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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West Midlands produced 3rd strongest regional growth in England, according to latest GVA per head figures

Land Rover production lineThe 2007 Regional and 2006 Sub-Regional Gross Value Added (GVA) data are released today by the Office for National Statistics. Indexed GVA per head (where UK=100) for the West Midlands in 2007 was 86.0, a marginal decrease from the revised 2006 index value of 86.1. GVA per head in the West Midlands rose from £16,300 in 2006 to £17,200 in 2007, an increase of 5.3% compared to a 5.3% increase in GVA per head across the UK, and a 5.4% increase in England.

In the latest data for 2007 the West Midlands in regards to GVA per head is ranked seventh amongst the nine English regions, where London is the strongest performer at £30,400 and the North East is the least strong at £15,700. In total, regional GVA for the West Midlands in 2007 was £92.4bn, an increase of £4.9bn on the revised figures for 2006.

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Sharing intelligence from Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire

Yesterday, I attended the Coventry, Solihull and Wawickshire Researchers’ Forum to demonstrate the Observatory’s Resource Catalogue and show how the data and intelligence in the catalogue might support the work that they’re engaged in, and also to encourage further contributions to the catalogue from members of the forum to help share their data and intelligence across the region and sub-region.

The Resource Catalogue is available through the Observatory’s website and collects research, data and policy documents from across the West Midlands to create a fully searchable database for policy makers, decision makers, researchers and anyone else to access. There are contributions from organisations across the public, private and third sectors and what is particularly useful is that almost all are free and available immediately via a web-link.

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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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Life expectancy in the West Midlands

A recent press release [no longer available online] from trade union GMB highlights the difference in life expectancy at birth across the West Midlands.

Women living in Solihull have the highest life expectancy in the region at 83.3 years with those living in Stoke-on-Trent having the lowest at 79.6.

For men, the difference is greater with those living in South Shropshire expected to live on average to 79.4 years of age, the longest in the West Midlands region. However those living in Sandwell have the lowest life expectancy – a full five years lower. Continue reading