Media Watch – Sept 13

By on 13/09/2012 in Media Watch

Top Birmingham City Council Stories

Sweeping changes to Paradise Circus plans (Birmingham Post) Architects behind the redevelopment of Paradise Circus have made sweeping changes to their plans to better showcase the city’s historic Town Hall and Council House.

£8m funding for SMEs (Birmingham Post) An £8m support programme aimed at helping more than 200 small businesses in the West Midlands to grow has been launched.

Small firms in jeopardy over council contracts (Birmingham Post) Small building firms face going to the wall after being told by city council bosses they could be squeezed out of local authority contracts in favour of larger national firms.

£7.7m paid to agencies for social services staff (Birmingham Post) Birmingham has spent £7.7 million on agency fees for social workers this year as it struggles to recruit and retain staff.

Planned welfare reforms spark stark warning (Birmingham Post) Birmingham faces ‘social meltdown’ and civil disorder if Government welfare reforms are forced through, a city charity chief executing has claimed. Yvonne Davies of Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau was speaking to Birmingham City Council’s inquiry into welfare reform.

Reel campaigner who gave a voice to the working classes (Birmingham Post) Feature looking at the Library of Birmingham’s Charles Parker Archive.

Row over 600 empty houses (Birmingham Mail) Birmingham City Council has defended its record on empty homes after a squatters’ protest group published a report claiming more than 600 properties were sitting unused. A Birmingham City Council spokesman said: “In recent years the Birmingham Empty Properties Team has brought almost 1,500 empty properties back into use over 65 per cent of the houses brought back into use are family-sized with three bedrooms or more. Since the team was launched, the number of empty properties has fallen from around 14,000 to just over 9,000. We accept there is still an issue to address and recently secured funding for a £4.3 million scheme to bring another 190 empty homes back into use as affordable housing. We hope to welcome the first families to their new home by the end of the year. In addition, Birmingham’s Choice Based Letting scheme has seen a dramatic reduction in 12 months from 1,031 council owned properties waiting to be let to 607, as customers can bid for and select a home of their choice.”

Christmas Crackers (Group Travel World) Preview of Birmingham’s 2012 Frankfurt Christmas Market.

Regional Headlines

Charge over rubbish chute baby
A 24-year-old woman is charged with attempted murder after a baby was found at the bottom of a rubbish chute in Wolverhampton.

Paladini interested in Birmingham
Former QPR chairman Gianni Paladini confirms he is involved in a consortium interested in Birmingham City.

West Midlands police and crime commissioner candidates
Elections will be held in November to choose police and crime commissioners who will replace police authorities currently in charge of 41 forces in England and Wales.

National Headlines

Families seek Hillsborough legal action
Hillsborough victims’ families call for criminal action after a damning report on the disaster, as a police chief says officers could be prosecuted.

Hospitals ‘on brink of collapse’
Hospitals in England could be on the brink of collapse because of the rising demand and complexity of cases they are seeing, doctors warn.

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