Devolution: Are cities on track in the worst of times?

Regardless of the arguments for and against, the subject of devolution is here to stay. The unprecedented interest levels in the EU Referendum meant that record numbers of people voted, and at its core, this was a reflection on devolution, and who makes decisions on our behalf. So, how far has devolution come? In a … Continue reading “Devolution: Are cities on track in the worst of times?”

Reflections on democracy – How far have we come since 1918?

Over the years I have written a number of blogs on democracy and voting, and with the 100 year anniversary, I wanted to take some time to reflect on progress.  As someone who grew up thinking everyone was taught at school about the suffragist and suffragette movements, it continues to astound me how we take … Continue reading “Reflections on democracy – How far have we come since 1918?”

Clusters, and the research opportunity of Big Data – finding better ways to assess a specialised economy

Last year, NIESR, SpazioDati and City REDI were commissioned by the then Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to generate new evidence on UK industrial clusters and to test the potentials and limitations of Big Data techniques applied to the study of the topic. Reflecting back on this work its findings are especially relevant when … Continue reading “Clusters, and the research opportunity of Big Data – finding better ways to assess a specialised economy”

Is the government’s new industrial strategy really a game changer?

The blog was first published in the NS Tech, part of the New Statesman. The reality is when dealing with productivity there are fundamental drivers academia and policy have recognised for a long time, so making the next iteration of policy different and new is incredibly hard. The government’s industrial strategy white paper is no different; there is … Continue reading “Is the government’s new industrial strategy really a game changer?”

#Budget2017 – Sailing the ship in troubling times

This year’s autumn statement paints a dramatic statement for growth prospects, with the growth forecast for 2017 downgraded from 2% to 1.5% and GDP falling further to 1.4%, 1.3% and not rising until 2020. Business investment has been revised down and CPI forecasts it to fall later this year. £3bn has been set aside to … Continue reading “#Budget2017 – Sailing the ship in troubling times”

The Birmingham Economic Review 2017 – Economic climate and context for Birmingham

The Birmingham Economic Review was produced in October 2017 by City-REDI, the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and the West Midlands Growth Company. The review highlights the current strengths and weakness of the Birmingham economy, as well as looking at the opportunities and threats that might impact upon it in the future. Over the next few weeks, we will be … Continue reading “The Birmingham Economic Review 2017 – Economic climate and context for Birmingham”

UK Evaluation Society is launching a Midlands Regional Network

The UK Evaluation Society (UKES) is launching a Midlands Regional Network with City-REDI as a founding institutional member as part of its commitment to building analytical capability in the region. The Society exists to promote and improve the theory, practice, understanding and utilisation of evaluation and its contribution to public knowledge and to promote cross-sector … Continue reading “UK Evaluation Society is launching a Midlands Regional Network”

New York to Birmingham – why the Birmingham Economic Review matters internationally

Writing economic reviews is a fine art. There is a delicate balance to be struck between the realistic representation of a place and developing our understanding so we can improve it, painting a picture which does not undermine that which we wish to improve. City-REDI and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Chambers launched the Birmingham … Continue reading “New York to Birmingham – why the Birmingham Economic Review matters internationally”

Mayors should be ignored by the government at their peril – the redefinition of democratic power

Joseph Chamberlain ‘got things resolved’ despite not having the powers of the new mayors said John Cridland, chair of Transport for the North, at last week’s DevoQT event at the Tory Party conference in Manchester. The power to convene, bang heads together and drive change just by virtue of the office was a theme emphasised … Continue reading “Mayors should be ignored by the government at their peril – the redefinition of democratic power”

Connectivity and growth – are Engines, Powerhouses, Combined authorities the solution?

“If devolution is a journey, the current deals are not the destination”, was an underlying theme in the discussion at the City-REDI sponsored the Labour Party Conference fringe event on connectivity and growth (organised by Devo Connect). The current approach of making cities and (as Sir John Peace pointed out) other areas compete for limited … Continue reading “Connectivity and growth – are Engines, Powerhouses, Combined authorities the solution?”