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Lichfield District Council’s residents’ magazine



Cooking up a storm Rachel Green is joining chefs from across the region at Lichfield Food Festival on 31 August & 1 September. PAGE 11

A new home for tourist info

Summer of fun

Lichfield’s Tourist Information moves to St Mary’s Heritage Centre.

From holiday clubs to Lichfield Proms, we’ve got a packed summer holiday programme.



Shop locally We’re working with retailers on plans to boost our town and city centres.



intouch Keep up to date on council news

Welcome to intouch Councillor Mike Wilcox, Leader of Lichfield District Council

Welcome to our summer and autumn edition of intouch – Lichfield District Council’s residents’ magazine. 2013 is turning out to be a busy year. We were all so proud to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to Beacon Park in April. As part of the day, Princess Anne rededicated the statue of King Edward VII, and was taken on a tour of the historic park to find out more about its recent transformation.

The Lichfield Garrick officially became a Theatre Trust this year. Becoming a trust puts the theatre in a much stronger position. It means that it is no longer solely reliant on the council for support, as its charity status will allow it to attract external funding, commercial partners and other forms of support. We celebrated securing the funding to refurbish Friary Grange Leisure Centre which is starting this July, and we’re eagerly anticipating the launch of The Friary car park later in the year, which will be a huge boost to the city centre, providing around 400 parking spaces.

It’s a magnificent building and we will be working with the team at St Mary’s to boost the services the centre provides to its visitors. The move will also allow the Lichfield Garrick to use the vacated space to improve its services to theatre goers and performers. Following changes to the way the government funds council tax benefit, we launched our new council tax support scheme in April. We have been helping local people to understand the impact of these changes, as well as changes to the way housing benefit is calculated, by launching an online guide at This year we launched Fit for the Future, which is about how we will continue to offer residents a good range of services, while being realistic about the fact we have less funding. It is a difficult process, but it’s absolutely essential so that we have a strong council in future years. Find out more on page 3. We have a brilliant summer lined up, including our Summer of Fun programme to keep youngsters entertained over the holidays, a Fun Day for all the family in Beacon Park, the second Lichfield Food Festival, Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park, and Lichfield Heritage Weekend. I hope you have a marvellous summer with just the right amount of sunshine and a spot of rain for the gardens!

We are also really excited that, at the time of going to print, our Tourist Information Centre was set to re-open its doors in a new location at St Mary’s Heritage Centre. Above: Beacon Park’s Fun Day

Lichfield Heritage Weekend: Tales Through Time 21 & 22 September 2013 Lichfield Market Square and venues across the city Come along to learn, explore and be entertained with fascinating stories of Lichfield’s past. The weekend includes free entry to local heritage attractions, activities for children with stories of fable and fact, and city centre guided history tours. A full programme will be launched in August. To be added to Visit Lichfield’s mailing list, please call Lichfield’s Tourist Information Centre on 01543 256611. heritageweekend

intouch If you need intouch in another format, such as large print, please call Esther Epstein on 01543 308778 or email esther.epstein

Lichfield District Council’s residents’ magazine

intouch Find out about local festivals and events


A future fit council Next year alone we need to save more than £1.7 million, and face significant cuts in future years. As intouch went to print, councillors were considering a package of proposed measures worth around £1 million. These include changes and cuts in community and partnerships, as well as leisure and operational services. Under the proposals many of our community and partnerships services will be stopped, but we’ll continue to offer support in areas such as community safety, safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, equalities, work clubs and our grant aid programme.

Plans also include reducing the opening times at King Edward VI Leisure Centre, running a smaller playschemes programme from 2014, and reducing sports sessions, youth clubs and exercise classes. Councillors will also consider charging for Shopmobility and public toilets, as well as reducing our emergency planning, grounds maintenance, street cleansing and CCTV budgets, which will be achieved by taking advantage of new contracts and won’t reduce the service to our residents. Councillor Mike Wilcox, Leader of the Council, said: “We’ve worked hard to build up services our communities

value and we are incredibly proud of them, which makes it really hard to consider cutting or reducing the services we deliver. However, the stark funding cuts we face mean we are going to have to make difficult choices that we know will not be understood or supported by everyone.” Subject to the approval of the proposals in July, the measures will be implemented in this financial year (2013 /14). To find out more, visit

fit for the future

Tourist information at St Mary’s on the Market Square As intouch went to print, our Tourist Information Centre was preparing to move from the Lichfield Garrick into its new home in St Mary’s Heritage Centre on Lichfield’s Market Square.

“The move will boost the tourism services we provide and, like all heritage attractions, as footfall is vital to the ongoing survival of St Mary’s, it is hoped that the 40,000 visitors the Tourist Information Centre attracts every year, will also help to safeguard St Mary’s well into the future.” Councillor Val Richards Cabinet Member for Leisure, Communications & Tourism

Services provided by the Tourist Information Centre, include welcoming visitors, booking accommodation, providing visitor guides, and acting as booking agents. “We’re moving in a staged way. Our first stage will be to make sure all our services are up and running. We’ll then spend the summer getting up to speed in our new home, as well as serving this summer season’s visitors. “We are then looking forward to a joint re-launch of St Mary’s Heritage Centre in late summer, early autumn, and we’ll be working with other

partners to see what improvements and enhancements we can make to support their activities as well,” said Councillor Richards. The Tourist Information Centre’s new phone number is 01543 256611.

Above: Members of Visit Lichfield & St Mary’s teams


intouch For housing help and advice

Beacon Park welcomed royalty

School in the park

Hundreds of people gathered in Beacon Park to welcome HRH The Princess Royal who visited the park in April, to celebrate its recent transformation as part of the Lichfield Historic Parks project. Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund. The Princess also saw Olympic inspired flags designed by school pupils and found out about the origins of Martyrs’ Plaque – a stone carving that dates back to the 1700s.

Above: Rededicating the statue of King Edward VII

The visit started in Museum Gardens, where Princess Anne rededicated the newly conserved statue of her great, great grandfather, King Edward VII, by unveiling a new engraving on its plinth that marked the occasion. Her Royal Highness also saw the new statue of Erasmus Darwin and met its sculptor, Peter Walker. This was followed by a visit to the community gardening facility, play area and pool. On the tour, Princess Anne saw young people competing in Community Games – an event to showcase local school children’s sporting talents. She then met specially invited guests, including the main funders of Lichfield Historic Parks project – the Heritage

“We were all so proud to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to Beacon Park. She was interested to hear about the recent conservation and improvement works and told us how much she enjoyed her visit.” Councillor Val Richards Cabinet Member for Leisure, Communications & Tourism

We offer fun education sessions for groups at Beacon Park. They can either be led by our parks team for £15 an hour, or you can lead your own school visit using our self-led course packs. From bug hunting and pond dipping, to natural art and a Morse code challenge, we have lots of interesting ideas to inspire school children from early years to 16 years and over. There are also opportunities for adult learners, so we have something for everyone! To find out more and to access the self-led packs, visit the education section of our Lichfield Historic Parks website at

Our conservation group needs you! We organise monthly conservation days at beauty spots across the district, but need more people to get involved. Our Countryside & Parks Conservation Group is a friendly bunch of volunteers who roll up their sleeves on the first Wednesday of every month to take part in important conservation work. From digging a pond at Beacon Park, to clearing scrub at Gentleshaw Common, it’s a great way to give something back to the landscapes you love and to learn some useful skills. For the programme of conservation days, please visit

Above: The Princess meeting sculptor Peter Walker

Park, the Garden of Remembrance, Minster Pool and Stowe Pool. ParkLife is our free seasonal Lichfield Historic Parks email newsletter. It is packed with news about Beacon

To receive ParkLife, please email or you can read the latest issue online at

Above: Volunteers cutting hay at Christian Fields

Lichfield District Council’s residents’ magazine Check out all the activities we offer every half term and holidays

The summer holidays are nearly here and we have a packed programme to keep children and teenagers active and entertained all summer-long! As well as our daily playschemes for children aged between 5 and 11, we’re running play activity weeks for 5 to 13 year olds. We also have 45 summer holiday clubs, activities, sports courses and more at our leisure centres and parks. So, whatever the activity, we are bound to have something to make sure your children have a summer of fun! To see the full Summer of Fun programme and to find out how to book any of the activities, please visit




intouch There is so much to do at our leisure centres and parks


Golf course Beacon Park 9am to 4pm Prices range from £3.80 to £7.70 Tee-off at our 18-hole pitch and putt golf course at beautiful Beacon Park. After your game, stop by Chandlers Lakeside Bistro for food and drink and take in the views across the pool. For a full list of times, prices and golf club hire, call 01543 308867 or visit

. .

Fun Day & Teddy Bear Games Beacon Park Thursday 14 August 11am to 3pm Free entry Enjoy loads of games, sports and outdoor activities in Beacon Park this August. Children can bring along their teddy bears and compete in races, such as ‘Ted on the Head’.

Leisure Day Lichfield Market Square Wednesday 21 August 11am to 3pm Come to the Market Square on 21 August to try out a range of fitness and leisure activities that we offer. There will be a bouncy castle for children and lots of activities to try for free, including panna football and keep fit tasters.

Lichfield District Council’s residents’ magazine

intouch Check out all the activities we offer every half term and holidays


Friary summer makeover As intouch went to print, we were looking forward to work starting on a number of improvements to Friary Grange Leisure Centre. The £500,000 makeover includes refurbishing the swimming pool changing rooms, moving the main entrance, improving access to the leisure centre and pool, and creating a viewing platform to the pool from an extended refreshment area. Councillor Val Richards, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Communications & Tourism, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that by working in partnership, we have secured the funding for this ambitious project. The changing rooms have needed to be updated for some time, and so we are pleased that the work is set to go ahead.”

Whether your child is energetic, artistic or an adventurer, we have a fantastic selection of parties to choose from. You can party on at our leisure centres, in Beacon Park, or we can even bring the party to you. Prices start from £50. To see the full range of parties and prices, visit Refurbishing the swimming pool changing rooms will mean that the pool will be closed throughout the summer and into autumn. The rest of the leisure centre will remain open and we will try to keep disruption to a minimum. To find out how the work will affect swimming lessons or clubs, please speak to a member of Friary Grange Leisure Centre’s reception team. “We know everyone will miss the swimming pool over the summer, but we hope swimmers will take advantage of Burntwood Leisure Centre’s two pools while it is out of action,” continued Cllr Richards. Keep up to date on the works as they progress over the summer and autumn by visiting Friary Grange Leisure Centre’s makeover is supported by Lichfield District Council, The Friary School, Staffordshire County Council, Sport England and Aiming High.

Useful numbers Burntwood Leisure Centre 01543 308810 ............................................

Friary Grange Leisure Centre 01543 308842 ............................................

King Edward VI Leisure Centre 01543 308782 ............................................

Beacon Park 01543 308867 ............................................

Chasewater Country Park

Looking for a local sports club?

01543 370607 ............................................

From dance and gymnastics to rugby and cricket, we list loads of local clubs on our online Club Finder.

Mobile Leisure 01543 308787 ............................................


intouch There is so much to do at our leisure centres and parks

Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park Saturday 7 September . Free event Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park is our free outdoor concert for the whole family. Now in its fifteenth year, it’s an opportunity to enjoy a late summer evening of live classical music, picnics and fireworks. The family-friendly event will start at 5.30pm with children’s entertainment. Then at 6pm the City of Lichfield Concert Band will play a programme of popular music to warm up the crowd. This will lead to the main concert at 7.30pm, which will feature The British Police Symphony Orchestra that will perform a varied musical programme, and will be joined by singers, Mitesh Khatri and Sarah Ryan. Following a patriotic sing-along and a fireworks finale, the evening will draw to a close at around 9.45pm. So, get your Union flags and hats at the ready, and put the date in your diary for the event of the summer!

Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park can only take place through the kind support of our sponsors. Donations on the night are also very much appreciated.

Lichfield District Council’s residents’ magazine

intouch A handy map of our city centre car parks


Finishing touches to Burntwood’s going new Friary car park We’re looking forward to opening our new car park and public toilets on The Friary later this year. The multi-layer car park will offer the city around 400 long-stay spaces, and will be a valuable addition to the bustling city centre. The car park is part of a larger £14 million development that also includes 54 supported apartments for Bromford residents and six shared ownership apartments that Bromford Homes is selling. A contractor is being appointed for the second phase of the

development, and it is hoped work will start on the new 79-bedroom Premier Inn hotel and restaurant this summer. The team behind the Friary Outer redevelopment includes Lichfield District Council, S Harrison, Bromford Group, the Homes & Communities Agency and Premier Inn. To find out more, please visit friaryouter

Pictured: Artist’s impression of Premier Inn

Saving our heritage After putting forward a process to survey and record the state of Lichfield District and Tamworth Borough’s grade II listed buildings, English Heritage has chosen us to take part in a Heritage at Risk pilot scheme. The pilot aims to set out the best way to assess the condition of grade II listed buildings, which are not as yet covered by the national Heritage at Risk Register, and make up around 90 percent of all listed buildings. The project will produce a ‘How to Survey Listed Buildings' guide and a ‘Heritage at Risk’ report. We’re now busy monitoring buildings across Lichfield District and Tamworth Borough and looking at ways funding could be raised for any buildings that are at risk.

We’re helping Burntwood retailers shape plans for how to invest their £50,000 share of the High Street Innovation Funding. To help come up with ideas to boost trade, a new business forum called Burntwood Business Crew has been set up. Projects identified as priorities by the team so far include improved road signage, new welcome signs in key retail areas, and better promotion and marketing. To promote local shops, Burntwood Business Crew is set to launch Totally Locally, which asks local people to consider spending at least £5 a week in local independent shops. Using a rough calculation, it is estimated that if every adult in Burntwood spent just £5 a week in their local independent shops, it would be worth £5.7 million a year going into the local economy. This could bring more jobs, better facilities, making the Burntwood area an even nicer place to live and shop. Visit totallylocallyburntwood for more details.

Boosting Lichfield City A new campaign is being launched this summer to promote Lichfield City centre’s lifestyle offer, focusing on shopping, eating, drinking and visitor attractions. The campaign has been put together by Lichfield Town Team, a group of traders that we are working with to help invest £50,000 High Street Innovation Funding and £10,000 Town Team funding to boost the city centre. The promotion features colourful adverts with the strapline, ’Lichfield, One inspiring city’, and will be appearing in various formats across the district and beyond soon.

Running alongside the adverts, there will also be a new map of the city, a mobile app, a new website, door stickers and more. To find out how to get involved in the Town Team, visit

One inspiring city


intouch From blocked drains to fly-tipping, report a problem online

Homes direct to your computer a new choice based lettings system for the district We work with Bromford Living and other housing agencies to help local people find affordably priced homes to rent. Until recently, local housing association properties were let through an online housing register called UChoose. In July we changed over to a new online lettings system called Homes Direct. Homes Direct now offers you: • more choice and information about

your housing options • an easy way to change your application if your circumstances change • an immediate banding decision without the need to provide verification documents until you’re shortlisted for a property Everyone that opted to stay on the housing register, which is managed by Bromford Living, has been moved across to Homes Direct and will be receiving letters with their new log in details soon. To find out more or to register, visit or call Bromford Living on 0330 1234 034. If you are worried about your housing options and need help and advice, please visit or contact our housing options team on 01543 308703 or 308709.

Car safety reminder Staffordshire Police has noticed a rise in criminals targeting cars to steal valuables left in plain view. Items that have been stolen recently include sat navs, laptops, iPads, money, tools, bags and more. To tackle this rise in vehicle crime, Lichfield District Safer Community Partnership has issued a warning to all local drivers. Councillor Colin Greatorex, Cabinet Member for Community, Housing & Environmental Health, said: “Protect your car and belongings by not leaving anything on display. Even if it’s a carrier bag of shopping or a coat, it can still be a target for thieves.” The partnership is also urging drivers to remember to lock their car doors when dropping children off at school or making a quick visit to a shop, as this can also lead to valuables being stolen.

Supporting Lichfield District businesses Earlier this year, Business Development Services Ltd (BDS) was chosen to run Lichfield 4 Business – a new service that provides free specialist advice to businesses across Lichfield District to help boost their trade. BDS is now offering advice on business and employment growth, workforce development and access to finance. The Lichfield 4 Business service also provides signposting to business grants, training, and management workshops, including sessions on leadership skills, marketing, networking and new product development. If you are a business based in the district, you can access this free service by calling BDS on 01543 416222 or by emailing The Lichfield 4 Business initiative has been funded by Lichfield District Strategic Partnership and is being reviewed and monitored by Lichfield District Council and the Tamworth and Lichfield Business & Economic Partnership. The free service will run until 30 June 2014.

“By taking these safety precautions, we hope to see a drop in this opportunistic type of crime and make Lichfield District a safer place.” Councillor Colin Greatorex Cabinet Member for Community, Housing & Environmental Health

Lichfield District Council’s residents’ magazine

intouch For the full Lichfield Food Festival programme


Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September 2013 Local and regional chefs will be cooking up a storm at the second Lichfield Food Festival this summer. Featuring cookery demonstrations and producers’ stalls, together with a weekend Farmers’ Market across the city and The Best of Local Brewers festival, this year’s event will celebrate local produce and talent. Entry to Lichfield Food Festival is free, and visitors will be offered a wide range of demonstrations in the Lichfield Garrick, The Kitchen Shop and at Tippers, where celebrity chef Rachael Green from Kill it! Cook it! Eat it! will be sharing her love of local produce. To see the full programme, book your free tickets for Rachel Green, or to find out how you can get involved, please visit

Above: Celebrity chef Rachel Green

Lichfield Food Festival is organised by the Lichfield Garrick, Lichfield District Council, Lichfield City Council, Lichfield Arts and the local chef and caterer Simon Smith. It is sponsored by local businesses, including Midlands Co-operative, Tippers, Three Spires Shopping Centre and The Kitchen Shop.

Wine & Ale and World Food trails

Cupcake Competition

To celebrate Lichfield Food Festival, many eateries across the city will be offering diners set menus for £10, and bars and pubs will be offering a glass of wine or ale for £3 over the festival weekend.

Three Spires Shopping Centre Sunday 1 September 2013

Register to be venue on either of the trails at

If you’re a keen amateur baker and love making cupcakes, get your mixing bowls at the ready and start practising for Lichfield Food Festival’s Cupcake Competition. Bakers are invited to make their best cupcakes, and younger bakers can enter monster-themed cupcakes, to be in with a chance of winning vouchers for The Kitchen Shop. Enter online at

Above: A wildflower meadow at Christian Fields

Nature conservation across the district We work to protect natural habitats and boost wildlife across the district. At Chasewater Country Park, we celebrated launching the Wetland Walk in June. This two-year project, funded by Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship Grant, saw a new route created through a section of the park’s precious wetland habitat. The walk includes a series of footpaths and boardwalks, which are now allowing visitors to access the Site of Special Scientific Interest’s most sensitive and beautiful habitats, while preventing walkers from damaging the rare plants that grow in the wetland. Over at Lichfield’s Christian Fields, we are continuing to lead the Creating Lichfield’s Community Local Nature Reserve project. This is a £100,000 initiative that includes creating new wildflower meadows, footpaths, an outdoor classroom, a pond, a dipping platform and boardwalk, wetland and woodland areas, as well as installing carved wooden sculptures, information boards, picnic benches, bird boxes and more. The project is being led by Lichfield District Council, with support from Forest of Mercia, GrowWell, Lichfield City Council, North Lichfield Initiative, Staffordshire Environmental Trust, Countryside and Parks Conservation Group, Natural England and Lichfield Wildlife Trust.

Paper from sustainable sources



Lichfield Fake Festival

Saturday 10 August 2013 – Beacon Park Lichfield’s Tourist Information Centre has four adult tickets and one family ticket* to Lichfield Fake Festival


Lichfield Fake Festival will feature tributes to Kasabian, Blondie and The Stone Roses, plus five local support bands. Held in a marquee, the festival has a licensed bar and a fenced food and entertainment garden area.

How to enter To enter the prize draw, simply order your free Lichfield Special Offers card between 11 and 31 July 2013. Card holders benefit from monthly offers at restaurants, shops and attractions across Lichfield District. To enter the prize draw or to find out more about Lichfield Fake Festival, please go to If you’ve already got a Lichfield Special Offers card, just email your card number and contact details to and you will be added to the prize draw. *A family ticket is two adults and two young people (aged from 10 to 17).

Get in touch with Lichfield District Council

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What’s all this then? W

Work to create a new police customer services counter and interview rooms in our District Council House reception on Frog Lane is taking place this summer. When it is launched later in the year, the new police customer services counter will replace Lichfield Police Station’s reception facility. It will open week days from 9am to 5pm, and there will also be a police assistance button on the front of District Council House for any out-of-hours callers.

More news

To follow council news throughout the year, visit /news W


To give us your feedback about intouch, please call Esther Epstein on 01543 308778 or email

Intouch is published by Lichfield District Council, District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6ZB, Summer & Autumn 2013 © Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this magazine is correct. However, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any loss or disappointment arising from misinterpretation, error, omission or subsequent change to the information.

Intouch summer and autumn 2013  
Intouch summer and autumn 2013  

Lichfield District residents magazine