‘You can’t build that there factory here…’ »

‘You can’t build that there factory here…’

‘You weren’t allowed to open a factory here in the 1950s. The Government said you had to do that in Merseyside.’ A memory of Birmingham that isn’t often talked about – shared, as it happens, at a residents’ meeting in Quinton last night. At the meeting (of Beech Lane Neighbourhood Forum), we were talking about […]

Three Things To Get Straight about City Devolution »

Three Things To Get Straight about City Devolution

Should cities in England be in a position to run more of their own affairs? Given that England is one of the most centralised countries in the developed world; that it is economically divided – with the fortunes of London and the South East apparently disconnected from the rest of the country; and looking at […]

Local Government – What Next? Chamberlain Lecture with Sir Albert Bore »

Local Government – What Next? Chamberlain Lecture with Sir Albert Bore

In October 2012, the Leader of Birmingham City Council Sir Albert Bore spelt out the likely effect of desperate government cuts and the rising cost of providing key local services as leading to ‘the end of local government as we have known it’.  On 14 October this year, Sir Albert speaks in Birmingham at the […]

Thinking – and Doing – outside the box? »

Thinking – and Doing – outside the box?

I met some interesting people yesterday. One of them was working out how to engage young people in local democracy. Another was responsible for bringing together public services and residents to improve a neighbourhood. Others at the same table were managing: economic regeneration, housing estates, youth services, social care, community centres, sports facilities, local planning, […]

Devolution – Join the Conversation, Birmingham 29 September »

Devolution – Join the Conversation, Birmingham 29 September

Scotland chooses between Independence and Devolution – shouldn’t the latter option be available to voters in England too? ‘Rolling down’ decision making, so that choices about public services and government are made closer to the people, is a popular promise… rarely delivered. After 70 years of centralising the State, the mood in England seems now […]

Liveable Cities; Connected Cities? »

Liveable Cities; Connected Cities?

What makes a city ‘liveable’?   The global affairs magazine, Monocle, sets out a top ten of liveable cities from around the globe based on its annual survey of quality of life. Their 2014 top ten is: 1. Copenhagen 2. Tokyo 3. Melbourne 4. Stockholm 5. Helsinki 6. Vienna 7. Zurich 8. Munich 9. Kyoto […]

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