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 May 13, 2005

3i Plans to Return Pounds 500m
Byline: By Nevill Boyd Maunsell Economics Editor The venture capital heavyweight 3i - which is closing its long-established and successful Birmingham base - plans to return pounds 500 million to its shareholders after a year when it sold earlier...
Alliance Shake-Up Helps Yield Pounds 122 Million
Royal & Sun Alliance says its profits had trebled in the first three months of 2005 as benefits flowed from its restructuring programme. The UK's second largest insurer, which operates the More Than brand, said pretax profits totalled pounds...
Anger after Postal Votes Never Appear
Byline: By Paul Dale More than 50 people who did not receive their postal vote for the General Election are demanding an explanation from Birmingham City Council. Staff at the elections office have been dealing with calls from electors who applied...
Bank of Ireland's 'Bright Future
Byline: By John Revill Bank of Ireland has delivered a 13 per cent rise in pretax profit for the year to March - in line with forecasts - and said strong economies in its main Irish and UK markets gave it optimism for the coming year. But it...
Birmingham Post Comment: Pride Dented by Meagre Number of Jobs Created
Those with responsibility for the Aston Pride New Deal for Communities initiative have always sought to excuse modest job creation figures on the grounds that the project is about far more than employment. So it is. Aston Pride's board members also...
Brit Freed in Dubai Drugs Saga
Byline: By James Tapsfield A British who woman spent nearly two months in a Dubai prison after being found with traces of prescription drugs in her body said she thought she might not survive her ordeal. Tracy Wilkinson flew back to Heathrow...
Car Supermarket Sells for Pounds 12m
Dealership chain Lookers has bought a Staffordshire car supermarket for pounds 12 million as part of its plans to ride out a downturn in the car market. Overall new car sales across the industry have fallen by four per cent in the year to April,...
Consumers Starting to Withdraw Once More
The backlash against cash machines that charge consumers for withdrawing money is weakening, a leading operator of ATMs claimed yesterday. Moneybox, which operates 2,400 cash dispensers in pubs and other retail locations in the UK, said the number...
Cricket : Beaten Bears Lacking Fight; Sussex Won by an Innings and 87 Runs
Byline: By George Dobell Chief Cricket Writer at Hove Warwickshire slumped to their first County Championship defeat for 20 months and 20 matches as Sussex completed a crushing victory in only three days at Hove. The result needs to be kept in...
Cricket : Drugs Double Standard Could Give Piper Hope of Leniency
Byline: By George Dobell Keith Piper's failed drugs test promises to expose the glaring inconsistencies in the approach of the sport's governing bodies to the issue after it emerged that he would have no case to answer under International Cricket...
Cricket: Moody's Men Face Fight for Victory; Derbyshire Trail by 218 Runs with One First-Innings Wicket Remaining
Worcestershire have beaten Derbyshire once this season and will hope to make that a double at some juncture today. But if Derbyshire resist as nobly as they did last evening, there is no guarantee that the Pears will complete a second County Championship...
CULTURE : 300 Spartans 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment 'Studio Classics' Cert: PG DVD RRP: Pounds 12.99 Out: Now HHH
Byline: Josh Ball What is it about films made 40-odd years ago that still makes them watchable? No massive explosions, minimum violence, small body count (if any), and sex that is so understated that it is easy to miss. Compared to today's...
CULTURE : I'm Wasting My Time with This Feature Film Thing. I Should Go Back to Being Arty
It's seven years since John Maybury, former collaborator with Derek Jarman, made his directorial debut Francis Bacon biopic Love Is The Devil. Several collapsed projects later, he's finally made his second, The Jacket. Not that that its journey to...
CULTURE : Jacket and Ties; Mike Davies Unbuttons Adrien Brody
Byline: Mike Davies There's many an actor who prefers to have as comfortable a ride as possible when they're making a movie, staying in their trailer while stunt doubles do the hard work or throwing hissy fits if they have even the hint of a twinge...
CULTURE : Series It'd Be Criminal to Miss; the Pick of the Week's New DVD Releases CSI Season 4 Part 1 (Triple Disc) Momentum Pictures Cert: 15 DVD RRP: Pounds 39.99 Out: Now HHHH
Byline: Mo Ilyas Season five of CSI may be airing every Tuesday night on terrestrial TV but prepare for withdrawal symptoms when it ends. To help you cope with the anguish, the doctor prescribes the following. If you haven't got seasons one to...
CULTURE : Wine Road Trip Is Vintage Stuff; Sideways 20th Century Fox Cert:15 DVD Pounds 19.99 Out: Monday HHHH
Byline: Emma Brady If ever a film should be enjoyed with a nice bottle of wine and convivial company it is this Odd Couple-ish journey through the sundrenched vineyards of California. However, according to would-be author-cum-wine buff Miles...
DC Killer's Trial: Police Officers Describe Colleague's Stab Death
Police officers yesterday described how they saw a paranoid schizophrenic stab to death one of their colleagues during a chase down a canal towpath. Detective Constable Mick Swindells was fatally injured in the attack as he tried to arrest Glaister...
Dead Suspect's Ex Quizzed by Police over Mum's Stabbing
Detectives investigating the attempted murder of young mother Abigail Witchalls have travelled to Australia to interview the ex-girlfriend of a suspect who killed himself. Two detectives from Surrey police have flown out to question the 25-year-old...
Demand for the Solid Town House
Byline: By Marsya Lennox Good town houses continue to grab buyer attention in Birmingham's traditional residential districts. 'There is a shortage of really nice town houses which are in great demand at the moment,' said James Bowkett of Knight...
Estate Agents Wary of One Stop Scheme
Byline: By John Marsden Estate agents' organisations yesterday gave a cautious welcome to a call for a powerful one stop shop to address complaints from consumers. Ombudsman Stephen Carr-Smith said the industry needed to focus on ensuring more...
Euro Spending Spree Boosts Group's Profits
Byline: By John Revill Energy group International Power said its spending spree on European power assets had helped profits to double in the first three months of this year. The group said deals for five plants across the continent had boosted...
Focus on RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY IN THE COTSWOLDS : Rural Idylls with Modern Touch
Byline: By Marsya Lennox The picture-book guides don't tell the complete Cotswold story. Contrary to tourist opinion, housebuilding did not stop in the 18th century, despite the agricultural decline that left much of the area preserved - by neglect....
FOOTBALL : Heskey Omission Is a Swedish Enigma
Byline: By Brian Dick Just when Emile Heskey thought he was finally getting the recognition his stand-out season deserved, fate yesterday had a smirk on its face as it landed yet another rabbit punch in the shape of omission from England's squad...
FOOTBALL : Pearson Takes Stress out of Albion's Quest
Byline: By Ged Scott When you're in charge of the league's bottom club, there's a minute of the season left and your on-loan goalkeeper goes up for a corner to score the goal that keeps your team in the league, that's about as narrow and tight as...
FOOTBALL: Wolves Saga Continues with Hoddle on Hold
Byline: By Ged Scott Wolverhampton Wanderers last night remained hopeful of the imminent appointment of Glenn Hoddle as manager next season. Reports yesterday suggested that Hoddle's longer-term tenure of the Wolves hot seat would be confirmed...
Fury as Glazer Gets United
Byline: By David Winning US sports tycoon Malcolm Glazer has seized control of Manchester United after persuading its biggest investor to back his pounds 790.3 million takeover bid. Mr Glazer will now make a formal offer for the rest of the club's...
Galloway Named in Iraq Oil Scandal
Byline: By Kim Pilling Respect MP George Galloway will appear before a US Senate committee to defend himself against accusations that he received vouchers for millions of barrels of oil from Saddam Hussein. His spokesman quoted him as saying:...
Golf: Home Soil Brings Best out of Midlander Lynn
Byline: By Michael Blair at The Forest of Arden There has never been a local winner of any PGA tournament at the Forest of Arden, which is a surprise and a disappointment given the calibre of the Midlands professionals, Steve Webster et al. But...
GOLF: Rock Gets out of Trouble as Hellish Hole Claims Victims
The par-three 18th, 211 yards over a lake, is the Forest of Arden's most photographed hole and the ninth, an uphill dogleg par-four, with trouble everywhere, is the most feared. It wasn't yesterday, writes Michael Blair. Hole No 6, par-four,...
GOLF: Webster Unruffled by Wayward Start; BRITISH MASTERS
Byline: By Michael Blair at The Forest of Arden Five days after his maiden triumph in the Italian Open, Steve Webster stood on the first tee (actually, the tenth) at the Forest of Arden yesterday morning, an expectant home crowd agog at his prospects...
It's Not Cannes
Makers of the new Midlands-based movie Lady Godiva - Back in the Saddle accused Cannes Film Festival organisers of censorship last night, after permission for a promotional stunt was withdrawn. Kiera Chaplin, granddaughter of legendary movie icon...
LEGAL & FINANCE : Community's Response in Time of Rover Crisis Was Good to See
Byline: GUY HINCHLEY The crisis at Longbridge has been very unsettling for the West Midlands but has brought out the best in Birmingham's professional community. A call to arms by a number of the city's business organisations, including Birmingham...
LEGAL & FINANCE : Long-Term Sick Leave Ruling Will Save Firms Cash
In a decision which is set to save Midlands' firms thousands of pounds in employment costs, the Court of Appeal has ruled that workers on long term sick leave are no longer entitled to holiday pay. According to Tim Lang, partner and head of employment...
LEGAL & FINANCE : 'Off the Peg' Deals Are Trouble, Says Tait
Midlands employers who use 'off the peg' compromise agreements when getting shot of staff are heading for trouble, James Tait, an associate at Birmingham law firm Shakespeares, has warned. It follows a landmark decision last week when the Court...
LEGAL & FINANCE : Warning over Simpler Tax Return Forms
Byline: By John Duckers The Inland Revenue has begun sending out its new simplified self-assessment tax returns more than one million tax-payers. But the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants warns that the accompanying guidance notes...
LEGAL & FINANCE : Whistleblowers Are Good; David Liddell, Director, PKF Forensic Services, Looks at the Issue of Whistleblowing
Byline: David Liddell What is whistleblowing? It's not, as perhaps some managers imagine, just another way for disgruntled employees to complain. On the contrary, whistleblowing can be a vital part of a healthy business. It is important first...
MARKET REPORT: Oil Negativity Keeps Lid on Stock Gains1
A negative response by oil majors to falling crude prices kept a lid on gains by top flight shares yesterday. Shares in BP, Shell and BG Group fell as the price of a barrel of US light crude dipped by more than a dollar to just over 49 dollars a...
Midlands Firm Moves to Build MG Sports Cars
Byline: By John Revill Manufacturing Editor The MG TF sports car model could be revived by a Midland automotive company, following the collapse of the MG Rover empire. As today's deadline for firm offers for the company looms, Solihull-based...
Mistakes Still Plague Aston Pride Project
Byline: By Paul Dale A regeneration project to revitalise one of Birmingham's poorest areas is still feeling the effects of mistakes by its previous board, a senior director said. The pounds 53 million Aston Pride programme, which aims to transform...
More Power to E.ON Thanks to First Quarter Profits
E.ON, the power company which supplies 4.8 million customers in central England, has reported a rise in first quarter profits. The company, which runs Powergen in the UK and Central Networks in the Midlands, was helped by rising power prices and...
MOTORING : A Small Car That's Cheeky and Chic - Meet Renault's New Modus
Superminis and luxury fittings tend not to meet up all that regularly. Yet so confident is Renault over the latest upgrade to its funky Modus range that the French manufacturer has even produced a mischievous little comparison chart. It pits...
MOTORING : Presenting the Cheapest Diesel on the Market
Byline: David Alan Fiat has struck a blow for the cost-conscious motorist with a car that is the cheapest diesel on the market. Capable of averaging an incredible 65.7 miles per gallon and priced at pounds 7,895, the diesel version of the Fiat...
MOTORING : Really, Size Does Matter on Focus
Byline: John Scantlebury Such was the success of the original ground-breaking Focus that those charged with creating a new version must have wondered: What do we do now? Well, they've had a go - the most telling changes coming via extra length...
Nitty-Gritty Types Happy Not to Bite the Hand That Feeds Them
Byline: NEVILL BOYD MAUNSELL Share buy-backs have become routine for any company that generates more cash than it can use at least as profitably as its existing activities - and that should not include popping it into the bank to pay down the overdraft...
Obsessive Gun Fantic Guilty of Killing His Ex
An obsessive gun fanatic who rammed a talented showjumper off the road and shot her in the face at the end of a year-long hate campaign was found guilty of murder yesterday. Jilted Mark Dyche (36) plagued Tania Moore with chilling text messages,...
Pair to Share Pounds 40m in Lastminute Deal
Byline: By John Marsden The founders of lastminute.com look set to share pounds 40 million - after the former darling of the dotcom boom agreed a takeover by rival Travelocity. Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox were yesterday expected to finally...
Passengers Miss out on Pounds 650m Air Fare Savings
Passengers are missing out on air fare savings of at least pounds 650 million a year because of a block on airlines competing on long-haul routes at Britain's biggest airport, it was claimed yesterday. Fourteen long-haul routes at Heathrow airport...
PERSPECTIVE : Blair Won an Election - and He's Not Going Anywhere
Byline: JON WALKER It's time for Tony Blair's opponents to face reality. He's not going anywhere for a while. Mr Blair's supporters on the Labour benches have expressed surprise and amazement that any of their Labour colleagues would be calling...
PERSPECTIVE : Einstein = Icon; as the World Celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Most Important Year in Albert Einstein's Life, Dr Steven Cutts Looks at Who He Was, What He Did and Why Everybody Rips Him Off
Byline: Dr Steven Cutts Albert Einstein was born in Ulm in 1879 to liberal Jewish parents and the early part of his life was as notable as much for its mediocrity as his later life would be for its genius. After some stumbling, Einstein managed...
Planning and Environmental Ace Ford Is Just White for Pinsent Role
Martin White is handing over the baton of running one of the UK's leading planning and environmental law departments to rising star Richard Ford. Mr Ford, leader of the Pinsent Masons team which has advised four London boroughs on the 2012 London...
POST DEBATE: We're in a Jam over Traffic: So Crucial to Get Balance Right on Transport System; Alan Duncan MP, the New Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Argues That Building More Bypasses Can Be the Greener Option
Byline: Alan Duncan MP Two days into this new job and I am already getting a feel for what people believe is wrong with our transport system. Everyone has something to say about transport - it is an area which affects everyone's daily life. ...
POST DEBATE: We're in a Jam over Traffic: Time for Real Debate on a Brum Congestion Charge; Birmingham Business Leader Jerry Blackett and Government Transport Adviser Prof David Begg Argue That the Time Has Come for Road Pricing
Byline: Jerry Blackett and Prof David Begg Even just five years ago, the idea of Birmingham businesses countenancing some form of local congestion charge would have been unthinkable. When the London scheme was first mooted, polite inquiries about...
POST DEBATE : We're in a Jam over Traffic; Will There Ever Be a Satisfactory End to the Arguments about the Causes of, and Cures for, Road Congestion? Transport Reporter Campbell Docherty Reports
Byline: Campbell Docherty Is there any end in sight on the road congestion debate? A year ago the Government was looking at national road user charging schemes and making plans for another toll motorway alongside the M6 in Staffordshire. But...
Racing: Motivator Sets Standard for Derby Mission
Byline: By William Hayler at York Motivator strengthened his position at the head of the Vodafone Derby market with a stylish win in the totesport Dante Stakes. The Michael Bell-trained colt is a best-priced 3-1 chance for Epsom after maintaining...
Rare Chance for a Foot on the Ladder
Byline: By Marsya Lennox It is probably the tiniest residential package currently on offer in the region. But it is brand new, perfectly formed - and available from just under pounds 50,000. Housebuilder Redrow believes that it is the only company...
Rather More Than a 'Makeover
The developer is 'passionate about classic architecture', declares the marketing literature. And the local proof is there to see in three major Edgbaston refurbishment projects. The latest improvement scheme tackled by Simon Michael Homes is Stoneleigh...
Ricardo Seals New SAIC Deal
Byline: By John Revill MG Rover's would be partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), has signed a deal with another Midland automotive firm to help it develop cars and engines in China. The tie-up between SAIC and engineering...
Sir Albert's Fate to Be Decided
Labour city councillors in Birmingham meet tomorrow to decide the future of their group leader, Sir Albert Bore. Sir Albert's job is under threat for the fifth time in six years. The sole challenger on this occasion is Tyburn councillor Mike...
Standing Proud on the River
Byline: By Marsya Lennox The Avon need hold no fear for the first owners of Whitehaven, a brand new riverside house at Stratford-upon-Avon. On the local map, it is marked as 'House-on-Stilts', shown well back on its garden plot off the Tiddington...
Suicide Schoolgirl 'Had Been Bullied
A schoolgirl, who died in a suicide pact with a friend was so badly bullied at school she was frightened to go out, an inquest heard yesterday. Laura Rhodes, aged 13, of Cimla, Neath, South Wales, was discovered unconscious at home by her parents...
Survey Predicts More Doom and Gloom for West Midlands Industry
West Midlands industry is facing an unrelentingly bleak picture, according to an industrial trends regional breakdown by the CBI and Experian. In a national survey that recorded the steepest decline in new orders in two years, the West Midlands...
THE LIST: More Gig Tickets Up for Grabs
Carling knows that there is nothing quite like enjoying great live music in a hot venue with a cold beer, it is the perfect line up for a top night out. Therefore Carling is offering two Birmingham music lovers the ultimate prize: gig tickets for...
The Moment Firebomber Changed Little Shae's Life
Byline: By Ross McCarthy An 'evil' salesman who threw a petrol bomb into a crowded Birmingham store, engulfing a six-year-old girl in a ball of flame, faces life imprisonment. Shae Thomas suffered horrific injuries after Asa Lawrence threw the...
The Wild Boys 'Coming Home to Their Roots; Those Wild Boys from Brum, Duran Duran, Are Back Home for Their Biggest UK Concert in More Than Two Decades, at Birmingham City's Football Ground Later This Month. in Many Ways, It Is like Starting over Again, as They Told Emma Pinch
Byline: Emma Pinch It was the height of their fame and they basked in the adulation of millions worldwide. The millions flowed in, the records topped the chart, the fashions dominated pages and screens. It was the 1980s and, in John Taylor's...
Top Marks for Quality and Style
Byline: By Marsya Lennox Mike Coverdale of the John Shepherd agency did his history homework before launching a unique school project onto the Solihull market this week. He dug out the record books for some serious research in order to tell potential...
Upbeat iSoft in Shares Boost
Byline: By Steve Pain Shares in medical software firm iSoft - which has its largest UK office at Aston Science Park in Birmingham - rose yesterday in response to an upbeat end of period trading statement. The firm told shareholders that its performance...
You'll Really Dig This - 12 JCBs Shine in Galaxy Blockbuster
Film fans are treated to a spectacular cameo appearance from a dozen JCBs in intergalactic blockbuster The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams' sci-fi classic has received the Disney treatment and been turned into a feature film starring...