Media Watch – Feb 16

By on 16/02/2010 in Media Watch

Afternoon Update

Interview with the leader (BBC Radio WM) Council leader Mike Whitby was interviewed on Ed Doolan’s show this lunchtime.  He talked at length about balancing the books, in terms of keeping the increase in council tax to 1.9% for the fifth year in succession, together with managing service delivery and the job situation.
Woman held following child’s murder (BBC Midlands Today, Central News, BBC Radio WM, Express & Star) Detectives have been granted extra time to interview a woman in her twenties on suspicion of murder, following the discovery of the body of a three-year-old girl in Erdington.  It is understood that police found a toxic substance in the house, although the pathologist awaits the results of a toxicology test in order to determine whether or not there is a connection.

City heads for £14m plunge into red (Express & Star) According to finance bosses, Birmingham City Council will finish the financial year £14.3 million in the red.  This figure is much greater than had been anticipated and has been attributed to the Children, Young Persons and Families directorate.

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Council pays £1,000-a-day to hire a temp (Birmingham Mail) A temporary school chief has been hired by Birmingham City Council at a cost of £208,000-a-year – more than the Prime Minister earns.

Tories tell June that she has to leave in May (Birmingham Mail) A senior Birmingham Conservative has been de-selected from the safe Sutton Coldfield seat she has held for 16 years.

Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby defends budget (Birminghm Mail, Birmingham Post online) Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians running Birmingham have finally sprung to the defence of a city council budget that sets out plans for a £75 million savings package and raises the possibility of up to 2,000 local authority jobs disappearing.

Public sector jobless total is set to soar (City A.M.) Job losses are set to surge as the axe swings in the public sector, an employers’ survey has found. More than 5,000 job cuts have been announced over the past week by employers  including Birmingham City Council.

Half-term events in Birmingham (Birmingham Mail, From Gigglefest at central library to building bird boxes and feeders, there’s plenty of inexpensive family things to do in Birmingham and Solihull over the half term holiday.

Council rubbishes complaints of redevelopment delays ( Birmingham City Council has refuted claims that the redevelopment of the city’s gay village is behind schedule.

Library of Birmingham to host British Film Institute Mediatheque (Birmingham Post Online) The new Library of Birmingham will have a ‘digital jukebox’ from 2013 to enable visitors to watch everything from classic films and TV documentaries and home movies.

Further council job cuts expected ( Town halls are likely to slash more jobs this year, as the public sector suffers from the post-recession economic 'lag'. Birmingham City Council, Britain's largest local authority, last week announced plans to axe 2,000 posts as part of its savings drive.

Regional Headlines

‘Mum’ held over girl, 3, in chemical death riddle (Birmingham Mail) Police have launched an investigation into the gruesome murder of a girl of three in Erdington.

Three locals will take on union chief (Birmingham Mail) A trade union boss must battle it out with three Birmingham Labour Party members for the chance to succeed Sion Simon as MP for Birmingham.

Police issue photo of Dudley man in sex assault probe  Police have issued a picture of a man they wish to question in connection with a sexual assault investigation. Billy George Daley, 43, thought to be living in the Dudley area, is being searched for as part an inquiry into historic sexual offences.

West Midlands environmental jobs boost predicted  A big increase in jobs in the “green sector” has been predicted by firms in the West Midlands region.

National Headlines

UK bank Barclays reports profits up 92% to £11.6bn 
Banking giant Barclays has seen its full-year profits increase by 92% to £11.6bn ($18.2bn) in 2009.

MPs ‘should repay profits’ from taxpayer-funded homes 
The head of the new authority tasked with overhauling MPs’ expenses has said profits made on taxpayer-funded second homes should be “surrendered”.

Scout climber dies in avalanche 
A teenage Scout leader has been killed in an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands while on an organised trip.

NHS trusts ‘not complying with safety alerts’ 
Three-quarters of NHS trusts are endangering patients by not complying with safety alerts meant to stop fatal errors recurring, a charity says.

Inflation expected to exceed 3% 
Official figures due out later are expected to show that the UK inflation rate rose above 3% in January.

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