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Councils set to consider charging for garden waste service

Councils set to consider charging for garden waste service
Lichfield District Council and Tamworth Borough Council will consider proposals to charge for the local garden waste service from January 2018

This spring councillors at Lichfield District Council and Tamworth Borough Council will consider proposals to charge for the garden waste service provided by the councils’ Joint Waste Service. If proposals are approved, residents across the two areas will be asked to pay a minimum charge of £36 a year for a fortnightly garden waste collection service from 1 January 2018, which works out around £1.40 per collection.

Councillor Iain Eadie, Cabinet Member for Waste Management at Lichfield District Council, explains: “Charging for our garden waste service is not a decision councillors will take lightly. However, vast reductions in government funding and other factors that mean Lichfield District Council is facing a £626,000 funding gap in 2018/19 and a further £2 million funding gap in 2019/20 and more in future years, mean we have no choice but to consider making difficult decisions across the board. When coupled with a possible reduction in the recycling credits we receive from Staffordshire County Council that help to underpin our recycling service, we must seriously consider these proposals.

“Providing a garden waste service is not something we have to do, and one alternative we have looked at is stopping the service completely, which has been done by some councils across the country. Such a move would see residents having to take their own garden waste to the tip, employing private waste services, at a likely higher cost than our proposed annual charge, or composting at home. We know that we have lots of passionate gardeners across Lichfield District and Tamworth Borough and we want to be able to continue to offer them a garden waste collection service, which is why we are now considering maintaining the service on a chargeable basis, rather than withdrawing it.”

Councillors at Lichfield District Council will consider the proposals at a meeting of the Leisure, Parks & Waste Management Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 8 March 2017. If supported, the proposals will then be considered for approval at a meeting of Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet on 4 April 2017. Councillors at Tamworth Borough Council will consider the proposals at a meeting of Full Council on 4 April 2017.

If approved by both councils, preparations for charging will take place throughout the summer and residents’ garden waste collections will stop on 1 January 2018, unless they have signed up to the new scheme. Residents will be able to opt in to the garden waste scheme towards the end of 2017, if they wish to continue to receive a fortnightly garden waste collection from 1 January 2018.

Councillor Joy Goodall, Portfolio Holder for Environment & Culture at Tamworth Borough Council, explains: “Councils across the country are under severe financial pressure from government funding cuts and are having to find creative ways to safeguard local services. Both Tamworth Borough and Lichfield District councils are also likely to be affected by financial pressures facing Staffordshire County Council in its bid to safeguard its provision of adult and social care services.

“It is forecast the county council will have no choice but to cut the recycling credits provided to district and borough councils in the future, which currently help to underpin recycling services. We recognise that residents will not welcome the charge for the garden waste service, but by introducing a ‘producer pays’ policy, we are aiming to make the charge as fair as possible. We are very hopeful that people will understand the financial pressures councils are facing, and that by charging for the service we can help to safeguard it and other vital local services.”

Under the proposals, residents will be able to pay for a yearly garden waste collection service. It will cost £36 a year, if residents pay online, or £40 if residents pay by cash or cheque or by card over the phone. All residents will receive a leaflet explaining how they can sign up and pay for their garden waste collections before the end of this year. Once signed up residents will receive a sticker to put on their garden waste bin and the computer systems in the recycling crews’ vehicles will be updated so they know which bins are in the scheme and need to be emptied. The councils are considering a direct debit payment option, so that residents don’t need to remember to sign up annually.

Councillor Iain Eadie, Cabinet Member for Waste at Lichfield District Council, continued: “If the proposals are approved, and residents don’t want to or can’t afford the annual charge, composting at home is a great alternative that is low cost and also great for the environment and your garden. We are currently offering subsidised composting bins through a partnership with Recycle for Staffordshire & Stoke. Find out more at”

A set of Frequently Asked Questions have been developed at and

Proposals to charge for the local garden waste service from January 2018

Proposals to charge for the local garden waste service from January 2018

Lichfield Conduit Lands Trust Grants

Lichfield Conduit Lands Trust has launched a new website to promote its work providing charitable grants to projects within the City of Lichfield. The site also provides information for potential applicants, who can now apply directly through the website.

The trust was founded in 1546 by Lichfield resident and guild master Hector Beane, when he conveyed guild land to six trustees. The income from rent went towards providing water to the citizens of Lichfield. Over the centuries the trust continued to offer donations to other local community projects, becoming the well-known local charity it is today.

Now the trust focuses on charitable donations to under 25s in assisting with their education, from funding local school trips to sports equipment. They also help organisations for the local community. In recent years the Lichfield Festival, the Operatic Society, the local Scouts and Girl Guides, are a just a few groups they have helped.

The board meets four times a year to decide on successful applicants. They will next be meeting on 2 December 2015. If you are interested in making an application please visit For enquires please contact administrator Jane Bethell by emailing

Ironman Staffordshire 2016

Registration for IRONMAN® 70.3 Staffordshire 2016 opened on August 12 this year

The event will take place on Sunday, June 12, 2016 and will see competitors complete a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile half marathon, starting at Chasewater, passing through Cannock Chase before culminating at the historic Shugborough Estate.

Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Environment and Transport, said: “The first Staffordshire Ironman 70.3 was a huge success story from start to finish and was a great opportunity to really showcase what a fantastic county Staffordshire is to live, work and visit.

“I am absolutely confident that the event is going to grow in stature and popularity and in the second year we will be really encouraging residents, businesses and schools to play an even greater role in making Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire 2016 and even better, success story.”

Last year celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and his wife Tana, and world champion Javier Gomez joined more than 2,000 people taking part in the competition in Staffordshire.

For more information go to

Festival Bake Off Competition

Home bakers are invited to enter Lichfield Food Festival’s Bake Off on Sunday 30 August 2015. Cakeydora, the Baking Academy based on Upper St John Street in Lichfield, is setting home bakers a new challenge this year. The challenge is to bake a strawberries and cream festival gateau at home following Cakeydora’s recipe.

Children (up to the age of 15) can also get in on the fun and enter four Jack and the Beanstalk themed cupcakes. The cupcakes do not need to be decorated the same, although only one cake will be tasted.

The cakes will be tasted in a live judging in Lichfield Garrick’s Studio from 12 noon to 1pm on Sunday 30 August.

The top adult baker will win a selection of prizes, including vouchers for Cakeydora and The Kitchen Shop, dinner for two at Darwin’s at The George, and a Prosecco afternoon tea for two at McKenzie’s Restaurant.

The winner in the child category will also receive vouchers and a family ticket to see Jack and the Beanstalk at the Lichfield Garrick on Saturday 5 December at 7pm.

To find out how to enter the Bake Off and to see the recipe and guidelines, please visit The deadline to enter is Wednesday 26 August 2015.

To find out more about Lichfield Food Festival, which is taking place in venues and streets across Lichfield City on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 August, visit

Cycle Rides for all Sunday 23 August

The next group cycle ride in the series of Cycle Rides for All is set to pedal off on a 15-mile ride to the National Memorial Arboretum on Sunday 23 August 2015.

All the rides are graded from one to five for difficulty, with five being the most challenging. This ride has been graded a level three, which means it is suitable for most cyclists, but beginners may find it challenging.

Debby Whiting, from Freedom Cycles, said: “We hope plenty of people will join us for our fifth ride in the series. We do a quick safety check of all the bikes before setting off, to make sure they are roadworthy. We also recommend that you wear a safety helmet and that you bring a packed lunch and a drink, although we do have a café stop on most rides.”

Anyone who wants to join August’s cycle ride should turn up with their bikes at Freedom Cycles in Lichfield Bus Station on Sunday 23 August at 10am. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

To see the full Cycle Rides for All programme, please visit

To find out more, or to check whether a ride is taking place if the weather is uncertain, please call Freedom Cycles on 01543 411633 or Karl Sproston at Lichfield District Council on 01543 308846.

Cycle Rides for All is run in partnership by Lichfield District Council, Freedom Cycles, Bromford, North Lichfield Initiative and Lichfield City Council.

BBC’s Antiques Roadshow to come to Trentham Gardens

The Antiques Roadshow comes to Trentham Gardens, near Stoke-on-Trent on Thursday 3 September, 2015.

The doors open at 9.30am and close at 4.30pm. Entry to the show is free and no pre-registration is required. If attending the Antiques Roadshow please park at the main North Entrance.

Some of Britain’s leading antiques and fine arts specialists will be on hand to offer free advice and valuations to visitors, who are invited to raid their attics and bring along their family heirlooms, household treasures and car boot bargains for inspection by the experts.

People who would like to bring large or heavy items to the Roadshow should email or write to Antiques Roadshow, BBC Broadcasting Centre, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2LR, as we may be able to help transport them to Trentham Gardens.

Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce said: “This will be my 8th year on the Antiques Roadshow and I still feel so lucky to be presenting the programme. Every week is different; a new location and thousands of new visitors. The only constant is the pleasure of the unexpected – we never know what will turn up, from the most fabulous Faberge to the most humble object with a riveting story.”

During the last series the Antiques Roadshow unearthed some amazing finds – a portrait by a renowned artist painted on a pillowcase in a POW camp, Star Wars memorabilia valued at £40,000 and a Chinese enamel box bought for 20p and worth over £10,000.

More information on planning your visit can be found at:

Great War and more explored at Cannock Chase Military Weekend

Families and historians will get the chance to experience centuries of war tales and activities at the Cannock Chase annual Military History Weekend.

The free event will take place on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 August at Marquis Drive Visitor Centre and is being organised by Staffordshire County Council.

The event will include recreations of military life from the Anglo-Saxon period through to the present day. Children will get the chance to take part in army drills, people will also have the opportunity to fire air rockets, handle replica period kit and weapons and talk to local military historians.

Visitors will also get the chance to see inside the Great War hut, a genuine officers mess from 1915 and staffed with knowledgeable volunteers, able to answer any questions people may have about Cannock Chase during the Great War and the role the hut played in the history of the camps.’

Cllr Mike Lawrence, Cabinet member for Children and Community Safety at Staffordshire County Council said: “This annual event has gone from strength to strength over recent years. Cannock Chase is steeped in history and much of it military, from the Anglo Saxons right up to the WWI training camps on the Chase where over 500,000 troops were trained for the Great War. This military legacy is echoed today in the remains of the camps and in the Commonwealth and German War Cemeteries on the Chase.

“Our Military Weekend at Marquis Drive offers a real insight into Staffordshire’s connections to war, and how soldiers lived and trained throughout history. With the Chase as the perfect backdrop and the weekend’s many interactive events and displays it promises to be a great family day out.”

The weekend is taking place at a time when Stafford prepares to welcome over 1,000 armed forces personnel and their families from two Signals Regiments from Germany. Beacon Barracks is already home to 22 Signal Regiment, and the relocation will see the site become a major centre for the Royal Signals. The move of troops to the town is expected to provide a £90m boost to the local economy and create around 700 jobs.

The event runs from 10am to 4pm on both days. For more information call 01782 632350, visit or follow us on Facebook (under CANNOCK CHASE MILITARY HISTORY). Any money raised through collections on the days will go to the Help for Heroes charity.

Say ‘What ho!’ to the Edwardian Fete and Fair

On Sunday 9th August the Staffordshire Regiment Museum will be stepping back in time to the Belle Epoch at the Edwardian Fete and Fair. This event, back for the second year running, evokes the world that our soldiers left behind when they went off to fight in the Great War.

On the day, visitors can relax in the Palm Court tea tent and enjoy songs from the first decades of the 1900s. The Ickneild Male Voice Choir will be performing and there’s lot of refreshments available including hot pork sandwiches, crepes and ice-creams, spicy Indian treats, sweets and confectionary plus a Real Ale Bar.

The fair also offers craft, fashion, and antiques and collectable stalls and the suffragettes, Edwardian policeman and Charlie Chaplin are back!

The Edith Cavell Nurses Trust will be there with a fantastic WW1 field hospital demonstration and there are face painters, craft makes and pony rides to keep little ones occupied (plus a nod to the 21st century with a bouncy castle and entertainment stalls).

There’s so much to see and do with a selection of fantastic WW1 military and civilian re-enactors, 1911 vintage vehicle and tours of the remarkable trench system guided by uniformed members of the Museum’s education team. The museum are also delighted that the local history group ‘You’re Probably from Lichfield Staffs, if…’ will be attending with their fantastic photograph and memory board displays.

There’s plenty of free parking and lots of shady spots to sit and watch the world go by and the whole site is wheelchair friendly.

Prices are £5 for adults, £4 for senior citizens and concessions and children under 5 are free. Family tickets (2 adults and up to 3 children) are available at £15.

The day starts at 11am and ends at 6pm. The Staffordshire Regiment Museum can be found at DMS Whittington, Whittington, Lichfield, WS14 9PY. For more information go or call 01543 434394

Beacon Park named as one of the best in Britain

Beacon Park in Lichfield is one of the very best parks in the UK – and that’s official. The park is among a record-breaking 1,582 parks and green spaces that will receive a prestigious Green Flag Award.

The award recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country. A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.

Beacon Park is set in more than 70 acres of beautiful gardens and open space. On top of historical statues and monuments, it features a large play area, a boating pool, a golf course, football pitches, tennis courts, bowling greens, a community garden, woodland, eateries and a programme of seasonal events and activities.

Councillor Andy Smith, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure & Parks, said: “We are thrilled to receive a Green Flag Award for fifth year running from Keep Britain Tidy. This award recognises and highlights that people in Lichfield District are benefitting from a green space of the very highest quality.”

International Green Flag Award scheme manager, Paul Todd, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme. All the flags flying this year are a testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, both staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”