The Birmingham Post (England)

The Birmingham Post is the daily newspaper of Birmingham, England. The Birmingham Post covers local and national news, sports, business, and weather.

Articles from November 19, 1998

Are You Looking at the Most Influential Person in Britain?; Just What Is Her Recipe for Success? Ros Dodd Investigates the Delia Effect
She is middle-aged, homely and unremarkable in the looks department. Her manner is matter-oact and her advice simple to follow. The more unkind might even go as far as to say she is a little bland. Yet combine all these ingredients and what you...
BA Blames EU as New York Flights Scrapped
The West Midlands' pioneering air link with New York might have been saved if Eurocrats had allowed a proposed link-up between air carriers to go ahead unmolested, British Airways claimed. Ironically, as BA announced it was axing the daily Birmingham...
Be Seen in the Dark, Police Warn Cyclists and Walkers
A winter safety campaign has been launched in Staffordshire with a plea to pedestrians and cyclists to make sure they can be seen in the dark. Police are concerned over an increase in the number of accidents involving riders and walkers. The onset...
Cafe Owner 'Sought Hitman to Murder Wife'
A cafe owner who wanted to hire a contract killer to murder his wife looked in Exchange and Mart, a court heard. Keith Rigby (46) wanted his wife Susan killed in a staged road accident so he could pick up a life insurance pay-out worth more than pounds...
Call Centres Put the Accent on Skills
Claims that regional accents determine the location of call centres is a myth, according to Office Angels. A nationwide survey of companies shows that 70 per cent of respondents chose the location of their customer care-line because of the area's...
Century Staying Single in `Consolidation Year'
Century Inns, the Tap & Spile and Country Inns pubs chain, has not received any takeover approaches and said it expects the next twelve months to be a "year of consolidation". Chief executive Mr Alistair Arkley said the group now appeared less...
Chamberlain Is Set to Be Biggest in the Business
Fitting out work on the Midlands' newest and biggest hotel is well under way ahead of a February opening. The pounds 12million Chamberlain Tower on Broad Street, Birmingham, has been specifically designed for the business visitor and every room...
Changes to Animal Remains Legislation Are Partly Cosmetic
The European Commission has unveiled toned-down proposals to boost consumer protection from mad cow disease, banning the use of high-risk animal remains in some EU countries but averting a trans-Atlantic trade dispute. The proposal on Specified...
City View: Dr Buiter Wants Room to Chew
Dr Willem Buiter does not like doing things by halves. A little while back, he didn't like doing things by quarters. He is the member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee who likes decisive action. From his sparky interview with...
Comment: How the Unelected Defended the Electorate; Dennis Ellam on How the Peers Are More in Touch with the People Than the New Labour Spinners
Since he condemns the Lords as the wreckers of democracy, Mr Tony Blair should make it clear: what brand of democracy does he have in mind? That kind of democracy which the electorate trusts to have been tried and proven, or the variation which...
Comment: How the War of the Lists Will Go Down in the History Books; Chris Gray Charts the Build Up to Last Night's Clash between the Commons and the Lords
allardvale bpm,The democratically elected House of Commons and the hereditary House of Lords have clashed many times. In modern times they have fallen out of the establishment of old age pensions, Irish Home Rule, nationalisation of the steel industry...
Comment: Not Pensioned of Just Having a Field Day; Dennis Ellam on the Politician Respected by Both the Public and His Peers
T he Government back benches - in that vast chaparral where MPs are herded together and then vanish almost without trace (for example, what ever became of Denis Skinner?) - have an important newcomer in their ranks. The name is Frank Field. He is...
Comment: Wrecking Spree to Smash All That's Elite
OK so Margaret Thatcher closed more grammar schools than Shirley Williams. OK so there's hardly any left so why waste time and energy on them? OK so they are elitist, cream off the most talented youngsters and leave the rest floundering in their...
Diana Crash Driver 'Lost Control of Mercedes'
The latest report delivered to the judge investigating the crash which killed Diana, Princess of Wales, has uncovered evidence that the driver lost control of the car, it was reported yesterday. Experts say that in a frantic bid to slow the vehicle,...
Entrepreneurs' Taxing Question
The Chancellor's attempts to encourage entrepreneurs will have to go beyond short-term tax incentives, says accountancy firm Price Waterhouse Coopers. It warns the UK already has more tax breaks for entrepreneurs than other developed countries....
Everything but the Kitchen Sink; Thieves Strip Show-Home of Cooker, Bath and Curtains
A gang of thieves stole everything but the kitchen sink when they broke into a luxury showhome in the Midlands. The pounds 190,000 four-bedroomed country cottage, completed just six weeks ago, was stripped of carpets, curtains, a bathroom suite...
Ex-Tory PMs to Face Quiz on BSE Crisis
Former Prime Ministers Baroness Thatcher and Mr John Major face explaining their actions during the "mad cow disease" crisis as former Ministers line up to give their version of events to a public inquiry. Both have been contacted by officials at the...
FARMING IN CRISIS Cash Aid `a Short-Term Safety Net'
The farming industry is hoping this week's Government aid package might help it turn the corner. There has been a widespread welcome for the initiative as farmers continue to suffer some the toughest times in living memory. Under the pounds 120million...
Fear on Rents as Pounds 450m Development Bill Looms
The property company planning to spend pounds 450million redeveloping Birmingham's Martineau Galleries warned yesterday that its rental growth may stall if fears of an economic slowdown proved welounded. Land Securities reported first-half profits...
Fighting Chance of a Healthy Family Firm
A good row can be the secret of success for many businesses, according to accountants Grant Thornton. The firm, which has just brought out the new Family Business Guide, says the challenge, however, is to manage the conflict and use it as a catalyst...
Fireman Denies He Knew Art Was Stolen
A West Midland fireman accused of handling stolen goods including a pounds 22,000 oil painting claimed he had no idea the picture was stolen or so valuable. Paul Cadman told a jury at Birmingham Crown Court he had been asked for his opinion about...
Gatting Wants to Shake off Dust of Historic Win
Mike Gatting did not expect to be still giving interviews as the last England captain to mount a successful Ashes campaign, 11 years on from humbling Australia on their own soil. Now a selector and preparing for his first role as manager of the...
Golfer Wins Battle over `Trumped Up' Charges
A retired Midland company director has won his fight for damages after a three-and-a-half year legal battle against his golf club after it expelled him on "trumped up" disciplinary charges. Mr Bryan Bayley, from Coventry, spoke out last night at...
Groundhog Day-Style Advert to Help Boost Police Recruitment
A pounds 35,000 advertising campaign to recruit hundreds of new police officers in the West Midlands is to be based on the hit film Groundhog Day. The 40-second commercial, filmed in Walsall, will be shown in cinemas across the region from tomorrow.fri...
High Street Problems Cost 200 Jobs at Clothing Company
Poor high street sales have hit a Brierley Hill clothing factory which is to close with the loss of more than 200 jobs, employees were told yesterday. The factory's only customer is Marks & Spencer which denied the 209 job losses at Bairdwear,...
Homeless Swede Wins Court Case to Be Housed
A homeless Swedish single mother yesterday won a High Court battle against a council's refusal to provide her and her children with accommodation and financial assistance. The court ruled that the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham acted unlawfully...
Hopes for City-Centre Hospital Dashed
Hopes of building a pounds 180million hospital in Coventry city centre have been dashed by an NHS decision to favour a suburban site. Plans are to be drawn up for the Walsgrave Hospital site which is several miles outside the centre, it was announced...
Hospital Decides Paying 'Angina' Man Pounds 10,000 Is Cheaper Than Court
A Midland health authority is facing a legal bill three times greater than the pounds 10,000 it has agreed to pay a man who claims his life was ruined by a hospital mis-diagnosis. Birmingham Health Authority denies Mr John Caswell's claim, but after...
Husbands to Get Widows' Pensions in Shake-Up
Widows' pensions are to be extended to men - but the benefit could be means-tested, it emerged yesterday. Social Security Secretary Mr Alistair Darling, publishing a consultation paper on proposals to reform widows' benefits, said changes would apply...
In Brief
Sir, - Dennis Ellam's article (Post, Nov 6) on the inadequacy of this country's property transfer system misses the point and so does the Government's initiative. The problem lies with the public's desire to move from one house to another on the...
Iraqi Dissidents Called in by Foreign Office
Iraqi opposition groups have been invited into the Foreign Office on Monday, after Mr Tony Blair said Britain would work with America to undermine Saddam Hussein's regime. The London-based representatives of more than a dozen opposition groups have...
It's Time Companies Woke Up to the Euro
The euro is coming:From left, Mr Brian Aikman and Mr Richard Wrigley, both partners at Martineau Johnson; Mr Keith Simpson, manager, Lloyds Bank Commercial Service; Mr David Gwyther, managing partner, Martineau Johnson; Mr Chris Brown, deputy agent,...
Jingle Bells and Seaweed at the Beginning of Time
Christmas came early for the Duke of York yesterday when he reviewed a guard of honour in Tonga. It was almost certainly the first time the Duke had inspected a guard to the strains of White Christmas, played by the South Sea island's tuneful Royal...
Late Kilbane Penalty as Irish Snatch Point; UNDER-21s REVIEW
West Bromwich Albion striker Kevin Kilbane dramatically rescued the Republic of Ireland's unbeaten European Under-21 championship record with a stoppage-time penalty against Yugoslavia after his team had two players sent off in the first 50 minutes...
Lee Moves into the Fast Lane after Platt Decides It's a Challenge Too Far
Wolverhampton Wanderers caretaker manager Colin Lee last night remained favourite to fill the vacant Molineux hot-seat after chief early contender David Platt surprisingly removed himself from the running. Managing director John Richards chose yesterday's...
Listing Means Cinema Is Star in Its Own Right
A Midland cinema which is one of the finest remaining examples of 1930s' art deco design has been given listed building status by the Government. It is a victory for local residents who feared the Odeon in Sutton Coldfield could close after a Bristoased...
Lords Defiant to the End
The Lords last night inflicted the first major defeat on the Government as they forced it to abandon plans for next year's Euro-elections. Peers defeated a bill to set up a new system for next year's Euro-elections by 212 to 183, defying the will...
Millions Miss Fireworks in the Sky as Meteor Shower Arrives Early
The Leonid meteors caught many stargazers off guard by springing a surprise ambush. Early reports suggest that the meteor storm did take place, but hours earlier than expected. Scientists had predicted a deluge of meteors peaking at around 7pm GMT...
Mr Robinson's Inquisition
The saga of Mr Geoffrey Robinson and his wealth took a new twist when he was somewhat humiliatingly required to make a public apology to the House of Commons. The Paymaster General's misdemeanour was his failure to declare all his directorships...
Obituary: Respected Councillor Gave Three Decades of Service
Mrs Joan Hadley, the first woman to be elected chairwoman of the Hereford and Worcester County Council, has died, aged 74. Mrs Hadley was a welnown and highly respected councillor who served in local government for three decades. In 1981, her...
On a Knife Edge
On a knife-edge:A teenager holds a butcher's knife to his girlfriend's throat in a stand-off with police in Florida. The confrontation began when police were called to 18-year-old Daniel Taylor's home in Jacksonville after he was seen with two knives...
Parishes Rally against Wreckers; Action over Large-Scale Events
Parish councillors in the Midlands are pushing for greater powers to make landowners notify them about mass events on their land. The Staffordshire Parish Councils' Association is campaigning for the laws in the wake of a 3,000-strong rally that...
Perfect - Man with Oscar and the Hidden Demons; Mike Davies Looks at the New Film of Victor Hugo's Epic Novel
From the Frederic March/Charles Laughton 1935 version to Claude Lelouch's Second World War adaptation 60 years later, there have been several attempts to turn Victor Hugo's sprawling epic novel, Les Miserables, into a film. Now, Danish director...
Plant Squadron Steps in to Save War Memorial Wood
The Army is stepping in to stop a project for a national war memorial in Staffordshire falling behind schedule. Midlands Territorial Army plant engineers are mounting a rescue bid at the National Arboretum at Alrewas, near Lichfield. Members of...
Relatives Optimistic about Handover of Bomb Suspects
Families of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing hope that two Libyan suspects might be handed over for trial "within weeks". Bromsgrove GP Dr Jim Swire, spokesman for the British relatives of those who died in the attack on Pan-Am flight 103, said...
Retail Sales Slump May Strengthen Buiter's Argument
Mr Willem Buiter, the "hawk" turned leading "dove" on the Bank of England's interest-setting committee, argued and voted for a cut of three-quarters of a percentage point on November 5, when all the eight other committee members came out for a haloint...
Retail Sales Slump Puts Skids under Shares
A healthy start in the City proved to be short-lived yesterday morning as early gains in share prices first melted away and then turned into losses. This came despite several developments which would seem to increase the chances of another cut in...
Robinson Makes It Short and to the Point; Treasury Minister Mr Geoffrey Robinson Was Yesterday Forced into the Briefest of Apologies to the Commons over His Failure to Reveal Business Interests, Writes CHRIS GRAY
The multi-millionaire Coventry North West MP was ordered to make an apology by MPs on a watchdog committee who found he had breached Commons rules for a third time. It appeared to be a humiliating and potentially devastating blow to Paymaster-General...
Robinson Return Hits Richardson
Big-hitting Andrew Richardson suffered yet another disappointment at the British National Championships at Telford yesterday. The Lincolnshire player, who was confidently expected to break into the top 100 this year, was beaten 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 in...
Rustlers on Loose, Turkey Farmers Warned
Farmers have been warned to be vigilant against raids by bird rustlers eager to cash in on the boom in demand for Christmas poultry. In a security appeal, the Country Landowners' Association has urged smalcale producers in particular to be on their...
Scots Beefing Up Side with Walton
Rejuvenated Newcastle number eight Peter Walton was last night handed the task of muscling South Africa out of their stride at Murrayfield after returning to the Scotland squad to face the world champions on Saturday. The powerful back-row forward...
See If You like This 'Five Star' Treatment
Sir, - I would be grateful if you would print this letter in response to the article "Five star services for refugees" (Post, Nov 11). The 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act stopped social security benefits for some people who seek asylum in the UK...
Shayler Freed by French Court; Bid to Extradite Renegade Spy Collapses
The Government was facing embarrassment as its bid to extradite ex-Secret Service agent David Shayler yesterday collapsed in a French courtroom. Mr Shayler walked free from jail in Paris and declared: "I should not have had to spend four months...
Silcott Loses Bid for New Murder Appeal
Winston Silcott, cleared on appeal of murdering policeman Keith Blakelock, has lost a bid to have a second murder conviction referred to the Court of Appeal. Silcott, serving life for the murder of boxer Anthony Smith in 1984, had hoped to overturn...
Single Mum Abi Beats the Odds to Success; Ros Dodd Talks to Handsworth's Abiodun Isaac, One of Five Women Picked from 700 to Receive a Top Award
"For just about every sociological reason, I shouldn't have survived," Abiodun Isaac says cheerfully. "I'm of mixed race, I was brought up in a children's home, I've got children from more than one father and I don't have a partner. "By now, I should...
Sports Digest
Midlands make way for Northern bias The Midlands have been overlooked by the selectors for next Tuesday's rugby union game between a combined North and Midlands Under-21 XV and the touring South African Under 21 side at Leicester (7.30pm). The...
Staunton's Error Kills Ireland off; EUROPEAN FOOTBALL FOCUS Yugoslavia 1 Republic of Ireland 0
Predrag Mijatovic showed why he is one of the world's top strikers when he pounced on one moment of Irish weakness to win a crucial Euro 2000 qualifier in chilly Belgrade. The man whose goal won the European Cup for Real Madrid struck in the 65th...
Stewart Stresses England Must Be First to Grab Ashes Opening
Alec Stewart is determined England will grasp the nettle from the very start of the Ashes series which starts here at the Gabba tomorrow. Cricket dictates the contest will turn on a few crucial moments and the England captain will do all he can...
Stores Help Farmers to Bring Home the Bacon
Supermarkets are selling more British pig meat after appeals for support from hard-up UK farmers. A British Pig Association survey shows that shoppers are being helped to buy British by better labelling. It follows an earlier study showing big differences...
Stourbridge Not Leaping in the Dark
To get an idea of how seriously Stourbridge have prepared for Saturday's top-ohe-table Jewson Two North confrontation at Preston Grasshoppers, turn the clock back a week. Back to the Tetley Bitter Cup tie at Lydney, which they lost by 44 points...
SUNY Bay's Classy Display
Suny Bay muscled his way to the summit of the staying chase rankings as he stamped his authority over five top-notch rivals at Haydock Park yesterday. Bookmakers were carefully reconsidering prices for the season's biggest staying contests after...
Superstore Recovers as Tills Start Ringing
Safeway added some much-needed sparkle to the retail sector yesterday with a strong recovery in halime sales, but it was still unable to prevent profits slipping by 17 per cent. The company reported a 4.7 per cent improvement in revenues, with gains...
The Happy Road to a Healthy Life Is Not to Be Sniffed At
Happy thoughts and pleasant smells can help you stay healthy, according to scientists. Conversely, guilty memories and nasty odours, such as rotting meat, can weaken the immune system. The findings from two studies are the first to link changes of...
Theme for the Day
Images of human wretchedness flood into our homes every day. Perhaps we see too much and become hardened to it. I know that most of it washes over me. But a few days ago one image hit me with some force. It was of a woman, a mother, like me, and...
Tour Management Caught Flat-Footed
The welcome news of England's victory over Queensland, albeit by only one wicket after an heroic last-wicket stand, has been more than offset by the recurrence of Mike Atherton's back injury. This is an horrific blow for England coming on the eve of...
Transco on Course to Slash 2,500 Jobs
Coventry-based Transco is on course to cut 2,500 jobs from its workforce by January - in line with plans announced last year after industry regulator Ofgas brought in tighter pricing controls. Mr Richard Giordano, chairman of parent group BG, said...
Troubled O'Sullivan Drops a Bombshell
Title holder Ronnie O'Sullivan has pulled out of the Liverpool Victoria UK Championship because of exhaustion. The world No 3 was due to begin the defence of his title against Wolverhampton's John Read at the Bournemouth International Centre yesterday....
Two on a Blind Date with Mozart; Christopher Morley Reports on an Unusual Musical Collaboration between Birmingham and Dublin
People in the arrivals hall at Birmingham International Airport earlier this week will have witnessed a charming variation on the pink carnation theme as two strangers anxiously looked out for each other. As the flight from Dublin disembarked, Droitwich-based...
Villa Feelgood Factor Boosts Hoddle; Premier Pride in Alction Win England 2 Czech Republic 0
It wasn't quite a fulcale Aston Villa show, but England last night reflected the sort of spirit, togetherness and sheer will to win which has accompanied the rise of John Gregory's team to the Premiership summit. Under-fire England coach Glenn Hoddle...
Warning as Stewardship Funding Crisis Threatens to Put Brake on Conservation
Inadequate funding is preventing farmers from adding to the conservation of important landscapes and wildlife habitats in Herefordshire, landowners' leader Mr Harry Cotterell has warned. As many as two applicants are being turned away for every...
Warwicks' Roots All Set to Bloom under Chalkley
County golf is the step-off point for a legion of starry-eyed youngsters; their last link with the amateur game that reared them. The word 'amateur', of course, is open to several definitions. County golf is also the haven for what you might call...
Watts Lights Up in His Tour Charge
Shropshire's Carl Watts led the opening day Midland challenge as the mental anguish of the European tour qualifying school took its annual hold in Spain yesterday. The Telford-based pro, who lost his tour card after finishing 146th on this summer's...
World Cup Recipe Looks an Odd One
Nick Faldo and an injured David Carter will carry England's hopes into the World Cup of Golf which starts in Auckland, New Zealand today. Faldo makes his third appearance in the event while this is Chesterfield 26-year-old Carter's debut. The pair...
Wren Murder Accused 'Had Violent History'
A man accused of suffocating a Royal Navy Wren had put his hands around the necks of two girlfriends during previous outbursts of violence, a court was told. Both women yesterday gave evidence at the trial at Plymouth Crown Court of Steven Smith (31),...