Apathy, Allegiance, and Anger, the Mayoral Elections Against a Backdrop of Voter Turmoil

In our latest blog, Rebecca Riley observes that despite efforts to engage voters, turnout remains low due to factors like voter apathy and a lack of understanding about mayoral roles. For the political wonks, in England, the bank holiday weekend was a nail-biting and fascinating affair, especially when it comes to devolution. Combined Authority Mayors … Continue reading “Apathy, Allegiance, and Anger, the Mayoral Elections Against a Backdrop of Voter Turmoil”

West Midlands Combined Authority Deeper Devolution Deal

Alice Pugh discusses the West Midland Combined Authority (WMCA) Deeper Devolution Deal and the main issues local institutes face. This article was written for the Birmingham Economic Review. The review is produced by City-REDI / WMREDI, the University of Birmingham and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce. It is an in-depth exploration of the economy … Continue reading “West Midlands Combined Authority Deeper Devolution Deal”

The Spring Statement: The Impact

Alice Pugh looks at what impacts cuts to National Insurance Contributions, raising the high-income child benefit charge, and public spending will have on households in the UK. Cuts to National insurance Contributions (NICs) The NIC main rate has been cut by 2p in the pound (from 10% to 8%) for an expected 27.6m employees and … Continue reading “The Spring Statement: The Impact”

Spring Statement 2024: Key Announcements

  The Spring Budget sets out government spending for the next 5 years, this budget has been anticipated as being a particularly important budget, as it is likely the last budget before the 2024 general election. Alice Pugh looks at the key announcements from this budget. Office for Budget Responsibility On the day of the … Continue reading “Spring Statement 2024: Key Announcements”

Birmingham in Crisis: Understanding the Challenge of Local Authority Budget Cuts and the Effect on Good Financial Management

Rebecca Riley and Abigail Taylor discusses the recent financial crisis to hit Birmingham City Council, and how the root of the issues facing this council and others around the UK, are a decade in the making. This week it was announced that Birmingham City Council faces a spending freeze and greater scrutiny of its budget. An … Continue reading “Birmingham in Crisis: Understanding the Challenge of Local Authority Budget Cuts and the Effect on Good Financial Management”

How England’s Devolution Catch-22 Stands in the Way of Balanced Growth

Charlotte Hoole, Jack Newman and Simon Collinson discuss their recent paper that shows a lack of decentralisation is limiting the capacity and capability of local institutions to devise and implement growth and development strategies important for locally-driven ‘levelling-up’ in England. In recent years, the UK has experienced increased economic and social inequalities. Of particular concern … Continue reading “How England’s Devolution Catch-22 Stands in the Way of Balanced Growth”

The Spring Budget 2023: What Does it Mean for the West Midlands?

On 15th March, the government released its Spring Budget. Alice Pugh and Maryna Ramcharan examine the budget’s impact on the West Midlands. The key announcements from the budget and initial analysis can be seen here. This budget is the first budget since the turmoil of the autumn ‘mini budget’ 2022 and the second autumn budget … Continue reading “The Spring Budget 2023: What Does it Mean for the West Midlands?”

All Our Money: The Impossible Job of Running Birmingham City Council

On 15th March, Stan’s Cafe put on a sold-out performance about how Birmingham City Council spends £3,000,000,000 of our money. The event was held at The Exchange, University of Birmingham. Here’s what we learned from the play. Annoyed about your bins not being picked up again, or the ridiculous number of bollards that just popped … Continue reading “All Our Money: The Impossible Job of Running Birmingham City Council”

Key Announcements From the Spring Statement 2023

Wednesday 15th March 2023 was Budget Day. Jeremy Hunt delivered his first spring budget, and first major economic policy reveals since the revoking of policies outlined in Liz Truss’ mini-budget in September 2022. Alice Pugh and Hannes Read take a look at some of the key announcements from the budget. OBR Forecasts for the economy … Continue reading “Key Announcements From the Spring Statement 2023”

Labour’s Plan to Put “The Right Powers in the Right Places”

In December 2022, the Labour Party published a new report which promised to decentralise political power in the UK by putting “the right powers in the right places”. Dr Charlotte Hoole and Dr Matt Lyons evaluate how Labour’s proposals differ from the current system and what it could mean for the West Midlands. In December … Continue reading “Labour’s Plan to Put “The Right Powers in the Right Places””