Media Watch – June 30

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Widespread coverage of strike action including:

  • Cllr Alan Rudge interviewed by BBC WM
  • Markets to dodge action after U-turn (Birmingham Mail, BBC) Birmingham’s wholesale and retail markets will remain open today after city council officials thrashed out a contingency deal.
  • Strikers threaten to halt the city (Birmingham Mail) Unions claim Birmingham will ‘grind to a halt’ today as tens of thousands of workers stage a mass one-day walkout in a bitter row over pensions and public sector cuts.
  • Services up and running (Birmingham Mail) List of council services expected to operate as normal today.

For up-to-date information on services affected (including individual schools) go to http://disruption.birmingham.gov.uk

U-turn over axing free transport (Birmingham Post) Plans to save £6 million by cutting free home to school transport have been shelved after it emerged 5,000 Birmingham children could lose their bus passes.

No further powers for city mayors, says Pickles (Birmingham Post) City mayors will have to make do with the powers that are already being given to local councils, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has warned.

Boffins act as city feels heat (Birmingham Mail, Birmingham Post, BBC) Two new weather stations are set to give a visual insight into the potential impact of rising temperatures on Birmingham.

Lighting up possibilities with China trade links (Birmingham Post) Birmingham City Council leader Cllr Mike Whitby has welcomed news that trade links between Birmingham and China have received a further boost with the announcement that the country’s largest lighting manufacturer is doubling its operation in the city.

Top-level backing sees investment drive gather pace (Birmingham Post) A £17.8 million investment drive aimed at promoting Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country as a place to do business has won political backing.

Birmingham on top of council debt league (Birmingham Post) Debt levels at Birmingham City Council have doubled in the past seven years and will reach a record £2.5 billion by 2012, latest figures have shown.

Council worried about ‘survivor syndrome’ danger (Birmingham Post) A mental health expert has been recruited (free of charge) to advise Birmingham City Council on how to spot ‘survivor syndrome’ symptoms among staff who remain in post after job losses.

Riding high on two wheels (Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, Express and Star) Thousands of people are expected to take to the streets on two wheels for Sky Ride Birmingham this Sunday.

Loving care for treasured Victorian board games (Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail) A collection of historic children’s games and rare books will undergo essential conservation work before Birmingham’s showpiece new library opens its doors in 2013.

Regional Headlines

Birmingham FC boss Yeung in court
The president of Birmingham City FC Carson Yeung appears in court in Hong Kong on money-laundering charges.

Freehold owner in administration
A company which owns the freehold to a hotel in the centre of Birmingham goes into administration.

National Headlines

Thousands staging pensions strike
Services including job centres and courts will be hit and many schools closed as hundreds of thousands of public sector workers go on strike over pensions.

Lloyds to shed 15,000 more jobs
Lloyds Banking Group says it is to cut another 15,000 jobs by 2014 as part of the High Street bank’s strategic review.

News Corp closer to buying BSkyB
The government puts new conditions on the spin-off of Sky News that will be required if News Corp is to be allowed to buy all of BSkyB.

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