Media Watch – Jan 29

By on 29/01/2015 in News

Top Birmingham City Council stories

£1bn city masterplan to be unveiled to the world (Birmingham Post): Sir Albert Bore will present plans for a £1bn Southern Gateway project to redevelop the Wholesale Markets at the MPIM trade show in Cannes in March.

Clegg: Birmingham and Black Country must combine forces (Birmingham Post): Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg urges Birmingham and Black Country to create a combined local authority ‘as quickly as possible’ – stating it would be easier to devolve cash and powers to the region once a combined authority was in place.

Powerhouse Manchester rouses the anger of rivals in the provinces (The Independent / i paper): Article revisiting Chancellor George Osborne’s vow to revitalise cities in the North to create a ‘Northern Powerhouse’. It states the GBSLEP got £378m in local growth deals, but Greater Manchester received £533m.  Council Leader Sir Albert Bore quoted as saying the Midlands will have to get its act together to demand similar deals.

Council in dispute with road repairs giant Amey (Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail): Report that the council is ‘locked in a dispute’ with its highways contractor over the standard repairs to the city’s pavements and roads.

Midlands to get £45m for transports and training (Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail): The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) will receive £21.4m as part of a ‘growth deal’ for the region. Council Leader Sir Albert Bore quoted.

Councillors oppose bid to cut their numbers (Birmingham Post): Report on councillors plans to fight proposals for single member wards, one of the recommendations set out in the Kerslake review of Birmingham City Council. Cllr Robert Alden quoted.

Trojan Horse school set to be taken over (Birmingham Mail and BBC News online): Golden Hillock School, in Sparkhill, will join the Ark network of schools from September  – it will be the second school linked to Trojan Horse to be taken over by the chain of academies.

One million illicit cigs seized during shop raids (Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail): Coverage of HMRC raids, supported by Birmingham Trading Standards and UK Border Force, on 22 shops and 17 self-storage units across Birmingham and Smethwick. Cllr Barbara Dring quoted.

Birmingham City Council denies responsibility for mix-up ‘that led to deaths of twin babies’ (Mail Online): Report on outcome of the review into the death of Melody and Rose Bennett, when paramedics were unable to get into Jocelyn Bennett’s flat at Pleck House, Druids Heath.

Council cleared of blame for death of baby twins ( Coverage of the review into death of newborn girls in a flat in Druids Heath last year.

The Tudor Lounge ‘swingers club’ using historic Highgate property (local and national coverage): Residents complain that they were not consulted over the Grade II listed Stratford House being used as a ‘sex club’.

Council off-loads pool to charity (Birmingham Post and Tyburn Mail): The council has handed over Castle Vale Pool to a charity, the Castle Pool Community Partnership, to run the facility.

NEC Group sells for £307m (The Caterer): Report on the council’s sale of the NEC Group to private equity firm LDC, part of the Lloyds Banking Group.

Regional Headlines

Schools at the centre of the Trojan Horse allegations in Birmingham are struggling to recruit staff, Sir Michael Wilshaw, the Chief Inspector of Schools, has told MPs.

Benefits mum Marie Buchan – a 33-year-old mother of eight from Selly Oak – has criticised Prime Minister David Cameron’s proposed cap on benefits, stating “I will have to get my first job. I’m being forced to work.â€

National Headlines

The number of state secondary schools in England deemed to be underperforming has more than doubled in a year, according to new Government figures.

Wintry weather is causing hazardous driving conditions across many roads in Scotland.

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