Top Birmingham City Council Stories
‘I’ll turn this region into an economic powerhouse’ (Birmingham Post) Business Secretary Sajid Javid has said he will offer his full backing to the emerging plans for a combined authority – but has urged council leaders to “think big” when drawing up their proposals, reiterating his wish for any new authority to be headed by an elected mayor.
Huge out-of-town wholesale markets vision a step closer (Birmingham Post and Midlands Insider Daily) Plans for a new wholesale markets complex in Witton have been submitted to city planners.
Colleagues pay tribute to former planning chief (Birmingham Post) Deputy Leader Cllr Ian Ward was amongst mourners who paid their respects former council director of planning and regeneration Clive Dutton at Southwark Cathedral. Cllr Peter Douglas Osborn also quoted.
Lib Dem leadership hopeful in councillor numbers vow (Birmingham Post) Tim Farron MP says he will set a goal to double his party’s number of councillors in Birmingham if his party’s membership elected him to replace Nick Clegg.
MP’s sit-in vow if HS2 railroads deal to use land for jobs (Birmingham Post) Hodge Hill MP Liam Byrne has threatened to stage a sit-in on industrial land earmarked for a new business park which could create hundreds of jobs, if high speed rail bosses block the development.
Ofsted criticises academy chain (Birmingham Post) Ofsted’s first ever ‘focused inspection’ of an entire academy trust has described Oasis, which has two of its 44 schools in Birmingham, as having a “legacy of weak challenge”. An Oasis spokesman quoted as questioning Ofsted’s evaluation methodology.
Midlanders less keen to get on their bikes than most of UK (Birmingham Post) The proportion of people cycling at least once a month in Birmingham declined during 2013/14 according to figures from Sport England. Cllr Lisa Trickett quoted, saying the council’s Birmingham Cycle Revolution scheme is designed to increase participation, adding these figures relate to the first year of the project and don’t tally with figures registered by the council.
Council worker gets his own car charging point (Birmingham Post) Council caretaker Gary Chalke is trialling the use of a Nissan electric van as part of the effort to make the authority’s fleet greener. Cllr John Cotton quoted.
Action plan for ‘studentsville’ (Birmingham Post) The Wider Selly Oak Supplementary Planning Document, which aims to shape the development of the area, has been backed by city councillors. Cllr Karen McCarthy quoted in support of the document.
Jailed for singing kids’ hit song day and night (Birmingham Mail) A council tenant has been jailed for singing the 1970s hit Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs day and night. Cllr James McKay quoted as saying he hoped the sentence of 20 weeks would deliver a clear message that anti-social behaviour would not be tolerated.
Council unveils 12 new homes (Birmingham Mail) A dozen new homes in Nechells, delivered through the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust, have been handed over to residents. Cllr Tahir Ali quoted.
Homophobic views could be a sign of extremism in pupils – education chief (Birmingham Mail) Interview with education secretary Nicky Morgan. Article references concerns raised by some parents about the roll-out of CHIPS and Pride in Education, two projects delivered at local authority schools to teach pupils about LGBT issues.
The UK’s automotive sector – a major part of which is based in the West Midlands – has announced a record turnover of £69.5billion for 2014.
MPs should consider allowing Britain to bomb Islamic State targets in Syria, the defence secretary is expected to say later today.
Police in England and Wales have been accused of failing to carry out effective investigations into allegations of child abuse and neglect. An Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) report looked at 576 cases across eight forces and suggests there was an “inadequate” response in 220 cases.
Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has said he will donate his entire $32bn (£20bn; €29bn) fortune to charity. He said he had been inspired by the Gates Foundation, and that the money would be used to foster cultural understanding, empower women, and provide vital disaster relief, among other things.