View From the House - July 17th

HELLO and welcome to my weekly View from the House for Tamworth Informed.

The tennis, cricket and F1 all vied for the nation’s attention. Wimbledon was the main attraction on my tv as I watched the battle between Federer and Djokovic. However, to see our England Cricket team lift the World Cup for the first time, especially in the nail-biting way they did, was a moment of real national pride. With the addition of the Cricket World Cup, England is now the only nation in the world to have won the Cricket, Rugby and Football World Cups.

I came back down to London prepared for a number of meetings, however the main one for the week was about the HS2.  I met the CEO Mark Thurston and the Head of Engagement Julie King so I could raise the issues residents have had around HS2. We spoke about the bund height in Packington and Swinfen, something that the Parish Council under Cllr Richard Barnes have been working very hard to secure. HS2 will hold a workshop and have invited members of the community to come forward and together agree a way forward. I also raised my concerns around the tunnel underneath the A5 as it meets J10. The road is already congested, and I do not want to see it in a worse condition. HS2 have committed to work with the County Council and Highways England to look at ways to re-address the current bottleneck we have at peak times.

The week had a number of free votes and when I came back up to Tamworth I had a busy diary planned! I visited the Burton Police Resolution Centre; whose work covers us in Tamworth and surrounding villages. The resolution centre was brought in to service in summer of last year and is part of the scheme to modernise Staffordshire Police. This new department is staffed by specialist investigators meaning a non-urgent crime can be investigated over the telephone and on the internet. Naturally, this means there is a speedier response and it means that someone is taking ownership of the job and creates a relationship between the investigator and the member of the public. This creates a more streamlined and efficient policing service where the member of the public will have a designated specialist investigator, providing a specific point of contact throughout the life of the investigation.

Inspector Shams gave us the example of where this new process is working; the crime of a stolen wallet in the pub. The team ask the victim if they know if any CCTV is in the area, or if there were any witnesses. They will take a statement give safeguarding advice such as how to contact the bank and report the cards as stolen. Then the resolution team will contact the pub themselves and send them out a CCTV pack as opposed to sending a frontline officer to sit there for hours looking through CCTV. If they identify the offender, then it is circulated around officers and an arrest will be made. If we can get crimes and investigations solved in a speedier fashion, whilst keeping community policing a priority this can only be a good thing.

Once back from Burton I joined my team in the office on Lichfield street and met with the chairman of the Local Enterprise Partnership. These are groups of businesses and local authorities who have come together to determine priorities for our local economy and help to drive growth and job creation. I always find it useful to have regular meetings to see some of the projects in the pipeline, as well as looking at how we can maintain the lowest number of people unemployed since records began.

The sun was out for the Amington Fete on Saturday, and it was great to see so many of you there. I visited with County and District Cllr Alastair Little and also bumped into the great fundraisers at St Giles Hospice.

Back down to London on Sunday night, where I look forward to the week ahead. We have a week of votes, and it is the penultimate week before the announcement of the new Conservative leader and Prime Minister.