Media Watch – Jan 8

By on 08/01/2015 in Media Watch

Top Birmingham City Council stories

British Library ‘not yet asked’ to bail out city staff (Birmingham Post): British Library has not yet been approached to help save the Library of Birmingham’s staff and services from council cuts, after it was announced that the council is looking at all possible options to protect the library’s services. Cllr Holbrook quoted.

‘Empty shell’ warning for library (BBC News online): Story based on campaigners’ concerns that the Library of Birmingham could be left as an ‘empty shell’ as a result of proposed cuts to its staffing and services.

Equality must not suffer at hands of faith in schools – Hunt (Birmingham Post): Interview with shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt, who says he would introduce ‘school directors’ in academies following the Trojan Horse plot. He also praises Cllr Brigid Jones’ work.

New council hotline after Trojan Horse (Birmingham Post): A new whistleblowing hotline will be launched next week, inviting staff, residents and service users to raise concerns about the council and public services, following the Kerslake report. Deputy Leader quoted.

£350m  ‘is just a start’ as funding boosts top city plans (Birmingham Post): Deputy Prime Minister praises new £350 million deal to create jobs and economic growth in Birmingham, Solihull and surrounding area, announced today. Leader Sir Albert Bore quoted.

Objections to Islamic school plans (Birmingham Post): Planning bosses have received more than 1,000 objections over plans for the former Curves gym in Hall Green to be converted to an Islamic school. The planning committee will make a decision on this application today.

4 in 10 Black Country kids overweight at 11 (Birmingham Mail): Report on figures published by Public Health England.  In Birmingham 38.8 per cent of primary school pupils are overweight.  Cllr John Cotton quoted.

Office base could mean new jobs at Longbridge (Birmingham Post): Developers St Modwen’s have submitted plans for an office development – One Park Square, in Longbridge – following their application to build 215 homes on a nearby site.

Fallout over council report splits parties (Birmingham Post): Report on cross-party response to the Kerslake report at yesterday’s full council meeting. Leader Sir Albert Bore and Cllr Robert Alden both quoted.

Councils lose millions in ‘right to buy’ home sales (Birmingham Post): Report on number of council homes being sold by local authorities across the Midlands, claiming many are being sold for less than they’re worth. Cllr Tahir Ali quoted.

Demolition of studio is put on hold (Birmingham Post): Demolition studios in Selly Oak, where bands like Black Sabbath, ELO and Slade have all jammed, could be put on hold when plans to convert it into 347 student flats is considered by the planning committee.

Pensioner fined £400 for blasting out bhangra music (Birmingham Mail): Report on an environmental court case, where Kings Heath woman repeatedly flouted noise abatement notice by playing loud music in her home and garden. Cllr Barbara Dring quoted.

Boy wins bus pass case after council letter (Birmingham Post): A Birmingham schoolboy has won a Local Government Ombudsman case after his free bus pass was revoked by the council.

Final chapter as city brute bites the dust (Birmingham Post): Feature on the old Central Library as developers prepare to demolish the brutalist building to make way for the regeneration of Paradise Circus.

Mice force city school to shut (Birmingham Mail): Leigh Primary and Junior School in Washwood Heath closed following a mice infestation over the Christmas holidays.

Birmingham looks at workplace parking levy (Parking Review): Report that the council is looking at a parking levy to part fund the Birmingham Connected transport strategy. Paul Dransfield quoted as saying the levy could result in £20m of new investment into the city’s transport systems.

Birmingham recovery under threat – Warner (Children and Young People Now): Report on comments made by Lord Warner that ‘inadequate’ HR systems and lack of a ‘credible’ strategy for recruiting and retaining social workers could derail the council’s attempt to improve children’s services.

Regional headlines

Massive cuts to West Midlands Police funding are hitting its ability to tackle terrorism and growing threat of online crime, according to police commissioner David Jamieson.

Daughter found her 88 year old mother dead in her hospital bed as she visited her at Good Hope Hospital – after nurses failed to notice she had been dead for half an hour.

National stories

12 people killed after armed men stormed the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo magazine, and in a separate attack 2 people have been killed in a south Paris subway station.

Tesco to close 43 stores across the UK and its final salary pension scheme.

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