Media Watch – Dec 7 (am)

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

 Energy saving begins at home with new pilot scheme in England (Belfast Telegraph, December 7) Around 500 homes across England will take part in a trial of “whole house energy makeovers” to find affordable ways to make houses more environmentally friendly, the Government said today. Homeowners in Birmingham, Sunderland, the London borough of Sutton and Stroud will test out the Pay As You Save programme which aims to let householders invest in energy efficiency and small scale green power without being hit by upfront costs.

Benefit heaven Britain (Daily Express) BCC Cabinet Member for Housing Cllr John Lines quoted in article about a nationwide housing benefits ‘scandal’.

‘Kids threat’ panel probe (Sunday Mercury) A BCC social worker accused by her neighbours of threatening their children could be struck off.

Private firms could run Birmingham council’s new swimming pools (Birmingham Mail) Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre and the city’s 50-metre Olympic pool could both be taken out of city council control and placed into a leisure trust.

Regional Headlines

Four million UK children living in poverty (Daily Mirror, December 7)
Child poverty is soaring despite Government promises to wipe it out, a children’s charity has revealed. The Ladywood area of Birmingham had the highest concentration of youngsters living in poverty, 83 per cent, which was up 2.5 per cent in a year. This was followed by central Manchester with 81 per cent, and Sparkbrook and Small Heath in Birmingham with 80.4 per cent.

Indecent caller to schools sought 
A CCTV image of a man thought to have made thousands of indecent phone calls to primary schools and nurseries across the UK has been released by police. The suspect is thought to live in Birmingham where he was caught on CCTV.

Man’s death sparks murder inquiry 
The death of a 50-year-old man who died in hospital after being assaulted in the West Midlands is being treated as murder. Police were called to reports of an assault in Wychall Road, Northfield, Birmingham, during the early hours of Saturday.

Beer mats produced in murder appeal 
Beer mats have been produced with the picture of a man who died weeks after being attacked in a pub car park in Warwickshire. Dean Brayson, 29, of Birmingham, died on 26 November, nearly three weeks after being injured in the car park of the Bell pub in Coleshill.

National Headlines

Copenhagen climate change summit poised to open 
Delegates from 192 countries are gathering in the Danish capital Copenhagen for the opening of the long-awaited UN summit on climate change.

Gordon Brown unveils £12bn spending cuts 
Gordon Brown is to begin setting out Labour’s plans for cutting public spending by £12bn over four years, ahead of Wednesday’s pre-Budget report.

Flooded Workington united by new army-built bridge 
A Cumbrian town split in half by floods which killed a police officer and forced hundreds to flee their homes has been reunited with a new footbridge.

Banks criticise plans to levy a windfall tax on bonuses 
British banking chiefs have reacted angrily to news the Treasury is drawing up plans for a one-year windfall tax on bonuses paid to some UK-based bankers.

New Iraqi election law approved 
Iraq’s parliament has unanimously approved a new electoral law, paving the way for elections early next year.

Depression targeted in government policy shift 
The government is preparing to announce a major shift in mental health policy in England with a new emphasis on tackling and preventing depression.

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