Media Watch – Dec 11

By on 11/12/2014 in Media Watch

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Birmingham budget consultation begins (Extensive local and national media coverage) A range of articles across all media, mostly focusing the proposals for 1,100 job losses across the council, reduced opening hours at the Library of Birmingham, reduced funding for community events and car parking charges at city parks.

Ofsted probe as pupils failed by secondary schools in city (Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail) Ofsted has launched an investigation after figures showed children in the West Midlands region are being “failed†by their secondary schools. Cllr Brigid Jones quoted, saying Birmingham’s issues are well known and an action plan is already being worked upon.

Academies questioned as social services slammed (Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail) Ofsted’s latest annual report has also hit out at social care in the region, criticising a shortage of social workers – with a separate report on the issue promised in the spring. Cllr Brigid Jones quoted as saying Ofsted head Michael Wilshaw’s “unrelenting criticisms†are helping cause the recruitment and retention issue.

Bore: City bin privatisation ‘a possibility’ (Birmingham Mail) Council Leader Sir Albert Bore has admitted for the first time he will have to consider privatising the city’s refuse collection service, after the Kerslake Review published this week suggested such a move could save £14million a year.

Council given 12 months to improve – or else (Birmingham Post) Continued coverage of the publication of the Kerslake Review into the council’s governance.  City MP Steve McCabe quoted as saying the council’s response was “just rubbish†and “reads like propagandaâ€.

We’ll never be run from Birmingham – Coventry (Birmingham Post) Coventry Council leader Ann Lucas has said no decision has been taken by her authority on whether to join a combined authority or not, but added that her city would not be run from the Council House in Birmingham.

Victorian library saved for the city (Birmingham Post) Sparkhill Library has been pulled from sale following a challenge from backbenchers. Cllrs Jerry Evans and Habib Rehman launched the appeal after complaining the community had not been consulted over the plan.

Pollution soars in parts of city (Birmingham Post) Green campaigners have called for urgent action to tackle air pollution after it emerged some parts of the city suffer from ‘high levels’ of certain particles.

‘Nobody wants to destroy the identity of our area…we’re just saying together we are more than the sum of our parts’ (Birmingham Post) Wide-ranging interview with LEP chair Andy Street, in which he says he would support the idea of a combined authority led by a directly-elected mayor, as long as their role was limited to strategic decisions on issues such as transport, which cross existing council boundaries.

99-year-old’s joy as lift is fixed (Birmingham Mail) The lift at Beech Hill House in Bartley Green has been repaired after elderly residents complained the out-of-order status had effectively left them imprisoned in their own homes. Council spokesperson quoted as saying support was offered to residents and the local authority apologised for the inconvenience cased whilst the essential repair work was undertaken.

Regional Headlines

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has praised the region’s economic output, saying the rest of UK should look to the area as an example, but he has also warned an R&D boost is essential.

Jaguar Land Rover staff could be sent on global missions as part of a new “international mobility†programme – if they accept a revised pay deal.

National Headlines

Drug resistant infections will kill an extra 10 million people a year worldwide by 2050 unless action is taken, a new study says.

Hong Kong police begin clearing the main pro-democracy protest site, Admiralty camp, in what is being seen as the final act in weeks of demonstrations.

Labour leader Ed Miliband will promise a “tough but balanced” approach to cutting the £90bn deficit, when he sets out his plans in a speech later today.

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