Media Watch – March 12

By on 12/03/2015 in Media Watch

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Markets to become city’s family quarter (Extensive local media coverage) Plans to transform the city’s current Wholesale Markets site into Birmingham’s first “family zone” have been unveiled at the MIPIM property conference. Council Leader Sir Albert Bore and Waheed Nazir, the council’s director of planning and regeneration both quoted.

CHIPS programme put on hold at primary school (BBC WM) Clifton Primary School has paused a plan to introduce the Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools programme after concerns were raised by parents. The school says it is committed to tackling bullying and discrimination but given the concerns from parents, a working group will now be formed to explain to parents in further detail what the project is about.

Grand Central shopping centre goes up for sale (BBC WM, Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, BBC Online, Estates Gazette) The city council has re-confirmed its long-standing intention to sell the Grand Central shopping centre now the New Street revamp is nearing completion. Sir Albert Bore quoted.

City to grow by ‘another Oxford’ (Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail) More coverage from the MIPIM property expo in Cannes. Birmingham’s new housing prospectus outlines the need for 80,000 new homes – as previously referenced in the Birmingham Development Plan. Waheed Nazir and Sir Albert Bore quoted.

Children’s services ‘still need to improve’ (Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail) Coverage of Ofsted’s latest national report looking at social care standards in Britain. Birmingham cited as one of seven councils offering an inadequate standard of services.

‘Academies leave city unable to plan ahead’ (Birmingham Post) Rising numbers of free schools and academies are leaving the council struggling to plan how many places it needs to cope with Birmingham’s growing population. Cllr Brigid Jones extensively quoted.

Give us a reason to exist, councillors told as axe looms (Birmingham Post) Max Caller, chairman of the Local Government Boundary Commission, says a review of the council’s number of elected members will be based on evidence and not sentiment.

‘Cynical’ plan for council ‘created to secure a no vote’ (Birmingham Post) Campaigners pushing for a Sutton Coldfield Town Council have dismissed the latest round of consultation as ‘cynical’, offering only limited powers if created. A council spokesperson quoted as saying all responses would be considered.

Pay increase for agency social staff (Birmingham Post and BBC Online) Coverage of an upcoming Cabinet report seeking approval to alter agency rates for social workers as part of the council’s plan to ensure it can recruit the staff necessary to keep children safe in the city.

End of the line could be the start of great things for Birmingham (Birmingham Post) In-depth interview with Liz Peace, newly-appointed chairman of the Curzon Urban Regeneration Company.

£12m plan to boost city education standards (Birmingham Post) The government has approved an £11.7million plan to boost education. Cllr Brigid Jones quoted as saying the plan aimed to “tackle uncompromisingly” weaknesses highlighted in the Trojan Horse reports.

Chief backs cigs packaging (Birmingham Mail) Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing has hailed the decision to introduce unbranded cigarette packaging as a victory for health in the city. Dr Adrian Phillips, director of public health, also quoted.

St Pat’s parade to celebrate Irish community in the city (Birmingham Mail) Preview of this weekend’s St Patrick’s Day festivities in Birmingham. Cllr Ian Ward quoted.

Regional Headlines

MG is planning to recruit 30 new car dealers across the UK to build on recent sales success.

Plans for 30 new shops and restaurants at Solihull’s Touchwood centre have been announced.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has urged West Midlands councils to draw up ambitious plans for continuing to improve the region’s transport network.

National Headlines

UKIP would scrap much of the legislation designed to prevent racial discrimination in work, party leader Nigel Farage has said. He was speaking in a Channel 4 documentary to be shown next week.

Supermarket chain Morrisons has reported its worst results in eight years, with pre-tax profits falling by more than half from a year earlier. The struggling firm reported a pre-tax profit of £345million, down 52 per cent.

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