A local take on the growth agenda
"This is the end of the Whitehall-knows-best culture": David Cameron
When the prime minister came to Halesowen College to unveil his government's growth fund, this was his answer to my question about the real significance of these latest deals.
They had been billed as the response to the "No Stone Unturned" report unveiled in Birmingham by the former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine nearly two years ago.
The "big idea" is to give local decision-makers, in the shape of the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), a bigger say in economic development with correspondingly less interference by civil service mandarins closeted in SW1.
In this case, the £775m of growth funding committed to the West Midlands over the next six years will be handed down to our region's six LEPs, headed by leading business people and councillors.
New local government chief Sparks debate on budget cuts
"May you live in interesting times" - Confucius?
Commonly known as the "Chinese curse" it is assumed the great man was using "interesting" as a euphemism for "chaotic" or even "disastrous".
West Midlands PCC Bob Jones dies aged 59
"The untimely death at the age of 59 of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Bob Jones, has brought about the first departure from office of any of the commissioners who were elected in November 2012.
The government's big idea in triggering PCC elections was to replace the old police authorities (considered by ministers to be invisible and ineffective) with high-profile figures, who would be directly accountable to local communities.
Library campaigners throw the book at local councils
They have triggered intense storms of protest and even, in the case of Gloucestershire, been declared unlawful in the High Court.
The Commons Culture Media and Sport Select Committee reported some had been implemented with insufficient regard for the needs of local communities.
Coventry shows dangers of mixing sport and politics
For proof if ever you needed it of just how toxic mixing sport with politics can be, come to Coventry.
As World Cup fever grips the land, anyone arriving in the city could be forgiven for thinking it's the most football crazy place on Earth.
Trojan Horse: What have we learnt?
"What on earth is going on in Birmingham?" asked one of my BBC Westminster colleagues on my first visit to SW1 after the Whit Recess.
I suggested Birmingham, one of the most diverse and youngest cities in Europe, "the Britain of tomorrow", may simply be experiencing the leading edge of an issue which is not unique to this city and could well be played out elsewhere.
How will UKIP's sums add up in the Midlands?
As Parliament returns after a Whit Recess consumed by pre, post and future-election fever, what are we in the Midlands to make of UKIP's showing in polls which produced no changes of party control whatsoever in any of our 18 local authorities?
Having promised "a political earthquake", Nigel Farage finds the surface landscape of local government in this region remains undisturbed.
Midlands councils point towards the general election
Why, when and where?
Q: Why aren't we having our local elections as usual on the first Thursday in May?
A: It's hoped that by synchronising them with the European Elections, money will be saved and turnouts raised.
Seventh Heaven for West Midlands Euro election hopefuls
The World's Favourite Number?
And the winner is... cue the drum roll please... the number seven.
Council funding cuts turn friends into polar opposites
Philip Atkins and Roger Lawrence are lifelong friends.
They first met as schoolboys at Denstone College in north Staffordshire, more years ago than either of them care to recall, and their very different career paths have eventually led them in remarkably similar directions.