Media Watch – January 31

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Brum needs new ‘beat boss’ (Birmingham Mail) Birmingham is on the lookout for a ‘Brum beat’ boss – charged with shouting its musical heritage from the roof tops. The recommendation comes in the Destination Birmingham report by Cllr Philip Parkin.

Call for Birmingham to host a Black Sabbath Day (Birmingham Mail, Birmingham Post) Birmingham may create a Black Sabbath Day to highlight the legendary rock band’s contribution to music.

Convicted, clamper who took permits from cars to make drivers pay £300 (Daily Express)
A rogue wheel clamper removed valid pay and display parking tickets from cars and then charged up to £300 to release their vehicle, a court heard yesterday. Birmingham City Council Trading Standards officer Vir Ahluwalia quoted.

City best for business districts (Birmingham Mail) Birmingham has ten per cent of all business improvement districts in the UK. City leader Mike Whitby has described Birmingham as the ‘BID capital of Britain’.

Nine people sleep rough (Birmingham Mail) A survey of Birmingham’s city centre streets has revealed there are currently nine people sleeping rough. The figure was revealed as councillors approved a new strategy for tackling homelessness in the city.

J’can invasion! Birmingham training base gears up for Olympians (Jamaica Observer)
Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) president Dr Warren Blake says he is pleased with the preparation of the Birmingham training base for the Jamaican team ahead of the Olympic Games this summer in London.

Top authors turn page at book festival (Birmingham Mail) The writers behind a string of bestsellers will be reading to youngsters at city libraries over the coming months as part of the year-long Young Readers Birmingham festival.

Bus users face months of disruption for Metro (Birmingham Mail) Bus passengers in Birmingham face weeks of disruption with some stops moving four times in a six-month period during the £14 million project to prepare for the Metro tram extension in the city centre. The scheme, commissioned by Centro and Birmingham City Council, includes changes to many routes.

Awards for high street’s top retailers (Birmingham Mail) Businesses big and small were recognised for their retail prowess at the Kings Heath Business Excellence Awards.

Brum will lose if others elect mayors, warns MP (Birmingham Mail) Britain’s other big cities could ‘leave Birmingham behind’ as they adopt directly-elected mayors to lead them, Edgbaston MP Gisela Stuart has warned.

£37m arts funding boost on offer (BBC) Birmingham is one of more than 70 local authorities invited by the Arts Council to apply for grants of up to £3m each.

Energy savers pathfinder programme (Master Builder) Members in Birmingham and surrounding boroughs will soon get the chance to take part in Birmingham City Council’s Energy Savers Pathfinder Programme.

Regional Headlines

Ambulance stations go up for sale
Five ambulance stations in the West Midlands go up for sale as crews move to community stations, some of which are shared with other emergency services.

Council’s £2m apprenticeship plan
Walsall Council hopes to create 550 new apprenticeships if a £2m project is approved by the authority’s cabinet.

National Headlines

Vocational exams cut from tables
Ministers cut the GCSE-equivalent value of 3,100 vocational qualifications, such as hair services and horse care, ending their recognition in school league tables.

Average water bills to rise 5.7%
Water and sewerage bills in England and Wales will rise on average by 5.7% to £376 from April, with some customers paying 8.2% more.

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