Top Birmingham City Council Stories:
Malala library is most visited outside London (The Times, Independent, Daily Telegraph, Guardian – all Monday) The Library of Birmingham, opened by Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai in 2013, was the most visited free attraction outside London, with 2.4 million visitors last year. The Times leads on library, which the building is referenced in the other articles.
Miliband unveils election pledges in Brum (Birmingham Mail – Saturday) Labour leader Ed Miliband has attacked the former Conservative leadership of Birmingham City Council for building a £188 million library without working out how to pay the running costs, adding that the current administration was “doing its best” to ensure “decent services” in the face of severe cuts.
New Smithfield ‘could be mixed up with London’ (Birmingham Mail – Monday) Councillors have complained that Birmingham’s new £500 million prime city centre development Smithfield, planned for the site of the Wholesale Markets, will get mixed up with the London district of the same name and should be renamed. Report from transport and economy scrutiny committee quoting Councillors Tristan Chatfield, Ewan Mackey, Victoria Quinn and John O’Shea.
Birmingham holds St Patrick’s Day Parade (Birmingham Mail – Monday, BBC online – Sunday) Picture spread in Mail which quotes Cllr Ian Ward. General piece about Sunday’s event on BBC online, quoting Lord Mayor Cllr Shafique Shah.
Promo flyers may lead to £2,500 fines (Birmingham Mail – Monday) Club promoters leafleting revellers on Broad Street could soon face £2,500 fines under tough new council regulations. Quotes city council spokesperson saying that cavalier leaflet distributors are contributing to a real litter issue, pointing out that this policy already operates successfully in the New Street, Hurst Street and Digbeth areas.
Mount Snowdon challenge as hospitals link up (Birmingham Mail – Monday) Fund-raisers from across Birmingham are being invited to scale Mount Snowdon in aid of four of the city’s major hospitals. References fact that the campaign is being backed by Lord Mayor Cllr Shafique Shah, who lists two of the hospitals among his Lord Mayor’s charities.
Club for children in need facing axe (Birmingham Mail – Monday) The country’s only after-school club for disabled and special educational needs children, Playwell, based at Uffculme School, in Kings Heath, is on the brink of closure unless funding can be found, the Parks4Play charity has warned. References fact parents and charity bosses have been in talks with Cllr Brigid Jones in a bid to raise cash. Quotes Cllr Jones saying the council does not currently fund specialist after-school care, although it did make an exception last year when it awarded the club a £14,000 grant. The council is also reviewing its early years service with a view to do more to help vulnerable children.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has called for yobs who cause trouble on the region’s trams, trains and buses to be banned from the entire transport network in a tough new crackdown.
Sutton Coldfield has been named as Birmingham’s brainiest suburb because it has the highest number of teenagers applying for university places, according to UCAS.
Schools in the worst-funded areas of England each receive the equivalent in funding of 40 teachers less than those in the best-funded ones, heads say. Analysis by the Association of School and College Leaders suggests poorest-funded schools will receive £1.9m less than the best-funded in the next year.
Three British teenagers who were stopped from travelling to Syria from Turkey and arrested have been released on bail, Scotland Yard says. Two boys aged 17 from north-west London and a man aged 19 were flown back to the UK on Saturday night, the Met said.