Media Watch – May 17

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Sparkhill pool goes out to tender (BBC WM, Birmingham Mail, Birmingham Post.net) Plans for a new community swimming pool and leisure centre in Sparkhill have moved a step closer after Cabinet gave the go ahead for a competitive tender process.

Academy lease agreed (Birmingham Mail) City education chiefs have rubber stamped a 125-year land lease to allow Sutton Coldfield Girls Grammar School to complete its move to Academy status.

Lickey Hills hopes plant disease is ‘contained’ (BBC WM, BBC Midlands Today, BBC Online) The disease spreads via spores and can damage leaves Experts are hopeful that a plant disease found at a West Midlands beauty spot has been contained. Dr Keith Walters from the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) said: “The good news is, the treatments have been successful, full marks to Birmingham [City] Council who’ve been working with us on this and did the treatments themselves.”

(Political) Leader is endorsed by party group (Birmingham Mail) Tory Mike Whitby is beginning his seventh year as Birmingham City Council leader after winning the support of backbench councillors.

Desperate mum in new council row (Birmingham Mail) A desperate mum who threatened to have her disabled daughter dumped at a police station if she did not receive more help has accused care chiefs of breaking their pledge to support her. Beverley Tomlinson’s care package has been increased to £1,023 a week for 28 days’ annual respite care, day care and home support.

Healthy lifestyle project a big hit (Birmingham Mail) A project to encourage people to lead healthier lifestyles could be extended following a successful two years. The Ladywood Grow It, Eat IT, Move It, Live It project was developed by Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust in association with Birmingham City Council.

(Political) Tories in poll challenge bid (Birmingham Mail) City leader Mike Whitby is considering a legal challenge over a shock Birmingham local election result which saw two ballot boxes go missing and two arrests made.

Regional Headlines

No prizes for coming third: The fight to be Britain’s second city (Independent) Article looking at the respective strengths and weaknesses of Birmingham and Manchester following comments by Lord Digby Jones.

Lib Dem defection to Green Party on Solihull council
The Liberal Democrats have suffered a defection to the Green Party in the West Midlands.

Stand-off ends as man arrested at Birmingham Tesco
A 40-year-old man has been arrested after reports a gun was brandished at a Tesco store in Birmingham.

National Headlines

Queen on first state visit to Republic of Ireland
The Queen is set to begin the first visit to the Republic of Ireland by a British monarch.

Liam Fox challenges government overseas aid pledge
Defence Secretary Liam Fox has challenged a plan to enshrine in law the UK’s promise to spend 0.7% of its gross national income on overseas aid.

Coalition to reveal long-term carbon target
The government is to set out plans to reduce greenhouse gases and change the way energy is produced.

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