Media Watch – Dec 19

By on 19/12/2013 in Media Watch

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Axe may fall on outsource deal, council boss admits (Birmingham Post) More coverage of recent story that the council is reviewing its contractual arrangements with Service Birmingham - with an end to the deal one of the options that could be considered. Cllr Ian Ward quoted.

Bore: South East flourishing at the expense of others (Birmingham Post) Council Leader Sir Albert Bore has responded to the latest round of funding announcements from central government which will lead to further cuts in the money available to the city council.

Housing shortage sees hundreds of families in B&Bs (Birmingham Post) More than 900 households were placed in temporary accommodation during the last financial year because of a lack of affordable housing, ministers have been warned by MPs including Ladywood member Shabana Mahmood.

City's arts bodies hit by £6.5m cut to council grants (Birmingham Post) Article based on Cabinet report/decision on funding to arts groups. Note: Article states the 2014/15 arts subsidy is being cut by £1.4million - but the headline makes reference to a figure of £6.5million (which according to the main text of the article is the overall pot of funding).

'Inadequate' city children's homes shut by council (Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail) Two homes (Fairfield and Bournbrook) have been temporarily closed after being rated inadequate by government inspectors. Cllr Brigid Jones quoted as saying the safety of children was the key priority behind the decision. Conservative Deputy Leader Cllr Robert Alden quoted as saying the council should consider placing children into boarding schools as an alternative.

Carbon cuts in city 'need to be more ambitious' (Birmingham Post) National Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett says she feels the city's new Carbon Roadmap could do more to help tackle fuel poverty. Her comments were made during a visit to the city this week.

Inquiry into childhood obesity crisis (Birmingham Post) The council's health scrutiny committee has launched an investigation into child obesity after health officials said the issue would cost the city £2.6billion a year by 2050 if no action is taken. Cllr Steve Bedser quoted.

No collections on Boxing Day (Birmingham Mail) There will be no refuse collections on Christmas Day or Boxing Day - as has been the case for many years in the city.

Football fans divided by new look for library (Birmingham Mail and BBC Online) A decision to light up the Library of Birmingham in claret and blue as part of an arrangement with Aston Villa FC has been criticised by fans of rivals Birmingham City FC. Library director Brian Gambles quoted - saying this was the start of a long-term partnership with Villa but he would be happy to speak to Blues officials about possible links too.

Call to rename £189m gem after Nelson Mandela (Birmingham Mail) More coverage of the recent call from a campaigner for the Library of Birmingham to be renamed after Nelson Mandela.

Birmingham unveils plan to improve services (Children & Young People Now) A brief item on last week's announcement that an integrated transformation plan will be used to improve children's social care in the city.

People of the Year (Estates Gazette) Sir Albert Bore is ranked 10th in the publication's People of the Year list.

Regional Headlines

New research has revealed that patients are failing to turn up for 900 hospital appointments every day in the West Midlands - costing the NHS more than £35million per year.

Flights between Birmingham Airport and JFK in New York are set to resume next year, with flights to Dhaka for the first time - the latter only being made possible by the runway extension project in Birmingham.

National Headlines

The UK tax authority “seems to lose its nerve” when chasing multinational companies for owed tax, the head of a committee of MPs has said. Margaret Hodge, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee, said that the approach was firmer when HMRC was pursuing small businesses.

Britain is in danger of being left with hollowed-out armed forces, the UK’s top military officer has warned. Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton, said this would be with “exquisite” equipment but without the personnel needed to use it.

The UK has sent an aircraft to South Sudan to evacuate Britons amid fighting following a reported coup attempt.

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