Media Watch – Dec 20

By on 20/12/2012 in News

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Bore: Refuse collection and care will be all we have left if nothing is done (Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, Guardian, Independent, Telegraph and The Times) Council Leader Sir Albert Bore is one of seven council leaders to sign a letter to local government Secretary Eric Pickles, calling for a meeting over plans to cut funding to councils after the new local government settlement was announced yesterday (extensive coverage of the settlement across all local and national media).

City's self-inflicted pickle is biggest problem I have (Birmingham Post) Eric Pickles exclusive interview - in which he criticises the way in which the council has handled the issue of equal pay, Council Tax Benefit reform and adds that cuts to the city council budget are fair based on the size of the authority's overall funding.

Losses at official city marketing firm (Birmingham Post) Marketing Birmingham recorded losses of more than £275,000 in the year to March 31 - up from £86,000 the year before. Its directors' report says a three-month delay in European funding has hit balance sheets and the company plans to reduce costs in the current year.

Rethink cuts to free school travel, watchdog urges (Birmingham Post) The council's education scrutiny committee has asked the Cabinet to reconsider its proposals to reduce the provision of home to school transport.

Vision of high-tech city revealed (Birmingham Post) Coverage of the launch of Birmingham's Smart City Vision Statement. The council has said that it wants to promote the open data agenda in recognition of the benefits that easy access to information present for citizens and businesses.

Shelforce sums don't add up, Tory critics argue (Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail) Conservative councillors have questioned a discrepancy of £500,000 in reported running costs for the Shelforce manufacturing business, owned by the council. Deputy Leader Cllr Ian Ward quoted in response, saying that the council's previous administration should have done more to address historic losses.

City snaps up chance to be picture perfect (Birmingham Post) Birmingham aims to become a centre for photography after receiving a £160,000 grant from the Arts Council. The new Library of Birmingham is starting a two-year project to create a hub for the art in the city, which will utilise the funding.

Schools are shut down by sickness (Birmingham Mail) Coverage of the norovirus outbreak that is affecting schools across the region. Reference made to Baverstock School in Druids Heath, which sent home hundreds of pupils when nearly 20 teachers fell victim to the illness.

Library site scheme is set for go-ahead (Birmingham Mail) Plans to demolish Birmingham Central Library and replace with a major mixed-use development go before the council's Planning Committee today.

Youtube film aims to stop loan sharks (Birmingham Mail) A video has been produced by the Birmingham-based Illegal Money-Lending Team to help cash-strapped families avoid turning to loan sharks at Christmas.

Regional Headlines

A Birmingham-based metal theft gang which caused £500,000 of damage to the region's rail network have been jailed for a total of 23 years.

Plans for a £15million hotel on the site of the former Birmingham Science Museum have been unveiled.

National Headlines

The £450,000 pay-off to BBC director general George Entwistle – who quit in the wake of the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal – is criticised by MPs.

Energy firms should be prevented from offering cheap deals to new customers while overcharging existing ones, a committee of MPs tells energy regulator Ofgem.

All older cancer patients should get physical and mental health tests to ensure they are not unfairly written off as too old for treatment, a report suggests.

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