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talkback Summer 2011

news, information and events for the people of Tamworth

Countdown to Hoard homecoming see page 7 for more

Plus Saxon Festival Fun see page 8

Tamworth To discuss editorial matters, please contact: The Talkback Team on 01827 709571, email: or drop us a line at: Talkback Team, Marmion House, Lichfield Street, Tamworth, Staffs B79 7BZ. Published by Tamworth Borough Council, Communications Team, Marmion House, Lichfield Street, Tamworth B79 7BZ. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the publisher. While every care is taken, the publishers cannot be held legally responsible for any errors in articles or listings. Any leaflets delivered with this magazine are not endorsed by Tamworth Borough Council.

In this issue To create opportunities Your Councillors New vision for Tamworth Grant for young kickboxer

4 5 14

To be safer and healthier Free home insulation for everyone Simple check to improve your health Glascote Heath tidy up Graffiti removal machine New community safety hub

6 6 8 13 15

Live life to the full News in Brief Hoard special Saxon Festival11 Castle’s cash bid success What’s On

3 7 9 11 12

Will Tamworth retain its In Bloom gold? The judges have visited and now Tamworth is waiting with fingers crossed to learn whether it has reached the gold standard in this year’s In Bloom campaign. Last year, the borough impressed the judges so much that Tamworth was awarded Gold in the Small City category of the Heart of England in Bloom campaign.

We could not have done it without the hard work and support of the Tamworth community, who put so much time and effort into making the areas where they live and work look superb. Cllr John Garner



Now Tamworth is awaiting the verdict of the In Bloom judges, who toured the borough on July 19. They saw some of the 42,000 bedding plants, 321 hanging baskets and 179 floral troughs used in this year’s Tamworth In Bloom campaign, which had the theme ‘Saxons and the Hoard’ to mark the visit of the Staffordshire Hoard exhibition to the Castle. They were also shown the famous Tamworth Two – the pigs made completely out of flowers which stand outside the railway station – a huge floral Staffordshire knot on the roundabout in Lichfield Street and a larger-than-lifesize Saxon warrior at the bottom of the Castle slope. Chairman of Tamworth In Bloom, Cllr John Garner, said: “The whole borough looked spectacular when the judges visited and we put on a really good show for them. “We could not have done it without the hard work and support of the Tamworth community, who put so much time and effort into making the areas where they live and work look superb. We hope that we are awarded gold again this year, but with that much support from the people of Tamworth, we know that we are winners anyway.”

News in brief Big increase in recycling

e up g is on th Recyclin

Thanks to the amazing efforts of all our residents, since the introduction of the new waste and recycling collection service just over a year ago, we have recycled nearly 49% of everything we throw away as waste.

This is an astonishing increase of almost five per cent (approx 740 tonnes) from this time last year and is equivalent to 211 African elephants. Collectively we have also reduced the amount of un-recyclable waste that currently ends up in landfill by nearly 59 kilograms per household – that’s more than the weight of a large sack of spuds!

Town market given a new lease of life Tamworth market has been given a new lease of life and a makeover, after a new operator took over its day-today running.

The brand new bigger and better Tamworth Information Centre has seen an increase in the number of visitors coming through its doors since it moved to the Philip Dix Centre in Corporation Street at the beginning of April.

Stourbridge-based LSD Promotions is now working with Tamworth Borough Council to improve the market for existing traders, as well as working to improve what is currently on offer for the town’s shoppers. Currently more than 80 traders run market stalls every Tuesday and Saturday, selling a range of products including jewellery, fresh fish, flowers and toys. LSD is working to put on specialist markets and events throughout the year.

Fish stall holder Martin Bowater is looking forward to the new era for Tamworth market.

Dermot McGillicuddy from LSD Promotions said: “We are very pleased to be undertaking the management of Tamworth Street Market, which has always been considered to be one of the Midland's finest.”

Pond dipping kits make a splash

una pupils Shaor ey C Hanbury FaCrm e, ol C hyna Baggallay, and Lewis Hart. Jones

Pupils at three Tamworth primary schools can now take a closer look at the flora and fauna that live in our waterways, after they were given pond dipping kits.

The kits – which include specimen pots, magnifying glasses and sampling nets – were give to Hanbury Farm, Lakeside and Oakhill schools by the Tamworth Community Safety Partnership. They will allow pupils from the schools to use the nearby Lakeside lake as an outdoor classroom. A pond dipping platform has also been installed next to the bridge at the lake. The funding from the Tamworth Community Safety Partnership has provided kits for each of the schools and one for Tamworth Borough Council’s street warden teams.

New TIC is bigger and better

Since the move from the old premises in Market Street, shop sales are up 54% compared with the same time last year, and enquiries are up by 33%. Councillor Pritchard, Deputy Leader of Tamworth Borough Council, said: “The TIC is essential for us to showcase Tamworth and everything the town has to offer. We simply did not have the space at the Market Street venue to grow. We want to make sure we are promoting Tamworth to the best of our abilities; the opening of our new venue will allow us to do just that. “We are very pleased with the new TIC and the public response to it. We think that the figures bear out our belief that it allows us to offer an even better service to a larger number of people than previously.”



Our Councillors Tamworth Borough Council has 30 members with Conservative in control. 23 Conservative, 6 Labour, 1 Independent representing 10 local wards.

Amington Ward

Castle Ward

Cllr John Garner Conservative 01827 310280

Cllr Evelyn Rowe Conservative 01827 68808

Cllr Michelle Thurgood Cllr Steven Claymore Cllr Alan Lees Conservative Conservative Conservative 07958778322 01827 280748 01827 704821

Cllr Allan Lunn Conservative 01827 709264






Belgrave Ward

Glascote Ward

Cllr David Foster Labour 01827 282021

Cllr Robert Pritchard Cllr Richard McDermid Cllr Chris Cooke Conservative Labour Independent 07528630006 01827 260364 01827 735900

Dr Simon Peaple Labour 01827 64117

Cllr Nicola Oates Conservative 07896047835






Bolehall Ward


Mercian Ward

Cllr John Faulkner Labour 01827 703253

Cllr Ken Norchi Labour 01827 67055

Cllr Peter Seekings Labour 01827 700179

Cllr Michael Greatorex Cllr Andrew James Cllr Sam Munn Conservative Conservative Conservative 01827 896252 07958155863 01827 68370





Spital Ward

Cllr Ron Cook Conservative 01827 280893/ 07732 762144



Stonydelph Ward

Cllr Ken Gant Conservative 01827 51328


Cllr Maureen Gant Conservative 01827 51328

Cllr Danny Cook Conservative 07528630004

Cllr Stephen Doyle Cllr Steven Pritchard Conservative Conservative 07906196499 07903812597





Trinity Ward



Wilnecote Ward

Cllr Jeremy Oates Conservative 07800881737

Cllr Lee Bates Conservative 01827 260246

Cllr Gerald Pinner Conservative 01827 302803

Cllr Tina Clements Conservative 01827 702894

Cllr Brian Beale Conservative 01827 281788

Cllr Mary Oates Conservative 07528630005








One Tamworth, perfectly placed

They should have gone to Specsavers

New chief executive for Tamworth Borough Council

Less than a year ago, this may have been good advice for the public and voluntary sector partners working across Tamworth. Why? Because each and every one of them had a different ‘vision’ for what Tamworth might be like as a result of their good work. Let’s be clear (excuse the pun) here; there was no doubting the effort, energy, resources, skills and passion… it was the purpose of it all that lacked clarity. The effort, energy, resources, skills and passion remain – only now, it is all focused upon the big issues facing Tamworth the place and Tamworth the community. Our ‘Vision’ is for one prosperous, healthy and strong community that is ideally placed to face the challenges and take the opportunities ahead…. “One Tamworth, Perfectly Placed” Our focus will be upon working with our partners to: 1 – Aspire and prosper in Tamworth In other words, to create and sustain a thriving local economy and make Tamworth a more aspirational and competitive place to do business. To achieve this, we will: • Raise the aspiration and attainment levels of young people; • Create opportunities for business growth through developing and using skills and talent; • Promote private sector growth and create quality employment locally; • Brand and market “Tamworth” as a great place to “live life to the full”; and • Create the technological and physical infrastructure necessary to support the achievement of this primary outcome.

2 – Be healthier and safer in Tamworth In simple terms, to create a safe environment in which local people can reach their full potential and live longer, healthier lives. To achieve this, we will: • Address the causes of poor health in children and young people; • Improve the health and well being of older people by supporting them to live active, independent lives; • Reduce the harm and wider consequences of alcohol abuse on individuals, families and society; • Implement ‘Total Place’ solutions to tackling crime and ASB in designated localities; • Develop innovative early interventions to tackle youth crime and ASB; and • Create an integrated approach to protecting those most vulnerable in our local communities.

We believe that by working together, channelling our efforts and resources towards our priorities we can really make a difference. Yes, there are major changes and reforms taking place; yes, we have a lot less money to work with; yes, the public sector will be smaller in the coming months and years and, yes, we do believe that Tamworth is a great place to live, work and raise your family.

Anthony E Goodwin Chief Executive

New chief executive Tamworth Borough Couof nci Anthony E Goodwin l,

I want to make sure we continue to improve Tamworth and make it a place to be proud of.

A new chief executive has been appointed at Tamworth Borough Council.

Tony Goodwin has taken over the top job at the authority, following the retirement of David Weatherly in March. Tony has been with the authority for 14 years and was previously the authority’s deputy chief executive. Tony said: “One aspect of the role which is very important to me is promoting ‘Tamworth the place’. It is a wonderful town with lots to offer, and is perfectly placed for people who live, work and visit the area. I want to make sure we continue to improve Tamworth and make it a place to be proud of.” talkback


Be healthier and safer

Free home insulation for everyone in Tamworth

Rockwarm lone frohm a M e energy e m v o a D n and man the HEAT ll Insulatio arket. eter Love advisor llPon Tamworth M sta

Every single resident living in Tamworth is being offered a fantastic energy saving opportunity – free loft and cavity wall insulation.

insulation should call HEAT on 0800 043 2815. The offer is time limited and work must be booked with the insulation contractor by August 31, although the work can be carried out after this date.

Whether you’re a homeowner or renting your property, if you live in the Tamworth Borough Council area, then you can get loft and cavity wall insulation installed completely free of charge. The offer is open to everyone living in the borough, regardless of age or income.

The offer is open to everyone living in Tamworth, but only where there is no existing insulation. The insulation measures are free for homes where the cavity is up to 120 square metres or 90 square metres for the loft. If a home is bigger, then the householder will have to pay the difference.

The free insulation measures – which can help residents stay warmer at home in the winter and cooler in the summer, while keeping fuel bills down – are being made available through the HEAT freephone line. Anyone living in Tamworth who would like free loft and cavity wall

Cllr Mary Oates, Cabinet member for Quality of Life, said: “This is a great offer which will benefit every single household in Tamworth. Installing energy efficiency measures is an effective way of reducing heating bills, as well as being good for the environment.

Simple check to help improve your health An online health initiative aimed at giving people advice to help them improve their health and wellbeing has been launched by Tamworth Borough Council in partnership with South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust. Life Check is an online self-assessment which provides answers to questions on topics including stress, weight, smoking, healthy eating, emotional wellbeing and physical exercise. This Life Check questionnaire extends and combines previous life check tools such as baby, teen and midlife check, which were launched last year. Now the questionnaire covers all ages of the population. It is a free service and takes only a few minutes to complete. Answer a few simple questions and Life Check will give you results tailored to your age, gender and lifestyle. The four simple steps are: • Answer simple questions about your health • Get results and see how your health is. • Use online lifestyle assessment to plan improvements 6


• Advice and links to support services. Life Check does not replace the need to see your GP or health professionals, but gives you additional information and current advice on how and where to find the best help for your concerns. The Life Check can be found on line at If you don’t have a computer at home or work you can use one at the library, community centre or a UK online centre. If you would like further information please contact Sandra Gunn Public Health Officer on 01827 709438 or e-mail A few moments now could add years to your life.

live life to the full

Excitement mounts for Hoard exhibition Final preparations are being made for the opening of the Staffordshire Hoard exhibition – a once-in-alifetime chance for Tamworth residents to see glittering items from the world’s largest find of Anglo Saxon gold on display at Tamworth Castle. From August 27 until September 18, a selection of more than 40 of the best items from the priceless Staffordshire Hoard will be on show in a free exhibition. The Hoard has already wowed the crowds at the Shire Hall in Stafford and Lichfield Cathedral. Its arrival in Tamworth is especially fitting, as Tamworth was the ancient capital of the ancient Saxon Kingdom of

Mercia. Many of the items discovered as part of the Hoard are military in nature, and may well have been part of the Royal treasure store of the Mercian kings. This summer’s exhibition is the last chance to see the Hoard in the UK, before it is shipped off across the Atlantic to be put on show in Washington DC. Entry to the exhibition is free, but visitors will need to obtain a timed ticket from the Tamworth Information Centre, based in the Philip Dix Centre in Corporation Street. Telephone 01827 709581/618 or email

Tamworth is included in the touring exhibition. The displays in the Castle will allow people living in and around Tamworth to see the Hoard - one of the most exciting finds in recent history. It will also mean lots of people will get to find out more about Tamworth’s exciting Anglo Saxon history, and our town’s historic links to the story of the hoard.”

Councillor Steve Claymore, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “As the ancient capital of Mercia, I am delighted

Take a closer look at Hoard online Anyone planning to visit the Staffordshire Hoard exhibition can get a preview online, where key items from the most valuable treasure ever found in the UK are being shown in breathtaking close-up detail. Stunning photographs, video footage and a wealth of historic and educational information about the Staffordshire Hoard have been pulled together for the first time at Sections of the site also explore conservation and research processes being used on the Hoard,

including introductions to the experts who are examining it. Councillor Steve Claymore said: “As the ancient capital of Mercia, Tamworth plays a very important part in the Hoard’s story. We are now counting down the days until the Hoard arrives in Tamworth; this website means residents and visitors can find out more in depth information about the find, ahead of their visit to the castle.”

field, and is thought to be the ‘high-status booty’ of an AngloSaxon battle • It includes exquisitely designed sword pommels, helmet fragments and several bejewelled crosses.

• The Hoard comprises of more than 3,700 gold and silver artefacts • The find dates back to the seventh century • The Hoard was found by a metal detector enthusiast in a farmer’s



Aspire and prosper

Glittering tours of the Staffordshire Hoard For anyone who would like to make their visit to the Staffordshire Hoard exhibition that little bit more exclusive, night-time tours around the Castle, complete with a costumed guide and a cheese and wine supper, are available. The evening tours are set to take place during the three weeks the Hoard is on display (August 27th – September 18th) in Tamworth Castle, before the treasure heads off to Washington DC, America. Groups of up to 30 people can take part in the guided evening events, which last between one and two hours, depending which option is chosen. Up to four tours a night will take place.

The guided visits are aimed at groups who would like to see the Hoard as part of a wider social event, but anyone can come along and enjoy the evening. Councillor Steve Claymore, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “These evening tours are a great opportunity for social groups, organisations and friends to enjoy a night out, while getting to see the amazing Staffordshire Hoard. “People attending the event can enjoy supper at our historic town hall, before seeing the castle at night - guided by one of our experts before being among the last in the UK to see the Hoard before it heads off to America.” The tours are aimed at groups and are broken down into three different options:

• Costumed tour guide of Tamworth Castle lasting 45 minutes and a viewing of the Staffordshire Hoard - £10 • Costumed guide of Tamworth Castle, viewing the Hoard and tea, coffee and cookies - £12.50 • Cheese and wine supper, including locally sourced food at the Town Hall, before being escorted over to the castle for the tour and Hoard – £20 Tickets to see the Staffordshire Hoard during the day are still available, free of charge, from the Tamworth Information Centre, based in the Philip Dix Centre. Anyone interested in the guided tours should also contact the TIC. Telephone 01827 709581/618 or email

It’s Carnival time The centrepiece of the three-day Saxon Festival is Tamworth Carnival, which this year takes place on Sunday August 28th. The event will kick off with the traditional Carnival procession which starts at 11am and winds its way through the town centre to the Castle Grounds, where there will be a host of stalls with local products on sale, a dog show, dancers and many more performances. The parade will be headed by Tamworth’s Saxon royal family – King Offa, Queen Ethelflaeda, Prince Alfred and Princess Eadgyth. Last year’s parade saw some 25 floats and 200 people take to the streets and it is hoped that this year’s parade will be bigger and better, with a marching band,



walking models, jugglers, stilt walkers, unicyclists and many more. Dog owners have the opportunity to put their pets in the spotlight by taking part in the dog show. Entries can be made on the day and a large share of the money raised from the dog show will go to support Hounds For Heroes – a charity which provides speciallytrained assistance dogs for disabled servicemen and women. The Activity Centre in the Castle Grounds will be transformed into a Saxon-themed children’s activity zone, where young carnival visitors can take part in a number of fun workshops, including crown and sword making, face painting and a Saxon treasure trail.

live life to the full

Tamworth Saxon Festival Saturday 27th – Monday 29th August To celebrate the Staffordshire Hoard arriving at Tamworth Castle, the Castle Grounds will be taken over by a full-scale Saxon Festival. Join us and have your imagination captured by a bustling Saxon encampment as Tamworth again becomes the Ancient Capital of Mercia. Step back to the 8th century and re-live the historical importance of Tamworth as you watch the warriors battling, try out hands-on activities and soak up Saxon day-to-day life.

On Sunday 28th August the Summer Festival will join in the Saxon fun, as the Carnival procession returns with a Saxon theme. The Carnival floats will parade through the town centre, so watch closely and try to spot your favourite local organisations as they disguise themselves as Saxon townsfolk! The Summer Festival will have stalls with local products on sale, a dog show, displays and many more performances. It’s a weekend not to be missed!


• Anglo-Saxon storytelling • Anglo-Saxon toys and games • Anglo-Saxon pottery making workshops • Early Saxon burial rites • Saxon and Viking encampment demonstrations • Anglo-Saxon mounted warriors



Aspire and prosper The Ancient Capital of Mercia Tamworth was the heartland of the Mercian Kingdom, which had a royal church at Repton, a religious centre at Lichfield and the King’s main residence at Tamworth. Certainly the Mercian Kings spent more time at Tamworth than anywhere else. There is believed to have been a royal palace at Tamworth by the end of the 7th century, on the site close to St. Editha’s Church. Originally it would have been a timber hall with chapel and somewhere for horses to be stabled. Evidence from signed charters shows that the Mercian Royal families stayed at Tamworth far more than their other palaces and were regularly here for festivals of Christmas and Easter between 751 and 857 A.D. The most well known Mercian Kings are Penda (625 –655), Wulfhere (657-674), Aethelred (674-704), Aethelbald (716757) and Offa (757-796). Tamworth is also known to have been important within Mercia, because it had a water mill which ground grain for food for the settlement and its livestock. The mill is believed to be the earliest (post Roman) watermill found in Britain. It was powered by the River Anker and used mill stones traded to King Offa from the French King Charlemagne, in exchange for English woollen cloaks. Mercian power began to decline after the death of King Offa and by the 10th century it lost its independence, becoming part of the Kingdom of Wessex to create the Kingdom of England.

The Staffordshire Hoard Today, Mercia continues to herald its importance with the discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest discovery of Saxon gold ever. Found not far from the Capital of Mercia, and very close to the Old Roman Road of Watling Street a few miles to the west of Tamworth, the hoard appears to date from around



590 A.D. to 750 A.D. We may never know why it was buried or who it belonged to but it will hopefully, in time, unlock some of the secrets of the Saxon age, and Anglo-Saxon Tamworth.

Interesting Facts Mercia (Mierce) meaning boundary or ‘boundary folk’ took their name from the belt of high land connecting the hills of Cannock Chase with the Forest of Arden. One of the new Anglo-Saxon tribes became known as the Tomsaetan, from its settlement in the Tame valley. Tamworth is not likely to have been urban in form until the time of Aethelstan in the 10th century, when it had a mint and would have been considered a town, as only towns were allowed to have mints. The first penny minted originated from Tamworth and was the only effective currency in England up to the 14th Century. The King’s Ditch known as ‘Offa’s Dyke’ was constructed in the late 780’s as a demonstration of Mercian power. This was not just an agreed boundary but a fortified barrier.

invasions, has two streets with Danish names; Aldergate (Ellergate) and Gungate (Gumpegate). A valuable item such as a sword, drinking cup or a piece of jewellery may also have an even greater symbolic value, ‘maddum’. This is the stored-up history of the object which gives it its power, e.g. Excalibur. The sword was the warrior’s most important and trusted weapon. They were sometimes asked to swear mighty oaths on their sword and believed that if the oath was broken, then so would the sword at the crucial moment. Many of the Hoard pieces are believed to be from weapons of war, especially swords. There is a Saxon tradition of the bride being given her wedding ring on a sword, which meant that the warrior was pledging his loyalty to his word. Some swords have been found with small rings incorporated into the handle. Oaths were sworn on these rings, and rings were given as gifts, a tradition which provided for the influence for Lord of the Rings trilogy by J R R Tolkien, who was a scholar of Anglo-Saxon.

Tamworth, which was the only town in the county of Staffordshire at the time of the Danish

live life to the full

£1 million boost for Tamworth Castle As the castle gears up to host the Hoard, Tamworth has received yet more fantastic news; more than £1 million is set to be invested in Tamworth Castle.

development and its impact on the town.

The £1.1 million project is being funded to the tune of £876,200 (75%) by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), while the remainder will be met by Tamworth Borough Council. A big part of the project will be improving the 900 year-old motte, making the Castle much easier for people to visit, providing more hands-on activities and enhancing the displays. The project will also see more living history events taking place, which will include exploring the link between the Castle’s early medieval

Councillor Steve Claymore, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “What absolutely great news for Tamworth. To receive this news just weeks before the Staffordshire Hoard arrives at our Castle is yet more fantastic news for our town. “We have always been committed to the Castle as it is our finest attraction, with more than 30,000 people flocking to visit it every year. “This funding will make sure the Castle continues to thrive, while keeping it fresh and exciting for visitors through hands-on activities and living history. To see this amount of investment shows how much confidence a national organisation has in our Castle.”

Councillor Claymore also thanked staff for putting the bid together, which has been the culmination of months of hard work. • The £275,000 council investment was approved by the Council in 2009 • For more information visit: • The first castle was a wooden structure build around 1070AD • The herringbone wall is built as it is to give it strength • In 1897, the Castle was purchased by public subscription for £3,000 and given to residents. Two years later it opened as a museum

St George’s Day fun pulls in the crowds More than 9,000 people flocked to Tamworth for the St George’s Day Celebrations in April, when the Castle Grounds and Town Hall played host to knights, falconers and medieval encampments. The extravaganza had a medieval theme, with an emphasis on performance and participation. Medieval workshops, have-a-go archery, falconry, battle re-enactments and sword swallowers thrilled the crowds, while the centrepiece of the day was a spectacular jousting show featuring St George, the Black Knight and the Earl of Tamworth.



Live life to the full Events this Summer/Autumn at Tamworth Assembly Rooms and Tamworth Castle include a variety of entertaining activities.

How to book: Call Tamworth Box Office on 01827 709618 or visit: Tamworth Information Centre Philip Dix Centre Corporation Street Tamworth, Staffs. B79 7LR Opening hours: Monday - Friday: 9am - 7pm Saturday: 9am - 5pm or book online at Ticketweb

Please check performance details and tickets carefully when booking as we are unable to offer refunds on tickets sold.

Be the first to know! If you would like to join our mailing list, give us a call or pop into Tamworth Information Centre (details above.)

What’s On at

September 3 - Band Night 8-10 - Tamworth Beer Festival 16 - The Pinch & Friends – Charity Concert 17 - Julian Smith 23 - An Evening with the Heroes of Fun 24 - Whole Lotta Lead 25 - Tamworth Ladies Choir 27 - A Night of Musicals 30 - The Comedy Club October 5- 8 - Tamworth Arts Club Presents Jesus Christ Superstar 11 - Paul Daniels 13 - Paul Zerdin 15 - Dominic Kirwan 19 - Tamworth Rotary Club 21 - Brit Pop 22 - D-Day Darlings 27 - High School Glee 28 - Limehouse Lizzy 29 - Thunderslam Wrestling

Music festival back in town Tickets are now on sale at the TIC for the two-day UltraSound Music Festival, taking place in Tamworth’s Castle Grounds.

Tamworth Borough Council is registered with the Data Protection Registrar.

The Ultrasound Festival is set to take place on Saturday September 3 and Sunday September 4. Tinie Tempah, Alexis Jordan, Six-D, Chipmunk and Example are just some of the award-winning artists performing at the twoday event. Last year the Midlands Music Festival saw more than 20,000 people flock to the Castle Grounds to see acts including Westlife, Peter Andre, Billy Ocean, the Sugarbabes and the Saturdays.

To find out what other events are planned visit

Tickets are on sale from the TIC, in the Philip Dix Centre. There will be a £2 booking fee. For more information on the tickets or the festival, please contact the TIC by dropping in, calling 01827 709581 or 709618.

FREE FR E iPihP E oh appne one a pp Downloa d the Tamwort h

Heritage Tra iphone a il pp now!

Tinie Tempah, Alexis Jordan, Six-D, Chipmunk and Example are just some of the award winning artists performing at the two-day event. More are set to be announced. Prices (Please note, there is a £2 booking fee per ticket.) General admission - day ticket: £34 Gold Circle - day ticket: £52 Group - day ticket (max 4 people): £120 Car Parking - day ticket: £8 Weekend ticket: £60 Gold Circle Weekend ticket: £90 Car Parking - day ticket: £12 Children under 6 are free but will require a ticket to enter the festival.



Be healthier and safer

Community pulls together for Big Glascote Heath Tidy-Up

A machine which can clean graffiti off walls in just a few minutes is Tamworth Borough Council’s newest weapon in the war on vandals.

More than 100 people took to the streets of Glascote Heath to tidy up the neighbourhood and learn more about the part they could play in helping to make the area a better place to live. The sun shone all day on the Big Glascote Heath Tidy-Up, which was organised by the Glascote Heath PACT (Partners and Communities Together) group and funded by Tamworth Borough Council and the Tamworth Community Safety Partnership. The tidy-up saw more than 100 people of all ages take part in litter picks around Glascote Heath, as well as presentations on environmental issues and fun activities for children. Street wardens, Street Scene staff, the council’s caretaking teams, housing officers, the police, community development and volunteers from Glascote ARCH, Fire and Rescue Service, Sure Start and Neighbourhood Watch all took part in the tidy-up, which is part of a

Graffiti removal machine takes to the streets

year-long project to clean up streets, footpaths and green areas, as well as educating residents on looking after the neighbourhood. PC Dave Kelly is looking for suggestions and ideas for other initiatives for the benefit of the community. Suggestions so far include bulb planting, the installation of new benches and bins, tree planting and mural painting. Anyone who would like to make a suggestion is asked to contact PC Kelly on 07854 774798 or email him on

New dog waste bin installed following requests

The machine uses a combination of sand-like material and water under very high pressure to blast away graffiti in minutes and is used to tackle daubings and spray paintings on estates and other council property throughout the borough. Tenants living in social housing and their landlords can also make use of the service for a fee. The £6,000 cost of buying the machine, training council caretakers on how to use it and a year’s supply of materials has been paid for by the Tamworth Community Safety Partnership, with funding from the Home Office. The machine is also being used to carry out deep cleaning of stairwells, walls and shared areas in council housing across the borough. Anyone who sees rubbish being dumped in and around the Tinkers Green flats is being urged to call the council in confidence on 01827 707709 and report it. Graffiti can be reported online at ms/report_it_online.aspx or by telephoning 01827 709709.

A new waste bin has been provided to help dog owners clean up after their pets. Tamworth Borough Council installed the bin on open space opposite the Riftswood pub in Comberford Road, following requests from dog owners. The extra bin was requested to complement existing dog waste bins nearby at the Fountain junction in Wigginton Road and on Comberford Road, close to the pub.



Live life to the full We’re here to help private tenants Tenants living in shared accommodation are being reassured that they do not have to put up with sub-standard housing and that help is at hand. Landlords who rent out Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO), have to be registered with Tamworth Borough Council and are subject to random inspections. If the homes are not clean and well-maintained, the council will prosecute the landlord. The most recent prosecution saw a landlord ordered to pay almost £5,000 for failing to maintain his property and allowing it to fall into poor condition. Darren Harrison, from Staffordshire Lettings, based at Grange Lane in Lichfield, pleaded guilty to breaching four regulations relating to HMOs when he appeared at Burton Magistrates Court in June. He was fined £4,965 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,400, plus a £15 victim surcharge. Cllr Mary Oates, Cabinet member for Quality of Life, said: “This court case sends a very clear message to landlords that they have to maintain their properties to an acceptable standard and, if they fail to do so, we will take action against them.” Tenants who may have concerns about the standard of their rented accommodation, can contact the Borough Council on 01827 709439 or email:



Council backs young kickboxing champion Young kickboxer Ellis Blake is just 14, but he already has a number of world, European and British titles under his belt. The young fighter – who trains at Tamworth Kickboxing Academy and is nicknamed ‘The Assassin’ – recently fought in front of a packed home crowd to become the WRSA British Full Contact Champion. Last year, he won two Grand Champion titles and is the reigning Irish Open Champion, WKA World Champion and WAKO World silver medallist. And they are just a taste of Ellis’s titles – the trophy shelves at his home are crammed with silverware from all of kickboxing’s governing bodies. Ellis has been kickboxing for four years and trains four days a week, while spending most of his weekends fighting in tournaments. He took up kickboxing four years ago, after starting his martial arts career in karate, and is also an assistant instructor at Tamworth Kickboxing Academy. Through a scheme established to support local talent, Tamworth Borough Council has awarded Ellis a grant of £1,000. He will use the money to attend the World Kickboxing Academy World Championships in Germany in August, followed by the WFKA championships in Italy in October. Cllr Steve Claymore, Cabinet member for Economic Development and Enterprise, said: “We are delighted to be able to support Ellis and help him to compete at such a high level in his chosen sport. “Ellis is a shining example of what young people are able to achieve if they are given the opportunity. Sport plays a vital role in improving health and Tamworth Borough Council is keen to play its part in making sport more accessible to everyone.”

Finding a Home scheme is a success The lettings scheme which gives people looking for a home a lot more choice over where they live has been hailed as a success, just over a year since its launch. Tamworth Borough Council’s Finding a Home scheme began in May last year and means people looking for a council home are able to bid for properties they are interested in, rather than having a home allocated by the authority. People registered with Tamworth Borough Council are told which band they fall into and which properties are available to them, instead of the old points-based waiting list system. They can then express an interest in – or ‘bid’ for - up to three properties a week, with homes allocated based on housing need and length of time an applicant has been registered. For more information on Finding a Home, contact 01827 709459, e-mail or visit

Be healthier and safer

New community safety hub Working more closely together than ever before to keep your town safer - that’s the message from the new community safety hub. Council community safety staff, including the head street warden, anti-social behaviour co-ordinator and victim support staff, are now all working from Tamworth police station. By working under one roof, the hub makes it easier for organisations to share information, with the ultimate goal of reducing crime and making people safer across the borough. The hub should also give the community a single point of contact for issues involving community safety.

Neighbourhood cops continue to put communities first It’s ‘business as usual’ for neighbourhood officers in Tamworth, despite major changes to policing in Staffordshire. The force’s Communities First programme has transformed policing in a bid to maintain services while becoming more affordable. But neighbourhood teams – the bedrock of policing in the county – will be protected.

Tamworth CAN playing its part in ‘Big Society’ People looking for help and information about health, debt management, caring, careers or housing advice can now find it all in one place. ‘TamCAN’ has launched its new directory, which lists a wide range of organisations offering different types of help and advice. The borough council has joined forces with more than 20 organisations to produce the new booklet, which means people can easily find out how to contact different groups, without having to spend time searching for them. The brochures are available from the library, Tamworth Borough Council, the TIC, TamCAN shop in King Street, CVS in the Carnegie Centre and the ARCH community centres in Belgrave, Amington, Stonydelph and Glascote. The Tamworth Community Advice Network provides free advice and support to local residents concerned about issues such as managing debt, dealing with unemployment and the threat of homelessness. • TamworthCAN is being is supported by organisations including Homestart; Citizens Advice Bureau; Christians Against Poverty; Tamworth Borough Council and Tamworth CVS. • The TamworthCan shop, which offers free and friendly advice on money management, to employment and health is open on the corner of Church Street and King Street from 9.30am to 3.30pm, Monday to Friday. • There are additional sessions available on Tuesdays from 5pm to 7pm and Saturdays from 10am to 12noon.

nt Chief Superintenda Jon Drake

Chief Superintendent Jon Drake, who is responsible for local policing teams across the county area, said: “We are absolutely committed to protecting neighbourhood officer numbers and delivering high quality policing to our communities. “Tamworth residents will continue to have named locally-based officers focused on dealing with the issues that matter to local people.” For more information visit or follow us on Twitter.



Tamworth Borough Council

Council opening times Marmion House Customer Services Monday to Thursday 8.45am to 5.10pm Friday 8.45am to 5.05pm

Contact Us

Council Enquiries: .............. 01827 709709 Email Enquiries: Out of hours emergency enquiries: ................................01827 59708

Council Website: Pay it Telephone Payments ....................................................................0845 2307709 Online Payments

If you require this information in another format or language please call (01827) 709709 or email

Report it Housing Repairs 24 hours a day 7 days a week ....................................0800 1830044 Street Lighting ......................................................0300 111 8000 / 0800 232323 Recycling/Refuse/Bulky Item Collections ....................................0845 002 0022

Other Useful Contacts Citizens Advice Bureau ............................................................................305950 Environment Agency 24hr Flood Line ..........................................0845 9881188 Police ............................................................................................0300 1234455 Social Services (Adults)............................................................................475506 Social Services (Children) ........................................................................475555

If you suffer a bereavement, you only need to Tell Us Once Losing a loved one is hard enough. Research shows that a bereaved family contacts government agencies on average seven or eight times to share information. Tell Us Once aims to ease this burden by allowing you to tell multiple government agencies about a death, at the same time. Soon, local authorities across Staffordshire will be introducing this national service, meaning that you can just tell us once and in turn, on your behalf, the following services and organisations could be notified: Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council • Housing and/or Council Tax Benefit. • Council Tax • Blue Badges • Adult Services • Children's Services • Collection of payments for Council Services



• Electoral services • Housing Services • Library services

Ministry of Defence, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency • War Pensions Scheme

Identity and Passport Service • Passport Cancellation.

HM Revenue and Customs • Child Benefit • Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit • Personal Taxation

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency • Driving Licence Cancellation. Department for Work and Pensions • Pension, Disability and Carers Service • Jobcentre Plus • Overseas Health Team

How does it work? When you make an appointment to register a death, the Tell Us Once service will be offered to you so that you can decide whether you would like to use it.

Talkback Summer 2011  

Tamworth Borough Council's resident magazine