Call to action on climate change

Becky GillDue to popular demand, we’re sharing the opening presentation from our state of the region climate change event held back on 20th April 2009.

Becky Gill, Head of Sustainable Development at Government Office West Midlands, spoke on the region’s Climate Change Action Plan.

The Action Plan’s vision is of a sustainable, low carbon West Midlands that is well-adapted to the impacts of climate change and supported by a low carbon economy.

Becky called on the whole region to get behind the vision, and for focussed action to achieve it.

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Seminars at Herefordshire Information and Research Network

Herefordshire PartnershipThe Herefordshire Information and Research Network are hosting a series of seminars over 2009–2010.

Each seminar includes a presentation on a specific topic, updates by participants on their own research activities and opportunities for networking.

Seminars planned for later this year include the State of Herefordshire Report 2009 and results of the Herefordshire quality of life survey.

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Association of Regional Observatories launches new website

Association of Regional ObservatoriesThe Association of Regional Observatories have launched their new website at

Features on the the new site include the Association’s news feed, an aggregated news feed from all regional observatories, newsletter and reading room.

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ONS seminars on improvements to 2008 population statistics

Office for National Statistics logoThe Office for National Statistics (ONS) are holding seminars across four locations in June 2009 to explain the forthcoming improvements to the mid-2008 population estimates, sub-national population projections and migration statistics.

The seminars will provide information on adjusting internal (within UK) migration using data on students. They will also cover modelling the geographical distribution of long-term international migration and short-term internal migration at the local authority level, together with other improvements that are being made.

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Interactive map of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants

We’ve produced an interactive map to show how Jobseeker’s Allowance claimant rates are changing across the region in response to the recession.

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) is the main unemployment benefit for working age people who are out of work.

Screenshot: interactive map showing Jobseeker's Allowance claimant rates in the West Midlands

Open the interactive map (requires Adobe Flash Player)
Download the dataset (XLS, 25kb)
Source: Office for National Statistics, claimant count (not seasonally adjusted)

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How the Observatory is monitoring the recession

Up and down arrows on wood chippingsThese are difficult times for the West Midlands. The recession is having a major impact on our people and our businesses.

In response, we have been involved in a range of analysis of current conditions and trends to inform the West Midlands Taskforce and other regional partners.

At the moment, we are producing a series of regular monitoring reports. These include contributions to the monthly economic briefings for the Taskforce, quarterly bulletins on the impact of the recession on the region’s population, skills and the labour market and the cultural sector.

We’ve also started publishing a regional analysis of the latest monthly unemployment figures. Continue reading

Economic contribution of the Third sector

Economic footprint coverRegional Action West Midlands have just released a piece of research mapping the economic footprint of the voluntary and community sector in the West Midlands.

According to the research:

  • The West Midlands’ voluntary and community sector brings an income of £3.3 billion into the region, totaling £512 for every person in the region.
  • Over 51,000 people are employed in the voluntary and community sector in the West Midlands across 14,430 organisations.
  • Just over half of the sector’s workforce is involved in social care and development.
  • Over 45 per cent of paid employees in the sector work in professional, technical and managerial positions, a similar profile to the private sector.