Media Watch – Nov 18 (am)

By on 18/11/2009 in Media Watch

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Widespread coverage of cancelled Christmas Lights debrief – correcting a number of inaccuracies in earlier reports and focussing on planned independent inquiry (BBC, Central, Birmingham Post online, WM, BRMB, Heart, Smooth)

Steals on wheels (Daily Mirror) Tory councils were blasted yesterday for raising the price of meals on wheels for thousands of elderly people. Birmingham is privatising the service, a move which critics say has increased the price of meals on wheels.

Autonomy brings unexpected results (Guardian) As the responsibility to improve educational outcomes returns to schools, many are reaping the benefits of partnership working. Birmingham City Council has already organised its schools into clusters.

Former Birmingham City council boss accused of ‘fireproofing bonuses’ (Birmingham Post online) A former Birmingham City Council boss has been accused of “fireproofing” bonuses for male employees so they wouldn’t lose them when an equal pay initiative was enforced, an employment tribunal heard.

I’m dreaming of a German Christmas (Times T2) Richard Morrison looks at the ongoing success of the Frankfurt Christmas Market.

Big Wheel opening delayed by weather again (Birmingham Post online) The opening of the Birmingham Mail Wheel in Centenary Square has again been delayed.

Govt rejects calls to save Birmingham Central Library (Birmingham Post online) Culture Minister Margaret Hodge is expected to reject a plea to grant Birmingham’s Central Library listed status in the next few days.

Tony Quigley from BCC’s Illegal Money Lending Team interviewed following the visit of Consumer Affairs Minister Kevin Brennan.

Regional Headlines

‘Talks on rival bid’ for Cadbury 
Two international confectionery firms are considering a joint bid for Cadbury that could forestall a hostile takeover by Kraft Foods, reports say. US-based Hershey and the Italian firm Ferrero are reported to have held preliminary talks on the plan.

Midland MP facing new probe into expenses (Birmingham Post online) The Parliamentary Standards watchdog is considering whether to investigate a West Midlands MP (Bill Wiggin – Con, Leominster) following a complaint about his expenses claims.

Criticism over arts centre jobs 
A controversial West Midlands arts centre, which was nearly £15m over budget, has been criticised for creating five new management posts. The Public in West Bromwich is offering the jobs, including marketing and business managers, which will add about £200,000 to its annual salary costs.

Custody for taxi murder accused 
A man has appeared in court charged with murdering a taxi driver who was found with stab wounds to his head.

National Headlines

Queen to set out deficit promise 
The government will promise a bill obliging it to halve its budget deficit within four years when it announces its planned new laws in the Queen’s Speech.

‘Vote needed’ on Welsh assembly 
A national referendum should be held in Wales with a view to giving the Welsh assembly full law-making powers, a major inquiry has decided.

Archie Norman to be ITV chairman 
ITV has appointed former Asda chief executive Archie Norman to replace Michael Grade as chairman in January.

Network sites ‘need help buttons’ 
Major social networking sites MySpace and Facebook have been criticised for failing to introduce a help button for children being bullied online.

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