Media Watch – Feb 7

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Super library arrives as hundreds of others face closure (Guardian) Article reflecting that the Library of Birmingham is being built at a time of nationwide protests against cuts to community libraries.

Reprieve for city’s free gym scheme (Birmingham Mail) Hopes are rising that Be Active, a £2million get-fit scheme offering free gym membership to all Birmingham residents, can be saved from closing.

25,000 go Chinese crackers (Birmingham Mail, Birmingham Post.net) Birmingham’s Chinese Quarter was awash with a sea of red and gold as Chinese New Year welcomed the Year of the Rabbit with an afternoon of entertainment at the Arcadian Centre.

Latest library service closure is ‘tragic loss’ (Times Educational Supplement) Birmingham City Council is the latest in a growing group of local authorities to close its school library service. Schools are under no obligation to purchase Schools Library Services and there’s been a marked drop in demand for this service in recent years and as a consequence the Schools Library Service will make a loss in 2010-11.

Is your supermarket chicken poisoning you? (Daily Mail) Feature following Birmingham City Council research into food poisoning bacteria found on chicken packaging.

Ward opens to help ease beds crisis (Birmingham Mail) A 32-bed community ward that has lain empty for more than two years is finally coming into use to ease Birmingham’s bed-blocking crisis.

Dodgy goods factory raid (Birmingham Mail) Trading standards officers have seized hundreds of illegal goods from a Birmingham warehouse in an undercover sting. http://birminghamnewsroom.com/2011/02/hoard-of-illegal-consumer-goods-seized/

Villagers angry as Tesco is set for OK (Birmingham Mail) A controversial Tesco development in a Birmingham suburb is set to get the go-ahead – to the alarm of nearly 2,000 protesters.

We’ll take on the rip-off merchants (Birmingham Mail)  Director of Regulatory Services Jacqui Kennedy on the news that 14 local authorities are following the Birmingham City Council lead and setting up ‘no cold caller zones’.

Culture Secretary hails Mac (Birmingham Mail) Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has described Birmingham’s Midlands Arts Centre (Mac) as ‘amazing’ following its £15 million refurbishment. The refurbishment was jointly funded by Birmingham City Council, Arts Council England and a fundraising campaign.

Ongoing coverage of the row over the two Birmingham councillors who refused to take part in a standing ovation for a Midland George Cross hero.

‘Ban them’ call as EDL plans new city demo (Birmingham Mail) The English Defence League has announced a demonstration in the city next month – prompting a city councillor (Cllr Tariq Khan) to call on the Prime Minister to ban the group.

Regional Headlines

West Brom part company with manager Roberto Di Matteo 
West Brom manager Roberto Di Matteo has been relieved of his duties and put on gardening leave with immediate effect.
 
Four treated after ambulance crash in West Bromwich
Four people were taken to hospital after a collision involving an ambulance and another vehicle in the West Midlands.

Library roof collapses into road in Solihull
The roof of a library in the West Midlands has been badly damaged during strong winds.

National Headlines

Cuts ‘destroying big society’ concept, says CSV head
The government is “destroying” the UK’s volunteer army and undermining its vision of the “big society” with its huge cuts programme, the outgoing head of Community Service Volunteers says.

Police plea over Newport murder of Nikitta Grender, 19
Detectives investigating the murder of a 19-year-old mother-to-be in a flat fire say they believe the answer lies in the community.

Government takes first step towards Asbo abolition
New plans for tackling anti-social behaviour, including the abolition of Asbos, are due to be announced.

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