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Friday, October 13th, 2017

Libraries at the Heart of Communities

This week (9-14 October) is the very first Libraries Week, and an opportunity to reflect on the role of, and importance of, libraries in the community.

The public announcement for this new themed week in the calendar stated:

“Libraries Week is an opportunity to celebrate the very best that libraries have to offer.” Accordingly, our libraries have

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Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Great Service – When They Get There

Have you seen the BBC series BBC series ‘Ambulance’?

If not, you really should. It takes a ‘fly on the wall’ on ambulance provision in the West Midlands, filming both in the central control centre in Brierley Hill and on the ground with crews.

For me, three things come across very clearly.

The first is what a great

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Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Does this Action Plan go Far Enough?

The Department of Transport has launched a Consultation on its Accessibility Action Plan. Personally, I don’t think it goes far enough, but it is not my field, so I would encourage those in relevant support organisations to get involved.

The Plan set out in the document does seek to tackle some longstanding issues, such as:

Consistency in

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Thursday, August 31st, 2017

A Shot in the Arm for a Whole Community

I want to commend this article (“Collaboration with communities is key to the future of local government”) as a worthwhile, thought provoking read.

It talks of a successful Big Local project and the difference it is making in a local area by fostering greater community ownership of ‘place’ and new levels of collaboration between the community

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Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Charity Tax on its Way?

Those not directly involved in the running of registered charities might think that the following is no concern to them. However, I would suggest that anything which diverts any charity funding away from core purposes has an effect on the whole community.

The Charities Commission is gearing up for a ‘consultation’ on charging individual charities for

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Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Ooh Err, Missus! Strife at the Beeb

Well, what a farce. There stands the BBC, caught on stage, with its trousers down, in the heat of one of its own spotlights.

We in the Third Sector can stand proud on the other side the Stage Door. Any vestiges of unequal pay appear to be long banished from our doors. Women are an able, 

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Friday, July 14th, 2017

Get your data in order – the GDPR is coming!

Many charities and community organisations in Solihull will need to start thinking about GDPR or, after May next year, they may find themselves on the wrong side of the law. It is heavy stuff and, to be comfortable, a good 6-8 months for planning and implementing changes would be sensible.

So, what is it? The EU

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Thursday, June 29th, 2017

It’s a Fine Life???

I have observed in this column before that I use my annual holiday as an opportunity to catch up with my failure in youth to consume the masterworks of Charles Dickens and that I seem to find every volume ringing bells that chime today.

This year’s tome, Oliver Twist, has been no different. At its heart

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Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Election Reflection

It has been a different experience, observing a general election from almost 2,000 miles away, no television pundits or live commentary, reliant on reporting after the event, social media and online papers through, patchy at best, wifi.

The picture gained here from the consensus among these commentaries consumed whilst relaxing in the peaceful hills

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Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Leading the Way

Another opportunity for this column to let a more informed source do the work this week.

The charity Think Tank, NPC, has been researching the ‘State of the Sector’ and highlighting the factors that are helping leading charities succeed. Their conclusions are that the following factors are amongst the keys to achieving impact and longevity in

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