Sustainable Cities Index: analysis for the West Midlands

Cover of Sustainable Cities Index 2009

Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton are the three cities from the West Midlands included in the Sustainable Cities Index (pdf, 4.3mb) published recently by Forum for the Future.

This is the third year that the index has been published, which tracks sustainability progress achieved in Britain’s 20 largest cities. The index is designed to give a snapshot of sustainability in each city, aiming to encourage healthy competition, stimulating discussion and suggesting new ways of thinking about cities.

This post provides a short analysis of findings for the West Midlands cities and also highlights the similarities that this work has with our State of the Region dialogue on sustainable communities.

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Solihull wins national award for cross-sector partnership work

Compact Week 2009 logo

The Compact Plus for Solihull was among the winners at this week’s national Annual Compact awards.

Sir Bert Massie, Commissioner for the Compact, announced the winners at a ceremony in London, held during Compact Week.

Solihull won the Local Compact of the Year award for its attempts to reinvigorate a Local Compact agreement that was largely ignored. The Compact Plus for Solihull 2008-2013 (pdf, 725kb), an agreement to improve relations between the Solihull Partnership and the third sector, was officially launched in December 2008.

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Jobseekers allowance claimant statistics give cause for concern in Birmingham

Four of Birmingham’s parliamentary constituencies are listed amongst the five worst in the UK in terms of the proportion of the resident working-age population claiming Jobseekers allowance, according to figures for December 2008 released by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The constituencies are Birmingham Ladywood (9.9% up 1% year-on-year), Birmingham Hodge Hill (8.3% up 1.5%), Birmingham Sparkbrook & Small Heath (8.1% up 0.9%), and Birmingham Erdington (7.4% up 1.8%).

The only constituency listed in the worst five not in Birmingham was Liverpool Walton, with a Jobseekers claimant rate of 7.4%. Wolverhampton South East was listed as having the sixth worst claimant rate of the 660 parliamentary constituencies at 7% (up 1.7%).

The BBC recession tracker provides a map of the UK illustrating these statistics, in which Birmingham can easily be seen as a Jobseekers allowance claimant ‘hot spot’.

Download the full list of statistics for all constituencies (XLS, 86kb).

2008 Black Country education barometer published

Black Country Education BarometerThe Black Country Observatory has published the Black Country Education Barometer 2008 today.

The report indicates that Black Country schools are starting to close the gap with the national average GCSE performance.

There was a 6.6% increase in the percentage of Black Country pupils achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs (compared to 4.2% nationally) and an 8% rise in pupils achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs including English and Maths (compared to 2.6% nationally).

The Black Country must grow by 9.2% each year to reach the national average (in GCSE inc. Eng & Maths) by 2011.

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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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