Latest gross disposable household income estimates indicate metropolitan West Midlands is UK’s poorest sub-region

Office for National Statistics logoThe 2007 Regional Gross Disposable Household Income (GDHI) (Word, 411KB) estimates are released today by the Office for National Statistics.

Indexed GDHI per head (where UK=100) for the West Midlands in 2007 was 90, stable in comparison to the revised 2006 index value of 90.

GDHI per head in the West Midlands rose from £12,700 in 2006 to £12,900 in 2007, an increase of 1.9%, in line with the increase seen in England and the UK.

Gross Disposable Household Income (GDHI) per head is preferred to Gross Value Added (GVA) per head as a measure of economic welfare.

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West Midlands rural areas hit particularly hard by recession

Aerial shot of rural WorcestershireThe Observatory’s Skills Team are working on an assessment of skills and labour market issues in the rural areas of the West Midlands on behalf of the Regional Skills Partnership and the Rural Affairs Forum.

While we expect to publish in April 2009, we can report now on emerging findings relating to the impact of the recession.

Rural areas of the West Midlands have out-performed the rest of the region in recent years in terms of business growth, new business formation and employment growth.

However, there remains a significant dependence on lower value added sectors and industries such as agriculture, manufacturing industries such as food and drink, construction, hotels and catering, and transport.

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West Midlands local development annual monitoring reports

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 requires local planning authorities to regularly monitor planning policies that affect the planning and development of their areas.

Each council is required to produce an Annual Monitoring Report which is published in December to assess the effectiveness of policy in the Local Development Framework.

These show whether the progress towards targets and milestones in the Local Development Framework are being met and whether council planning policies are being successfully implemented. If policies are not working as intended – or are not achieving sustainable objectives – the Annual Monitoring Report includes suggested actions.

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Questionnaire on benefits of local information systems

Chart showing upward trendThis questionnaire is part of a research project, commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government, to investigate the way users of local information systems benefit from the data and statistics the systems provide. The aim of the questionnaire is to obtain information about how you use the system and the way it helps you.

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West Midlands Regional Integrated Economic Assessment published

Map of West Midlands regionThe West Midlands is the first English region to produce a Regional Integrated Economic Assessment. The aim of the project is to provide an assessment of the performance of the West Midlands’ economy and of the factors which contribute to it. It also assesses the relative position of the different parts of the region.

The Assessment is made up of:

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Local Area Agreements: The next generation

In June 2008, 150 new Local Area Agreements (LAA) were signed off by central government. A Local Area Agreement is a three year agreement, based on local Sustainable Community Strategies, that sets out the priorities for a local area.

The 14 strategic authorities in the West Midlands each have a Local Area Agreement.

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Mapping waste in the food industry

New research jointly published by DEFRA and the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), Mapping waste in the food industry, assesses the amount of waste produced in the food industry.

The research, which was carried out by Oakdene Hollins, assessed member sites of the FDF with Shropshire sites producing the greatest quantity of food waste in 2006 (100,780 tonnes), which accounted for over 15% of the UK total.

Shropshire also had the highest volume of waste sent to landfill in the region according to the report at 5,827 tonnes although Scotland and Lincolnshire were considerably larger at over 13,000 tonnes each. Continue reading