Trip to Belgium

Over the last few days I have been in Brussels to represent the West Midlands region at some key planning discussions.

IMAG0421I met European colleagues for a Peri Urban Rural Platform for Europe (PURPLE) meeting. PURPLE is a group of like minded and similar urban/rural regions from across Europe. These regions work together to maximise the advantages resulting from their location in relation to large cities and towns while minimising adverse impacts on the character, landscape and environment that make them distinct and special. This is something we especially need to consider in Staffordshire.brussells
The group lobbies the European Commission, shares best practise and exchanges ideas about spatial planning, climate change and local food links. The meeting was extremely interesting and it was great to see how similar regions in Europe are planning ahead for the future and tackling issues such as climate change. Karen Davies of our region’s Heart of England Fine Foods was among the speakers and really did our region proud.

IMAG0404I also had the privilege to attend the commemoration of the Armistice at the Menin Gate in Ypres. It was a very moving service and a great honour to lay a wreath on behalf of our region.

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