Birmingham Council’s policy of ‘Local Wealth Building’ through new municipal services and local procurement

Posted Posted in City council, Democracy, Devolution, Economy, Education, Employment, Energy, Finance, Procurement

. Introducing a fifteen-page paper ‘A REBIRTH OF MUNICIPAL SOCIALISM’ IN BIRMINGHAM? by RICHARD HATCHER Speaking to Labour Councillors in Nottingham on 3 February 2018, Jeremy Corbyn said ‘Labour councils are taking measures to bring services back in-house and reject costly PFI-style models and to show the efficiency and resourcefulness of local government. …With amazing creativity in the toughest of […]

A civil society strategy is announced

Posted Posted in Democracy, Devolution, Finance, Local government

An inquiry into civil society, chaired by Julia Unwin, former chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, found that many poorer communities feel neglected. Ms Unwin said: “Across England people have told us that they feel ignored, and that decisions that directly affect their lives are taken without their involvement. A shift in power is needed so that the voice […]

Community asset transfer: news of a Scottish bid and activity in Birmingham

Posted Posted in Democracy, Devolution, Economy, Employment, Finance, Local economies, Localisation, People power, Social Enterprise, Transition

From short-term licences to long leases, local community and voluntary groups are seeking opportunities to take on the management or ownership of buildings and land. ‘Community Asset Transfer’ or in Scotland ‘Asset Transfer’ has enabled thousands of buildings and spaces across England, such as swimming pools, town halls, libraries and parks to be taken on and successfully managed by community organisations for […]

The West Midlands Forum for Growth? Well if I were you I wouldn’t start from here.

Posted Posted in Council, Democracy, Devolution, Economics, Government, Local economies, Local government

I attended the West Midlands Forum for Growth yesterday at Resorts World. It was the official conference of the West Midlands Combined Authority, and I was attending on one of two free tickets given to civil society bodies, as part of the group of civil society organisations aiming to have a voice in combined authority matters. Tickets in general cost […]

Changing local economies to work for people who feel excluded

Posted 1 CommentPosted in City council, Co-operatives, Democracy, Economy, Local economies, Localism, Procurement

A link has been received to a Guardian report about the ‘Preston model’ – for background information see Clifford Singer’s interesting article on the Next System Project’s website. Councillor Matthew Brown, Preston city council cabinet member for social justice, inclusion and community engagement, devised this model. 12 of the city’s key employers were helped to reorganise their supply chains and […]

Corbyn focusses on decentralisation: localising energy and transport

Posted Posted in Co-operatives, Democracy, Devolution, Economics, Economy, Employee ownership, Energy, Environment, Government, Green New Deal, Housing, Local economies, Local government, Localisation, Low carbon, Mutuals, People power, Planning, Politics, Transition, Transport, Urban

Jeremy Corbyn has launched an environmental manifesto that outlines plans for the UK to achieve 65% of energy from renewable sources by 2030 – without fracking. Corbyn proposes to put cities, councils, devolved governments and communities at the heart of an efficient, decentralised energy system by promoting a shift to electric and hydrogen buses and cars; a network of low-emission zones and […]

Post-Brexit we need to build an economy for the many

Posted Posted in Books and articles, Democracy, Devolution, Economy, EU, Government, Local economies, Local government, Planning, Regional economies, Transition

‘Home-grown solutions’ Yesterday, Ann (West Midlands New Economics Group) sent a link to an article by Neil McInroy (right), chief executive of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies. CLES focusses on economic development and regeneration, ‘promoting and implementing new progressive economic activities which create positive environmental, health and social outcomes’. It was recently published in the New Start magazine under […]

Roundtable meeting: Shaping the Combined Authority’s economic agenda

Posted Posted in Council, Democracy, Devolution

We are organising a West Midlands Civil Society Forum roundtable meeting to discuss and influence how the Combined Authority’s economic agenda can best meet the needs of all communities and neighbourhoods. This will be on Thursday 9th June at 4pm in Birmingham. Venue to be confirmed. It is open to all interested civil society organisations in the area – although […]

Localism: a rescue plan for British democracy

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Books and articles, Democracy, Devolution, Economics, Education, Employment, Government, Health, Local economies, Local government, Localisation, Localism, People power, Planning, Politics, Regional economies, Tax, Transition

A notable omission from Localise West Midlands’ extensive range of articles about, or with references to localism, is a review of a book by Simon Jenkins: Big Bang Localism: a rescue plan for British democracy. In this book he attributes the decline in British voter interest and participation to the over-centralisation of power in Whitehall, ‘one of the most centralised governments in […]

The latest neighbourhood initiative: ShirleyTOPS

Posted Posted in Democracy, Devolution, Economy, Local economies, Localisation, Procurement, Regional economies, Trade, Transition

ShirleyTOPS is a community focused web site designed to encourage Shirley residents to support local businesses. It promotes around 500 businesses that trade across the Shirley area, listing shops by category – with clubs, nurseries, doctors, schools and a range of organisations promoted as well as over 500 places to shop or relax and enjoy a drink or meal. There […]