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Photo credit: Elliott Brown

Photo credit: Elliott Brown

Wolverhampton MP Rob Marris complained to the Centre for Cities because it has again published a yearbook listing Wolverhampton as part of Birmingham.

The Centre for Cities is a research and policy institute which focuses on the economies of UK cities.  Each year it publishes a ‘Cities Factbook’ containing data for many of the UK’s cities. Both this year and last, Wolverhampton has not had its own entry. In the 2017 edition, Wolverhampton has been included as a subcategory of Birmingham along with Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Solihull. 

Rob Marris MP said, “This shocking fake news from this organisation.  They refuse to list Wolverhampton as a city – yet they list places like Chatham and Mansfield, neither of which is a city.  It is high time that people outside the West Midlands learned some basic geography.  Wolverhampton is not the same place as Birmingham.  Although the two cities have much in common, the people and the city of Wolverhampton have their own identity and history – not to mention the first settlement here in Wolverhampton being over a hundred years before any in Birmingham. 

He continued:  “Not only is it unfair and ignorant to put the two cities together, but combining the data for them makes it much more difficult to understand the successes and challenges for each city. Just as the two cities are different, so are the challenges which face them. How can we improve the economic success of the UK cities until we accept that they are different places?

“I have written to the Centre for Cities to ask them to explain their reasoning for including Wolverhampton with Birmingham and to ask them to correct this glaring error.”

When is a city not a city?

Photo credit: Elliott Brown Wolverhampton MP Rob Marris complained to the Centre for Cities because it has again published a yearbook listing Wolverhampton as part of Birmingham.

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On the 14th of February, Rob Marris along with another 106 MPs signed a letter to Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary of State Greg Clark calling for the government to respond to the recommendations of the Hendry Review on Tidal Lagoons, and in particular Charles Hendry's call for a pathfinder Tidal Lagoon, as soon as possible. A tidal lagoon is a power station that generates electricity from the natural rise and fall of the tides. Tidal lagoons work in a similar way to tidal barrages by capturing a large volume of water behind a man-made structure which is then released to drive turbines and generate electricity.

Rob Marris said:

“Now more than ever our country must look to renewable sources of energy. This is about energy security and a growing industry which will support tens of thousands of jobs. It’s the best way to reduce our carbon footprint and transition from unsustainable fossil fuels.

“This report highlights a clear need for Government to begin a process of investment into a diverse range of renewable technologies in order to meet our future energy needs.”

Chair of the All Party Group for Marine Energy and Tidal Lagoons Richard Graham MP said:

“Former Energy Minister Charles Hendry started his Review as a sceptic and ended as an enthusiast. He was very clear in urging the government to give the green light for a pathfinder in Swansea - the world's first ever tidal lagoon - and then see whether the experience justified going ahead with much larger future lagoons. “

“There is a large amount of support in Parliament for this and many of us believe that tidal lagoons meet the aims of the government's new industrial strategy. Clearly the Business Secretary and the Chancellor will want to be sure the pathfinder is affordable in the context of delivering secure, domestic, low carbon and diversified sources of energy. Our letter is to urge the government not to delay in responding positively to the recommendations and getting the financial talks for the pathfinder under way."

The report concluded that tidal lagoons could make a ‘strong contribution to UK energy security’, based on an analysis of security, carbonisation, affordability and economic gain. It added that Tidal Lagoons would create a ‘lifeline’ to UK companies including some in the steel industry, and offer a ‘significant economic opportunity for Wales and the UK more generally’.

The Review proposed the construction of a ‘pathfinder’ lagoon at Swansea Bay to start as soon as negotiations with the companies involved have been finalised and the Minister for Industry and Energy Jesse Norman MP has stated that “there will be no dragging of heels” in the government’s response to the review.

Rob Marris calls for swift government support for Tidal Lagoons

  On the 14th of February, Rob Marris along with another 106 MPs signed a letter to Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary of State Greg Clark calling for the...

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The Black Country Chamber of Commerce is working towards submitting a formal response to the Government's Industrial Strategy and is looking for input from local businesses. 

The Chamber's response, a mix of economic analysis from their partner Midlands Economic Forum and some case studies from local businesses about their issues and ways the Industrial Strategy can support their growth, will be based around two hands-on breakfast workshops with local businesses.

The first of these will take place on Friday 17 February and the second on Friday 17 March. You do not need to be a member of the Chamber to attend. An online survey will also be circulated to local members. They are hoping to complete their response by 31 March before sharing it with all the Midlands Chambers, their Local Enterprise Partnership and Local Authorities and the British Chamber of Commerce to allow them time to incorporate any findings into their own work where possible. 

The Black Country Chamber of Commerce said: "We are taking a very positive approach to this and hope to focus on the wealth of ‘intelligent manufacturers’ we have across the Black Country that are leaders in innovation and R&D as well as our well versed issues around infrastructure and skills."

To sign up for the 17 February session, please visit here: http://www.blackcountrychamber.co.uk/bcc-events/chamber-events/consult-and-have-your-voice-heard-in-the-industrial-strategy-green-paper

To sign up for the 17 March session, please visit here: http://www.blackcountrychamber.co.uk/bcc-events/chamber-events/reporting-back-on-the-industrial-strategy-green-paper

You can also call 01902 912305.

Black Country Chamber of Commerce Response to Industrial Strategy

The Black Country Chamber of Commerce is working towards submitting a formal response to the Government's Industrial Strategy and is looking for input from local businesses. 

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