour Fund has no prescriptive list for what activities are included, and what is involved, but the fund advisors are more than happy to receive applications that detail the barriers faced as young people and how the financial help can help them overcome participation challenges. In previous years the Fund has donated to individuals across various projects including paying for travel to Kenya to help build a local school, specialist sports equipment for an Olympic hopeful and professional media equipment for a Performing Arts student.
Steve Adams, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation For Staffordshire who are managing the awards said: “Every year many young people have to give up on the next stage of their hopes and dreams because of a few small obstacles that they just can’t overcome. Often this is for the sake of a small amount of money. The Youth Endeavour Fund is here to help. It could be that someone has seen a new sport on the TV and wants to have a go but the nearest facility requires special transportation. Or they could be pursuing an activity and wish to make it to the next grade, but can’t afford the extra equipment. A small amount of money can make a huge difference and can be life-changing.”
He continued: “The grants are available to people aged 14-25 resident within 20 miles radius of Stoke on Trent. So that will include all of the Potteries, Stafford, Rugeley, Leek, western Shropshire including Market Drayton, East Cheshire including Nantwich and Crewe and Macclesfield and western Derbyshire towards Buxton and Ashbourne. The awards are now open and close on 20th September 2017 and we’d like to invite people to apply and awards will be made on merit and on a set of criteria. If you want more information call us now on 01785 339540 or visit www.staffsfoundation.org.uk
The Community Foundation is a team of professional local community fund and grant managers based in Stafford. Non-profit making, they create and administer benevolent funds and grant giving schemes for philanthropists, business, central Government and local authorities who want to create a lasting local legacy. They give away over £1m every year to Staffordshire voluntary organisations and charities, from their own funds, plus they manage the local distribution of Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief money.

For more information please contact Julian Fisher, Townhouse Communications on 07970 715809.



By-election date set for seats on Stafford Borough Council


A by-election is to take place in May to contest two seats on Stafford Borough Council.

The vacant seats are for the Highfields and Western Downs ward in Stafford.

They became available after the two councillors representing the ward resigned due to them moving away from the Borough.

The by-election will go ahead on Thursday 4 May – which is also the date for the Staffordshire County Council elections.

Any person who is interested in standing in the elections should contact the Borough Council on [email protected] or 01785 619424. Nominations can be submitted from Tuesday 28 March and close at 4pm on Tuesday 4 April.

The last date to register to vote in the Borough by-election and the County Council election is Thursday 13 April.

If you require a postal vote for the elections then applications must be in by 5pm Tuesday 18 April. For more information go to www.staffordbc.gov.uk/elections.

Borough Returning Officer, Tim Clegg, the Chief Executive of Stafford Borough Council, is urging residents not to miss out on the chance to vote.

“Electing councillors to represent you on local issues is really important as they will take key decisions on how services are provided in your neighbourhood.  Please take a few minutes to ensure that you are registered to vote; it is easy to do and will ensure that you have a say on how your local councils are run for you and your family.”

Residents have until the 13 April to register and it will only take a few minutes online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

The Highfields and Western Downs seats became vacant following the resignation of Councillors Maureen Bowen and Stephen O’Connor.

Appeal: Serious collision, Milford


Stafford Police are appealing for information after a cyclist was seriously injured as a result of a road traffic collision.

The incident occurred on the A513, Main Road, Milford, near to the junction of School Lane, on Thursday 16 March around 5.50pm and involved a cyclist and a turquoise Vauxhall Zafira.

The cyclist, a 50-year-old local man, was treated by paramedics before being taken to County Hospital, Stafford, with a suspected head injury. He was later transferred to the Royal Stoke University Hospital where his condition is described as serious but stable.

The driver of the Vauxhall was uninjured.

An investigation into the circumstances of the collision is now underway.

Anyone who can help with any information is asked to contact Stafford Police on 101 quoting incident number 678 of March 16th, or call CRIMESTOPPERS anonymously on 0800-555-111

Road improvement scheme set to begin on main Stafford route


Road works sign

An improvement scheme at a main road junction in Stafford is set to begin this Sunday.

Resurfacing, drain and kerb repairs will be carried out at the junction of the A34 Lichfield Road and Riverway. The main resurfacing work will be carried out overnight during the week beginning Monday March 20. All work is due to finish by Monday March 27.

From this Sunday, the southbound lane of Riverway will be closed for a 100 metre stretch from the A34 junction. Temporary traffic lights will also be in operation on the A34 Lichfield Road. Resurfacing work will take place between 7pm and 7am from Monday March 20 to Friday March 24. During these times Lichfield Road will be closed completely for 100 metres each side of the Riverway junction, while Riverway will be closed completely for 100 metres from the junction.

Staffordshire County Council’s highways leader Mark Deaville said: “Lichfield Road is a busy route into Stafford and we’re keen to carry out these essential improvements as quickly as possible. We’re carrying out the main resurfacing work overnight to minimise disruption. It will also be necessary to close a short section of the southbound section of Riverway. We’d urge people to allow additional time for their journeys if travelling in the area and plan alternative routes if possible. We would like to thank people in advance for their patience.”

The county council is investing £114,000 in the improvements.


Superfast Staffordshire tees up £400,000 plan to help its most remote communities get superfast fibre broadband



A £400,000 drive to make superfast fibre broadband available in even more of Staffordshire’s most remote communities is in full swing.

Superfast Staffordshire – the partnership led by Staffordshire County Council and BT – launched its Community Fibre Partnership Support Fund at Norton Bridge Golf Club, near Stone, one of the rural businesses looking forward to benefiting from the new scheme.

Staffordshire County Council devised the Community Fibre Partnership Support Fund (CFPSF) – believed to be the first local authority-led initiative of its kind – as part of its drive to reach the final four per cent of county premises not currently part of any public or private sector fibre broadband upgrade plans.

The Superfast Staffordshire partnership, which is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, has set aside £400,000 for co-funding projects through its CFPSF.

As part of the scheme, any money raised by households and businesses in an eligible community can be matched by the Superfast Staffordshire Community Fibre Partnership Support Fund. Additional funding towards the extensive engineering work will come from Openreach, BT’s local network business, through BT’s Community Fibre Partnership programme, which is already working with hundreds of communities across the country.

Staffordshire’s unique approach has already been piloted in two communities – Cotwalton village and the Brookside Business Park, near Stone – where upgrade work will be completed later this year.

Cold Norton became the latest community to benefit from the Community Fibre Partnership Support Fund. As a result of this latest deal, around 50 premises in Cold Norton – including the recently opened Norton Bridge Golf Club – will be able to access some of the fastest broadband speeds in the country when the extensive upgrade work is completed within the next 12 months*.

Engineers from Openreach will be installing Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology, which is capable of delivering Ultrafast download speeds up to 1 Gigabit and upload speeds of up to 220Mbps.

Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley said: “Nine out of ten homes and businesses in the UK can now get superfast broadband, but we know there is still more to do. We’ve already taken superfast broadband to an extra 71,000 Staffordshire premises who would otherwise have missed out. Community Partnerships like this will help connect some of the hardest to reach places in the county, making sure no-one is left behind.”

Clive Fenton, resident of Cold Norton and community lead for the Community Fibre Partnership, said: “It was hard to accept that our community was not going to automatically have access to high speed broadband and that, to get this technology, we would need to make a contribution towards the cost. We looked at all the options but could see no sustainable solution. However, we were able to make a strong connection with BT and the Superfast Staffordshire team, who were determined to find an achievable solution for the community, and it is fantastic that the ultrafast fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology to be installed will future proof Cold Norton’s access to high speed communications.”

Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader, said: “Staffordshire is leading the way with a unique solution to connect our most hard to reach communities to superfast fibre broadband. The Superfast Staffordshire partnership has been a resounding success and will enable 96 per cent of properties to access fast broadband by the end of 2018. We have always said we would do all we could to reach the final four per cent and the Community Fibre Partnership Support Fund initiative is one of a number of ways we can do that. It is the first of its kind in the UK and other areas are already looking to follow our example. Access to superfast broadband improves quality of life and means businesses can thrive and that is why connecting communities is a priority to us.”

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Partnerships like these help us to bring high-speed connections to challenging areas that the private sector would have difficulty reaching alone.

“Already more than 92 per cent of the UK can access superfast speeds and we’re committed to going even further, making fibre broadband as widely available as possible. This innovative approach in Staffordshire is giving an important new dimension to our Community Fibre Partnerships programme, which is already helping hundreds of similar projects across the UK. As a result, more households and businesses will be able to access faster broadband speeds at highly competitive prices from a wide choice of internet service providers.”

Andy Dennis, owner and manager of the Norton Bridge Golf Club, said: “A good broadband service is vital for our business, and we’re looking forward to being able to offer our members and visitors free, reliable wi-fi when they’re relaxing in the club house after a game.”

For more information and to apply to the Superfast Staffordshire Community Fibre Partnership Support Fund go to: www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk/other-information/CFPFund

More information about BT’s Community Fibre Partnership programme is available from:www.communityfibre.bt.com

So far Superfast Staffordshire has enabled around 71,000 households and businesses to connect to superfast broadband speeds. The figure rises to more than 470,000** when combined with commercial fibre roll-outs by private sector companies, such as BT.


**Source: www.thinkbroadband.co.uk