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A Battle in Sandwell; Clean Air Zone Criticism; Regional MPs toppling the PM; Leadership Bids underway; Euros Round 2 and a thrashing in Walsall... Quite a week for the Second Cut!
The second Cut has landed! Start your week right with the latest commentary on goings-on from across the West Midlands.
Counter Cut’s content this month is sponsored by The New Talbot
In this week’s long-read, Counter Cut’s new feature writer gives an in-depth report focussed on the murky approach of Sandwell Council as they pursue a controversial new housing development in the face of fierce local opposition:
“The campaign speaks to a new era in Sandwell politics. One in which the voice of Sandwell’s residents is heard. The campaign, whilst focussed on saving the Green Space, has inadvertently highlighted wider concerns over Sandwell Council’s opaque decision-making process and inconsistent approach to delivering their strategies.”
Our guest writer of the week, Cllr Timothy Huxtable of the Birmingham Conservatives shares his view on the City Council’s controversial Clean Air Zone:
“While air pollution has decreased within the CAZ, it has also decreased by EXACTLY the same amount outside the CAZ. It could therefore be reasonably concluded that the CAZ charge for drivers has had no effect on air pollution, and the change in air pollution levels has come about by a mixture of less car travel because of the pandemic, less car travel because of high fuel costs and of more modern, cleaner vehicles.”
A tumultuous week in Westminster has thrown politics into the air, with a Conservative leadership election now firmly underway. Dominic Stanford highlights the roles that West Midlands MPs played in bringing the Boris Johnson administration down last week:
Sexual Harassment will not be Excused - the New Era of Conservative MPs Lead the way from the Red Wall
If a silver lining can be found from the last week in Westminster, it is the integrity of these 2019-intake Conservative MPs from the West Midlands.
“As a party, the Conservatives have a long way to go to fully address the lingering perception of boys-clubs in times gone-by, but the party members and indeed the wider electorate can take some reassurance that the likes of Sambrook and Bailey - who may well be future leaders should they retain their seats - will continue to hold themselves, and the Parliamentary Party, to higher standards of decency and integrity than we had sadly come to expect from Boris Johnson’s administration.”
As the leadership contest formally begins, Jack Dixon reflects on Boris Johnson’s electoral success and asks what the region’s Conservative MPs should be looking for from their next leader:
“Many of these constituencies were Brexit-voting seats that had been held by Labour for long periods of time, delivered to the Conservatives by voters turning blue for the first time. In a post-Brexit and post-Boris world, these MP’s now have to look elsewhere to retain their seats.
With a new leader being elected, policy will be vital to retain these key marginal seats. Boris was able to tap into a working-class populist movement such as Brexit and a return to business-as-usual could gift these seats back to Labour. The new leader’s style of leadership and appeal to red wall voters will be critical.”
In the world of finance, Nial Dixon looks at why a leading online media platform’s stock is decline, despite strong audience growth:
“LADBible has taken the crown of modern, trendy media. With millions of clicks a day and their global audience increasing, why is their stock heading in the wrong direction?”
Turning to sport, Tomas Browne, gives us the latest on the action from the Women’s Euros - from 5-nil first halfs to thrilling draws, the first round has not disappointed!
“With England kicking off tonight, it marks the start of the second round of group games in this years Women’s Euro 22. The Lionesses will be looking to build on a comfortable perace a tougher task in Norway.”
Jamil and George spend the day at Bescott, where Aston Villa took on Walsall:
“Villa started their first preseason friendly with a mix of first team and youth players, including debutant Diego Carlos, wearing Villa’s number 3 for this match.”
Counter Cut’s content this month is sponsored by The New Talbot. Enjoy traditional curried, mixed grills and speciality starters that you won’t find elsewhere. Enjoy an extensive range of drinks from draught beers to delicious cocktails.
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