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The Chamberlain Files

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Brexit: time for business 

18 Jul 18

Brexit: have so many words ever been written about one political issue? Probably not.


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Game: I don’t live in a 90% (or 100%) Labour city 

12 Jul 18

Well, last week certainly had its excitements, didn’t it?  First, that penalty shoot-out business.


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Council: ‘time is running out,’ but when? 

29 Jun 18

“Time is running out and we need to see real progress.


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Culture: time for Mayoral leadership? 

28 Jun 18

As the crisis in the cultural sector deepens, Andy Howell asks is it time for the Mayor and Combined Authority to take a greater lead? Models of Municipal Mayors vary…


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Commissions: will resources follow recommendations? 

20 Jun 18

It is commission reporting season, apparently.


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Devolution: dead or default? 

14 Jun 18

Two seemingly opposite but not mutually exclusive diagnoses of the state of devolution emerged from the International Business Festival in Liverpool yesterday, writes Kevin Johnson.


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Introducing the Renaissance Mayor 

13 Jun 18

It’s been another milestone week for the West Midlands Mayor.


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Deal or no deal, professionally speaking? 

6 Jun 18

The potential for a ‘Sector Deal’ for the professional services sector and the challenges of doing business in the post-Brexit era are highlighted by Hilary Smyth-Allen, Executive Director of BPS…


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Council: Ward breaks new boundaries 

17 May 18

Ian Ward may have been the leader of Birmingham city council for little more than six months, but he’s already achieved two things of significance that eluded his immediate predecessor…


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Never mind who you voted for, where did you do it? 

14 May 18

They’ve become a standard feature of the election season – complaints about the complete or partial closure of schools selected as polling stations.


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Andy’s Anniversary: two questions 

5 May 18

We didn’t have time or space to mark the anniversary of the first Mayoral contest in the West Midlands yesterday.


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Vote2018: polling day manifesto summary 

3 May 18

With the polls open, you’ll have already scoured each of the manifestos to determine where to place your vote in elections for Birmingham city council, writes Kevin Johnson.


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Vote2018: Thursday’s other West Midlands elections 

2 May 18

The media focus on this week’s council elections, we’re told, will be principally on London.


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Gender pay gaps: how West Midlands councils compare 

16 Apr 18

At the risk of hyperbole, this month’s required publication by nearly 10,000 companies and public sector organisations of comparable gender pay gap data bears a certain resemblance to Winston Churchill’s…


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VOTE2018: Council battlegrounds on 3 May 

16 Apr 18

With the Commonwealth Games baton handed to Birmingham and as schools and offices return from Easter breaks – including here at Chamberlain Files towers – Kevin Johnson looks at the…


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This year’s council tax experience – how was it for you? 

3 Apr 18

With local elections exactly one month away and the new tax year arriving in three days, Chris Game takes a look at what’s happening to council tax around the country.


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May must be near – councils are in the news 

22 Mar 18

You know May is approaching, not with an upturn in the weather, but when local government starts to receive national attention, writes Kevin Johnson.


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Daily Mail’s right about local government’s C-word – why make it so easy for them? 

19 Mar 18

With the dust settled on MIPIM in Cannes, Chris Game reflects on why the C-word causes so much trouble in local government circles.


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As with nerve agents, Brexit regional impact is all about exposure 

13 Mar 18

It’s Not-the-Budget Day.


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Housing shortfall down but challenge remains 

12 Mar 18

At the start of what could be an important week for housing in the West Midlands, Mike Best reflects on the long-awaited and much-anticipated Greater Birmingham HMA (Housing Market Area) Strategic Growth…


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Three years – finance and culture challenges remain 

8 Mar 18

Reading the latest letter to Sajid Javid, this time jointly from Panel chair John Crabtree and Council leader Ian Ward, it would be easy to forget that more than three…


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Skills: a crisis of aspiration? 

5 Mar 18

As I listened into the latest city skills debate last week, the most striking aspect was that which was not said, writes Kevin Johnson.


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Procuring the future 

1 Mar 18

Local procurement multipliers deliver inclusivity, competitive collaboration, new products and new IP – but too often current public procurement is failing to deliver the innovations required for sustainable growth, writes…


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Birmingham does cranes…and skills debates 

27 Feb 18

If you walk around Birmingham city centre, you can’t help but bump into one of two things.


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Combined Authorities ARE local government: WMCA CEO learns the hard way 

26 Feb 18

Want a recipe for a one-day conference leaving your austerity-battered punters feeling both happy and entertained?  Try this: pick a plush venue in London Town, get one of your three…