The squeezed middle? The East Midlands responds

  • 28 March 2015
  • From the section England
The M1 motorway
East Midlands Councils fear the region's infrastructure may be overlooked for funding

The East Midlands is at risk of being squeezed economically by the growing influence of the northern cities, according to one of our top council leaders.

Jon Collins warns that government cash for future road and rail projects could easily bypass our region, because of the political clout of the so-called "northern powerhouse" and London.

He's the leader of Nottingham City Council and chairman of East Midlands Councils, the lobby group that speaks up for the region's local government.

The Labour leader's been briefing the East Midlands' business community on any future devolution deal for England. But it's the repercussions of a political powerhouse on the northern horizon that worries him.

"I don't think we are losing out yet, but I do think there's a risk that growth is seen to be centred around London and the south east and an emerging northern powerhouse around the northern cities," he told me.

Budget box
In the budget, the Chancellor emphasised the importance of rail and road links to the north

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Budget: The East Midlands gives its reaction

  • 19 March 2015
  • From the section England
George Osborne with the 2015 Budget
A traditional pose outside 11 Downing Street on Budget morning

So who are the winners and loses after George Osborne's last Budget before the general election?

Certainly, Tory MPs defending marginal East Midlands seats left the Commons chamber looking surprisingly upbeat.

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East Midlands council leaders voice migrant concerns

  • 6 March 2015
  • From the section England
Somali migrants on the beach; an anti immigration march in the 1960s
An exhibition at the University of Leicester shows contrasting images of migration

At the University of Leicester, there's been a remarkable exhibition of photographs charting the impact of immigration on Britain and the city itself.

Entitled 100 Stories of Migration, some of the images are positive and celebratory. There's a picture of a smiling young mother and her child from Somalia on the beach at Brighton.

Read full article East Midlands council leaders voice migrant concerns

Northern Powerhouse? Midlands councils combine forces

  • 28 February 2015
  • From the section England
Nottingham and Manchester town halls
Could Nottingham emulate the great northern powerhouse centred in Manchester?

Significant new powers over transport, housing and the local economy are to be devolved to Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire by the government.

It's the biggest shift in powers from Whitehall in generations, but the deal requires local councils to combine into one super authority. So what could it all mean?

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Who will win the East Midlands marginal seats?

  • 16 February 2015
  • From the section England
Downing Street door
Will David Cameron or Ed Miliband gain most from the East Midlands' marginal seats?

Only a mug would try to predict the outcome of this General Election... But here's one safe bet: Like gold prospectors in the Klondike, the main political parties will be searching for electoral Eldorado in the East Midlands marginal seats.

Those seats are parliamentary gold dust, where voters have tended to chop and change and that's why this region will become "Battleground East Midlands".

Read full article Who will win the East Midlands marginal seats?

Effectiveness is key to future of Lords, says leader

  • 7 February 2015
  • From the section England
Baroness Stowell of Beeston
Baroness Stowell of Beeston is leader of the House of Lords

Effectiveness not necessarily reform is the way ahead for the House of Lords, according to its leader.

"Judge us on what we do and whether we make a difference," Baroness Stowell of Beeston told me.

Read full article Effectiveness is key to future of Lords, says leader

Boots boss: Was he right to attack Labour's tax policy?

  • 5 February 2015
  • From the section England
Monaco harbour
Boots chief executive Stefano Pessina was accused of being a tax exile in Monaco

What should we make of the fierce battle of words that has broken out between the leader of the Labour Party and the billionaire boss of one of the UK's best known high street names - Boots of Nottingham.

The company's Italian-born chief executive Stefano Pessina caused Labour fury by criticising the party's tax plans as being a threat to business growth.

Read full article Boots boss: Was he right to attack Labour's tax policy?

Government face legal challenge on rural homes change

  • 23 January 2015
  • From the section England
Youlgreave
Low earners are feeling "priced out" of Peak District villages like Youlgreave.

If I mention 1066, you'll no doubt think of the Normans and their impressive castle building.

But chop off a six and the figure 106 is also one to remember, especially if you believe that every man's - and woman's - home is their castle.

Read full article Government face legal challenge on rural homes change

Election 2015: Why the leaders came to Nottinghamshire

  • 14 January 2015
  • From the section England
David Cameron with a hammer
David Cameron visited a roofing college in Nottingham on Monday

If you want a flavour of the general election to come, take the road to Nottinghamshire.

In the space of a few days, both David Cameron and Ed Miliband have "road tested" their campaign issues and speeches in separate visits.

Read full article Election 2015: Why the leaders came to Nottinghamshire

General Election 2015: Economy will be key to predicting East Midlands results

  • 26 December 2014
  • From the section England
Mystic Meg, ballot boxes
Even Mystic Meg could not predict the outcome of next year's general election

Just like football, the prediction game in politics isn't an exact science.

But one thing I can confidently predict is the state of the economy and what's left in the coffers will help shape any final result.

Read full article General Election 2015: Economy will be key to predicting East Midlands results