In this final feature on Birmingham's history, Andy Bevan uses the Media Archive for Central England to retell the story of how the second city managed to bring housing up to scratch.
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The 37-year-old was helping authorities in the country track the criminals when his aircraft was fired upon in January.
Labour strongholds tended to remain so - apart from a major loss for the party in Dudley.
Labour suffered losses in English council elections, but the initial results were not as bad as many had expected.