Top Birmingham City Council Stories:
MP calls care bosses to account (Birmingham Mail) MP Khalid Mahmood urges senior staff to consider their positions following scrutiny’s report into children’s care services. He also claims that Whitehall should take direct control of the service away from the council and that he was banned from attending a press briefing on the report and was told he could attend a separate briefing for MPs at a later date. Tony Howell and Coun Les Lawrence quoted.
Continuing coverage of the scrutiny report in national and local media.
City blitz on graffiti louts (Birmingham Mail) Birmingham’s 5 ‘most wanted’ graffiti taggers are being targeted in a city wide campaign. BCC are appealing to the public to ‘name and shame’ individuals responsible for thousands of pounds worth of clean-up bills. Coun Neil Eustace and anti-graffiti strategy co-ordinator Hasan Wasir quoted.
New deal for park (Birmingham Mail) Lightwoods Park and Lightwoods House in Smethwick, currently run by BCC, could be handed over to officials in neighbouring Sandwell, in a bid to improve its condition.
Cash cuts ‘threat to homeless’ (Birmingham Mail) Claims that changes to the way BCC awards contracts to groups working with drink and drug addicts will leave several organisations on the brink of closure, including SIFA Fireside and St Anne’s Hostel in Digbeth. BCC responds that new contracts have been awarded to providers who have demonstrated exceptional quality and value for money.
Help us to keep prized Anglo-Saxon hoard (Birmingham Mail) BCC and Stoke on Trent City Council have launched an appeal to keep the Staffs hoard in the Midlands. Coun Martin Mullaney and leader Mike Whitby quoted.
Council hires sun hack to play hardball (The Stirrer) “The tabloid hack hired by Birmingham City Council to oversee media coverage of their troubled Social Services department has boasted playing “hardball” with awkward journalists – and even withdrawing advertising from newspapers who don’t toe the party line”.
MPs, councillors barred from briefing (The Stirrer) “Two Birmingham MPs were shut out of yesterday’s press briefing about the Council’s failure to safeguard vulnerable children – while opposition Labour leader Sir Albert Bore said the first he knew of it was when he read a media briefing in the morning. Both Perry Barr MP Khalid Mahmood and his Yardley counterpart John Hemming turned up hoping to hear a first hand account from Councillor Len Clark who led the Scrutiny inquiry but both were turned away”.
BCCDIY (BBC Midlands Today) feature on Moseley blogger’s attempt to recreate much criticised new BCC website.
Nick Bunker, Vice President in UK of Kraft claims they want to invest in Cadbury, despite the firm’s rejection of takeover bid, but are yet to make an offer. He would not be drawn on job cuts. Cadbury’s quoted as saying ‘Hands Off!’ and that bid seriously undervalues company.
Rumoured Jaguar Land Rover decision to ‘offshore’ car parts production to India and China cited as threat to local jobs.
George Osborne tells party conference Tories would impose 1 year pay freeze on most public sector workers to tackle national debt.
Madonna accepts undisclosed damages from Mail on Sunday for publishing private photos of her wedding to Guy Ritchie.
Gordon Brown agrees in principle to take part in series of televised debates in run up to general election.
Prison bosses to be told later that sentences of less than 1 year should be scrapped to ease inmate overcrowding.
TV comic Matt Lucas pulls out of West End show following yesterday’s suicide of his ex-partner.