Media Watch – Feb 23

By on 23/02/2010 in Media Watch

Afternoon Update

Council jobs axe protest (Express & Star, BBC Radio 4, BBC Midlands Today, Central News, BBC Radio WM) City council workers were expected to gather this afternoon to protest at the threat of up to 2,000 job cuts.  Union leaders have organised a noisy protest, urging workers to bang pots and pans and blow whistles outside the Council House, where the budget-setting meeting is due to take place.  Meanwhile Communities Secretary John Denham told Radio 4’s “The World at One” that authorities such as Birmingham did not need to make cuts because the government has awarded them a sufficient budget.
Councillor urges that investigation continues (BBC Radio WM) The Council has insisted that the police must renew the search for the killers of a young black man during the Lozells race riots.  Three Asian men were cleared of killing council worker Isaiah Young-Sam last week, the third time that they had stood trial for his murder.  Cllr Alan Rudge (Equalities) will meet senior police officers later this week to discuss the case; he told WM that the family needs to know everything still is being done to find out who killed him. 

Taxis on the rise (BBC Radio WM) Head of licensing Pete Barrow appeared on Ed Doolan’s show to counter claims that too many black cab licences are being granted, leading to a bottleneck on the Hill Street rank as cabs queue for business at New Street station.  He explained that there are adequate rank spaces in the city but fewer fares available means that the cabs are all heading for New Street.  The council is working with the industry on a proposal to improve cab access to the station as part of its redevelopment.
Arts around the world (BBC Radio WM) Some of Birmingham’s biggest arts organisations are taking their work all over the world as part of the city’s campaign to be named as UK City of Culture in 2013.  Eight groups, including the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the School of Jewellery, have been given a share of £200,000 to stage performances as far afield as China, America and India.

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Workers to rally over cut jobs (Birmingham Mail, BBC Radio WM) Hundreds of council workers were set to protest over 2,000 jobs cuts today outside a meeting where the scheme was being discussed.

Birmingham signs Jamaica deal (BBC R5Live, The Gleaner) An Olympic dream has moved a step nearer for Jamaica and Birmingham, as both countries made history by officially signing the deal for Jamaica’s track and field team to use the University of Birmingham as their pre-Olympic training base for the 2012 Games.

Birmingham City Council launches crackdown on curry ovens (BBC Radio 5Live)

A garden for hero soldiers (Birmingham Mail) Birmingham City Council is to help create a Chelsea Flower Show garden to raise money for wounded soldiers.

City youth project hit by cash freeze (Birmingham Mail) The knock-on effect of public spending cuts is already being felt by a popular youth project in Birmingham which is having to slash services.

Local groups can share £400k pot (Birmingham Mail) Sutton Coldfield is set to receive £400,000 from Birmingham City Council in the form of Community Chest funding.

Art marks ten-year milestone (Birmingham Mail) A unique eye-catching sculpture has been unveiled in Handsworth to celebrate 10 years of successful regeneration in the area.

Birmingham Royal Ballet comes of age (Times) At a time when Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet was floundering in London (funding was tight, facilities poor), Birmingham City Council made an offer the company couldn’t refuse.

CIO interview: Crunch year for Birmingham council’s transformation project (Computer Weekly) This year is set to be a crunch year for Birmingham City Council’s huge transformation project.

Three Labour Party members battle it out with trade union boss (The Sikh Times) A TRADE union boss must battle it out with three Birmingham Labour Party members for the chance to succeed Sion Simon as MP for Erdington. Unite deputy general secretary Jack Dromey, the husband of Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman, was joined by Birmingham City Councillors Ansar Ali Khan, Gurdial Singh Atwal and former councillor Steve Bedser on the shortlist.

Regional Headlines

‘No police tension in  Lozells after verdict’ (Birmingham Mail) A Lozells community leader has denied there are any tensions between the community and police following the acquittal of three men accused of killing Isaiah Young Sam.

Walsall man remanded over attempted murder charge 
A man has been remanded in custody by Walsall magistrates charged with the attempted murder of a man found with serious head wounds outside a pub.

Staffordshire Hoard campaign reaches £800k mark 
A campaign to buy the Staffordshire Hoard looks likely to reach its £3.3m target by April after raising £800,000 in three weeks, it has been claimed. Simon Cane (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery) interviewed about the Hoard fundraising campaign on BBC Radio WM.

National Headlines

Car bomb explodes at Newry courthouse 
Police say it is a “miracle” no-one was killed or injured in a car bomb explosion at Newry courthouse.

Brown pledges school leader vote 
Labour is to promise parents a vote on whether struggling schools should be run by a different organisation.

Broadband tax condemned as ‘unfair’ by MPs 
A government proposal to charge people with fixed phone lines 50p per month to help fund ultra-fast broadband has been condemned as “unfair” by MPs.

Argentina rallies regional support over Falklands 
Latin American and Caribbean leaders have backed Argentina’s claim over the Falklands, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has said.

‘Baby Peter’ council’s child services ‘improved’ 
Ofsted inspectors are expected to say later that children’s services at Haringey council have improved since the death of baby Peter Connolly.

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