Hardly a day went by  recently without me receiving a request via email/social media to sign a petition against one cut or another arising out of the consultation on Birmingham City Council’s budget proposals for 2015/16 (Proposals here). There is real concern over the cuts to Library Services – so there was a petition against […]


This post was originally posted on the Chamberlain Files As the Birmingham Policy Community is launched, following hot on the heels of the Kerslake Review and today’s budget announcement, Patrick Willcocks assesses the need for better strategic co-ordination at Birmingham City Council. The Kerslake Review covered a lot of ground. I want to focus on […]

I wanted to dig deeper behind where the under performance in terms on nominal GVA per head in the West Midlands lies. My previous post has shown how Greater Manchester has overtaken the West Midlands – we need to understand where this is most apparent and then dig deeper into why? This post will focus […]

This is a simple and short post. All the discussions recently about how Greater Manchester is enhancing its joint working yet further compared to the slow but tentative progress on joint working in the West Midlands started me thinking – well how have these two powerhouses been doing in recent years. The graph below is […]

Has it happened to you? You realised you have missed an important document in your field? Well it happened to me when I was listening to Albert Bore giving his Brussels speech in October 2014  on how cities and regions can lead in the response to climate change. Now I don’t think this is a […]

There was a welcome report last week from the City Growth Commission on the importance of Universities for the UK’s largest Metros and what Universities and Cities  could do to increase their importance and linkages to their local economies. The link to the  ‘UniverCities: The Knowledge to Power UK Metros report‘ is here. Let me say […]

Just got back from this annual event and thought I would briefly summarise my experiences and thoughts. Well the sessions are mainly about EU Structural funds or as they are generally known now as ESIF. The trouble was for this year we are right at the end of one period and right at the beginning […]

This event which has both great European speakers but also a hands on Blender event will look at how the Creative Industries can assist other sectors to Innovate. To book your place go to http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cross-innovation-final-conference-and-blender-workshop-tickets-7084757701

Over many years there has been much debate about greater freedoms and flexibilities around cities financing of major urban regeneration projects. This is a current debate with the work of the City Growth Commission in its recent publication ‘Connected Cities: The Link to Growth ‘ which calls for wide ranging empowerment of English cities. One of […]

A few images from the great City of Colours Street Art Festival in Birmingham held last weekend.  Well worth a wander round Digbeth!



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