Birmingham news and blogs Saturday 20 January 2018


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Human rights after Brexit, ‘reliant on Parliamentary goodwill’ . . . 

18 Jan 18

Jeremy Corbyn’s amendment to th e European Union (Withdrawal) Bill , aimed to retain the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and ensure that it would be transferred, with the rest of EU law, when Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.

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“What do you think of the new Cabinet?” 

15 Jan 18

This question was posed last week and I replied cautiously, “Wait and see”.

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West Midlands New Economics Group: AGM 25th January 2018 

14 Jan 18

Annual General Meeting Roundup of news and planning for future meeting 25th January,  5-7pm at the John Lewis Community Hub, available to community groups.

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Labour’s effective opposition in 2017 

12 Jan 18

Steve Walker blogs: In spite of Labour’s General Election surge and its continued polling strength – not to mention more than  thirty  u-turns Labour under Corbyn had already forced from the Conservatives before the election – the line …

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Housing 29: London showing of film, The Great Social Housing Swindle – Birmingham next? 

9 Jan 18

In 2017 housing rose to the top of the British political agenda for the first time in a generation.

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John Madin’s Central Library: January 2018 

7 Jan 18

Gone but not forgotten – but will Birmingham ever learn? Mary Keating, from campaign group Brutiful Birmingham, asks why Birmingham seems to dislike its Brutalist history so much  Birmingham’s Central Library before demolition Read on here :  …

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BFOE supports councillors’ proposal for food waste collection 

5 Jan 18

In July on this site a Gloucestershire reader recommended the local food waste collection which began in 2016.

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“Birmingham banker Thomas Attwood must be cheering from his grave” 

27 Dec 17

‘The Labour party would have found an ally in Attwood’ Dr Geoffrey Ingham, Financial Times (Letters) : “The early 19th century member of parliament, proto-Keynesian and pro-industry Birmingham banker Thomas Attwood must be cheering from his …

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A university ‘spinoff’ – permanent magnets for wind turbines? 

23 Dec 17

Birmingham’s Professor Rex Harris (FREng) is drawing attention to a recent article in the Guardian Review on wind energy giving an up-beat view of off-shore wind farms which, he agrees, are showing a lot of promise, particularly compared with the …

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Presented in Birmingham: plan to give undemocratic powers to the Conservative hierarchy 

21 Dec 17

On November 25 the Conservative Party held a convention in Birmingham attended by 100 invited people, which rewrote sections of the party’s constitution.

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Chamberlain, Mrs May and industry 

17 Dec 17

There is a substantial and interesting article about the work of Joseph Chamberlain on the website of the Centre for Retail Research.

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Head teachers hear Jeremy Corbyn’s programme for the 99% 

16 Dec 17

Corbyn’s core philosophy We must recognise that every single child in this country has talents and every single child deserves the chance to flourish and thrive to their maximum potential in whichever field suits them best.

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Housing 28: will city MPs vote for stable rentals – or retaliatory evictions? 

14 Dec 17

“100 tenants a day lose homes as rising rents and benefit freeze hit” – The Observer July 2017.

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Birmingham Grand Central platforms: dingy polluted subterranean canyons 

9 Dec 17

Reading Christian Wolmar’s article: ‘Rail’s dirty secret’ , recalled last year’s  question on this site : ‘How many lungs and hearts will be damaged by air pollution before action is taken?’ There is concern about the levels of diesel-…

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Bournville’s Visitor Information Centre: a revelation 

4 Dec 17

‘Visitor Information Centre’ is a name that kept the writer away for many months anticipating only leaflets and the usual memorabilia made in China.

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2 Dec 17

Saturday 2nd December, 2-7pm Bournville Village Council will oversee the traditional switching on of the landmark Christmas tree lights 6pm.

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Is the first zero pollution passenger vessel Belgian? Birmingham has had one since 2006 

1 Dec 17

  Congratulations to the   Compagnie Maritime Belge  ( CMB), one of the oldest Antwerp ship owners, which has built the first commercial ship that runs on hydrogen and produces zero pollution.

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U-turn? BCC adopts the Clancy/Unite agreement, with token modifications 

26 Nov 17

In July, Birmingham City Council reneged on an ACAS-mediated, cabinet-approved agreement between the Unite union and Birmingham’s talented Council Leader, John Clancy, which was to end the seven-week refuse collection dispute.

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New Green Party councillor with Birmingham links 

24 Nov 17

Herefordshire Greens decisively gained a seat from the Conservatives in yesterday’s by-election.

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WMNEG: Green Economics discussion introduced by Robert Kornreich 

24 Nov 17

West Midlands New Economics Group meeting: Robert Kornreich’s introduction to a discussion on Molly Scott Cato’s book:  Green Economics: An Introduction to Theory, Policy and Practice will include PowerPoint slides.

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Gentrify Stirchley? 

23 Nov 17

One of the charms of Stirchley is the active community bonding between many of its residents, regardless of age, income or education.

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Difficult winter ahead: West Midlands distribution base for food banks? 

20 Nov 17

The late Hilary Powell, who lived in Shirley, would – like many others volunteering to help food banks – have reacted with great concern to the forecast in the Financial Times by Chris Tighe writing from Newcastle: “Winter is coming, Britain’…

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Housing 28: landlords foresee yet another impact of UC – unpaid rent 

16 Nov 17

Theresa May: “the government wants people to be able to manage their own (universal credit) budgets” Yet again, the vulnerable suffer.

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Housing 27: abandon Section 106 

14 Nov 17

The Financial Times has reported that John Healey, shadow housing minister, has set out Labour’s plans to tighten a housebuilding loophole introduced by the Conservatives that has been blamed for halving the number of “affordable homes” built …

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Employee Ownership Association Annual Conference at the NEC 

10 Nov 17

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) 12 th Annual Conference represents organisations which are employee owned or transitioning to employee ownership.

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Housing 27: what would a Corbyn premiership mean for the building industry? 

6 Nov 17

In the Financial Times , Jim Pickard, its Chief Political Correspondent and one of Mr Corbyn’s consistent detractors, writes: “After largely ignoring Labour for two years, many business leaders are now scrambling to work out what a Jeremy Corbyn …

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Working to rebuild and reuse the former home of George and Elizabeth Cadbury 

3 Nov 17

Bournville Village Trust has agreed to acquire and manage some of the 138 homes at the Manor House site, which is being developed by Crest Nicholson.

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Edgbaston: meet faiths working for a low carbon future 

1 Nov 17

  Faiths working together for a low carbon future As part of national interfaith week, join Footsteps’ annual event to meet other people faithfully caring for the environment, and share ideas about how we can work together for a low carbon future.

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The Big Birmingham Bikes scheme: next phase 

28 Oct 17

A message from Councillor Mary Locke about city cycling has been forwarded by Peter Walker, Chairman of the Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum.

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FT: Corbyn’s ‘rapturous reception’ in Brussels 

20 Oct 17

Today the FT reports that Jeremy Corbyn was given a ‘rapturous reception’ in Brussels on Thursday, as he warned that leaving the EU without a Brexit deal would be “catastrophic” for the UK economy.

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WMNEG event: issue, political and economic power 

15 Oct 17

West Midlands New Economics Group meeting: Andrew Lydon will open a discussion on the issue of political and economic power.

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Consensus: Cadbury’s future assured 

14 Oct 17

People passing the illuminated Bournville factory buildings late at night will have noted its 24-hour operation – evidence of a thriving enterprise.

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Andy Street’s next step: Birmingham needs at least three Emmaus centres 

14 Oct 17

Emmaus has the answer to rehabilitation, offering both accommodation and work of a socially useful nature.

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Help to save Moseley Road Baths 

13 Oct 17

Moseley Road Baths is one of the nation’s most significant heritage swimming pools – it is the oldest Grade II* Listed baths still open for public swimming.

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Ms May undermines her hero’s work by cutting the city council’s funding 

8 Oct 17

Political Concern comments on Druids Heath and the role of the modern council The presenter of this BBC radio programme , Adrian Goldberg, grew up on the Druids Heath council estate in Birmingham, the home of the ‘municipalism’ pioneered by …

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A young Muslim who left Solihull because of insults sent this news 

7 Oct 17

Solihull has been shaken by remarks made by Conservative councillors on Twitter.

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Bournville? Radio 4’s Lynsey Hanley, Sara Parker, Joe Sykes and Samir Shah, please note 

6 Oct 17

In a recent programme largely focussing on Port Sunlight in the Wirral, the presenter of the Juniper production for BBC Radio 4, Lynsey Hanley, rather gleefully noted the overturning of the Victorian ban on alcohol in the village of Bournville – a …

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Candidates for next year’s Most Misleading Headline award? 

1 Oct 17

To date, the editors of the Mail (not the author) and the Chamberlain files (perhaps the author) In June this year’s Bad Press Awards ( campaigning for truth and trust in Britain’s feral press ) the Daily Mail swept the board, but failed to show …

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SME2017 – some strategies for growth 

1 Oct 17

Sam Metcalf reports that the leading business event for SMEs,  SME2017 , is fast approaching.

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Jeremy Corbyn’s 2017 conference address 

28 Sep 17

Total Politics, a member of the Dods publishing group , has published the transcript.

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Cities should ban private vehicles, not Uber 

27 Sep 17

Following an apology for the company’s mistakes in London by Uber’s chief executive and promises to change if its licence is renewed, Raj Khalid writes to the Financial Times from Bandra, Mumbai, India.

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Universal Credit – another cut for many of the poorest? 

22 Sep 17

In 2015, Welfare Weekly reported that research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that 2.6million working families on Universal Credit would lose £1,600 a year from the changes and 1.9 million would be £1,400 a year better off.

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Vindicated? Council leader had authority to act: a trial will be in the public interest 

21 Sep 17

The BBC reports that, at a High Court hearing in London on Wednesday, Mr Justice Fraser dismissed the council’s argument that Mr Clancy had no authority to make a deal at ACAS with Unite.

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The city’s Labour ‘moderates’ bear out Matthew Parris’ description   

18 Sep 17

“ Courage and principle.

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WMNEG: social changes in Sweden  

17 Sep 17

West Midlands New Economics Group meeting: Ulla Grant is going to talk about: “The Swedish Model”,  the historical background, its effect on social changes in Sweden, how the “Swedish Model” has declined since mid ‘70s due to economic and …

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Westminster to debate the PR petition on 30th October 

14 Sep 17

The Petitions team: UK Government and Parliament sends news that Parliament is to debate the petition “To make votes matter, adopt Proportional Representation for UK General Elections” on 30 October 2017.

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November event: Victorian Society, BMI 

12 Sep 17

Birmingham and West Midlands Group HOUSING FOR ALL CLASSES OF SOCIETY IN THE VICTORIAN MIDLANDS A day school at the Birmingham Midlands Institute,  Margaret St, Birmingham B3 3BU   Saturday 18 th November 10.15 am-4.15 pm, r egistration from 9.45…

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John Clancy resigns: a great loss to the city of Birmingham 

12 Sep 17

Full statement from the Birmingham Newsroom site “It has become clear to me that frenzied media speculation about the Birmingham waste dispute is beginning to harm Birmingham City Council and the Birmingham Labour Party.

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England’s entry to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games: ‘a degree of perspective’ 

11 Sep 17

The government will decide, in November, whether to make a formal bid to host the Games.

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Soho Loop opportunity 

11 Sep 17

Water taxis are already plying in several British cities, including London, Glasgow, Spalding, Lancaster , Leeds and Manchester .

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Solihull beset by illegally parked travellers, March-September 

8 Sep 17

The committee of the Solihull Ratepayers Association (SRA) attended the eviction of travellers from Shirley Park on Saturday 2nd September 2017 and made a photographic record of the occupation and eviction.

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Ambitious ‘moderates’ didn’t unseat Corbyn and shouldn’t affect Clancy 

8 Sep 17

The city has at last gained a council leader who really cares for the 99% (search housing blogs ) – the only one since Theresa Stewart was elected.

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Board-games: back in Stirchley and Uganda 

6 Sep 17

A new venture in Stirchley calls families to enjoy ‘good, old-fashioned fun   Annaliese Griffin of America’s Quartz Media writes : “I’m not saying that starting a board-game group in every town and village will put us all on the path to …

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NHS debt linked to global south debt through Public Private Partnerships: 7th October 

5 Sep 17

“DEBT AND ECONOMICS: EDUCATION FOR ACTION” WORKSHOP The Jubilee Debt Campaign invites all to an interactive, informative, educational day-long workshop from 11 – 16.30 on Saturday 7 th  October at the Islamic Relief Academy , 22-24 Sampson Road…

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September event: ‘How can West Midlands councils build community wealth?’ 

31 Aug 17

Thursday 14th September, 5.30 for 6pm start.

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UNA event: The Role of the United Nations in Addressing Climate Change 

28 Aug 17

Local author, Dr Christine Parkinson, who will be speaking about the United Nations’ role in addressing climate change, is a biologist who worked in medical research before coming to this city where she has co-founded regeneration projects, the …

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WMNEG at John Lewis Community Hub: Localism & Regionalism 

20 Aug 17

West Midlands New Economics Group meeting: 5-7pm on Thursday 31st August at the John Lewis Community Hub, available to community groups.

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Midlands Connect, please note London’s ‘third-way’ with passengers and freight   

17 Aug 17

Connectivity, though identified as such in the Midlands Connect strategy report ,   is not the greatest transport problem The Midlands Connect Partnership and the Department for Transport have developed a transport strategy that identifies the …

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Industrial action: councillor’s message to Birmingham citizens 

12 Aug 17

Councillor Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for Waste and Recycling, sent a message to Birmingham citizens to say that the pattern of industrial action changed on August 11.

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Mark Blackstock – a tribute 

11 Aug 17

Time-pressed residents of Birmingham, Solihull, Cannock, Dudley, Coventry, Lichfield, Sandwell, South Staffs, Tamworth, Walsall and Wolverhampton who regularly scan their section of the Brummie site, appreciate the free service it gives, whatever …