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Bus lane fines: thousands of drivers may get refunds

Thousands of motorists fined for going through bus lanes in Birmingham city centre may get their money back.

Birmingham city council has accepted it should have done more to make warning signs about bus lanes more visible to drivers. At a meeting today the council pledged to put up extra signs and says it will look again at the cases of many people already caught using the lanes.

Of 100,000 fines issued since 10 new cameras were erected across the city centre last September, 18,000 are under review. Councillor Ian Ward, deputy leader of Birmingham City Council has spoken to ITV Central:

If you think you may be due a refund, click here to find out how to challenge a parking fine.

Birmingham could lose 53 CCTV cameras

53 surveillance cameras could be scrapped Credit: PA

A review of Birmingham’s fixed-camera CCTV network is underway. It's proposed that 53 cameras will be decommissioned from the 276-camera network.

Currently the cameras cost Birmingham City Council £966,000 annually. The proposed changes would reduce that to £780,500 from 2014/15 onwards.

The council has concluded 53 could be decommissioned with limited impact upon the integrity of the overall scheme. The details of those cameras will be made public in the upcoming Cabinet report, due for publication early next month.

Cllr James McKay said: “CCTV cameras are a vital tool, helping councils and the police to fight crime.

“The Government has raised the bar over when and where CCTV can be used, so we have got to take that into account when reviewing our network of cameras.

"Also, taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for cameras that don’t help in the fight against crime."

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Birmingham City Council job losses 'a further blow'

The GMB union has criticised Birmingham City Council's announcement confirming 1,000 jobs will be cut in the next year.

This is a further blow to Birmingham City Council workers. The services across Birmingham are already stretched and our members are already over-worked.

To find more cuts across Birmingham and local services is very upsetting as our members are already uncertain about their jobs. We will expect a Labour council to look at alternatives and to mitigate the worst aspects of these cuts.

– Gillian Whittaker, GMB

The council says a cumulative total of £822m will need to be saved between 2010-2018 due to central government cuts.

Birmingham City Council confirms 1,000 job cuts

Birmingham City Council says it will have made £822m of cuts during 2010-2018
Birmingham City Council says it will have made £822m of cuts during 2010-2018 Credit: PA Wire

A further 1,000 jobs are to go in the next year at Birmingham City Council, it has been confirmed.

The council says a cumulative total of £822m will need to be saved between 2010-2018 due to central government cuts.

Another £85.7m of budget cuts will be made in 2014-15 in addition to £375m already made between 2010 and 2014.

The council estimates cuts of more than £200m for the following year.

Nearly a third of staff from 2010 have already been made redundant.

Leader Sir Albert Bore says the council will have to reduce spending per household by £147.42 compared to a national average of £45.32 - based on next year's figures.

But it said £9.2m will be invested in children's safeguarding.

In December the council announced a consultation period where it revealed the job cuts which have now been confirmed.

Cash-strapped council makes plans to sell-off parts of NEC Group

Inside the NEC during Autosport International. Credit: Associated Press

Birmingham City Council have announced they will be reviewing their ownership of buildings within the NEC Group, including the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), the National Indoor Arena (NIA) and the LG arena, in a bid to ease budget challenges.

NEC from above Credit: Associated Press

The LG Arena alone boasts a capacity of up to 14,000 people. But after a review of their commercial holdings, the council may still decide to sell the venues to private buyers.

The council has disposed of assets to the value of £76m over the past two years consisting mostly of excess land and office accommodation.

Inside Birmingham's Symphony Hall, also owned by the council Credit: Associated Press

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Birmingham's transport vision: A38 tunnels future questioned

The A38 tunnels, closed for much of the summer, could be closed permanently
The future of the A38 tunnels, closed for much of the summer, is to be debated Credit: ITV News Central

The future of the A38 tunnels which run through Birmingham city centre is to be debated, the city council's transport vision for the city says.

The council's 110 page consultation document into the future of Birmingham's transport says the long term future of the A38 will be openly debated in order to improve movement around the city centre.

The Queensway Tunnels were closed for six weeks this summer for highway maintenance.

Read: Solar powered buses could be brought to Birmingham.

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