Black Country recession updates

bc-recession-reportOur colleagues at the Black Country Observatory have produced the first Black Country Recession Intelligence report.

These reports are being produced on a monthly basis by the Observatory as part of  a ‘Black Country Recession Intelligence Group’ comprising of representatives from the Black Country Local Authorities and Local Strategic Partnerships. The reports aim to provide real-time evidence as a background to policy debate in the sub-region.

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Cigarettes and alcohol

The Office for National Statistics has published the latest installment of their annual General Household Survey (GHS) which provides data on smoking and drinking among adults in Great Britain, with figures available by gender, age and government office region.

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Substance misuse in the West Midlands

The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse has today published its report, Getting to grips with substance misuse among young people (pdf, 54kb), which indicates that increasing numbers of teenagers in the West Midlands are receiving help for drug and alcohol problems through increased access to services in the region.

The report shows that the vast majority of the 2,447 young people helped with drug and alcohol problems in the West Midlands last year received specialist treatment such as counselling-based services to overcome harms caused by cannabis or alcohol use and reduce further risks to their health and wellbeing.

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Making information more accessible

InstantAtlas maps

InstantAtlas maps

How to make complex information available to a wider audience and how to make it more easily understand? Those were questions being considered in Coventry this week.

On Tuesday 20th January, Coventry City Council hosted a meeting designed to share ideas on how regional partners were using software to make their information more readily available.

The main focus of the event was Geowise’s InstantAtlas tool, which is used by many public sector organisations to provide a nice clear visual interpretation of the data they hold.

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Local Government Association analysis and research bulletin

Local Government Association logoThe Local Government Association publish a useful monthly analysis and research bulletin on the key issues and developments in research relating to, or impacting on, local government.

The December 2008 edition (PDF, 150kb) pulls together latest research developments, including:

The bulletin is free and you can register to get the bulletin sent to you directly.

Got something useful you’d like to share?

As part of our strategic objectives, we aim to provide effective access to intelligence to encourage higher standards of evidence-​based decision-​making. One of the ways in which we do this is by providing a resource catalogue of research, data and intelligence about the West Midlands and its sub-regions.

The catalogue is built through contributions from Observatory staff and others around the region who want to share research that they’ve produced or found useful themselves. However, we recognise that sometimes people don’t have the time to complete a full submission to the catalogue, so we’ve introduced a new quick recommend a resource form.

All you need to enter on the recommend a resource form is the title of the resource and URL where it is located, along with your email address in case we need to contact you with any queries about it.

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Secondment opportunity for a Research Assistant

Logo of West Midlands Regional ObservatoryWe currently have an opportunity for a Research Assistant to join the West Midlands Regional Observatory on a 12-​month secondment covering maternity leave.

You’ll provide technical and administrative support to the Observatory’s Research Team, and play an important part in compiling and maintaining data, preparing reports and managing enquiries.

More information and details on how to apply are available through Advantage West Midlands. [Applications for this vacancy are now closed.]

Closing date: 9th February 2009