Media Watch – March 15

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Cabinet minister Francis Maude says Birmingham can be digital capital of UK (Birmingham Post) Birmingham is well placed to be at the heart of Britain’s digital future in the same way that it was a trailblazer during the Industrial Revolution, according Government Minister Francis Maude.

Transport summit unveils pay-as-you-go car rental plan (Birmingham Post) Birmingham’s answer to Boris bikes is set to be unveiled with a new pay-as-you-go short term car rental scheme.

Panel urges caution over Jewellery Quarter plan (Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail) Plans to knock down historic buildings in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and replace them with more than 100 new homes have been given a cool reception by heritage watchdogs.

Labour will ditch rail depot plan at van factory site (Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail) Birmingham’s Labour Party has pledged to ditch plans for a High Speed Rail maintenance depot at Washwood Heath if it takes control of the city council in May.

Opera in the Birmingham sky as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympics (Birmingham Post) A string quartet will perform in helicopters while flying across the Birmingham skyline in one of the highlights of an Olympics arts festival.

London 2012: Long beds brought in for Jamaica squad (BBC) Staff at the University of Birmingham have bought extra-long beds ahead of a Jamaican Olympic camp in July.

Anti-mayor group use war images (Birmingham Post) Campaigners against a directly elected mayor in Birmingham have compared the battle to stop a mayor being created to the battle against Hitler.

£52 to have his bin bags collected (Birmingham Post) Taxpayers were charged £52 for just one Birmingham resident to have his bin bags collected. The cost was said to have rocketed because the householder had to ring the city council’s call centre 13 times.

Poverty takes up to 12 years off life (Birmingham Post) The stark contrast of life in different parts of Birmingham has been laid bare as £1 billion was handed out to business and community leaders to come up with innovative ways to improve lives.

30 years on, John to be Lord Mayor (Birmingham Mail) Birmingham’s next Lord Mayor (Cllr John Lines) is gearing up to take the reins of the historic job.

Group’s fury over sports plan delays (Birmingham Mail) A Birmingham community has joined forces to demand assurances over the future of city playing fields.

Anger over Birmingham plans to commission online (Community Care Magazine) Care providers working with Birmingham City Council have voiced anger over the local authority’s intention to develop a provider framework to allocate social care services for older people via an online ‘auction’.

Regional Headlines

Son charged following stand-off
A Sandwell man is to appear in court accused of holding his mother at knifepoint inside her home.

Two held over drugs in chocolate
A woman and a teenage girl, both from Walsall, are arrested over cocaine found hidden in chocolate tubs at Gatwick Airport.

National Headlines

Literacy has stalled, says Ofsted
England’s chief schools inspector says reading standards have not improved since 2005, and the country is being overtaken by other leading nations.

UK AAA rating on new credit watch
The Fitch credit ratings agency has joined Moody’s and put the UK’s top AAA rating on “negative outlook”.

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