Media Watch – Jan 7

By on 07/01/2014 in Media Watch

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

'Benefits Street' (Channel 4, BBC WM, Birmingham Mail) City councillor John O'Shea is reported to be amongst viewers to complain about the Channel 4 documentary based on the lives of people living in James Turner Street in Winson Green. Cllr O'Shea is reported to have said “Channel 4 appear to have aided and abetted shoplifting in Birmingham”. Cllr Chaman Lal also interviewed on BBC WM.

After going to the dogs, the NEC is being groomed for privatisation (The Times) The newspaper claims the council is close to deciding to offload the NEC and its sister venues through a trade sale or flotation. Paul Thandi, NEC Group chief executive is extensively quoted but the council declined to comment on any plans it may have.

Council tax bills to double for hard-up city families (Birmingham Mail) More than 40,000 households face a council tax increase when a central government grant helping the council support low-income households ends. Cllr Ian Ward quoted as saying that the council has done all it can to protect as many vulnerable people as possible.

More massive cuts needed, Osborne warns on HQ visit (Extensive local and national coverage) Spending cuts will continue after the next general election, if the Conservatives win, Chancellor George Osborne has said. Council Leader Sir Albert Bore interviewed by Channel 4 amongst others - saying further cuts to local government could affect statutory services.

Labour man in line for mayor (Birmingham Mail) A vote of Labour group members has seen Cllr Shafique Shah receive the backing of his colleagues to become the next Lord Mayor of Birmingham.

Volunteers fight “devastating” city parks cuts proposal (BBC Online) Volunteer park workers are leading a campaign against proposed £2.6m budget cuts which would see jobs and play areas axed in parks across Birmingham.

Regional Headlines

New figures show that 529 black and white television licences are still in use in Birmingham - 50 years since the start of colour transmissions.

Dozens of barristers in Birmingham were amongst those to lead the first walkouts from Crown Court in 400 years as part of a dispute over cuts to Legal Aid.

National Headlines

Business Secretary Vince Cable has criticised David Cameron’s target of cutting annual net migration to under 100,000 by the next election in 2015. He says the plan is impractical and will almost certainly not be achieved.

Some patients are going to A&E units in the UK more than 50 times a year, a new investigation shows. Data from 183 sites revealed nearly 12,000 people made more than 10 visits to the same unit in 2012-13.

North America’s cold snap is heading east, leading to dangerous temperatures not seen in two decades, warn forecasters. From Montana to Maryland, about half of the US population has been placed under a wind chill warning or advisory.

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