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South Leicestershire MP not standing again

Andrew Robathan, Conservative MP for South Leicestershire, has issued a statement saying he will not stand again at next year's general election.

MP Andrew Robathan Credit: Chris Ison/PA

It is with very mixed feelings that I have decided not to stand again as the Conservative candidate for South Leicestershire. It has been a huge privilege representing all my constituents and I am honoured by the trust and confidence that people have shown in me. I have greatly enjoyed my role and I hope have done some good both for my constituents and for our country. However, time moves on. In July I stood down from the Front bench following 12 years and, after a great deal of soul searching, I believe it is time to let someone else represent the constituency. Next year will mark a quarter of a century since I was selected as candidate there and the Association will now have the exciting opportunity of choosing a new candidate and, DV, MP.

– MP Andrew Robathan

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Birmingham leader accused of exaggerating job cuts threat

Birmingham's City Council leader has been accused of exaggerating the scale of cuts and job losses facing the authority over the next four years.

Sir Albert Bore Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

It comes after Sir Albert Bore announced they will axe 6,000 jobs and close services due to budget cuts.

But Birmingham Lib Dem MP John Hemming says that the situation is not as severe as it is being made out.

The Government has also hit back at criticism, saying it has not yet allocated council funding beyond 2015/16 and pointed out that other councils have managed to balance their budgets.

Birmingham MP blames government for council job cuts

Birmingham MP Liam Byrne has reacted to the news of the jobs cuts at Birmingham City Council by blaming the Government for "destroying the city."

Birmingham MP Liam Byrne Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire/Press Association Images

It was announced yesterday that the council were facing a difficult financial situation.

This government is trying to destroy our City, the safety of our parents’ social care and the strength of our children’s’ services. While leafy Surrey gets more help, we get smashed. We will never forget or forgive the Tories and their Lib Dem friends for what they’ve done to us, our city and our families.”

– Liam Byrne MP

Former MEP in court over money laundering charges

Former UKIP MEP Nikki Sinclaire is due in court later accused of money laundering and misconduct in public office.

Nikki Sinclaire Credit: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Sinclaire, who lost her seat this year, is charged with offences allegedly committed while serving as an MEP for the West Midlands in 2009 and 2010.

She has previously denied the charges.

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Talks between council and union over 6,000 job cuts

Talks between council bosses in Birmingham and union leaders will be held today to discuss plans to axe another 6,000 jobs over the next four years.

Birmingham City Council House Credit: Phil Addis/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The cuts are on top of the 7,000 jobs which have already been lost since 2010.

Unions slam 'savage' council cuts

Representatives from the Unite union, which represents more than 1,000 employees at Birmingham City Council, says the announcement that 6,000 jobs will go over the next four years is a "savage blow."

The union will hold meetings with council bosses tomorrow to discuss the cuts to the council's budget that could see the 13,000 people that work for the local authority cut to 7,000 by 2017.

Unite flag Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

"This will be a crippling blow to the West Midlands regional economy as we estimate that for every pound spent on council staff wages 52 pence is spent locally."

– Gerard Coyne, Unite West Midlands

Gerard Coyne from the Unite union in the West Midlands said: “This will be heart breaking news for the council employees whose jobs are under threat and their families and further reinforces the savagery of the coalition’s austerity programme. People rely on council services to educate their children, to care for the elderly, to provide housing for those in need, and act as an agent of economic generation – all these services, and many more, will be severely eroded."

Council leader: Imbalance in age profile of workforce

Birmingham City Council House Credit: Phil Addis/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Secondly, there is a growing imbalance in the age profile of our workforce. We currently employ just 36 people under the age of 20 and 3,700 under the age of 40. But we have over 12,500 people between 40 and 69 years old and 166 people over 70. Whilst the city has a growing young population, the council is not doing enough to employ this age group and we need to restore this balance.

Finally, the council has a huge task to reshape services and we will need staff not only to stretch their professional expertise, but to develop a broader range of skills. Just being a good professional in their field of expertise will not equip people to operate effectively in the future.

– Sir Albert Bore, Birmingham City Council leader
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