Media Watch – Feb 18

By on 18/02/2014 in Media Watch

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Loop site moves on (Birmingham Mail) Cabinet members have agreed to form a company which will hire a developer to deliver 1,000 homes on the Icknield Port Loop site in Ladywood.

Tenants hit by 5.8 per cent council house rent hike (Birmingham Mail) The city's 60,000 council tenants face a rent increase from April, paying an average of £80.33 per week, up from £75.95 this year.

Lib Dem leader raps Labour for council tax increase (Birmingham Mail) Cllr Paul Tilsley says the council's Labour administration should have taken a government grant on offer for freezing council tax, rather than backing a 1.99 per cent increase. Council Leader Sir Albert Bore quoted as saying the freeze would keep tax artificially low and create further financial problems for the council in subsequent years.

Neighbourhood office enquiries (BBC WM) Unison has claimed that staff at neighbourhood offices are being told to help cut costs by directing customers to the telephone or internet rather than deal with queries face-to-face. A council spokesperson quoted as saying complex queries will still be dealt with by staff, but customers with simple queries could avoid a long wait for an appointment by using self-serve options.

Regional Headlines

Staff at Wolverhampton City Council have been called to a series of meetings today, weeks after being told the authority needs to save £123million over the next five years.

Chris Sims, Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, is set to visit Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell to apologise over the role one of his officers played in the “plebgate” affair.

National Headlines

The Court of Appeal is set to announce its ruling on whether whole-life prison terms for some killers are legal.

Insurance bosses are to meet ministers at No 10 to discuss their response to the flooding, which has hit large parts of southern and south-west England.

The number of UK-born children thought to have been trafficked for sexual exploitation more than doubled last year, the National Crime Agency said. Fifty-six minors from the UK were flagged up as potential victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation in 2013 – a rise of 155 per cent on 2012.

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