Colors: Purple Color

Ahead of noisy festive get-togethers national charity Action on Hearing Loss is calling on local people to speak out against background noise in restaurants, cafés and pubs by giving direct feedback to venues. This is part of the charity’s Speak Easy campaign for a quieter dining experience. The charity has launched a new downloadable campaign pack to make it easy for people to give feedback directly about the noise levels they experience when dining.

On 10 and 11 December, festive shoppers will be able to enjoy a gift boxing service to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust. For one weekend only, Grand Central is teaming up with professional gift-packaging suppliers BoxMart, who will be on hand opposite Kiehl’s and Cath Kidston, to pack your presents in a variety of stylish giftboxes. The service will not have a set price; but instead the team will be asking for donations for Teenage Cancer Trust.

City of Wolverhampton Council is getting behind the city’s small businesses ahead of Small Business Saturday on December 3. The importance of handing out small ‘seed’ funds to assist fledgling businesses to take their first steps has been recognised, with a small grant programme now in place. New businesses have the chance to get their hands on £250 grants if they meet the criteria following an appraisal by business advisors from Access 2 Business (A2B), who also assist with business plans.

Hundreds of Sandwell childcare professionals attended a special presentation evening to acknowledge and celebrate the hard work and high level of childcare in the borough. The special event at WS10 Conference Centre in Wednesbury was organised by the Sandwell Family Information Service and Sandwell Quality Early Years and Childcare Team. All the winners of the various sections were nominated by parents for the awards and received them from Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for children’s services, Chris Ward, Director of Education and Sara Baber, Early Years Lead.

Coventry fire-fighters were part of a great success for the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service at the latest meeting in London of the Asian Fire Service Association, which promotes diversity across all Fire and Rescue Services. Coventry stations were recognized as making a major contribution to reducing health inequalities, along with the Ekta-Unity Group and the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust.  Deputy Chief Fire Officer Philip Hales received the award on behalf of Coventry colleagues.

The Black Country Chamber of Commerce welcomed Sir John Peace to a lunch on Friday at the Molineux Stadium. Speaking at the event, he called for the Midlands to unite behind a single message to the rest of the UK, and indeed the World. This is his vision as Chair of the Midlands Engine and top of his agenda in the role. He spoke of all the things that make the Midlands a great place to live, work and invest; but felt that as a region we were not good at shouting about them. “We have a great story to tell and we must learn to tell it in a confident and positive way”, he urged.

A skinny little airplane parked in a hangar of the Centennial Airport aims to revolutionize how people fly and reintroduce the world to supersonic flight. Boom Technology has spent two years designing a supersonic passenger plane with the financial economics the defunct Concorde could never achieve. A full-size mockup of a smaller test plane will be unveiled publicly soon. If all goes well in flight tests next year, the company will move ahead and build a full-size 45-seat aircraft that can travel 2.2 times faster than the speed of sound at a price on par with business-class tickets: $5,000 round trip for a 3-hour-and-15-minute flight from New York to London.

A new report by the Consumer Council for Water, the independent representative of household and business water consumers in England and Wales, has highlighted some top performances by Severn Trent. The company, which supplies clean and waste water services for eight million people across the Midlands and mid-Wales, was the top water and sewerage company for complaint reduction, with complaints down 27.8% year-on-year in the past 12 months, and total complaints halved between 2011/12 and 2015/16.

In October, Black Country Chamber of Commerce staff and Affinity Partners visited the prestigious Lloyds of London building. During the visit, the history and evolution of the Lloyds of London market was explained and how it developed the principle of Insurance and its significance and continual success in today’s world. This was organised by Timmins Whittaker who have become a Black Country Chamber Affinity Partner and have put in place an exclusive insurance facility for Chamber members.

A BPP Professional Education accountancy student proved number one after a stunning exam result saw him crowned the best in his region! Felix Rodas-Cross scored an outstanding 92 per cent in the Strategic Business Management (SBM) advanced level exam paper which he took in July. His remarkable result proved to be the exam’s best grade in the Birmingham and West Midlands district.

HS2 has been dealt a blow today by a recent YouGov passenger survey which reveals that the majority of train passengers surveyed (59%) haven’t travelled between London and Birmingham for business purposes in the past 12 months. Based on a sample size of 1,010, only 46% of the Virgin Trains West Coast and London Midland business travellers surveyed indicated that they used the existing rail services mainly for business purposes compared to 50% for leisure purposes.

City of Wolverhampton Council has named its first five-star landlord under the new ‘Rent with Confidence’ scheme. Lyndon Whitehouse, Director of L&A Lettings, owns several five-star properties in the city and has also been granted five-star agent status. The rating system is similar to the one used by the Food Standards Agency for restaurants and takeaways. It is hoped it will raise the bar for the quality of private sector rented housing in the city - improving the health and wellbeing of residents, and encouraging greater customer choice.

The chance to become a lifesaving paramedic has piqued the interest of no fewer than 10,000 people. The staggering figure shows how many people have logged onto NHS Jobs  to have a look at the person specification to become one of 300 student paramedics with West Midlands Ambulance Service in 2017. Of those almost 700 have either completed their application or started it.

In many areas, competition for each property on the market is extremely strong, so standing out from the crowd is a must for buyers who wish to secure their dream home. National estate agents Leaders has an average of 10 buyers for each available property, meaning serious buyers must be able to present themselves as attractively as possible to both sellers and agents. One key way to achieve this is to get pre-approved, which means being qualified by a mortgage lender prior to starting the search for a place to live.

Tesco appeals for food waste entrepreneurs to join new crowdfunding platform, BackIt. BackIt helps small businesses gain vital funding, in order to bring their food waste-busting products to market. Hannah McCollum, founder of ChicP, is the first food waste entrepreneur to join the platform, with her hummus made from wonky fruits and vegetables. A new hummus, made from wasted vegetables is set to take the foodie scene by storm, thanks to its launch on Tesco's new crowdfunding platform, BackIt.

The Birmingham Development Plan (BDP) setting out a 15-year strategy to deliver thousands of new homes and jobs can be formally adopted and approved by Birmingham City Council, the Government has confirmed. Housing Minister Gavin Barwell lifted a Holding Direction which prevented the BDP from progressing pending further investigation into proposals to earmark land in the Sutton Coldfield green belt for housing and employment purposes.