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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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Friday, November 6th, 2015

It’s Not Okay

I must say that, having become a cynical old soul over the years and not likely to instantaneously think the best of my fellow man, my eyebrows do not easily raise at what goes on in the world. However, I confess that my jaw did take a serious dive in the direction of the basement when

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Friday, October 9th, 2015

Make Some Noise

Did you pick up Global’s ‘Make Some Noise’ day on your radio? Global is a media and entertainment group which runs eight of the UK’s top radio stations, with 23 million regular listeners. They were brought together yesterday for a charity fundraising day that brought in almost 2 million pounds for a host of good

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Friday, September 25th, 2015

Two Key Events for Changing Times

There were two really important events either side of last weekend.

At the VCS Conference on Thursday 17 September, Nick Page, Chief Executive of Solihull Council, gave us a potent insight into the changing landscape, how that will affect the public sector over the coming years and the potential effect on the voluntary sector.

If you missed it, you should

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Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Oysters or Fowls – Following Inexpensive Diet

I ventured in this column a fortnight ago some thoughts upon having read The Pickwick Papers.

There was another section of Charles Dickens’ text in this tome that struck me rather forcibly. It was to be found in the heart of Chapter 22 where Pickwick discusses the diet of those with limited means with his servant:

‘It’s a wery remarkable circumstance, Sir,’ said Sam,

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