Top Birmingham City Council Stories:
Brum libraries banned from buying books (widespread national and local coverage) Coverage of news that Birmingham City Council has put a pause on its book fund for libraries in the face of Government cuts. Quotes Cllr Penny Holbrook pointing out that there has never been a situation where every new book requested has been bought and that such requests would now be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Cllr Holbrook also clarifies that while some libraries have asked for donations of books, this is not a corporate policy, although support from the public is still welcome.
Figures show fewer Brum 15-year-olds start smoking (Birmingham Mail) Only 4.4 per cent of 15-year-olds are starting to smoke, compared to a national average of eight per cent for teens, according to a new report. Quotes Dr Adrian Phillips saying the figures are extremely encouraging, but warning that the overall smoking rate for Birmingham is still higher than the national average.
Being buried in Brum may cost £1k more (Birmingham Mail and Birmingham Post) Report based on research from a financial services company which claims that the cost of being buried in Birmingham can cost as much as £1,000 more than other parts of the UK. No council comment as we were not approached for a quote. However, our statement is available here.
Whitby: Birmingham is a ‘laughing stock’ as Manchester powers ahead (Birmingham Post) Former Birmingham City Council leader Lord Whitby has claimed the West Midlands is being ‘outmanoeuvred’ by Greater Manchester and is becoming a ‘laughing stock’ at Westminster as West Midlands council leaders lobby for more powers and funding for the region.
Major firm to create jobs in wake of city HS2 base (Birmingham Post) International engineering firm Jacobs Engineering Group is to open a new office in Colmore Square to be near the planned HS2 headquarters. Quotes Sir Albert Bore and council chief executive Mark Rogers.
Immigration could fuel major school places shortage in city (Birmingham Post) New figures have revealed Birmingham’s rapidly growing population could lead to a shortfall of thousands of school places. References previous announcement by Birmingham City Council back in January that £34 million would be ploughed into funding more than 1,000 new school places in the city.
Ex-minister Morris to lead schools improvement drive in city (Birmingham Post) Former Education Secretary Estelle Morris claims Birmingham schools face ‘exciting times’ as she prepares to take the helm of a body set up to improve standards in the city’s classrooms.
Jobs secured as SME scheme invests £25m (Birmingham Post) Birmingham City Council’s venture capital arm Finance Birmingham has invested £25 million through its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) funding programme.
West Midlands Police have said it will be business as usual in Walsall on Saturday when an EDL rally takes place. The rally is expected to draw around 300 people.
Former Birmingham City Ladies player Amy Laban has been jailed for two months after faking a personal injury claim to try to win £3,000 compensation. Laban claimed she suffered whiplash in a car crash in the city but then continued to play football and even trained for a charity skydive.
Students across the country are today opening their eagerly awaited A-level results and finding out whether they have secured a place at their university of choice.
Families of British soldiers killed in Iraq are threatening to take legal action against Sir John Chilcot, who led the inquiry into the conflict. He has said publication of his report has been delayed to allow those who have been criticised to respond.