Media Watch – Jan 16

By on 16/01/2014 in Media Watch

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Potential asset sales (Widespread local and national coverage) Further coverage of Birmingham's equal pay liability and the possibility that council assets may need to be sold to meet the current funding gap after central government said the council would not be allowed to borrow any more money to settle outstanding claims.

Left to rot (Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail) Liam Byrne MP has called for a guarantee of jobs in Birmingham in return for the LDV site in Washwood Heath being left undeveloped due to it being needed for the HS2 scheme. Other city MPs and Council Leader Sir Albert Bore are also set to push ministers for a new high-speed rail college to be located in Birmingham.

Political leaders unite to demand fairer Whitehall deal for city (Birmingham Post) The council's three group leaders, Sir Albert Bore, Lord Michael Whitby and Cllr Paul Tilsley are due to meet local government minister Brandon Lewis next week to discuss the city's concerns over funding for the city.

Birmingham businesses' incentive to move faster (Birmingham Post) An ERDF grant will enable up to 630 more firms to take advantage of a scheme offering grants to help them connect to faster broadband services. Cllr James McKay quoted in support of the scheme.

'530 people a year' die from air pollution in city (Birmingham Post) Friends of the Earth say more needs to be done to tackle air quality issues, suggesting that the council needs to invest £10 per person into cycling for the next ten years. In response Cllr James McKay says that the council is fully committed to improving cycling.

Dunlop 'has to commit to city within weeks' or 300 jobs will go (Birmingham Post) Erdington MP Jack Dromey has called upon tyre manufacturer Dunlop to make an urgent decision on its future given it will soon have to leave its current Castle Bromwich plant to make way for the expansion of JLR's plant. The city council has identified an alternative site for Dunlop at the Advanced Manufacturing Hub in Aston.

City council brought to book over library loans (Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail) A total of 78 written complaints were received during the first two months of operations at the new Library of Birmingham - with a quarter relating to the three-week lending period for items (a service-wide policy across the city for a one-year pilot period). A spokesperson quoted as saying that following feedback from the pilot, the 28-day loan period was set to be reintroduced.

Claims over bin bags are rubbish - council (Birmingham Mail) The council has rejected claims made about the non-collection of refuse during the second episode of Channel 4 show Benefits Street. A council spokesperson quoted as saying James Turner Street had its normal weekly collections, supplemented by street cleansing, during the period shown in the programme.

Delay on trouble in Paradise row (Birmingham Mail) A decision on plans to open a fourth lap-dancing club on Birmingham's Golden Mile has been postponed after the applicants submitted pages of new documents at the last moment.

Pupils' outdoor education centre visits under threat (Birmingham Mail) The National Association of Environmental Education has claimed that children could miss out if the council closes any centres or restricts access to them as a result of central government funding cuts.

Regional Headlines

Support staff at the University of Birmingham were today set for a one-day walkout over a dispute relating to a proposed one per cent pay rise.

Birmingham Airport has reported a rise in passengers with more than nine million flying through the airport last year, for the first time since 2009.

National Headlines

Cuts to the UK’s armed forces will limit the country’s ability to be a major player on the world stage, a former US defence secretary has warned. Robert Gates said the spending squeeze would mean the UK could no longer be a full military partner of the US.

An 84-year-old immigration detainee suffering from dementia, who was declared unfit for detention, died in handcuffs, a report has discovered. HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) compiled the report after visiting Harmondsworth immigration removal centre, near Heathrow airport.

The number of UK homes sold per surveyor has more than doubled since the depth of the housing market downturn, a survey suggests.

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