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The Mercy takes to the stage in Tamworth this weekend

One of Tamworth’s most established and popular bands are set to take to Tamworth Assembly Room’s stage this Saturday in what promises to be an amazing night out (September 20th).

Every year The Mercy band performs a special charity gig at Tamworth Assembly Rooms to help raise money for local hospice St Giles. Last year they raised £2,000 and are hoping to do the same again this year. St Giles is also one of the Mayor of Tamworth’s chosen charities.

And this year The Mercy will be joined by two other bands that will be supporting them on the night: ‘The Nick Dalmedo Band’, and ‘See It On Your Side’.

Formed in 2010, The Mercy’ were born from the remnants of ‘Crawdaddy’. They boast two original members – Daniel Hatton (lead guitar & vocals), and Steven Davies (rhythm guitar & vocals), both ex-pupils of Woodhouse School, Amington. The two other current members are Peter Sherriff on drums and Neil Gordon on bass.

The band performs across the country; whether at weddings, birthdays, or clubs and town halls.

Specialising in live beat music from the late 50s to early 70s, the night will be packed with tunes from Buddy Holly, The Beatles, The Searchers, Elvis and Chuck Berry to name a few. And they also cover many more recent bands in Oasis, Blur and Razorlight.

Tickets are priced at £8 and available from the Tamworth Information Centre, Corporation Street or by visiting Telephone the box office on 01827 709618.
Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm and there is plenty of unreserved seating available. There will be a large dance floor to help gig-goers enjoy their night!

Tamworth is ‘blooming’ celebrating after once again winning gold at this year’s Heart of England in Bloom competition in the ‘Small City’ category.

This is the fifth year running Tamworth has struck gold in the competition for its spectacular floral displays, which receive praise from residents and visitors all year round.

This year’s theme was a poignant commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, titled Tamworth in Bloom – Lest We Forget.

The theme included a striking single soldier made from flowers – standing on the Moor Street island – along with the centenary dates of the First World War made out in flowers. In addition to this and countless other displays, poppies were planted throughout the borough.

Judges were taken on a tour of the borough, including the Castle Grounds, the bandstand flower beds, Jubilee rose garden, were showed the newly refurbished Saxon warrior and the torch bearer, before visiting some of the Local Nature Reserves (LNR) and Amington Cemetery War Memorial.

According to the judges: “We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of Tamworth where the work of the council, residents, businesses and volunteers was displayed. It is evident that a large number of people from a range of backgrounds are involved in the campaign and taking a great deal of pride in ensuring it is clean and attractive.”

The judges also highlighted a number of places they visited as being of particular interest, including: the Hodge Lane Nature Reserve, Amington Cemetery War Memorial, Bright Crescent, Tamworth Community Fire Station, the Soldier on the roundabout and the ‘stunning and immaculately maintained’ Castle Grounds. They also gave a special mention to the Hodge Lane Wildlife Group for ‘their brilliant World War 1 costumes and exceedingly good cakes!’

Councillor Michelle Thurgood, Cabinet Member for the Environment & Waste Management, said: “It is fantastic to see that Tamworth has achieved gold for the fifth year running.

“We take a lot of pride in our floral displays and working with others to make our town look as beautiful as possible for both our residents and visitors. We receive compliments throughout the year and it is wonderful we have once again received recognition.

“However we would not have struck gold without the hard work of our StreetScene staff who work tirelessly all year round. I would also like to thank everyone who has taken part in this year’s campaign, including the nature reserves volunteers and residents who have helped make this year even more special.”

There were also a number of areas of achievement outlined. This included growing annual bedding plants from seed, the sensory garden, involvement of the Community Payback Team, Amington Cemetery War Memorial, Wild About Tamworth and nature reserve groups, the gardens at Bright Crescent and engagement with local schools.

Tamworth is also competing in the national In Bloom campaign. The results will be announced next month.

Up to 535 new homes and a new primary school are to be built in the Anker Valley off Ashby Road, after the council’s planning committee approved an outline application.

The application was submitted by developers Bellway Homes for the 33 hectare site, which is currently farmland and which has been allocated for housing in the Tamworth Local Plan for around 15 years.

Members of the planning committee approved the plans at its meeting on Tuesday night, providing the developer abides by the following conditions:

• 20% affordable homes (107 out of a total of 535)
• £402,000 contribution towards the Tamworth Integrated Transport Strategy
• Land for a primary school and £3,750,000 to finance the building of the school
• £1,702,707 contribution towards secondary and sixth form school places
• £440,000 contribution towards the provision of sports facilities within the Borough
• Management of the on-site open space and sustainable drainage system in perpetuity
• The provision of a pedestrian/cycle bridge across the Derby to Birmingham railway line
• Widening of the Coton Lane junction (identified within the Transport Assessment)

The initial permission is for outline development only – the developers need to come back and submit a further application giving details of homes, road layouts etc at a later date.

Permission was also granted for two access points from the development onto Ashby Road. One access will take the form of a roundabout, while the second will be a road close to the existing railway bridge.

Planning committee vice-chairman, Cllr Steve Claymore, said: “When we first looked at developing Anker Valley, the original plan was for 2,500 homes, which would be far too many. I am relatively happy with this application for 535 houses, as I am confident that the package of road improvements will allow for the proposed increase in traffic.

“I am delighted that the application includes the provision of a new primary school, which will be of great benefit.

“We have to accept that there will be development on Anker Valley and if we do not allow this application, it could open the floodgates to much more intensive development. Approving this application will allow us to further defend our position against any more development in the north of Tamworth.”

A major road improvement programme which will create extra highway capacity to serve the Anker Valley site are already underway along Ashby Road, Fountain junction and Upper Gungate. The ‘pinch point’ works include road widening and the installation of new toucan crossings.

The works are being funded by the Government and Staffordshire County Council, with Anker Valley developer Bellway Homes also being asked for a contribution of £402,000 towards road projects in Tamworth.

The houses will be built at a rate of 50 per year, which will mean the development will take 10 years to complete. Subject to detailed consent being granted, developers Bellway are hoping to start building next summer.