About the Council
Solihull is a place of contrasts. It is repeatedly rated as one of the best places to live in the UK and we celebrate this accolade and take advantage of all the benefits it brings. However, the headline masks some challenges, none more so than the persistent inequality gaps which are stubbornly difficult to shift. We know that Solihull is well placed economically, that people aspire to live and work here, and that this leads to the perception that some of the social challenges are less and easier to tackle than in other parts of our region and country. Whilst this is true in part, it is also the legacy of strong leadership, ambitious foresight/planning and Silihillian endeavour over 30 or more years. This collection of qualities and characteristics continue to define and distinguish the place and people of Solihull today and will carry us forward to make it an even better and more equal place. Here is a snapshot of what makes the Borough a great place to live, learn, work and play, the challenges it faces and the opportunity that this contrast presents us:
A few things that are already great about Solihull
Attractive environment. Two thirds of the Borough (11,500 hectares) is Green Belt which is why we have the motto “Urbs in Rure” – town in country.
Existing regionally and nationally significant economic assets and transport infrastructure. Solihull is most productive economy in the West Midlands in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA) per head of population and per workforce job. In fact, GVA per workforce job has increased by 6% since 2011. These economic assets support over 100,000 jobs.
Aspirational housing, with values consistently above the regional average.
Excellent schools and education opportunities. School attainment at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 is above the national average. 35% of Solihull education providers are deemed outstanding against an England average of 21%.
The fastest growing labour market outside of London. Private sector employment grew by 26% (+19,800) between 2010 and 2015.
Good Social Cohesion. 83% of respondents to the Solihull Place Survey 2016 agree that people from different backgrounds get on well together in their local area.
Some of the challenges for the Borough
The persistent health inequality gaps across the Borough. Although life expectancy in Solihull as a whole is above the national average and compares well to similar areas, those in deprived areas become disabled younger, live with disability longer and die younger than those in affluent neighbourhoods. Solihull’s life expectancy gap is growing (currently 11.0 years for males and 11.1 for females).
Population growth. The Borough’s population will grow by around 23,000 by 2033 which will put considerable pressure on transport, housing, education and public service infrastructure. It is expected that a further 6,000 extra households will be formed in Solihull in the next 10 years (an increase of 7%). There is widespread shortage of homes which are affordable and homes which are suitable for older people, especially the increasing numbers living alone.
Managing growth. Delivering economic growth at the scale envisaged in our ambitions without having negative local environmental and wider quality of life impacts – thus maintaining our Town in Country and Urbs in Rure ethos.
Supporting our vulnerable citizens and those with complex needs. In particular, enabling these citizens to benefit from the economic success and prosperity of the Borough and avoiding social isolation.