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Friday, September 12th, 2014

Grasping the Economic and Political Outlook

Two contrapuntal things have hit my radar this past week. Firstly, came a realisation of how far the Scottish Referendum has led many of those with a vote to attempt to get their heads around the economic and political implications, probably, in many cases, further than they ever have before. The news bulletins have reflected an intense level

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Friday, August 29th, 2014

What Folk Really Want to Vote for…

We sit between two contrasting elections. Last week’s West Midlands Crime Commissioner election plumbed the depths of apathy. There was as much animation atop the plinth of Nelson’s Column as there was at our Polling Station when I called in to cast my pair of crosses. Not another punter in sight from the second I

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Friday, July 18th, 2014

A Vibrant Local Food Economy

Going on holiday has made me depressed again. Not just the usual, that’s over, back to the grindstone depression, but a grass is greener depression.

I have no yearning to live and work in the searing heat of a Southern European summer, but I was struck by the way of life in the clearly vibrant economy

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Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Moving on up?

One of my indulgences, when on annual holiday, is to read one of Charles Dickens outstanding works. Whilst you have to interpret them against the ways and manners of the day, they are wickedly funny at times, contain some of the most poetic prose and wicked characters, who, most tellingly, are knife sharp in their

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Friday, June 6th, 2014

Time to Think about Legacy?

Today seems like a good day to think about legacy. It is 6 June 2014, 70 years after the D-Day Landings. Surviving veterans, now in their 80s and 90s, have gathered in Normandy to remember, alongside David Cameron, Barack Obama, Francois Hollande, Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin and others.

Tonight the BBC will feature a recording of a

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Friday, May 9th, 2014

Walk Solihull

It seems as if every aspect of life in Britain is growing its own special day, week or month, to the extent that it could become very irritating. I have no doubt of the imminent announcement of National Trim Yer Toenails Day!

Meanwhile, next week is National Walk to Work Week, part, of course, of May’s

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Friday, April 11th, 2014

Striking a Blow on Domestic Violence

The Birmingham Mail has rightly been showered with outrage after it published a controversial column by journalist Maureen Messent which expressed a total lack of sympathy with victims of domestic violence and expounded the view that ‘women who allow themselves to be used as punch bags are often their own worst enemies’.

Read the full article

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Friday, March 28th, 2014

Diseconomies of Scale – Cost or Value?

A must read report has been published by Locality, called ‘Saving Money by Doing the Right Thing‘.

It indicates, based on extensive research, that huge sums of public money are missing the mark in the provision of services that fail to meet needs effectively, and illustrates the point with a selection of case studies to complement the

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Friday, October 25th, 2013

As I Was Saying ……

I make no apology for revisiting the topic of the previous entry here. After all, Anti Slavery Day is still fresh in the memory and the news in the intervening days has done much to keep the topic warm.

Interest in the “blonde-haired, green-eyed, pale-skinned little girl” named Maria, removed by police from a Roma family

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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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