Media Watch – April 25

By on 25/04/2013 in Media Watch

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

True scale of housing shortage revealed (Birmingham Post) An investigation by the newspaper shows that with up to 6,000 new homes needing to be built per year in the city, just 1,800 were created in the last 12 months. Deputy Leader Cllr Ian Ward quoted as saying innovation is needed, given the lack of available public funding for schemes.

A-level pupils forced out as school shuts sixth form (Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail) The International School has announced plans to close its sixth form at the end of the current academic year, amidst reports of a £2million budget deficit. Other local schools are offering those affected alternative options for next year.

Love your wheelie bin campaign 'desperate' (Birmingham Mail) Council bosses have been accused of resorting to 'desperate measures' by opposition councillors to convince householders that wheelie bins are a good idea for the city - by highlighting case studies of bin users in neighbouring Sandwell and Walsall. The campaign has also attracted coverage from BBC Midlands Today and The Chamberlain Files.

Life sciences campus to create up to 7,000 jobs (Birmingham Post) A deal for the nine-acre Battery Park manufacturing site in Selly Oak has been agreed after the council's Cabinet approved a plan to buy part of the land.

Fighting the flab for free in five city parks (Birmingham Mail) Free exercise classes are being staged as part of the effort to tackle obesity rates. Cllr Steve Bedser quoted as saying it is hoped that the plan will build on the success of the Be Active scheme.

Council bosses call for pay rise for care staff (Birmingham Mail) Coverage of Monday's Cabinet decision to approve the city's Business Charter for Social Responsibility. The cost of implementing the Living Wage of £7.45 per hour will not initially be passed on to social care homes.

Ministers: We can't force BBC to invest in region (Birmingham Post) Ministers have responded to lobbying by local MPs and councillors who want the BBC to do more in the Midlands.

Schools head won't rule out a fifth year of Ofsted failure (Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail) Cllr Brigid Jones appeared before a scrutiny committee this week, as it emerged that the children's social care department is failing to meet 19 of the 41 improvement targets it is working against.

Former Municipal Bank 'should not become a pub' (Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail) Opposition councillors have urged the ruling administration to get the sale of the Broad Street building “right” after it was agreed to dispose of the property.

Welfare 'chaos' as Whitehall leaves councils in the dark (Birmingham Post) Continued coverage of the benefit reforms which are being introduced by the Government. Cllr John Cotton quote as saying the council urgent needs clear guidance on many issues to help deal with a “mass of increased enquiries from worried customers.”

£17million bid to boost cycling in city (Birmingham Post) Detailed coverage of Birmingham City Council's bid to the Government for the “Birmingham Cycle Revolution” project, to make cycling a more attractive mode of transport for all citizens. Cllr James McKay quote in support of the bid.

Why making a profit is not just cricket anymore (Birmingham Post) Extended interview/feature with Warwickshire County Cricket Club chief executive Colin Povey - who comments on the recent decision by the council to not progress with a sponsorship deal with the club. Mr Povey says that if world class events are to be attracted to the city, then investment is needed.

Strike at Hamstead Hall School (BBC Radio WM) Staff are striking today over plans to convert the school into an Academy. Despite the action, the school is open to pupils in Years 7, 11, 12 and 13.

Apology over repair mistakes at family's flat (Birmingham Mail) A couple with newborn twins in Sutton Coldfield have received an apology from the city council after being left without central heating for two months.

Regional Headlines

Extra staff are being provided by National Express to clean buses in Birmingham to provide a better service to customers. Cleaning teams will jump on and off buses in Colmore Row as part of a rapid clean scheme between services.

Problems obtaining transit permits delay the launch of a 4,000 mile bus route between Birmingham and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

National Headlines

One of the Boston bomb suspects was added to a terrorism database 18 months ago at the request of the CIA, officials have told US media.

One million schoolchildren in England are to be targeted by a measles vaccination plan aimed at curbing the growing threat of outbreaks.

Official figures due to be released later will reveal whether the UK has slipped into a triple-dip recession.

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