Media Watch – March 14

By on 14/03/2013 in Media Watch

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Revealed: true cost of academies to taxpayer (Birmingham Post) Cllr Brigid Jones speaks to the Post about the process through which local authority schools become academies - which is taking money away from the council's budget (and has costed the council more than £2million in the last two years). Cllr Jones warns the council may have to stop doing other things to meet the costs.

£10m fund to save UK's high streets goes on stunts - or in the bank (Independent) New research shows that just 7.2 per cent of money awarded to councils as part of the High Street Innovation Fund has been spent - with Birmingham not having spent any of its £100,000 by the end of January. The city's money is being used as part of a bigger project which has not yet started.

£700k grant to put Anglo-Saxon hoard on permanent display (Birmingham Post, BBC Online) More coverage of the news that the Staffordshire Hoard is a step closer to a permanent home in Birmingham after a Lottery grant was awarded for a Hoard gallery at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Long-term unemployed 'must not be forgotten' (Birmingham Post) Deep rooted problems with unemployment face being overlooked because of a “fixation” on the young jobless, it has been claimed by Liberal Democrat Councillor Jerry Evans.

Enterprise zone helps city to map out bright prospects at MIPIM (Birmingham Post) Coverage of Birmingham's presence at the annual MIPIM property expo in Cannes. Council Leader Sir Albert Bore quoted as saying the city has generated a lot of interest from developers and investors. Other recent coverage on the visit from BBC WM, Free Radio and Heart FM.

Plans to rebrand cricket team scrapped (Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail and The Chamberlain Files) The council and Warwickshire County Cricket Club have ruled out proposals that would see the local authority sponsor the club - a joint statement from the organisations says both sides are keen to explore other opportunities to support each other.

Traders fear for retail markets (Birmingham Mail) Continued coverage of this week's announcement that the city's Wholesale Markets will relocate to Washwood Heath or Witton. Representatives from the Outdoor Market Traders Association claim “the death knell” is ringing for markets in the city. Initial decision to relocate the markets also covered in the Birmingham Post.

Investment in old bank would see good return (Birmingham Post) Historian Carl Chinn has called for the former Birmingham Municipal Bank building on Broad Street to be “returned to use for the people of the city”. The council is currently considering the long-term future of the building and a decision is due later this year.

Group's bid to stop fly-posters (Birmingham Mail) The Southside Business Improvement District has launched a campaign calling on people to report incidents of fly-posting after it emerged more than 5,000 posters had been put up in the BID area over the past six months.

Regional Headlines

The Asphalt Industries Alliance claims it will take eight years to clear the West Midland region potholes backlog.

Sandwell Council has applied for a £3.6million Lottery grant to fund a planned restoration of Lightwoods Park in Bearwood.

There are now 15 times more academy schools in the West Midlands than there were two-and-a-half years ago, according to latest figures obtained by the BBC.

National Headlines

Pope Francis begins his first full day in his new role after being elected last night.

The government bans “gagging clauses” in NHS severance agreements in England and Wales, to ensure staff with care concerns are not silenced.

The UK is “woefully under-prepared” for the social and economic challenges presented by an ageing society, a Lords committee warns.

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