For north of Birmingham read “centre of the country”

The scrapping of regional development agencies, including Advantage west Midlands, was one of the big talking points at last week’s Local Government Association conference.

Local authorities will now have a pivotal role in the development of economic development across the region.

We are working with our local authority partners to work on their successors – Local Enterprise Partnerships. I’ve already met with the leaders of all the regional shire authorities to discuss this and other matters. And on Thursday of this week I’m meeting the leaders of all authorities within Staffordshire.

But the partnerships won’t just be about local authorities. Businesses and education providers, including our universities will also be integral.

The partnership for Staffordshire will need to be a powerful coalition with fluid borders to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead. In the AWM days Staffordshire was north of Birmingham – now we’re at the centre of the country.

On the homestead, meanwhile, we are preparing for the harvest. Rape seed oil harvesting begins in late July so there are some late nights ahead.

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