Top Birmingham City Council stories:
Pensioner fury over school’s expansion plan (Birmingham Mail – p10 lead) Pensioners living in a retirement complex in Edgbaston have raised concerns that plans to extend Harborne Primary School to ease massive demand for places will lead to an increase in traffic and noise. Quotes Cllr John Alden voicing his opposition to the plans, and council spokesperson saying that no formal application had yet been submitted and that residents would be consulted on any plans.
Workmen accused of killing city centre trees (Birmingham Mail – p18 lead) Concerns have been raised over three imported Turkish Hazel trees in Victoria Square, amid claims that one of the trees has died and a second is dying following utility works when their bases were surrounded by asphalt. Quotes Cllr Fiona Williams in her capacity as a member of campaign group Trees for Life, calling for an investigation, and refers to fact council parks bosses have said the material around the tree bases does allow moisture through.
Alert for bank staff (Birmingham Mail – p9) Birmingham Trading Standards officers have stepped up their campaign against rogue traders by visiting banks to encourage them to look out for potential victims. Also refers to officers paying home visits to previous victims of rogue traders this week to see if they have been targeted again and to offer doorstep crime prevention advice.
West Midlands police officers are twice as likely to use force when they are not wearing body cameras, according to a trial of the new technology. The pilot project has also revealed that suspects are three times more likely to be injured during an arrest by officers who are not wearing the kit.
The organisers of the Great Birmingham Run on October 18 have announced details of a new route this year, with the start line now in Jennens Road by Millennium Point.
The UK’s ban on prisoners’ voting rights could be ruled unlawful by the European Court of Justice, which is deciding on a similar case in France. Convicted murderer Thierry Delvigne claims a ban on him voting in elections violates the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. The court’s ruling could outlaw Britain’s blanket ban at EU level. Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to ignore the judgement.
Parents in England who refuse to pay a penalty after their children play truant will have their child benefit docked, the prime minister has said. A civil penalty of up to £120 would be claimed through child benefit if the fine is not paid after 28 days. Currently, 40 per cent of fines go unpaid.