Staffordshire news and blogs Monday 22 January 2018


The Chamberlain Files

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Ed Doolan: radio icon, local hero 

18 Jan 18

In 1974 an Australian born, former teacher joined the newly launched commercial radio station, BRMB.

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Last week’s ‘Andy who?’ is this week’s ‘Andy wow!’ 

18 Jan 18

I hold no brief whatever for the West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, and have been critical, including in these columns, of aspects of both his election campaign and his eight…

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Sometimes only single-minded mavericks can succeed 

17 Jan 18

If the health police haven’t yet been alerted, they’d jolly well better be, writes Paul Dale.

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Welcome to politics, Mr Mayor 

15 Jan 18

After seven months in the role, Andy Street has discovered that being a Metro Mayor is a political job after all, writes Kevin Johnson.

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Reshuffle Kerfuffle – what does it mean for the West Midlands? 

8 Jan 18

New Year, new Government.

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Time to review region’s green belt 

20 Dec 17

Conservationists will probably be delighted to learn that West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has thrown his weight behind a campaign to save the Dudley green belt, writes Paul Dale.

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Tourist charge shouldn’t depend on the Games 

13 Dec 17

Did you notice the wording of the Birmingham Post’s front-page Commonwealth Games story last week – about how the Government might be “willing to give the green light to a…

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A week? A day is a long time in politics 

9 Dec 17

From City of Culture to the Commonwealth Games (with “sufficient progress” in the Brexit negotiations thrown in), it was quite a 24 hours on the regional political scene.

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Facts, figures and fighting fallacies 

30 Nov 17

I am not sure whether to be depressed or delighted with a handy little booklet that has been produced by City-REDI, The Research Institute at The University of Birmingham.

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Why should Milton Keynes’ parking charge surpluses be bigger than Birmingham’s? 

29 Nov 17

In the week when annual parking returns provide the basis for some colourful tabloid headlines, Chris Game looks at the local political balancing act involved in car parking and parking…

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Devo Deal II: How does it stack up? 

24 Nov 17

If you could assess the depth of a devolution deal by pages or clauses, the second version is definitely progress.

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Budget 2017: Fit for the next few days? 

22 Nov 17

We have become used to observing Budgets which produce last minute rabbits and grab bold headlines on the day, only to disintegrate as economists pore over the fine detail in…

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Will Budget Day trigger Street’s Devo 2.0? 

22 Nov 17

Back in July, as Andy Street stood with his friend and Business Secretary Greg Clark to talk about the forthcoming Industrial Strategy at the University of Birmingham, there was no…

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STEM shortfall risks growth stall 

15 Nov 17

The West Midlands is facing a big problem – and it is one that has to be tackled by politicians, business, educators and parents.

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2022 should be Living Wage Commonwealth Games 

6 Nov 17

Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council and long-time driving force behind the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 project, aspires to deliver “the best ever Commonwealth Games” in 2022, writes Waseem…

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New approach needed for investment across region 

6 Nov 17

In my previous piece, I set out how the Government should be radically redefining the economic model through nationalising key industrial sectors, whilst businesses should be looking at the social…

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Mayors: Does Bloomberg have lessons for Street? 

1 Nov 17

As seven Mayors meet together for the first time in London today, Chris Game wonders why the West Midlands Mayor has not availed himself of a leadership programme inspired by…

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Will the train take the brand strain? 

26 Oct 17

It’s difficult to know which is more complex.

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Boardrooms should focus on the social line as well as bottom line 

25 Oct 17

Earlier today, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce released its latest Economic Review which underlined the skills issues faced by the region, whilst official figures this morning show national economic growth…

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Two Mirror images of Birmingham’s housing 

19 Oct 17

It was Aristotle who supposedly reckoned that one swallow doesn’t make a summer, or even a fine day, writes Chris Game as he takes a look in the Mirror.

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The colour (and gender) of power 

12 Oct 17

As a blogger, I see myself as a kind of Middlesbrough in the Premier League: beigey, writes Chris Game.

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If we’re going to have conference willy-waving, let’s get the measurements right 

1 Oct 17

As the Conservative Party Conference gets under way in Manchester, which will feature Andy Street as one of its most successful politicians, Chamberlain Files allows Chris Game a well judged…

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Diving deep into the professional sector to drive productivity 

28 Sep 17

Establishing ‘Commissions’ to consider evidence, opine and then recommend on key topics linked to regional life appears to be the order of the day; dare I say, a political fashion…

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Diluted reforms, but tackling dysfunctional boards even more important 

26 Sep 17

The watering down of suggested reforms to how companies are run has been the focus of attention recently, especially in relation to boardroom pay.

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Clancygate: impact of change on local news media 

14 Sep 17

One of the more worrying features of the climax of Clancygate is the way in which the Council’s official statements — both that from the Interim Chief Executive and from…