Media Watch – July 4

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Stars saddle up for Brum Sky Ride (Birmingham Mail, Birmingham Post, BBC WM, PA Newswire) Four wheels gave way to two as Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton and TV breakfast queen Lorraine Kelly joined thousands of cyclists taking part in Birmingham’s Sky Ride.

City is set to cash in on rates reform plans (Birmingham Mail) Birmingham City Council’s financial problems could be eased by a dramatic reform of the way local businesses pay rates.

Jamaica festival is city’s Olympic win (Birmingham Mail) A taster of the stunning home-from-home welcome that will greet Jamaica’s Olympic stars in Birmingham is set to come to the city this month.

Residents in store outcry (Birmingham Mail) Residents blasted plans for a new Sainsbury’s store in the city at a packed meeting.

Kids to keep free school bus passes (Birmingham Mail) Thousands of Birmingham schoolchildren can keep their free bus passes after council officials ditched plans to make them pay for travel to and from classes.

The middle man (Planning) His team has shrunk and cash is scarce but Birmingham’s head of development (Andrew Round) believes England’s second city can still be transformed, starting in the centre.

Councils plan to raise billions from bond market (Inside Housing) Councils are drawing up plans to borrow billions on the bond market to fund new homes. John Lines, Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Housing said a bond was one of several options under consideration.

Councillor’s massage parlour surprise (Birmingham Mail, Sunday Mercury) A senior Birmingham councillor (Cllr Roger Harmer) has told how he visited a massage parlour to alleviate back pain – but was offered sexual services on the side.

Brum Bond baddie dies from cancer (Birmingham Mail) A former film villain who once tried to kill James Bond before becoming a Birmingham politician (Talib Hussain) has died from cancer, aged 56.

Alys Fowler book promotes parks as foraging opportunity to encourage new landscape awareness (Horticulture Week) Planting edibles in urban green spaces encourages the next generation to engage in the environment, claims Alys Fowler. Fowler said her local park in Kings Heath, Birmingham, had planted blackcurrants, redcurrants, gooseberries, strawberries, rhubarb and apples for the public to eat.

Regional Headlines

Man’s leg impaled on metal spike
A man is taken to hospital after falling on to a railing in the Black Country and impaling his leg.

Mayor criticises high-speed rail
Mayor of London Boris Johnson criticises plans for the HS2 high-speed rail link, describing a planned section of the route as “perverse”.

National Headlines

Social care costs ‘need capping’
Funding of social care in England needs a complete overhaul and the amount people must pay should be capped, an independent review is to recommend.

Japanese man admits Hawker death
A Japanese man admits raping and killing 22-year-old British teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker whose body was found buried in a bathtub in his flat near Tokyo.

IVF procedure ‘may increase risk of Down’s syndrome’
Drugs used in IVF for older women may increase their risk of having a baby with Down’s syndrome, experts say.

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