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Articles about ‘West Midlands’

North Worcestershire Golf Club

Residents living close to North Worcestershire Golf Course will know that in August 2017 a renewed application by Bloor Homes to build 950 homes on the site of the old golf course was rejected by Birmingham City Council.

Bloor Homes have now lodged an appeal with the government, in an attempt to overturn this decision

If you submitted comments to Birmingham City Council when the planning application was in front of them, those comments will be forwarded to the Planning Inspector. However, you can also submit comments direct to the Planning Inspectorate – regardless of whether you have already sent in comments to the City Council and I would urge you to do so. You can do that by entering the application reference number 3192918 on the Planning Inspectorate website here – https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/.

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Local Government Funding

Government funding to Birmingham City Council has been cut by almost £650 million since 2010. This is the biggest cut in local government history and is more than 75 per cent of the City Council’s current net budget.

To make matters worse, due to unfairness in the way local government funding has been allocated by the Conservative Government, Birmingham is £100 million a year worse off than if cuts were made fairly.

Yesterday I asked the Government that all local authorities are treated equally in terms of the level of cuts made annually. That would mean that Birmingham City Council receives the extra £100 million extra funding it deserves.

You can read the full Hansard report here – https://hansard.parliament.uk/…/6863…/LocalGovernmentFinance

Statement on Carillion liquidation

Undoubtedly there is great concern regarding the impact that Carillion’s liquidation will have on people and businesses in the West Midlands. It is vital that an urgent assessment is conducted to assess the impact of Carillion’s liquation on our region. I have been in close contact with Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Jobs and Skills, Brett O’Reilly and to consider what steps can be put in place to minimise the impact on Birmingham City Council and service users.

I fully support Councillor O’Reilly’s request for Government assistance in co-ordinating a response to mitigate the impact on residents and the local economy. The Government have serious questions to answer about why it continued to award Carillion contracts even after it became clear that Carillion were in serious financial difficulty and must do all that it can to ensure that employees, taxpayers and pension fund members are protected.

New Inns Lane Crematorium planning application

Many local residents will be aware that a new planning application has been submitted for a crematorium off New Inns Lane on the Birmingham/Bromsgrove border. This is the third application that has been lodged by the developers looking to build on the land.

Throughout the previous planning applications I, along with Councillors Andy Cartwright, Carole Griffiths and Peter McDonald have made several representations to Bromsgrove District Council on behalf of resident as well as expressing concerns of our own regarding the planning application.

I remain unconvinced that New Inns Lane is the right site for this planning application and I will be writing to Bromsgrove District Council again to further raise my concerns and the concerns of local residents.

It’s really important, though, that as many residents as possible also submit their comments to Bromsgrove District Council – regardless of any comments that you may have submitted previously which will not be considered this time round. You can view all of the documents related to the application and submit your views by clicking the following link  and searching for application reference: 17/01429/FUL.

The deadline for comments is 24th January 2018. Residents can also contact Bromsgrove District Council directly by calling 01527 881770, emailing newplan@bromsgroveandredditch.gov.uk or by writing to Town Hall, Walter Stranz Square, Redditch, B98 8AH.

Living Wage Week

This week is Living Wage Week and the Living Wage Foundation announced that the UK Voluntary Living Wage is to rise to £8.75 per hour for those working outside of London.

The Voluntary Living Wage is independently calculated from research into what people in the UK need to get by. Unlike the Government’s re-branding of the National Minimum Wage to the National Living Wage – which is £7.50 per hour – it reflects the real cost of living taking into account things like accommodation, travel and a reasonable diet.

The rise in the Voluntary Living Wage will mean a pay rise for thousands of workers in our city. It is great that more and more employers in our city have chosen to go beyond the Government’s legal minimum and pay a real Living Wage.

When work pays we all benefit – living standards rise, inequality reduces and productivity increases.

But too many people in Northfield are still not paid a salary that is enough to get by.

Northfield has historically been one of ‘Living Wage Blackspots’ when it comes to the amount of people earning below the living wage. Recent research by the Living Wage Foundation found that in Northfield almost 30% of workers, 9000 in total, still get paid less than last year’s Voluntary Living Wage of £8.45 per hour. In the West Midlands a quarter of workers still earn below this wage and across the country 5.5 million are still paid less than the real Living Wage.

It is a scandal that almost a third of working people in Northfield are not still being paid enough to provide properly for themselves and their families. These figures reinforce that in-work poverty is real and it means far too many working people in this area are struggling to make ends meet.

You can find out more about living wage week here – https://www.livingwage.org.uk/living-wage-week