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<h2><a href="http://www.thechamberlainfiles.com/council-rejects-foi-request-safe-space-needed-to-consider-congestion-charge/">Council rejects FoI request: &#8216;Safe space needed to consider congestion charge&#8217;<a href='http://www.thechamberlainfiles.com/council-rejects-foi-request-safe-space-needed-to-consider-congestion-charge/#comments' class='comments-small'>(2)</a></a></h2>Birmingham city council is refusing to release reports about research into a congestion charge, arguing that to do so would inhibit “free and frank discussions” between officials and council leaders in <h2><a href="http://www.thechamberlainfiles.com/labours-election-chances-dashed-by-mr-livingstone-we-presume/">Labour&#8217;s election chances dashed by Mr Livingstone, we presume<a href='http://www.thechamberlainfiles.com/labours-election-chances-dashed-by-mr-livingstone-we-presume/#comments' class='comments-small'>(3)</a></a></h2>On the face of it, this Thursday’s Birmingham council elections should not prove troublesome for the Labour party, which has run the city since 2012 and has a comfortable 36-seat <h2><a href="http://www.thechamberlainfiles.com/greater-birmingham-elections-part-2-warwicks-worcs-staffs/">Greater Birmingham elections part 2: Warwicks, Worcs &#038; Staffs<a href='http://www.thechamberlainfiles.com/greater-birmingham-elections-part-2-warwicks-worcs-staffs/#comments' class='comments-small'>(0)</a></a></h2>As election week starts in earnest, Chris Game looks even further beyond Birmingham in his analysis of this week's council elections. 

Part 1 of this two-part local elections preview covered what <h2><a href="http://www.thechamberlainfiles.com/time-running-out-to-get-a-slice-of-9m-greater-birmingham-housing-fund/">Time running out to get a slice of £9m Greater Birmingham housing fund<a href='http://www.thechamberlainfiles.com/time-running-out-to-get-a-slice-of-9m-greater-birmingham-housing-fund/#comments' class='comments-small'>(3)</a></a></h2>Developers have just one week to stake a claim for a share of a £9 million fund to unlock stalled housing sites across Greater Birmingham.

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise <h2><a href="http://www.thechamberlainfiles.com/greater-birmingham-skills-coaching-scheme-takes-8000-people-off-the-dole/">Greater Birmingham skills coaching scheme takes 8,000 people off the dole<a href='http://www.thechamberlainfiles.com/greater-birmingham-skills-coaching-scheme-takes-8000-people-off-the-dole/#comments' class='comments-small'>(1)</a></a></h2>More than 8,000 unemployed people in the Greater Birmingham area have been found work in the past six months thanks to a ground-breaking coaching scheme.

The project, run jointly by the

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