James was elected as the Conservative MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis in May 2010 and is a member of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee. James was educated at the University of Birmingham where he obtained a degree in English Literature. He then undertook postgraduate research at Oxford University and has an MBA from Cranfield School of Management. Before becoming involved in politics in Halesowen and Rowley Regis, he had a successful career as a small businessman specialising in computer software. In 2003 he founded Mind the Gap, an independent campaign to promote civic action and to encourage more grass roots involvement in politics. In 2004 he wrote a pamphlet entitled - Change Starts Small - which explored how to get more local grass roots involvement in politics and argued that the British political system needed fundamental change.
James 's Activity
Building the Big Society
Community based projects and local social enterprises have been run for many years. However, a malaise in local activism and increasing centralisation under the previous Government has led to the development of the Big Society approach. This has the potential to improve local services and take citizen power to the next level.
Much has been said over the last 18 months... Read more
about 2 years ago
I volunteer in one of the areas where Big Society could actually work very well - gardening. It's not a task that people would worry about being carried out by volunteers, unlike roles related to things like health and education. It's also task that people actually enjoy doing, so would be willing to do for free. And an army of Big Society volunteers working in our parks, community gardens and... Read more