Colors: Purple Color

This week’s announcement about the historic devolution agreement reached for the West Midlands has been welcomed by the Black Country Chamber of Commerce. Vice President Kevin Rogers, a former manufacturer said in response to the announcement: “We have always been concerned that Whitehall did not properly understand manufacturing. The devolution agreement enables us to take control back and invest in the areas that concern manufacturing.

A housing development in Ladywood built through the city council’s house building arm has been handed over to tenants. Built through the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BMHT) by Galliford Try Partnerships, the £2.67m development of 45 properties will include 23 properties for affordable rent.

The launch of Sutton Coldfield Chamber of Commerce attracted an “amazing” response from the town. Over 120 attended the event at Quinto Lounge on the town’s High Street and its creation received an immediate endorsement from Sutton Coldfield’s MP Andrew Mitchell. He said: “I am delighted that Sutton Coldfield is to have its own Chamber of Commerce.

£3million programme of work to further improve cycle routes along canals in Birmingham are set for approval by the city council’s Cabinet on November 17. The scheme, part of the wider Birmingham Cycle Revolution initiative, covers sections of five canals across the city – and follows two earlier phases of canal works, approved in December 2013 and May 2015 (worth a combined £8.175million).

This festive season, help Macmillan and the West Bromwich BID to support people affected by cancer by visiting Macmillan’s Tree of Light in West Bromwich Town Centre.Write a message of love, hope and remembrance to hang on the Tree of Light in exchange for a small donation to Macmillan Cancer Support and ensure no one faces cancer alone this Christmas.

Black Friday lands on 27th November this year and projected revenues are over £1 billion. In the run-up, more retailers are adopting aggressive discounting as a strategy in order to attract customers. The latest research from IRI Group has significant ramifications for retailers in the Midlands in the run-up to the all-important Christmas season.

UNISON West Midlands are warning that cuts to police jobs and budgets will leave the public of the West Midlands with a Police Service that they don't deserve."The Conservative Party promised not to cut frontline policing and yet all we have seen is attack after attack on hard working police staff and budgets that are already stretched as thin as they will go."

The Black Country Chamber of Commerce hosted an event at Wolverhampton Racecourse that aimed to explain the West Midlands Combined Authority to the local business community. 71 delegates heard Stewart Towe CBE, Chair of the Black Country LEP, explain that the West Midlands Combined authority has the largest concentration of businesses outside London with a £78 billion GVA and 1.9 million jobs and a population of 4 million.

Severn Trent Water is appealing for its customers to help them locate a large number of private pumping stations, which will soon become the company’s responsibility to maintain. A change in legislation from October 2016 will mean Severn Trent will be owning and maintaining these pumping stations, which will be welcome news for some customers who may find them costly and difficult to maintain.

Sandwell Council will be opening its doors to children and young people to ‘take over’ the jobs of council bosses as part of this year's Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Challenge. Young people can ‘take over’ roles such as the chief executive and directors. Young people will also be given the chance to put their questions to all the top bosses at a Leader’s meeting.

The number of commuters in the West Midlands spending more than three hours travelling to and from work has increased by 87% over the past 10 years, according to a TUC analysis of official figures published. The figures – published to mark the start of Commute Smart Week organised by Work Wise UK – show that the number of people undertaking long commutes has risen sharply across the UK.

City of Wolverhampton Council officials this week welcomed their counterparts from China to the Civic Centre. Directors, engineers and researchers from the Changsha Urban Rural Planning Bureau made the long trip from Hunan Province to learn more about UK sustainable urban planning, and building knowledge and strategies.