August 2011 Archives
Birmingham City Council is certainly making the most of the Lib Dem conference coming to the city by hosting a range of fringe events designed to tell delegates and senior politicians what the city is up to.
Fringe events are an important part of any party conference. They take place in meeting rooms during breaks in the main conference, such as during lunch or in the evening, and usually involve a panel of experts making short speeches before the floor is opened up to conference delegates to ask questions or make their own contributions.
Although the topics to be discussed - such as how to promote a "green" economy - are relevant to cities across the country, the fact that Birmingham is hosting an event means it is guaranteed a place on the panel.
In most cases, Councillor Paul Tilsley, the Lib Dem Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, will be doing the honours. Stephen Hughes, the council's chief executive, will also be making appearances.
A little bit cheeky, but I thought I'd give a wider airing to an article I wrote for the Post recently which doesn't seem to have made it onto the website. It's an interview with Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt about his plans for local television stations, and I thought it would be of interest to people involved in media in Birmingham:
Plans to give towns and cities their own local television channels have been hailed by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt as "the biggest change in the broadcasting landscape for a couple of decades".
A new Birmingham station will serve 1.2 million people in the city and some of the surrounding area, including Walsall, Dudley and parts of Wolverhampton.
by Roshan Doug, guest blogger
I was a sixth former at a local comprehensive when Handsworth was torn by a blaze of communal violence in the summer of 1981.
The idea that the whole country - and indeed, the world - was watching our community and the landmarks in our area on their TV screens, filled me with excitement and fear.
I had no idea what caused such a frenzy of street lawlessness or indeed why it was caused. All I knew was that my tiny suburb of the city was the focus of global news.
We were on TV; we were in the newspapers; we were the epicentre. And our district was an eruption.
But last weekends riots in my city centre, and subsequently in the suburbs, seem a different, almost alienating.
Business Secretary Vince Cable has issued a statement setting out what the Government will do to support businesses affected by riots or looting:
The appalling criminality we have seen across England in recent days has devastated not only local communities but also a very significant number of businesses. BIS and other Government Departments are working with local enterprise partnerships, local authorities and business organisations to ensure affected businesses have access to practical advice, information and support to get back on their feet as quickly as possible. I would like to set out what help and advice we can offer these businesses.
A team from community television station Sangat TV, reporting live from Birmingham during riots on Monday night, gave a lift to police officers chasing suspects and took this amazing footage:
The Muslim Council of Britain issued this statement:
UK Riots: MCB Condemns Riots and Joins Calls to Clean up Our Cities
The Muslim Council of Britain expresses its condemnation of the violence, destruction of properties, looting and disgraceful attacks on the police in various parts of the capital and other towns. There can be no justification whatsoever for such mindless and thuggish behaviour.
We report details this week of 191 Birmingham charities facing substantial cuts in funding. The details were compiled by a campaigning group called False Economy, which submitted freedom of information requests to local authorities.
For anyone who wants it, here is a link to a copy of the source material. It has information about councils all across the country and the cuts they are introducing, in .xls format (ie, you'll need Excel or a similar application to open it).