Media Watch – March 21

By on 21/03/2013 in Media Watch

Top Birmingham City Council Stories:

£890m equal pay bombshell (Birmingham Mail, Birmingham Post)
Birmingham City Council is facing a huge asset sell-off after being told to find another £130 million to meet equal pay claims. A council spokesman said: “The report acknowledges the accounts are better presented than last year and progress has been made…However the council has significant improvements to make.”

Dates for tunnel closure (Birmingham Mail) The dates of the six-week summer closure of Birmingham city centre’s Queensway tunnels have been confirmed.  Amey is closing the tunnels for major refurbishment and repair work between July 19 and September 2.

Failing gas firm up to speed after council’s threat to end deal (Birmingham Mail) A gas repair contractor has been praised for improving its performance after being threatened with losing its £2.5m city council contract.

No chance of a conurbation mayor (Birmingham Post) In a feature Council Leader, Sir Albert Bore, explains why the type of all-powerful regional chief proposed would not work in the region.

Council bosses’ fear racism claims (Birmingham Post)
Managers at the city council fear being accused of racism when dealing with ethnic minority staff claims head of equalities at the council Mashuq Ally.  The comments came on the back of new figures which claimed black council workers were twice as likely to be disciplined than other ethnic groups, but white staff were more likely to be sacked.

Unscrupulous landlords fined £5,000 (West Midlands Housing News)
Two unscrupulous landlords who left tenants in properties with crumbling ceilings, broken smoke alarms and other defects must pay more than £5,000 each, following their conviction.

Birmingham track’s future under threat (Motor Sport News) The future of the Birmingham Wheels oval racing venue is under treat after the city council sought to increase the rent at the site. A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: “The council has been working with the Trust and the users of the site for some time to create a viable future…this dialogue is continuing and we are seeking a satisfactory conclusion for all.”

Regional Headlines
Plan to boost Birmingham economy given go-ahead
A £5bn plan to help rejuvenate the economy of the Greater Birmingham area has been approved.

Kidderminster canal plunge: Imie Harrison named by police
A six-year-old girl who died after falling into a canal with two other children has been named by police.

National Headlines
Budget 2013: Ed Balls urges George Osborne to ‘U-turn’ on economy
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has urged George Osborne to make a swift economic “U-turn”, after growth forecasts for 2013 were halved to 0.6% in the Budget.

Justin Welby speaks of same-sex challenges for Church
Some gay couples have loving, stable and monogamous relationships of “stunning” quality, the Archbishop of Canterbury has acknowledged.


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