Cloud Cover:0 %
All I Want For Christmas Is You
Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams
Fire in Tamwort;h; appears to be on the Lichfield Road Ind. Est. near Moor Street
MANCHESTER United may have endured a tough start to the season and, indeed to life after Sir Alex Ferguson, but despite being written off in some quarters, the champions will only be five points adrift of Premier League leaders Arsenal if they manage to defeat the Gunners at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Of course, looking at it another way, David Moyes's charges will be a whopping eleven points off the pace if they are beaten but they're 5/4 favourites with BetVictor to pick up a vital maximum haul and a heftier 12/5 via Skybet to be turned over.
Already holding a substantial lead over United, Arsene Wenger's charges would probably settle for a share of the spoils, a result Stan James rate at 5/2, however, the test won't phase the table-topping visitors, who were clinical in seeing off high-flying Liverpool and they might be worth a modest flutter to emerge triumphant.
They certainly aren't without appeal at 11/8 in William Hill's 'Draw No Bet' market, especially as a score draw (3/1, bet365) can't be ruled out but with all of the pressure on the home side, the Gunners could nick it.
Of course they'll be wary of former favourite Robin van Persie, a 4/1 shot at Paddy Power to break the deadlock but in Olivier Giroud, a generous 7/1 (Stan James) to net first, they have their own in-form striker and a case can be made for Arsenal to prevail in a match that sees both teams find the net; an outcome Ladbrokes offer at 19/4.
Struggling Sunderland entertain Manchester City and it's hard not to fear for Gus Poyet's side, who are 2/5 courtesy of Stan James to suffer a fifth home reverse in six attempts at the Stadium of Light.
Manuel Pellegrini's fired seven past Norwich last weekend and although this one is likely to be closer, City still catch the eye at evens in bet365's handicaps, when starting a goal in arrears. Alternatively, betway chalk the visitors up at 6/4 to win 'to nil'.
Tottenham open up Sunday's mouth-watering triple-header as they host Newcastle and despite lacking cutting edge against Everton last time out, Spurs can justify the 8/15 favouritism afforded to them by BetVictor.
Meanwhile, second-placed Chelsea, beaten by the Magpies at the weekend are 3/10 at Winner.com to bounce back at the expense of Steve Clarke's West Bromwich Albion and they double up with Andre Villas-Boas's men at evens (betway).
Liverpool weren't at their best as they went down to Arsenal but they have to be fancied at 1/4 with Winner.com to bounce back as they tackle struggling Fulham at Anfield, where BetVictor rate a Reds victory 'to nil' at evens.
Their Merseyside rivals Everton can also triumph, ahead of the pair's derby showdown next weekend, BetVictor offer 4/7 about the Toffees getting the better of rock-bottom Crystal Palace.
The pressure is intensifying on Chris Hughton after his Norwich side were hammered 7-0 at Man City on Saturday.
And so it's perhaps surprising to see the Canaries boss available at 5/2 (Paddy Power) to be the next Premier League manager out of a job.
Defeat at home to West Ham would surely put Hughton in a precarious position and the Hammers are 15/8 with bet365 to give the Carrow Road board something to think about.
In the three remaining matches, Ladbrokes go 4/7 about Southampton having too much for Hull, Swansea City are 19/20 via William Hill to see off Stoke and BetVictor quote Aston Villa at 20/21 to get the better of Cardiff.
Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com
CHELTENHAM TALK: Cheltenham boss Mark Yates believes his side will not underestimate the Lambs this weekend.
The Robins are a league above Tamworth, but for Yates that does not mean a thing come kick-off.
After seeing the draw the Cheltenham boss said: "It's a tricky tie and we will not underestimate Tamworth.
"We would have liked a home match but it's not far too travel and I'm sure it will be a good away trip for our fans.
"Tamworth have good players and we must be aware. They will fancy themselves in this tie and they will want FA Cup glory so we must be professional and be as good as we have been over the past month."
His side are currently on a bad run of form, though, and Yates is urging them to improve defensively ahead of the First Round match on Saturday.
"We're all just sick of somebody coming in at the end of the game saying 'sorry' for something," Yates told BBC Radio Gloucestershire after the 2-0 defat against York City.
"They're not doing their jobs properly for 90 minutes. It's cost us four points in the last two games.
"The league is so tight we can be where we want to be, but we've got to be more consistent."
HENDRIE BROTHERS: Dale Belford's match-day squad will not be the only Lambs players taking part in the third round of the FA Cup this weekend.
Stuart Hendrie, who is on-loan at lower-league Corby Town, is expected to take his place in their squad for the match against Dover Athletic.
Hendrie will be joined in the Corby team by his brother Lee, and fellow former Lambs Tommy Wright, Nabill Shariff and Jake Healy.
DIESEL Car magazine has named the Kia cee'd Sportswagon "Best Estate Car" in its annual Car of the Year issue – the first award won by Kia's C-segment car.
Beating off strong opposition from the Mazda 6 Tourer and Jaguar XF Sportbrake to win the overall title, Diesel Car magazines editor Ian Robertson said:
"The cee'd Sportswagon combines well-designed practicality and excellent driving calibre in an attractive package."
Kia had a strong showing in the Diesel Car magazine awards, with the Sorento highly commended in the mainstream 4x4 class, whilst the Rio was also commended in the mainstream small car class too.
Celebrating their 25th anniversary in the business this year, Diesel Car is the UK's top selling diesel, alternative fuel and eco-friendly car specialist monthly magazine.
Paul Philpott, the President and CEO, Kia Motors UK Limited, said: "We are delighted that Diesel Car has awarded the cee'd Sportswagon best estate car for 2013. It's unrivalled combination of space, functionality and engine performance, wrapped up in a premium design and backed up with our 7 year warranty, gave us great confidence that we had a best-in-class product. Thankfully Diesel Car agree!"
Built and launched in Slovakia in September 2012, the second generation cee'd Sportswagon is available with two engine options – 1.4 litre 89hbp and 1.6 litre CRDi 126bhp, with prices starting from £16,895 on the road.
Kia's fixed-priced and inflation proof "Care-3" and "Care-3 plus" servicing packages, which covers the first three or first five services for retail customers, are available for £329, or £609 accordingly.
For more info on cee'd Sportswagon, please visit www.kia.co.uk.
A CAMPAIGN for a North Warwickshire hero to receive a long overdue award for his service during the war has been successful, thanks to caring neighbours and the intervention of a local MP.
Donald Brown was a Royal Air Force Flight Sergeant in Bomber Command during World War Two. Mr Brown's Halifax Bomber was shot down on a mission over Aachen in 1943 and he was taken prisoner until the end of the war.
Mr Brown, who has just turned 90, is a popular local figure in the village of Whitacre Heath near Coleshill. Local residents began a campaign after his application for the Bomber Command Clasp was initially rejected.
Campaigner John Morgan, said: "Don has been a much-loved member of our community for many years and we felt it was wrong that he had missed out on the recognition he clearly deserved.
"A group of us got together and contacted the MOD, but we were initially told that he didn't qualify for the clasp. So we contacted our local MP Dan Byles to ask for his help."
North Warwickshire and Bedworth MP Dan Byles is a former soldier himself, and realised the significance of this campaign.
He said: "Mr Brown is a hero, and when I heard about the campaign to have his service recognised I wanted to do everything I could to help.
"I contacted the Armed Forces Minister on Mr Brown's behalf and explained why I believed he deserved and qualified for the Bomber Command Clasp.
"I am delighted that we were successful."
Mr Brown was proud to be recognised:
He said: "I am very proud to have served my country, and I'm very thankful for everyone who helped.
"The clasp arrived very close to my ninetieth birthday, which was a wonderful birthday present.
"I wouldn't have got it without Mr Byles' help, and very grateful to him indeed.
"It's good to have a fellow ex-serviceman as our MP – although I did tell him when we met that he would have been too tall for Bomber Command!"
After meeting Mr Brown, North Warwickshire's member of parliament, said: "Mr Brown is from a generation who we must never forget.
"He served his country and showed immense bravery.
"He is a role model for everyone, and particularly for local residents who are immensely proud of him. When we met he shared some fascinating tales about life in the POW camp where he spent two years.
"I'm honoured to have been able to help him in this small way."
Mr Byles, who served for nine years with the Light Infantry and the Royal Army Medical Corps, will be laying a wreath at Atherstone on Remembrance Sunday and at Bedworth on Armistice Day and he had a clear message about the importance of the day.
He added: "Today we are so fortunate in the freedoms and liberties we enjoy and we owe so much of it to the brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in serving their country in war.
"We will never forget what they went through for us."
A COUNCIL and a decorating firm have been fined thousands of pounds after workers were exposed to potentially-deadly asbestos fibres.
North Warwickshire Borough Council and Intal Decorators Limited appeared at Leamington Magistrates Court.
The court was told that the council was refurbishing its community centre in Eastlang Road, Fillongley, on March 13, 2012 when it sent its contractor, Intal Decorators Limited, to remove asbestos insulation board.
The material should have been removed under controlled conditions by a licensed contractor.
Instead it was spread around the site by the decorating firm's staff.
The matter came to light when other tradesmen on the site realised what was happening and reported the situation to managers, which led to a visit from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
HSE's subsequent investigation revealed the council had undertaken a survey detailing the presence of asbestos but had failed to pass information on to Intal Decorators Limited.
The firm had also failed to carry out its own assessment of the insulation boards to check whether asbestos was present.
North Warwickshire Borough Council pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to provide sufficient information and instruction to its contractors regarding the presence, nature and scope of work involving asbestos.
It was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,200.
Intal Decorators Limited, of Rough Road, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 for removing asbestos-containing materials without carrying out an assessment.
It was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay a further £500 in costs.
HSE inspector, Paul Cooper, said:
"It is reasonable to expect North Warwickshire Borough Council to have planned its work in such a way that workers were not put at risk of exposure to this deadly material.
Assistant chief executive and solicitor to the council, Steve Maxey attended Leamington Magistrates Court and said: "The council deeply regrets the breach of health and safety legislation and very properly pleaded guilty.
"North Warwickshire Borough Council has never been prosecuted for Health and Safety offences or for any other criminal matters since it was created in 1974.
"We take Health and Safety issues extremely seriously so we have listened to advice from the HSE and reviewed our processes to ensure that these regrettable circumstances never arise in the future. "We properly planned for this work and carried out very similar work in other buildings as part of this project.
"There was no reason why the member of staff concerned did not follow the same procedures on this job. That member of staff no longer works for the council and we hope there will be no further breaches in the future."
BUDDING young artists from Tamworth are being given the chance to show off their skills – with an opportunity to switch on the town's Christmas lights hanging in the balance.
A competition is being hosted by Tamworth Borough Council, who are appealing for anyone up to the age of 18 to design an attractive bauble to hang on the Christmas tree in the Ankerside Shopping Centre.
And the overall winner will get the prestigious opportunity of switching on the town's festive lights later this month.
Mayor of Tamworth, Cllr John Garner – who will turn on the lights with the competition winner – is urging young people from across the town to enter.
He said: "I am looking forward to seeing all the wonderful entries to the bauble competition and to turning on the lights with the winner.
"I'd also like to encourage as many Tamworth residents as possible to go along and vote for their favourite Christmas bauble design when they go on display in Ankerside."
All designs submitted by the deadline of 1pm on Tuesday November 26 will be put on display in Ankerside from November 25 to 28, when the public will be invited to vote for their favourite.
The entries will be displayed in the vacant shop unit next to Vision Express, opposite the Coventry Bank and Supercuts. Once the voting is over, the young artist who created the most popular bauble will be invited to join the Mayor of Tamworth and Santa for the big switch-on, which takes place on November 30.
The winner will also receive a £50 Hobbycraft voucher, pantomime tickets and a signed football donated by Tamworth Football Club.
A spokesperson for the council added: "Young artists are invited to be as creative as possible when they design their bauble. It doesn't need to be a traditionally-shaped bauble – as long as it is festive and can be hung on a Christmas tree."
And anyone stuck for ideas or needing a bit of help is invited to take part in free craft workshops taking place in the empty unit on Saturday, November 23, Monday, November 25 and Tuesday, November 26 from 10am until 1pm.
The workshops are being led by Lee Bates from the Community Café.
Entries can be dropped off at customer services in Marmion House or at the Tamworth Information Centre in Corporation Street.
Anyone interested in entering should ensure their name, address and phone number are written on the back of their entry and that it is received by 1pm on Tuesday, November 26.
THESE CCTV images above capture the heartbreaking moment a beloved pet cat was savaged to death by an unleashed pitbull.
Despite the grim incident outside an address in Hillcrest Close being caught on camera, distraught owner Leon Abrahart has been told there is nothing the authorities can do.
"The police said there was no case to answer," said the 36-year-old. "As it's 'dog on cat', there's no law for it.
"I'm feeling unresolved about it. If you've got a dog like a pitbull you should keep it on the lead because they are capable of something like this.
"They're changing the laws about Dangerous Dogs but there's nothing about this kind of thing and I just don't get it, the owners should be held responsible."
Leon's 15-year-old son discovered the lifeless, bloodied body of Kira (right) on Monday night, October 28. The call was made to Leon, who was working nights at Brakes in Ventura Park and he returned immediately to bury the cat.
In the knowledge his neighbour three doors down had CCTV cameras, he asked him to scan through images of that night and it was then the true nature of Kira's death was discovered.
"I thought her body was a bit too far away from the road for her to be hit by a car," said Leon. "It's just shocking, the owner is 30 seconds away from the dog and the damage is done by then.
"He'd have known what had happened, the dog would have been growling or have blood on it. My son was distraught, pets are part of the family you know, and then this goes and happens.
"Nothing can be done about it, which is upsetting, the dog was off its lead but apparently that's not a law – the signs you see all over the place are just the council sending out a message.
"Something has got to change because this was a family pet and an irresponsible dog owner has allowed this to happen."
Back in September 2012, the Herald reported how another family pet in Tamworth was mauled to death by two large dogs.
Neil Watton and Angela Ball, of Shannon in Belgrave, returned from holiday to make the discovery of how their cat Mercedes was killed thanks to their CCTV footage. On that occasion the cat's body was hurled into a wheelie bin by the dog owner, with the story attracting national newspaper coverage in England and as far away as Australia.
When asked to give a comment about dog attacks on cats, Staffordshire Police highlighted this on www.askthe.police.uk:
"It depends on the circumstances but there have been decisions in the past by courts and authorities to suggest that it is the nature of a dog to kill and wound small animals.
"Therefore, in the event of your pet being wounded or killed by a dog, it is not a certainty that the police would take any action.
"The police will take action if the dog was dangerously out of control in a public place. The only possible recourse is to take civil action against the dog owner but this would depend on the circumstances.
"However, there are different regulations where the attack involves farm animals. This answer does not take into account deliberate attacks or dog fights which are offences."
GREEN taxes must be cut and measures put in place to increase competition to help reduce energy bills – according to Tamworth MP Christopher Pincher.
The Conservative politician scrutinised the "Big Six" Energy Companies this week in a high-profile session to establish the reasons and justification behind recent energy price rises.
During the session Mr Pincher pushed the firms to confirm that if green levies, used to subsidise renewable energy generation, are lifted then consumers' bills will be directly reduced.
"Renewable levies add £112 each year to the average annual bill, placing further burdens on hard-pressed households struggling to pay bills and on businesses fighting for a competitive edge in the international marketplace," said Mr Pincher, a member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.
"Chief executives unanimously confirmed to me that these levies can be quickly removed to keep energy bills down for hardworking families. Unlike the Labour Party, Conservatives in Government are offering a real solution of a cut in taxes that add to your bill and more competition to keep bills lower. And are legislating to force energy companies to put people on their lowest tariff."
Conservatives say Ed Miliband's promised price freeze is a political con that will simply result in increased prices for consumers as suppliers increase their prices before the freeze and damage investment in our energy infrastructure.
Mr Pincher suggested that a better way of helping those people living in the poorest condition housing and suffering big bills is to insulate their homes through schemes paid out of general taxation rather than through levies on people's bills.
North Warwickshire MP Dan Byles also scrutinised the Big Six energy firms, questioning the transparency of the companies' accounting and reporting practices and he also pressed them on misleading their customers over paying more on expensive tariffs.
Mr Byles, said: "Constituents are rightly concerned about the recent increase of energy prices.
"The Big Six energy companies have many questions to answer, but so too does the previous Government who allowed almost 20 energy companies in 1997 to consolidate into just six in 2010.
"The complete lack of competition as a result has allowed the Big Six to get away with raising prices to levels that many local people simply cannot afford.
"We need more competition, we need much more transparency on prices and profits from the energy companies, and we need to consider alternative ways of paying for many of the green levies and taxes that the previous government heaped onto the bills of my constituents."
Mr Byles is also the chairman of the All Party Parliamentary groups for Unconventional Gas and Environment groups, taking an active role in Britain's energy.
Mr Byles added: "The country is facing an energy crisis. Over the next 10 years a significant number of our ageing power stations will be switched off, and the previous government failed to address this.
"That is why it is so important to develop new nuclear power stations, and to safely explore new energies such as shale gas – which is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs and to help limit future gas price rises."
"Meanwhile Ed Miliband's price freeze con will have the opposite effect to what is intended – it will lead to higher prices and drive out of business the small generators we need to compete with the Big Six. The result would be job loses, less energy, higher prices and possible black-outs."
GLOBAL attention has been drawn to the discovery of a child's coffin – believed to be more than 1,700 years old – but the wait to lift its lid continues after experts delayed the opening.
The coffin was due to be opened yesterday as the Herald went to press but had to be postponed.
A team of 12 experts from across the country have excavated the relic, which was discovered in a field six miles from Tamworth two weeks ago.
Archaeology Warwickshire, who have been commissioned to recover and study the coffin, said that the find has created a huge buzz across the globe.
Stuart Palmer, business manager at Archaeology Warwickshire, said: "It seems to have caught the imagination of people from across the world.
"We have been fielding enquiries from archaeological and historical institutions from all over America and Europe.
"And in terms of our work, we are doing ground-breaking research."
The team are now planning to open the coffin next week, before micro-excavating the contents. The relic is thought to contain the remains of a Roman period child who died in the 3rd or 4th century AD.
Recent work has revealed that the coffin is almost entirely full of clay silt.
Experts from as far afield as Bradford and York will now look at soil residues from inside the coffin – which could even determine the cause of death.
But results could take months, Stuart added, with the excavation work itself expected to take several days.
He added: "We are delighted to be able to help with this potentially extremely important find."
The coffin is currently being kept in a secure environment in the group's Warwick-based offices, with "fascinating technical details" already discovered.
Rob Jones, Archaeology Warwickshire's exhumation expert, said: "It looks like we will be able to open the lid and excavate the contents in a controlled manner with little chance of encountering organic remains."
The coffin was found in a farmer's field by Chris Wright.
He said: "I'm delighted with the level of interest in this item and hope it gives some valuable clues as to Roman life in the area."
And it isn't the first significant find that Archaelogy Warwickshire has been involved in – as the team was commissioned to excavate part of the Staffordshire Hoard.
A CANNABIS factory found at a house in Tamworth produced more than £50,000 worth of the drug, a court heard.
Police discovered the harvest from 40 plants at the home of David Caddy – together with a by-passed electricity meter.
Mr David Bennett, prosecuting, said more than £4,100 worth of electricity had been illicitly used in the production process over a six month period up to March this year.
A total of three rooms at the defendant's former home in Lothersdale, Stonydelph, had been kitted out with cultivation equipment at a cost of up to £5,000 each.
The cannabis had been already harvested and was drying out. The weight was five and a half kilos with a street value of up to £52,000.
When first questioned, Caddy claimed he was looking after the plants for someone else, but then admitted they were his and the drug was for his own use. He said he had no idea how much cannabis he had produced or what it was worth.
There was no evidence that Caddy had been dealing or planning to sell the drug.
Caddy, aged 34, now of Fozdar Crescent, Bilston, admitted charges of producing cannabis and abstracting electricity. He was given a 16-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 100 hours' unpaid community work.
Recorder Mr David Mason QC told him: "You are of previous good character, you have a very good job, a young family and you have given up your consumption of cannabis which was clearly wrecking your life."
Mr Harpreet Sandhu, defending, said Caddy had a job on the production line at Jaguar-Land Rover earning a substantial salary.
The house in Tamworth was owned by him and his partner but was in the process of being sold and the couple were now living with his mother.
Caddy's partner left him for a time following his arrest because of is drug use, but there were back together.
"These proceedings have been such a wake-up call, he's realised he had to rid himself of his habit," said Mr Sandhu.
IN Tudor times to live in court was considered an honour – today it is considered unusual.
But Tim Egerton is delighted to have become a new type of court-ier.
In a world away from the days of King Henry VIII Tim has set up home in the old Tamworth Magistrates Court, a building that once sent the criminally-minded to jail, but now homes eight like-minded individuals.
Tim, who only moved into his new lodgings last week, admitted he could not be happier.
He said: "Where else could I get the amount of room I get here.
"I have only just moved out of my parents' house and I now find myself living in such a brilliant old building right in the middle of town.
"My friends think it is amazing, everyone does really, I couldn't imagine a better first place really."
Twenty-one-year-old Tim, who is a quality engineer at BMW in Hams Hall, is part of a new breed of security that property management company AD HOC, are currently using.
Rather than go down the traditional route of employing security guards to watch over buildings under their control, the company invites working individuals to live in the buildings at a reduced rate.
For a £200 all-inclusive price tenants such as Tim get to live in the building and all they have to do in return is keep communal areas tidy and secure.
For Tim it is a price worth paying.
He said: "For this price this is incredible. For a first time thing it is ideal.
"It is a bit quirky living in a courthouse but I do love it.
"I know one element is keeping it secure, but for me that is something that is worth it for what we get back.
"We are next door to a police station here anyway so it is quite secure to begin with."
Tamworth Magistrates Court is just one of a number of buildings in and around Staffordshire that are now employing this technique of keeping properties secure.
AD HOC branch manager, Darren Tubb, believes the portfolio of properties will increase when councils and companies see the benefits. He said: "It is a great way for us to keep buildings safe.
"People move in and they bring their possessions with them, this then becomes not just a building they are keeping an eye on, it becomes a home.
"They want to keep their things safe so they watch over it like any of us do our own homes really, it is a perfect situation.
"The Tamworth court is a brilliant example of how this whole thing works.
"You get a wonderful unique building, you install a kitchen and showers and you make it liveable."
Staffordshire County Councillor, Ian Parry, cabinet member for finance, resources and transformation, added: "As a county council we are committed to providing the maximum value for every taxpayer's pound – and this includes the management of buildings. When we have an empty property we always look carefully at the most cost-effective way to manage it while a decision is made on its future use.
"Having someone living in part of the building not only helps protect it from damage, but is more economical than employing a security firm for example. The council continues to maintain the property and pay utility bills."
EIGHTEEN new jobs have been created at Tamworth's Ankerside Shopping Centre with a store opening and the expansion of two others.
Fashion retailer Blue Inc is the latest store to join the George Street shopping centre, recruiting 10 new staff.
It is the third major jobs boost at the centre with both Poundland and Costa expanding in recent weeks.
The two shops have taken on eight more staff between them – and more jobs are in the pipeline for the New Year.
The Blue Inc store opens on Monday (November 4) in the former Ellie Louise unit, previously home to New Look.
John Tarrant, manager of Ankerside Shopping Centre, said: "We are delighted to welcome Blue Inc as the latest new arrival.
"I am also pleased Costa is now part of the centre, in much larger premises, and that Poundland has expanded into another empty unit, all of which takes us even closer to full capacity.
"The extra good news is the creation of 18 full-time jobs, with more in the pipeline.
"Ankerside is a great place to work, as well as to shop.
"It is a very successful shopping centre, because it's so well situated and has such a wide range of affordable shops.
"Under the new owners there are plans to move forward and build on that success in the future."
Blue Inc chief executive Steven Cohen said: "We are delighted to be launching in Ankerside Shopping Centre.
"We are also pleased to be employing a significant number of local staff and supporting the community.
"We hope the new store creates a real 'buzz' and is a great success over many years to come.
"Due to our strong trading growth in and around the Birmingham area, we thought Tamworth would be a great opportunity to increase our presence within the Midlands area."
The Blue Inc opening comes as four new jobs were created at Poundland, with its expansion into the neighbouring shop, left empty by the departure of the Early Learning Centre and an ex-catalogue shop.
Poundland is now 50 per cent bigger, as it has increased in size from 4,000 sq ft to almost 6,000 sq ft.
Manager Stuart Crouch said: "We have lots more floor space so we can sell a wider range of goods.
"In addition we now have two warehouses, so we can quickly bring in stock for fast moving lines.
"In addition, we can use larger delivery lorries, which means fewer journeys – which is much better for everybody.
"Sales are up around 20 per cent already, so it's definitely been worthwhile.
"We've taken on four extra staff and I'm looking to take on more for Christmas. In the New Year, if sales continue like this I'll also be considering recruiting more people."
Costa Coffee crossed George Street into the former MacDonald's premises, which is a much larger unit and part of Ankerside.
The coffee specialist has tripled in size and recruited four new full-time baristas.
Manager Jacqueline Brodie said: "We now have room for more than 100 people – in the old shop it was 43.
"The larger size means it is a much more pleasant atmosphere, and we have more space to prepare all the great winter favourites that are coming back for Christmas."
In addition two pop-up stores have opened in the centre for the Christmas rush, creating several temporary jobs between them.
They are womenswear retailer Emma and Arc, which sells fashion accessories.
LOCAL community groups are being urged to join Santa on his sleigh this Christmas and help raise money for good causes.
Tamworth Round Table have extended their traditional fundraising routes this year and will be visiting streets around the town for three weeks between December 1 and December 23.
Volunteers from local organisations can help Santa on his rounds and be given a percentage of the money collected for their own organisations.
Sean Poultney, Community Liaison Officer for Tamworth Round Table, said it's a great opportunity.
"The sleigh collections are always fabulous – we go out with Santa with the Christmas music blaring from the sleigh and the community turn out in force to support us.
"As we have extended our routes this year to take in new housing estates we need more volunteers than ever to help us and it's a fantastic opportunity for local organisations to raise their profile and get some money for their cause.
"We are guaranteeing £100 to every group that helps, but it could be more depending on how much we collect.
"So whether you're a sports group, PTA, local charity or other small community association, we'd love you to get in touch and join us for some festive fun."
The remainder of the money collected will go to Tamworth Round Table's Community Fund.
This year the fund has organised a host of events, including a skate jam for 120 children in the summer.
If you would like to apply to take part please contact Sean on 07970 906 557 or email email@example.com for more details.
RESIDENTS have been praised for their "vigilance" as 999 calls dropped dramatically during the fire service strikes – with just one incident reported in Tamworth.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service received just four emergency calls during the Fire Brigades Union strikes, which ran from 6.30pm to 11pm on Friday (November 1) and 6am to 8am on Monday, November 4.
The Tamworth call related to an automatic fire alarm sounding at a commercial building at Stablethorpe, in Thorpe Lane, Thorpe Constantine. It was reported at 7.49am but crews did not attend.
Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford thanked residents and motorists for being extra careful during the strike period, when firefighter numbers were significantly reduced.
He said: "As a Service we have worked very hard to promote vital safety messages ahead of and during the strike action. Local communities clearly took notice of our campaign as the one incident we attended was a small fire and the only other call we received was to report an automatic fire alarm.
"I would like to thank residents of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent for their vigilance."
The Fire Brigades Union is in dispute with the Government over changes to firefighter pensions.
Firefighters and volunteers are promoting safety messages across the county, giving out leaflets featuring top tips for safety in the home and on the roads.
Two 999 calls were received on Friday night; from Leek and Stone.
At 10.14pm, a crew from Longton was despatched to a house in Novi Lane, Leek, following a report of a chimney fire.
Fire Control at Stone also received a 999 call from a householder wanting advice after a carbon monoxide alarm sounded.
And on Monday another two emergency calls were received. One for the Tamworth incident and the second for a small fire at a field off Hobnock Road, Essington, at around 7.45am.
Further strike action will take place on Wednesday, November 11 between 10am and 2pm.
The Fire Brigades Union also announced the start of a further ballot for other forms of industrial action, which will close on Wednesday, December 4.
"Our members enter burning buildings for a living, and will not be intimidated by the government's decision to worsen their proposals," said Fire Brigades Union general secretary, Matt Wrack.
On the new ballot for further industrial action the spoke, he added: "Although we still hope the government returns to negotiations, our members have told us that they are prepared for a long, hard campaign if necessary.
"As a result we are now balloting for further forms of industrial action.
"The fire and rescue service is totally reliant on the goodwill of firefighters on the front line. Many are now performing additional duties and additional hours as a result of central government funding cuts.
"There is precious little goodwill left in view of these attacks and that I am confident that will be reflected in this further vote.
"I urge the government to come back and talk about all the issues in dispute."
LOCAL people will have to move like greased lighting to snap up tickets to a night of West End entertainment being held in Tamworth next week.
The charity fund-raiser has been organised in aid of St Giles Hospice and will feature West End performers paying tribute to classic movies Grease and Dirty Dancing.
It is being held at Glascote Club on Glascote Road on Saturday November 16, with tickets costing £12 for adults and £5 for children.
Organiser Ian Crick said it will be a great night of family entertainment.
"Since my dad passed away two years ago at St Giles Hospice, me and my friends and family have raised more than £6,500 for in his memory.
"This is our latest event and it will be great fun and all in the name of a fantastic cause".
Anybody who would like to buy tickets for the evening should contact Ian on 07590 651 521.
Ian has also organised a Christmas fete for the same day at Glascote Club, which will feature a visit from Santa, appearances from children's favourites Peppa Pig and Mickey Mouse, donkey rides and more than 30 stalls.
This event will run from 12-4pm and entrance is free.
VISITORS to Abbey Green Park in Polesworth can now 'take a walk on the wild side' with the opening of the latest Local Nature Reserve in North Warwickshire.
The Mayor of North Warwickshire, Councillor Dominic Ferro, cut the red ribbon at the event, which included free dog microchipping, bird box making, meet the minibeasts, willow weaving and guest celebrity Peppa Pig.
By the end of the event, around 100 people had visited the park and nature reserve.
Improvements at the Abbey Green site have included clearing the channels of silt and reeds, planting native plants, creating new footpaths and seating areas and installing fishing platforms.
Activities for local people have included bat walks and talks, wildflower planting and bug hunts while a school event saw 97 children visit the reserve.
The site at Abbey Green Park – along with those at Cole End Park, Coleshill, Daffern's Wood New Arley and Kingsbury Meadow – has been created through the Wild:LIFe project.
This is a partnership between the Borough Council, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Groundwork West Midlands. It is funded through Access to Nature, a scheme run by Natural England and funded by the Big Lottery.
Additional funding at Abbey Green has been provided by IM Properties under a planning agreement with the development of Birch Coppice Business Park.
In his speech, the Mayor, Councillor Dominic Ferro, said: "I would like to thank all the team at North Warwickshire Borough Council, Phillipa and her team from the Wild:LIFE project and everyone else who has worked so hard to make these wonderful improvements to Abbey Green Park and all the other local nature reserves in North Warwickshire."
Anybody interested in volunteering or joining a Friends Group at any of the reserves, should contact Katherine Webster on 01827 719202; email firstname.lastname@example.org
TWO little terrors got more than they bargained for last week as they were given a special treat on Halloween.
Jacob and Imogen Smith took a well-earned rest while trick or treating and managed to catch up with that day's Tamworth Herald.
If YOU want to be in with a chance of winning a day out at Drayton Manor Park just send us an amusing or unusual snap which prominently features the Herald. Everyone who submits a picture used wins a family ticket to top local attraction Drayton Manor Theme Park.
Photographs can be prints, but digital images on email are preferred.
Sorry, but slides are not acceptable.
When sending prints, please remember to write your name and address on the back of each photo.
For email submissions, please ensure the photographs are hi-resolution jpegs sent as attachments.
And remember, every entry needs to include full details of the picture, including who is on it and where it was taken, as well as your address and daytime telephone number.
All photographs are non-returnable and the Herald reserves the right to use them in future promotions.
Not all submissions will be successful. Only successful entries will receive correspondence.
Send your snaps to Photographic Competition, Tamworth Herald, Ventura Park Road, Bitterscote, Tamworth, Staffs, B78 3LZ or by email to email@example.com
DRAYTON Manor Theme Park and Tamworth Tourist Information Centre were among the big winners at an inaugural awards ceremony aimed at promoting tourism in Staffordshire.
Announced at a ceremony this week, the first ever Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism Awards celebrated best in class businesses who help to boost tourism and promote excellence across a wealth of attractions and accommodation providers to position Staffordshire as a leading short break destination.
Drayton Manor Theme Park won two golds with success in the 'Access for All' and 'Best Tourism Experience' categories.
Other winners on the day included the Staffordshire Hoard: Dark Age Discovery exhibition at the Potteries Museum for 'Best Tourism Event', Weston Park for 'Taste of Staffordshire Tourism Award' and Tamworth Tourist Information Centre for 'Visitor Information Provider of the Year'.
In the accommodation categories, Alton Towers Resort topped the chart for 'Large Hotel of the Year' and Swinfen Hall Hotel for 'Small Hotel of the Year'.
The awards were independently judged and verified by Service Science. Entrants were reviewed and marked on their commitment to delivering excellent customer service, training and skills for employees, sustainability and environment; along with the entrants' proactivity and dedication to best practice, quality of service and product.
The Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism Awards also had people's choice categories which included 'Large Visitor Attraction of the Year', 'Small Visitor Attraction of the Year' and 'Tourism Pub of the Year', where The Trentham Estate, Gladstone Pottery Museum and Lymestone Vaults, Newcastle-under-Lyme each won respectively.
Dr David Bryon, ex-managing director of bmibaby, was invited as guest speaker and entertained guests with his quirky anecdotes and great experience in leading the largest budget airline in Europe.
Mark Kerrigan, Chair of Destination Staffordshire, said: "We have been looking into developing our own countywide tourism awards for some time and are pleased with the results of this."All winners and runners-up now go through to the national Visit England Awards for Excellence 2014.
A NEW underground fire has been uncovered at Daw Mill Colliery.
But, after concerns were raised by North Warwickshire MP Dan Byles and Nuneaton MP Marcus Jones, the Coal Authority has moved to reassure members of the community that the discovery does not pose a threat.
Mr Byles said: "Following reports of a new spontaneous combustion underground at Daw Mill, Marcus Jones and I have held urgent talks with the Coal Authority, and we have been reassured that this development represents no danger to local residents.
"We will continue to monitor the situation closely."
Daw Mill Colliery was shut down following a major fire back in February resulting in hundreds of job losses.
Its two mine shafts and draft shift were secured, with public safety protected.
Since the incident the site has been continuously monitored.
But more recently a rise in the level of carbon monoxide was detected in the colliery drift entrance to the mine.
And when the drift terminal building was opened up last week for closure work, white colourless smoke was seen coming from the drift entrance.
Work was suspended and air sampling undertaken.
The analysis of this sampling has identified that there has been a further spontaneous combustion event most probably in the pit bottom.
Additional controls have been safely implemented to allow work to re-commence on site.
Further safety measures have also been taken to disperse the smoke flowing from the drift.
It is expected that the smoke will become darker in time but there will be no impact on the environment or on the health and safety of the community located nearby.
Work to eliminate the flow of air into the mine and starve the fire of oxygen has begun and is expected to take two weeks to complete.