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Friday, September 27th, 2013

Housing Boom – Good News or Bad?

I was told by an industry insider that the construction industry was ‘picking up rapidly’ on the same day that it  emerged that house prices rose at their fastest annual pace in more than three years during September.

On the one hand this is great news, shoots of growth, signs of confidence in the economy and increased

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Friday, August 30th, 2013

Riding Where the Grass was Greener

I had a cracking Bank Holiday family afternoon out on Monday. Simple pleasures, they were, a bike ride up through the New Hall Valley Country Park with a stop off at the New Hall Mill for a tour, tea and a cake. This led to a couple of reflections.

Firstly, the Mill is a great place to

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Friday, August 16th, 2013

Communities Held to Ransom

I am saddened by the planning approval given to Sainsburys for additional floor space at their planned store in Dorridge. It leads me to recall a shop that once thrived in Solihull but is no more, and ask how many more will shut their doors.

Not that there was much choice at the end of the

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Friday, May 31st, 2013

Not A Local

I find it disappointing that our local Conservative party has picked an outsider as its candidate for Solihull constituency in the next General Election.

Julian Knight, northern lad and a senior editor specialising in money and property for the Independent newspaper, is spending spare time now trying to make a splash in Solihull. He is looking to get his

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Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Responding To Change

Seven years ago, when SUSTAiN was set up initially as a consortium of local infrastructure providers, the message was all about how things were going to change in the years ahead. The programme that central government were funding was then called ChangeUp.

Well, most of this has come true and more changes are on the horizon.

So,

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Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Getting our priorities right

If the riots and looting in the streets weren’t bad enough, there were two items in my Sunday paper this week that also depressed me.

Firstly there was a front page column explaining that some Councils were planning to use the Localism Bill to ban smoking in parks lest children see adults smoking.

Three things struck me

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Friday, June 17th, 2011

What Others Can Learn From The VCS

Peter Drucker, the man known as the ‘Father of modern management & marketing’, one wrote:

“The best nonprofits devote a great deal of thought to defining their organization’s mission. They avoid sweeping statements full of good intentions and focus, instead, on objectives that have clear-cut implications for the work their members perform—staff and volunteers both.

The

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Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Awards for the Voluntary Sector

The 2011  Queens Award for Voluntary Service have recently been announced with a number being awarded to organisations in the West Midlands.

2012 is the 10th anniversary of the Award, The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, as well as the Olympics, so interest in volunteering will be at its highest.

If you know of a group that

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Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Forging Partnerships

In the final Blog entry of 2010, I wrote of the increasing importance of ‘forging collaborations and working together’. This month provides two opportunities for us all to make progress with that, through responding to the Consultation on a Sector Reference Group and attendance at the Partnership Assembly, which can be found on the Consultations and Events

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Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Consultations about the Future of Solihull

Two consultations have been launched in recent weeks about strategies which, between them, will determine much about the future of our borough.

The Emerging Core Strategy consultation is about future developments in the borough, how land will be used, whether and where the Green Belt will be touched by development. What land will be potentially available

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