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The colour of the political map across Birmingham

Birmingham City Council has tweeted a map showing the colour of the political picture across the city, after Labour retained control of the city council.

Council: 'We expected inadequate Ofsted rating'

Birmingham City Council says it expected the 'inadequate' rating it received from Ofsted over how its children's services operate.

Birmingham City Council House Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Councillor Brigid Jones, Birmingham City Council's cabinet member for children and family services, says:

"We must never forget that the welfare of children is at the heart of everything we do and here in Birmingham we have a group of people who are absolutely committed to ensuring we do our best for all our children and young people.

When we talk about change and improvement it is important that we always remember this.

We have been very open about the state of children’s services in Birmingham and this inadequate rating is what we expected.

The report’s details build on the issues we had recognised ourselves as inadequate practice and which we shared with Ofsted on their arrival.

This is welcome but we will not let the focus on current performance distract us from the tailor-made approach to improvement put in place by the Department for Education; an approach set out by the DfE during this latest Ofsted inspection."


20ft lamp-post installed hidden in a tree in Birmingham

Birmingham City Council highways contractor installed the lamp post Credit: BPM Media

Residents in Birmingham suburb have been left confused after a lamp - post was installed hidden in a large conifer.

The lamp-post in Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield does not emit any light on to the street corner as it is covered by the large tree leaving residents walking in the dark.

The 20ft post is hidden within a conifer Credit: BPM Media

The lamp was installed by highway contractor Amey who have been brought in by Birmingham City Council to upgrade the cities street lamps. Old fashioned and expensive fluorescent lights have been replaced by energy-efficient LED models.

Amey are now talking to the homeowner to trim the hedge back but local councillor Rob Pocock said the contractor should have removed the foliage first.

Amey will have replaced or upgraded 41,000 of Birmingham's 95,000 street lights by next year. The council will save £3 million a year from the council's electricity bill as the new lamps can be remotely dimmed and do not have to be changed as often.

Commissioner for children's services in Birmingham

Birmingham City Council says more children in the city are being abused than they know about.

Officials said that for a city of its size and with its levels of deprivation and poverty, they would expect Birmingham to have more cases of child abuse.

Today a new commissioner has been appointed to help the authority improve. The council has been criticised heavily in the past for failing to protect children.


Find out more about adoption in the West Midlands

Birmingham City Council says it's currently at crisis point with the number of children needing adoption. Credit: PA

Birmingham City Council says it's currently at crisis point with the number of children needing adoption.

In Birmingham over 177 children are waiting for a home and family.

That's compared to:

Wolverhampton: 90

Worcestershire: 55.

Leicester: 40

More people are eligible to adopt than you might think:

Anyone over the age of 21

Single parents, unmarried and married couples, whether the same sex or opposite sex

People with good enough health to provide a loving home for a child - there is no age limit

Employed or unemployed, in rented or own accommodation

Any religious background is acceptable.

Adoption website:

Birmingham adoption and fostering information line: 0121 303 7575

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:

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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