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Local News from TCR fm and Tamworth Informed

Man dies following M42 collision

83-year-old man from Coventry has died following a collision on the M42 last night (Saturday 19 August). A 74-year-old woman was taken to hospital where she is currently in a critical condition. The collision occurred at 8.50pm on the northbound road between junction 10 and 11 near the MOTO Service Station at close to Centurion Park. A gold Vauxhall Agila containing the man and woman was in collision with a Peugeot 307. The driver of the Peugeot is reported to have left the scene on foot and police are currently working to locate him. Detective Inspector Tim Sharp said: “The deceased’s next of kin has been informed and specially trained officers are offering support to his family. “We’re currently working to locate the driver of the Peugeot and would appeal for anyone with information to contact us. “We’re also keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident or saw either of the vehicles prior to the collision.” Anyone with information should call 101 and quote incident 441s of 19 August 2017. You can also report crime by contacting the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court. The post Man dies following M42 collision appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]

Singalong fun in the Ankerside garden

CHILDREN from in and around Tamworth had a glorious time at the town’s shopping centre last week, as Ankerside in Bloom returned for another free day of garden-themed fun and games. On Wednesday 16, August, Ankerside Shopping Centre’s gardening experts Blooming Flora, and Duggie returned to the centre for its second session of the summer with everything from singalongs to flower garland making and a garden swing for photographs. Throughout the day, the fun-filled characters gathered groups of Tamworth children to create Ankerside’s very own floral choir – learning fun nature songs and making sounds of creatures in the garden. Plus, little ones also had the chance to make a paper flower headdress and garland to take home. Jeff Wigley, Ankerside Shopping Centre manager, said Ankerside in Bloom was a huge hit with the children of Tamworth. “This is the second of three children’s events we are hosting this summer, and we were so pleased to see so many families enjoying the outdoor-themed activities. “Throughout the day, children met our gardening experts, Blooming Flora and Duggie to learn all about their love of the outdoors,” he said. “They saw how a garden grows and joined the floral choir to fill the Ankerside Garden with song. Plus, once the singalong had finished they had the chance to make their very own paper flower headdress and garland. “Next week the summer fun will continue at Ankerside with another visit from Tamworth LitFest and Community Together,” Jeff added. “Ankerside in Bloom will return to the centre on Wednesday, 30 August for their final session where children will learn all about country dancing, play games of musical flowers and make paper flower collages. The post Singalong fun in the Ankerside garden appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]

Tamworth Mother receives apology from MoD over ‘Snatch’ Land Rover death

TAMWORTH Mum, Sue Smith, whose son Private Phillip Hewett, was killed in 2005 has received an apology from the Ministry of Defence. 21-year-old Private Hewett was tragically killed by a roadside bomb while travelling in a lightly armoured ‘snatch’ Land Rover in Al Amarah,  Maysaan province, Iraq on 16 July 2005. Second Lieutenant Richard Shearer (aged 26, form Nuneaton) and Private Leon Spicer (aged 26, also a Tamworth), all of C Company, 1st Battalion The Staffordshire Regiment, also tragically died in the same incident. He was the ninth of 37 service personnel to be killed in the ‘snatch’ vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan, which came to be known as ‘mobile coffins’ due to the high fatality rate. Speaking to the BBC, Sue said: “He [Phillip] wrote to his uncle saying that he was concerned that so many of his friends had lost their driving licences so they didn’t have to drive in Iraq. “One of his friends said, ‘It’s better to be judged by 12 than carried by six,’ because that’s how dangerous the vehicles were. But he wouldn’t have refused. He would have done as he was told.” Sue went on to say that when Phillip, a fitness fanatic, came home on leave, he was a shadow of his former self. “He spoke to his sisters and discussed his funeral and said what he wanted. He wasn’t the same. His character was different. “He wouldn’t tell me. I think he was trying to protect me so I didn’t worry. But I was worrying anyway. Had I known, I think I would have run over his foot or something to stop him having to go back.” ‘Something inside me’ Speaking on the day she learned of her sons death she said: “I got up to go to work and there was a breaking news story about three soldiers from the Staffordshire battle group that had been killed in Al Amarah by a roadside bomb. “I can’t explain it but I just knew before I went out the door. And we were sorting out his birthday presents to send to him. It’s like something inside me. I can’t really explain it better than that.” Sue recalled that waiting for the body to be repatriated was the worst time, because no-one would tell her what had happened. Apology Following a 12-year legal battle that reached the Supreme Court, Sue has finally got her apology from the MoD by way of an official apology penned by defence secretary Michael Fallon. In the apology from Michael Fallon, he says: “I am fully aware of the struggle you have had to bring this matter to court over the last decade and I recognise that this has had a significant impact on you and your family. “The government entirely accepts the findings of Sir John Chilcot in the Iraq Inquiry in relation to Snatch Land Rover. “I would like to express directly to you my deepest sympathies and apologise for the delay, resulting in decisions taken at the time in bringing into service alternative protected vehicles which could have saved lives.” He goes on to say that lessons have been learnt, and ends: “The government must and will ensure that our armed forces are always properly equipped and resourced.” ‘Bitter Sweet’ Speaking to the BBC, Sue said that the apology was “bitter sweet”.  She went on to say: “I’d like it to be that his death made a difference. He’s not just a casualty of Iraq. “Iraq is almost forgotten now. It’s almost Britain’s Vietnam. People don’t want to remember. But at least at the end of it, it’s worth it. Not his death, but for people to remember what I’ve done in his name.” Tamworth Informed would like to pass on their thoughts to all the family and friends of not only the three men mentioned in this article but to all service men and women who serve the country. The post Tamworth Mother receives apology from MoD over ‘Snatch’ Land Rover death appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]

More Bandstand music this weekend!

AN acoustic guitar-playing duo and a popular 11- piece brass and percussion ensemble can be seen this weekend in Tamworth Band Stand You will be able to relax and listen to Brindley Hunt on Saturday August 19 and Liquid Brass on Sunday August 20. Brindley Hunt is an acoustic duo featuring two very experienced musicians with sparkling harmonies and high-class accompaniment on acoustic guitars.  They enjoy singing harmonies in the style of The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Crowded House and other vocal bands. They perform covers of the best songs from the past five decades as well as their own finely-crafted songs. Their performance will be followed by something altogether different on Sunday August 20 when Liquid Brass takes to the bandstand for a guaranteed mix of traditional instrumentation with technological wizardry making an entirely original type of sound. The band perform a range of musical styles to suit all tastes including swing, pop, rock, classical and more, creating a unique party atmosphere to brighten even a grey day. Performances All artists will be performing regularly on the day, between 1pm and 4pm. Please check the website for any changes to the programme at: Organised by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team, the annual Bandstand Concerts tradition has seen the historic stage coming to life throughout the season with music and entertainment for all tastes. This year’s programme has been brought under the Music Outside element of the Arts in Unusual Spaces initiative.  To maximise opportunities for people to entertain and be entertained, the initiative is support by Arts Council England. So far, the programme has been popular with both young and old, showcasing crowd-pleasing bands and vocalists. Don’t miss out on these last three acts for August. All performances are free of charge and subject to weather conditions. The post More Bandstand music this weekend! appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]

Watchdog calls for action to ensure Staffordshire care home residents are ‘Living not Existing’

CARE HOMES across Staffordshire must invest more time and money in supporting activity programmes to ensure residents are ‘Living not Existing’ a new report by Healthwatch Staffordshire has revealed. Many examples of care excellence were uncovered in the research, with activities including animal therapy using cats, dogs and even a horse, music therapy, ipads for Skype and WhatsApp contact with families, as well as a pen-pal letter exchange with a local school. (See notes to editors for venues of each innovative example). However, an inconsistent approach and competing priorities mean that events to enrich and make residents’ lives meaningful are often seen as low on the priority list for care home staff. There are 251 nursing and care homes in Staffordshire collectively caring for 7,701 people, and Healthwatch Staffordshire’s report is urging Local Authority and care home decision makers to take on board a wide-ranging series of recommendations from their report ‘Living not Existing: The Importance of Meaningful Activities in Care Homes’. The report will be sent to local authority decision makers and every care home in the county urging them to take on board its recommendations. Jackie Owen, Engagement Manager for Healthwatch Staffordshire explained: “We carry out more than 50 ‘Enter and View’ visits each year at both local authority and privately-run care homes, and during these visits a common theme that emerged was the mixed picture in terms of the provision of activities for residents. “There is strong research that shows a good range of activities helps people to stay mentally and physically well, so we carried out the research to look in depth at Meaningful Activities at a sample of 26 local care homes.” Volunteer Healthwatch Champion, Caroline Goodfellow, who led the project, added: “Our findings showed that there are many examples of great and innovative practice in Staffordshire care homes, which if shared and replicated could have a significant impact on residents’ well-being and continue to give them the best possible quality of life. “Living in a care home can still be rewarding and enriching for people if carers take the time to understand and respond to individuals’ life experiences. If this has an impact on the physical wellbeing of residents it is clearly time and money well spent.” To establish a clear picture of what is being done well and what can be improved, care home managers, activities co-ordinators, residents and their relatives completed questionnaires while face to face discussions were also held with residents and family members. Examples of best practice that should be replicated include: Creation of Life Story Books or ‘This is Me’ booklets with interesting information about the history of the individual’s life and experiences Encouraging family and friends to be partners in the provision of care and play an active role in activities and outings to continue those important close bonds Raising the profile and importance of Activities Co-ordinators Making an Activities Progamme a contractual requirement, especially when Local Authorities commission contracts. Activities carried out in the homes visited included: Arts and crafts, outings, exercise and music to movement sessions, music therapy, entertainers, reminiscence therapy, animal therapy, doll therapy, themed days and seasonal activities, baking and cooking, organised games, reading groups, flower-arranging, short walks, carpet bowls and newspaper reading groups. Participants also highlighted that it can be simple things that make a difference to quality of life – with initiatives like carrying out everyday domestic chores or taking ownership of gardening tasks proving stimulating and rewarding for residents. Barriers that prevented homes from doing as much as they wanted in supporting meaningful activities programmes included: time constraints, meeting the needs of diverse client groups, prioritising physical care over mental stimulation, staff ratios for outside visits, fears for health and safety, high turnover of staff leading to lack of continuity for residents and lack of resources. Added Jackie Owen: “The research is clear that the provision of meaningful activity has a major impact on the well-being of residents and should be everybody’s business. We believe it should be embedded into the culture of the care home and incorporated into Policy documents. “Further training for staff is needed to raise the profile of this important aspect of care, while the sharing of best practice through a county-wide forum would be a major step forward in improving the consistency of care across the county.” The report follows on from a National Healthwatch report last week entitled ‘What’s it like to live in a care home?’ In the report Imelda Redmond, National Director of Healthwatch England explained: “According to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), four out of five care ho

Man injured after being struck by train at Tamworth Train Station

A MAN has been rushed to hospital after being hit by a train at Tamworth train station on Thursday. Emergency services were called to the scene some time before 10.43pm yesterday evening after reports that a man had been struck by a train. Staffordshire Police and West Midlands Ambulance Service attended, and the man was taken to hospital, though his condition is currently unknown. The incident offered on the upper level, which is the Nottingham to Birmingham line. The matter was handed over to British Transport Police to investigate. A British Transport Police spokesman said: “BTP officers were called to Tamworth Railway Station on Thursday (August 17) after a report that a man had been struck by a train. “Officers from the BTP and Staffordshire Police attended the incident, which was reported to BTP at 10.43pm and is currently being treated as non-suspicious. “Medics from the local ambulance service also attended and the male was treated on scene prior to being conveyed to a local hospital. “The extent of the injuries sustained are not known at this time.” The post Man injured after being struck by train at Tamworth Train Station appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]

M6 closed following collision

The M6 motorway has been fully closed in both direction near Birmingham this morning after a serious crash. It was shut in both directions between junction five, for Castle Bromwich, and junction six, for Spaghetti Junction, Highways England said. It has in the last few minutes been announced however that the Northbound carriageway (away from M42) has been reopened.  The Southbound carriageway (Towards Tamworth) remains closed. West Midlands Ambulance Service said it was called to reports of a crash between a lorry and van on the southbound carriageway near junction six at 09:13 BST. Spokesman Jamie Arrowsmith said crews were treating two patients. An air ambulance was also sent to the scene of the crash. Drivers are warned of long delays and a diversion is in place. Highways England tweeted details of diversions that have been put in place. The #M6 is now OPEN northbound only between J5 and J6. Southbound remains closed, with trapped traffic running past in 1 lane. — Highways England (@HighwaysWMIDS) August 18, 2017 The post M6 closed following collision appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]

Stars of Service to be recognised at Awards

RESIDENTS across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are being asked to cast their vote in the hunt for the Fire Service Champion of 2017. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s revamped awards are set to take place on Thursday October 12 to recognise and reward those who have made an outstanding contribution in their role. The Awards, which are being held for the tenth year, will feature up to 14 categories, including the publicly nominated Fire and Rescue Champion of The Year award. This is given to the individual or team to have demonstrated outstanding community spirit, going beyond the call of duty to help people overcome difficult situations. Chief Fire Officer Becci Bryant said: “It is only right that nominations for this public focused award are chosen by the public themselves, those who are at the very heart of the Service and central to all we do. “We’re inviting you to nominate either an individual from the Service or a team, basically anyone you want to say thank you to for making a valuable and positive contribution to your life. “In times of trouble or distress we strive to provide our community with a service which is both professional and empathetic to the situation in hand. “Across the Service our staff are committed to helping our communities and we remain completely focussed on being the very best we can be. From someone in Fire Control keeping a member of the public calm and reassured over the telephone while an incident takes place, to support staff that go the extra mile to build valuable community relationships and firefighters that show incredible bravery at incidents.” Members of the public can complete their nomination forms on the Service’s website and those who nominate staff that are shortlisted will be invited to attend the award ceremony in October. The closing date for nominations is Sunday September 10. The remaining categories will be publicised internally, with staff asked to nominate colleagues and partners that they feel have gone the extra mile. Details of the individuals/teams shortlisted for an award will be released in due course. The post Stars of Service to be recognised at Awards appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]

Suspect wanted in connection with the murder of Callum Lees

Crimestoppers reward available in urgent appeal for murder suspect James Atherley. A Crimestoppers reward of up to £5,000 is available for any information leading to the arrest of James Atherley, a key suspect wanted in connection with the murder of Callum Lees. Callum was stabbed in the neck following what police believe to be a dispute at a house party in Hopwas Grove on Sunday 6 August. He was found collapsed in nearby Haselour Road by a member of the public and later died in hospital. West Midlands Police Detective Inspector Jim Munro urged anyone with information on Atherley’s whereabouts to get in touch with Crimestoppers. Detective Inspector Jim Munro who is leading the investigation, said: “Our inquiries lead us to believe that James Atherley is no longer in the West Midlands and may have links to Weston-Super-Mare. “If anyone knows where he is, or has seen him in the last few days, I’d urge them to call immediately.” Callum ’s family have described him as “a beautiful, caring, kind soul who was much loved”. A statement released on behalf of the family added: “Anyone who knew Callum knew he was a genuine, loving, caring person who always wanted to give to others. “He was really hard working and worked with his Dad six days a week. “He always made sure that he looked after people and only a few days before he died, he helped a stranger he met in the street get home safely. “He was a really sensitive boy and when he was upset he would always phone his mom, and said she always made him feel better. “Every morning we wake up and we realise our son has gone Callum we’re never going to see him again. The only thing that keeps us going is knowing that we have to be there for our children and family, so we’ve got to get through this but our lives will never be the same again. “To the person that has taken Callum from us, please do the right thing and give yourself up. We need some sense of closure. Please allow us to bury our boy. If there are any family or friends out there who have any information and know anything or know of James Atherley’s whereabouts, please, please do the right thing and come forward.” Three men aged 21, 20 and 18 arrested in connection with the stabbing have been bailed while enquiries progress. Anyone with information is urged to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court. A reward of up to £5,000 is available from Crimestoppers for information that leads to the arrest of James Atherley. The post Suspect wanted in connection with the murder of Callum Lees appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]

Former Tamworth PCSO sentenced for two counts of fraud

A FORMER PCSO has been sentenced for two counts of fraud after Staffordshire Police brought charges against him for false timekeeping and claims for expenses. Leigh Yeomans, aged 35, of The Laurels, Fazeley, received a 12-month suspended sentence for each count (concurrent sentences) at Stafford Crown Court today (August 16). According to this article, when Yeomans started working for Staffordshire Police in 2007, he was posted to Tamworth. He will also undertake 250 hours of unpaid work in the next year and repay £8216.44 compensation in full to Staffordshire Police, as well as £340 legal costs. He had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges at Derby Magistrates’ Court on July 10. Staffordshire Police Chief Constable, Gareth Morgan, said: “The public has the right to expect the highest levels of honesty and integrity from the officers and staff in Staffordshire Police. I have the same expectations as Chief Constable. “Leigh Yeomans failed to meet those expectations and today he has been convicted of dishonesty. He will be repaying the public money he stole. This matter came to notice when colleagues became suspicious and reported it and I am grateful to them. “They did the right thing and they are a reminder that the vast majority of staff are honest, hard-working professionals.” The court heard that Yeomans had not worked on 33 full days and had falsely submitted 24 expense claims. Leigh Yeomans was suspended in March 2016. As a PCSO he was entitled to resign from his position and chose to do so in June 2016. The post Former Tamworth PCSO sentenced for two counts of fraud appeared first on Tamworth Informed. [ More... ]


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