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Friday, February 14th, 2014

Commemoration and Celebration

This year is a time for looking back to commemorate and celebrate and to recognise events that have shaped the present.

It is, of course, a century since the onset of the First World War. Such horrendous loss of life that followed is no cause for celebration, but the dogged determination of a generation saved our shores from

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Thursday, January 30th, 2014

New Levels of Consultation and Engagement

The hoohah about Accident & Emergency (A&E) at Solihull Hospital has some interesting lessons for us all.

As I understand it, the story so far is:

The Care Quality Commission led an inspection of the Solihull A&E and found it was well short of an A&E standard, being not equipped to deliver vital functions, such as emergency care

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Friday, January 17th, 2014

Keeping Them Safe

A combination of some investigations about historic events in childrens’ homes and high profile court cases about other alleged activities of celebrities appear to be dominant in our national news at present. These are serving to remind us of the importance of Safeguarding Children and Young People.

We all have a responsibility in one way or another to be

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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, October 11th, 2013

Unleash Your Inner Wilberforce

Next Friday, 18 October, is the UK’s Anti Slavery Day and we should all commit ourselves to do something on that day to make our own stand against this most underestimated scourge of the modern age.

Anti-Slavery Day created by Act of Parliament by law in 2010 through an unopposed Private Members Bill. It is intended to raise

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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, 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.


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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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