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Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Volunteering Today

There was a time, pre-Welfare State, when folk used to help each other out a lot more. In the absence of  state led provision, if people in communities didn’t support each other then no-one else would.

Over the course of two generations that spirit has been lost. Supporting those who are struggling in life

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Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Sobering Thoughts

There is a ‘must read’ article  by journalist Andrew Sullivan, a Brit who has lived in the States for the last 30 years, that has been published in a number of places and is a sobering read.

It talks of the wave of populism that is carrying Donald Trump on a journey towards the White House,

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Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Passion for the Smaller Fry

Leicester City captured the nation’s imagination. It seems that only die-hard fans of the biggest clubs, who had expectations to win the  gong, were not rooting for the minnows to carry it off. A tremendous achievement completed, a heart warming tale it has turned out to be after last weekend’s round of matches.

Rooting for the

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Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Seen the A380 Yet?

Have you seen the A380 come in to land at or take off from Birmingham Airport yet? I have, and what a glorious spectacle it makes.

I was fortunate enough to catch it at the weekend, when the planes were landing from the Tile Cross end of the runway.  A substantial crowd was gathered in Sheldon Country Park come

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Friday, March 11th, 2016

Being Business Like

I was at an event yesterday at which various strategic leaders in our sector were considering the future of the VCS in terms of its engagement with and offer to the public sector in the current era.

There were voices raised in concern that the sector as a whole is not currently equipped for the task.

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Friday, February 12th, 2016

When It Comes to Waves …..

It is hard to get excited about ‘a discovery that will change the way that we look at the Universe’ when there are massive issues to be sorted on Earth, significant matters to be resolved in the UK and even substantial challenges to sort in Solihull.

Just how do we get excited about barely perceptible gravitational

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Friday, January 15th, 2016

The True Cost of Fundraising

A month ago, on 12 December, the Daily Telegraph reported that:

“one in five of the country’s biggest charities spend less than 50 per cent of the cash raised for them on charitable activities.

Charities named in this article included Cancer Research UK, the Guide Dogs for the Blind and the British Heart Foundation. The article can

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Friday, December 18th, 2015

Merry Christmas to All

There are just a few journalists who have such a way with words that their work is widely lauded and their columns eagerly anticipated. Two of their number that are the cream of contributors to my Sunday paper, and they struck an apposite and timely note between them in last weekend’s edition. They hit home

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Friday, December 4th, 2015

Housing Pressures

The Council has just has launched a consultation which seeks views about the  Solihull Local Plan Review. The original Plan was adopted in December 2013 to cover the period 2011 to 2028. Since the Local Plan was adopted, however, a legal challenge resulted in a requirement for the Council to reconsider the overall housing requirement and

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Friday, November 20th, 2015

Feeling the Heat

I was at a Solihull Faiths Forum event this week and heard that there is a really important international gathering starting on Monday week, 30 November. The
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference will take place in Paris and there is hope, but not necessarily optimism, that it will result in more significant commitments by

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