Media Watch – August 10 (am)

By on 10/08/2009 in Media Watch

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Tories ready to tackle the unions and freeze pay for town hall staff (The Times) Conservative town hall employers warn that 'a zero rise' for workers next year would be the 'maximum' that Tory councils would support.  Stephen Hughes quoted, saying that the JNC should reflect the number of Tory-led councils instead of representing the number of councillors.  Tories now control more than 210 councils, more than half of all authorities, but only have a third of the seats at the negotiating table.

Manager boost for Colmore project (Birmingham Post) Michele Wilby, former Solihull and Shirley town centre manager, has been appointed as Colmore Business District Manager.

School governor jailed for fraud (Birmingham Post) James Windle, a former governor treasurer, of St Lawrence Junior and Infant Schools, Bournville, was jailed for nine months for siphoning of  £23,000 from the governors funds.

City centre stop 'likely' for rail link/High speed rail and the case for optimism(Birmingham Post) Sir David Rowland, chairman of the High Speed Two project, says he finds it difficult to envisage high speed trains bypassing Birmingham.  Sir David is advising the Govt on the best route for High Speed Two. Comment agrees it would be absurd if high speed trains bypassed Birmingham, but points out it will be extremely costly to get High Speed Two into the city centre.

'Startling' rise in civic staff days off due to mental health problems/There's a large depression sitting over local government(Birmingham Post) National research by private absence management provider, Active Health Partners, says that the number of days lost due to depression, stress and tiredness among town hall employees increased by 45 per cent. Comment says that the city council's business transformation project has been criticised by trade union leaders as placing huge amounts of additional stress on their members.

Council accused of over-reliance on 'Big Brother' style surveillance (Birmingham Post) BCC has used powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, (RIPA) on 575 occasions during the past five years. Figures were revealed following FOI from helpmeinvetigate.com website. Spokesperson responds that BCC, like most local authorities, uses these powers to investigate residents' complaints about issues such as fly-tippers, benefit fraudsters and rip-off merchants,

Regional Headlines

WM Police say 'post operation' investigation underway following Saturday's  anti-Islamic rally and counter protest in Birmingham city centre.

Rail passengers face delays and cancellations following industrial action by Arriva cross country services staff.

National Headlines

The Head of MI6 Sir John Scarlett says the British secret service has not been involved torture.

Dozens killed by Iraqi car bombs in Mosul and Baghdad

Lib Dems say tighter controls are needed on surveillance powers

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