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National Planning Policy Framework School Report: 48% Could do much better

The media is alive with the sound of planning policy again as the Communities and Local Government Select Committee publishes its report looking into the operation and impact of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Walsall town centre

Poundland signs up to St Matthew's Quarter in Walsall

St Modwen agrees latest letting following recent deal to secure budget retailer B&M to the regeneration project in Walsall town centre

Eric Pickles

Damning reports and massive cuts leave us in a real pickle

It has been a difficult week for Birmingham City Council as two national reports have prompted yet more negative headlines and another wave of budget cuts unveiled.

Business of the Year winners Paul Brown and Kirsty Davis Chinnock, at the 2014-2015 NatWest Venus Awards: Recognising Women in Business.

The 2014 -2015 NatWest Venus Awards: Recognising Women in Business

The 2014-2015 NatWest Venus Awards: Recognising Women in Business, were open to the Greater Birmingham region and included the Black Country and Staffordshire. Exclusively recognising women in all business sectors.

Birmingham City Council given 12 months to improve or else

Beleaguered local authority faces dire consequences if it shows no progress within a year and could be broken up and taken over by central government

Birmingham City Council has come under intense fire in a damning report penned by Sir Bob Kerslake

Birmingham City Council 'failing the city and holding it back' says Kerslake

Sir Bob Kerslake pulls no punches in his damning report on the council as local government correspondent Neil Elkes assess its key findings

Birmingham City Council updated

Sir Bob Kerslake: Birmingham's poorest are being let down

A damning report commissioned by Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has warned Birmingham of City Council to stop making excuses for its failings, and to change the way councillors are elected

Bernard Shepherd

Bernard Shepherd joins Clark Brookes Turner Cary

  • Law

Mr Shepherd was law society president from 2009 to 2010 and also the president of  the West Midland Association of Law Societies from 2010 to 2012

Labour MP Tristram Hunt

Tristram Hunt: Combined councils could help prevent Trojan

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt has welcomed moves to form a combined authority for the West Midlands.

Miles Hunt from The Wonder Stuff

Miles Hunt of The Wonder Stuff reveals what life was like in the rock band

From being a part-time litter picker to hitting the charts, singer Miles Hunt of The Wonder Stuff reveals what life was like in the rock band. Graham Young reports

Mike Steventon, Midlands regional chairman at KPMG

Autumn Statement: Devolution damp squib for West Midlands

Chancellor accused of delivering warm words but hot air on devolution - but said his “door is open” to cities and towns which want to follow the example set by Manchester

Much of the artwork at nature areas is excellent, and arises from community involvement

Peter Shirley: The funding roundabout in West Midlands parks

When reduced budgets are imposed it is natural for councils to look first at cutting such discretionary activities, in order to protect those they are legally required to do.

Jane Salmon, Tom Evans and Mandeep Landra from Thursfields Solicitors

New recruits join Thursfields Solicitors

  • Law

Tom Evans joins as an associate solicitor in the firm’s wills and probate department, with Mandeep Landra and Jane Salmon joining the residential & commercial property and family departments respectively

Eric Pickles

Is it time to head back to Whitehall with the begging bowl?

Perhaps the biggest threat is the soaring cost of child protection – the priority service for the city

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and Lord Mayor of Birmingham Coun Shafique Shah

Ed Balls calls for "Midland Powerhouse" as he pledges to devolve cash and power to region

The Government's plans for a "Northern Powerhouse" are excluding the rest of the country, Labour's Shadow Chancellor has warned

Avingtrans to close Black Country base

Aerospace, energy and medical products manufacturing group says steep rise in oil price and delayed projects has brought about decision

Black Country Chamber of Commerce's 2014 Business of the Year Voestalpine Metsec with category sponsor University of Wolverhampton

Black Country chamber names Voestalpine Metsec business of the year

Oldbury manufacturer was one of seven winners at the annual awards which recognised customer service and international trade among other categories

Paula James, sales negotiator at London & Cambridge Properties

London & Cambridge welcomes SMEs to Pensnett Estate

Trio of small businesses take space at industrial park normally used by large-scale operations

Review: The Making of Mordor and Black Country Stories art exhibitions

Terry Grimley takes a look at the latest exhibitions at Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Walsall's New Art Gallery

Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore (centre) meets with William Hague MP (left) and leaders from Core Cities Bristol, Liverpool, Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds and Nottingham

Core Cities UK meets William Hague to push devolution vision

Sir Albert Bore joins up with other city leaders for meeting with former Tory Party leader who now heads the Cabinet Committee for Devolved Powers

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