Top Birmingham City Council Stories:
Vulnerable children still at risk, admits council boss (Birmingham Mail, Birmingham Post) Birmingham City Council has said that vulnerable children are now safer than they were a year ago, although not as safe as they should be. A report was published showing progress a year into the three-year improvement plan. Quotes Cllr Brigid Jones.
Osborne piles on pressure to create region-wide authority (Birmingham Post) The creation of a new West Midlands combined authority moved another step closer after winning the backing of Chancellor George Osborne. References Birmingham City Council and Sir Albert Bore.
Probe into sway of mosques in Labour councillor’s victory (Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail) A city councillor faces a legal challenge following claims that his election was won illegally using the backing of mosque leaders and Pakistani politicians to sway voters. The claim has been made by Liberal Democrat candidate Shamsur Rehman against Labour’s Cllr Ansar Ali Khan, who retained his seat in the Washwood Heath ward in last month’s election.
Council to bail out Broad Street business body (Birmingham Post) Birmingham City Council’s economy, skills and sustainability scrutiny committee has given the green light to payments of up to £155,000 to the Broad Street Business Improvement District (BID). The committee, chaired by Cllr Victoria Quinn, found that the cabinet decision was correct, but lacked the necessary detail. Also quotes Cllr Tahir Ali.
Two city council services scoop national awards (Birmingham Mail) Birmingham City Council inquiries into child sexual exploitation and dementia services have scooped national awards. The ‘We need to get it right’ and ‘Living life to the full with dementia’ reports were handed awards by the Centre for Public Scrutiny.
Building spree to transform skyline (Birmingham Post) Birmingham’s skyline is set for major change with more than one million square feet of new offices in the pipeline. Quotes Sir Albert Bore saying this is an important part of the city council’s plan to turn Birmingham into a global city within 20 years.
Enterprise zone expands to kick off £660m plans (Birmingham Post) Chancellor George Osborne has announced the extension of Birmingham city centre’s enterprise zone to take in the Curzon Street HS2 area, in a move which frees up opportunities to raise hundreds of millions of pounds to fund regeneration. Quotes Sir Albert Bore.
More than 700 new jobs are on their way to Birmingham in another huge employment boost for the city’s flourishing white-collar economy. Business outsource firm Sigma has unveiled expansion plans for Birmingham which will double the workforce over the next 18 months.
West Midlands Police is the victim of unfair funding cuts which see it hit harder than other forces, according to the National Audit Office, an independent body set up by Parliament to scrutinise public spending.
The High Court is to hear a legal challenge to the government’s emergency surveillance law brought by two MPs. The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act allows Britain’s intelligence agencies to gather people’s phone and internet communications data. However, former Conservative minister David Davis and Labour’s Tom Watson will argue that the legislation is incompatible with human rights.
Former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer has warned Prime Minister David Cameron not to be too sure of German support in his bid to reform the EU. It comes a week after German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to try to find a solution to the UK’s drive for reform.