Media Watch – May 1

By on 01/05/2014 in Media Watch

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Summer city centre tunnel closures (Extensive local media coverage) Articles and features on the second part of a two-year plan to bring Birmingham's city centre road tunnels up to modern standards.

Labour fear 'garden tax' election hit (Birmingham Post) Continued coverage of a recent Labour group meeting, in which councillors from the party were told that the city's new chargeable green recycling service would not be scrapped by the Cabinet. Cllrs James McKay and Robert Alden quoted along with John Hemming MP - who is threatening the council with legal action over uncollected fly-tipped garden waste.

'Illegal immigrant stole £26k in benefits' (Birmingham Mail) Coverage of prosecution brought by the city council's benefit fraud team.

Library news (Private Eye) Coverage of the recent story that some items could not be readily accessed at the new Library of Birmingham has the correct equipment was not yet on site.

Lord Whitby: My dream for New Street is ruined (Birmingham Post) The council's Conservative group leader has criticised a plan from Network Rail which would see a footbridge at New Street Station left in its existing form, rather than being given reflective steel cladding as initially suggested.

Council right to subsidise Tory conference, says former leader (Birmingham Post) Lord Mike Whitby says that Conservative conferences staged in the city had earned up to £20million for the local economy, meaning they were justifiable spend for the city. He added it was not payment to the Conservative Party, rather money given to the NEC Group as the host venue - which is owned by the council.

Flagship park 'a magnet' for vandals and drunks (Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail) A submission to a licensing hearing for a new Spar store claims that the Eastside City Park is attracting anti-social behaviour. The submission to the committee making the claims was approved by management at Millennium Point.

City set to oppose HS2 train depot on jobs site (Birmingham Post) Speaking in the House of Commons, Liam Byrne MP has said that the city council will formally object to plans for a HS2 marshalling yard in Washwood Heath because the local authority has plans to bring the entire former LDV site back into economic use - creating thousands of jobs rather than the hundreds the HS2 scheme would bring. Meanwhile, council leader Sir Albert Bore has welcomed a Commons vote in favour of the overall HS2 project, which the city has long championed.

Alcohol shortens men's lives by over 12 months (Birmingham Post) Article based on new Public Health England figures. Adrian Phillips, director of public health for Birmingham, quoted as saying minimum pricing for alcohol is needed.

MP slams Ofsted over Trojan Horse (Birmingham Post) Liam Byrne MP has criticised Ofsted for failing to publish the results of an investigation into allegations made about Park View Academy.

Visitor centres to be axed as focus switched to web (Birmingham Post) Information centres on New Street and at Birmingham Airport are to be closed by Marketing Birmingham as part of a shift to online services in light of budget cuts. Deputy Council Leader Ian Ward quoted - saying alternative sources of information will continue to exist.

Boost for break-away campaign (Birmingham Post) The National Association of Local Councils has given a £5,000 to the campaigners seeking a devolved town council for Sutton Coldfield.

Council is 'stalling' on equal pay settlements (Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail) Legal firm Equal Pay Legal says there is a backlog of claims which could mean current and former staff do not receive payouts until late 2015. Council quoted as saying the local authority cannot comment while cases are ongoing.

Costs force café to the wall (Birmingham Post) Award-winning Café Blend in Navigation Street in the city centre is closing - citing a number of factors including “no support from local government”.

Revised 'stop and search' rules praised (Birmingham Mail) Cllr Waseem Zaffar, chair of the council's social cohesion and community safety scrutiny committee, has welcomed an announcement from the Home Secretary that police stop and search powers are to be overhauled.

Regional Headlines

Birmingham's iconic Selfridges store is set to receive a £20m refit.

Birmingham car manufacturer MG has unveiled an electric concept vehicle, which it is claimed could pave the way for eventual production at its Longbridge site.

National Headlines

A fifth of crimes in England and Wales could be going unrecorded by police, according to a report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

A 15-year-old boy will appear in court later charged with the murder of a teacher who was stabbed at a school in Leeds. Ann Maguire, 61, had worked at Corpus Christi Catholic College for more than 40 years before she was fatally stabbed in front of pupils on Monday.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a $17.1bn (£10.1bn) bailout for Ukraine to help the country’s beleaguered economy.

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