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 12, 2006

A Grand Home in a Leafy Oasis
Byline: By Marsya Lennox Property Correspondent Only a handful of Barnt Green's original houses have held onto their acres. It does not take long for word to spread - and developers to sniff out every infill opportunity. And in this upmarket,...
All Estate Agents 'Should Be Licensed'
All estate agents should be licensed to show that they are qualified and competent, an ombudsman said today. Stephen Carr-Smith, Ombudsman for Estate Agents, said it should be made mandatory for estate agents to be licensed before they could join...
A New Sun Rises over Roof of Volkswagen: MOTORING
Byline: By Chris Russon Legend has it that Eos rises every morning in her phaeton from the depths of the sea to bring daylight to mankind. It is a tale from Greek mythology and one which appears to have impressed the people at Volkswagen. ...
Arts Reviews: Compulsively Powerful Study of Loss and Belief
Byline: Katherine Desouza The Door, Birmingham Repertory Theatre Terry Grimley Nick Stafford has written a bleak and powerful play about loss and belief which marks a return to form for the Rep's new writing strand in its studio theatre. David,...
Arts Reviews: Popular Ballet Retains Lasting Comic Charm
Byline: La Fille mal gardAe Birmingham Hippodrome Susan Turner Whether you have seen La Fille mal gardAe once or a dozen times and more, it's impossible not to be enchanted afresh by its deliciously daft charm. Created nearly half a century ago...
Bafta Winner Charged in Child Porn Inquiry
Byline: By Simon Baker Award-winning comedy actor Chris Langham last night protested his innocence after he was charged with 15 counts of making indecent images of children. Langham, who won a Bafta award at the weekend for his performance in...
Blair Fights Afghan Hijacker Ruling
The Government said yesterday it is to fight the High Court ruling which granted asylum to nine Afghans who hijacked a plane and forced it to land in Britain. In a Downing Street statement mirroring Tony Blair's anger over the ruling, Defence Secretary...
Costcutter and Nisa on Verge of a Merger
Byline: By John Duckers Business Editor Two of the biggest names in the convenience store sector - Costcutter and Nisa-Today's - have confirmed they are to merge subject to shareholder approval as part of a battle with supermarket rivals. Neighbourhood...
Court Fight May Cost Labour Pounds 50k
Byline: By Paul Dale Chief Reporter The Labour Party may be facing legal fees of more than pounds 50,000 in its attempt to oust Birmingham's sole British National Party councillor. City council chief legal officer Mirza Ahmad confirmed last night...
Cricket: Clarke Ruins Cup Hopes with Scorcher
Byline: By Ged Scott at The De Vere Belfry The stars came out to sparkle in the Midland sunshine as fine weather encouraged low scoring on the first day of the Quinn Direct British Masters. Liverpool fan Darren Clarke did his chances of an early...
Cricket: Classy Solanki to Rescue as Worcester Fight Back; Derbyshire Lead Worcestershire by 128 Runs with Eight Second-Innings Wickets in Hand
Byline: By Brian Dick at New Road Just as Graeme Welch had on day one of this gripping County Championship match, Worcestershire's Vikram Solanki played a captain's knock to underpin his side's shaky first-innings effort. The elegant right-hander's...
Cricket: Warne's Shadow over Bears; Liverpool Victoria County Championship Warwickshire Need 337 Runs with Eight Wickets Standing to Defeat Hampshire
Byline: By George Dobell Chief Cricket Writer at Edgbaston Warwickshire face a grim and unequal fight for survival on the last day of their Championship match against Hampshire. Set 407 for a highly improbable victory, Warwickshire's more pressing...
CULTURE: Jarhead Comes Unscrewed
Byline: Mo Ilyas It2I2 Shoulder Chip Productions Cert: PG RRP: pounds 15.99 *** A quirky number from Robert Llewellyn, best known as Kryten from Red Dwarf and as the host of Channel Four's Scrapheap Challenge. A moc-kumentary looking at the theme...
CULTURE: Jarhead Comes Unscrewed; DVD Reviews
Byline: Damon Smith Jarhead Universal Pictures UK Cert 15, DVD pounds 19.99/UMD pounds 19.99 **** Based on Anthony Swofford's memoirs as a Marine on active service during the Gulf War, Jarhead is a harrowing account of a conflict hidden from...
Data Adds Weight to Rate Rise Suspicions
Byline: By John Duckers Business Editor Manufacturing output grew at its strongest pace in almost a year in March, official data showed yesterday. It supported the growing market view that the next move in UK interest rates will be up. The...
Double Slice of Mansion Living
Byline: By Marsya Lennox Conversions are rarely as grand as those on offer, from time to time, at Northwick Park, near Blockley, in Gloucestershire. Much as the raw material, the Grade l listed mansion of the 17th century, all the homes here...
Eager Buyers Keen to Snap Up Period Homes
Byline: By Marsya Lennox "The market is certainly a lot stronger in comparison to the corresponding period last year," said Richard Righton of R A Bennett and Partners. "Activity, measured in terms of viewings, offers and sales is encouraging...
Echoes of Industrial Past in Huge Waterside Regeneration Project
Byline: By Marsya Lennox Property Correspondent The trouble with buying a "refurb" in a prominent conversion scheme is that not one will be the same. And the problem for buyers keen to bag a best plot is that others may get there first. This...
Endemol Gambles on Quiz Shows
Byline: By John Duckers Business Editor The maker of Noel Edmonds' comeback show Deal or no Deal pledged to capitalise on our renewed appetite for game and quiz shows yesterday. Dutch company Endemol said it had enjoyed worldwide success with...
England Thrive on Heaps of Good Fortune; England Have Scored 318 for Three against Sri Lanka
Byline: By Jack Bannister at Lord's Lady Luck didn't just smile on England yesterday, she positively chuckled four times times and Marcus Trescothick was a triple beneficiary. Only Umpire Rudi Koertzen knows why he denied Muttiah Muralitha-ran...
Equality for Women 'Increased Class Gap'
Giving equal rights to women has led to a growing gap between rich and poor, Conservative frontbencher David Willetts said last night. The shadow education secretary said Britain was heading in "the wrong direction" and becoming less socially mobile....
Equitable Life Transfers Annuities in Pension Vow
Troubled mutual Equitable Life yesterday announced it was transferring a pounds 4.6 billion book of annuities to insurer Canada Life. The group said the deal would see 130,000 non-profit annuities, which guarantee people an income for the rest of...
Firms Must Do More for Women Workers
Companies need to do more to support women in business and help maximise their potential, the European president of Cookson Precious Metals has claimed. Stella Dorsett, who grew up in the Black Country, said legislation had only driven negative...
Football: Baggies May Tempt Cardiff
Byline: By Brian Dick and Ged Scott West Bromwich Albion's recalcitrant midfielder, Jason Kou-mas, could be used as a makeweight in Bryan Robson's attempts to sign Cardiff City's highly-rated striker Cameron Jerome. The Wales international spent...
Gas Price Rise Fires Coal Plant
Byline: By John Revill Business Staff The revival in fortunes of one of the UK's largest coal-fired power plants has continued as customers clamoured for cheaper fuels than gas. International Power said its plant at Rugeley in Staffordshire operated...
Glorious Cobtun - There's Nothing Quite like It
Byline: By Marsya Lennox Property Correspondent It has won the most coveted architectural awards, has grabbed national attention on the small screen and has blazed an eco trail in a class of its own. It is only five years old - and tipped to...
Golf: Mind Games Halt the Blues
Byline: By Ged Scott at The De Vere Belfry It must be hard right now for any Birmingham City fan to talk about positive mental images. But the thoughts going through the head of Tom Whitehouse at The Belfry yesterday were unmistakably happy ones....
Guantanamo Bay Britons Win Right to Sue Rumsfeld
Four Britons who were held at Guantanamo Bay have won the right to go ahead with a lawsuit suing their captors for allegedly violating their religious rights. Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed, the so-called Tipton Three, and Jamal Al-Harith,...
HEALTH: Government Must Not Ignore Us, Say Nurses
Byline: By Sarah Probert Midland nurses warned the Government should "ignore us at their peril" yesterday as they joined more than 1,000 other NHS staff members on a protest rally in London. More than 120 nurses from the region went to the capital...
Health: Q&a
Q: Why have there been so many job losses announced recently? A: Hospital trusts are facing debts estimated at more than pounds 600 million. More than 11,500 NHS job losses have already been announced and the Royal College of Nursing said the...
HEALTH: Short-Term Thinking Is a Danger to Patients
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has warned that "short-term economics" risked harming patient care and could even encourage assisted dying. The Archbishop (below) told a congregation gathered for the annual Florence Nightingale...
Holcim's 70pc Profit Jump
Byline: By John Duckers Business Editor Holcim, the world's second-biggest cement maker, which took over Midlands group Aggregate Industries, reported a 70 per cent jump in first-quarter net profit. And much of it was down to the pounds 1.8 billion...
Horse Racing: Stoute Wary over Papal Bull
Byline: By William Hayler at Chester Kieren Fallon added another string to his burgeoning bow for next month's Vodafone Derby when Papal Bull took the MBNA Europe Bank Chester Vase on the Roodee. Fallon is sure to have other options available...
How Could They Do It?
Byline: By Emma Pinch Four animal rights extremists were behind bars today after waging a terror campaign in which a pensioner's body was stolen from a grave. The quartet - branded wicked and totally outrageous - were handed prison terms totalling...
Imitation and Morality; John Myatt's Skill at Emulating the Work of Modern Masters Once Got Him into Trouble with the Law, but Now It Has Turned into a Successful Career. Terry Grimley Went to Meet Him as His Largest Exhibition Yet Opens in Birmingham
Byline: Terry Grimley When you walk into a room full of self-declared fakes it's easy to be an art expert. But if I encountered some of John Myatt's paintings on the walls of a Bond Street gallery, I'm not sure I would be so confident. I can...
In Brief
BOXING: Legendary former world heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson has died aged 71. Patterson (right, pictured in 1986), who had been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease and prostate cancer, was hospitalised last week and passed away at his home...
Incensed Blues Hit Back
Byline: By Brian Dick The emotion aroused by Birmingham City's pitiful relegation to the Coca-Cola Championship showed no sign of abating yesterday as the club angrily responded to criticisms made by their former captain Kenny Cunningham. Earlier...
Inspiration for Tolkien Opens to the Public
Byline: By Rhona Ganguly It is the site Lord of the Rings fans believe inspired JRR Tolkien's book The Two Towers. And now, three years after it was closed to the public, Perrott's Folly in Waterworks Road, Edgbaston, will once again throw open...
Islanders Can Return - Judges
Byline: By John Aston Families exiled from the Chagos Islands by the British so the United States military could build a major strategic airbase have won the right to return to their homeland. In a damning verdict, two judges condemned as "repugnant"...
LEGAL & FINANCE: BPE Looks for Growth with New Partners
BPE said two high-profile appointments to its commercial property practice in Birmingham signaled the law firm's serious ambitions for growth in the city. Adele McDermott joins as a partner from the Wilkes Partnership, where she was head of property....
LEGAL FINANCE: Cautionary Tale about Caring for Elderly
A firm of Walsall solicitors is urging the region's elderly residents and those looking after them to exercise caution when considering a move into full-time care. Enoch Evans, which houses Walsall's only two registered solicitors for the elderly,...
LEGAL FINANCE: Hollywood Marriage Is the Way to Go
Couples with children should consider taking a leaf out of Tom Cruise and fiancee Katie Holmes's book, says Olleren-shaw's matrimonial law specialist Carline Gayle. As part of the Hollywood couple's pre-nuptial agreement, they are said to have agreed...
LEGAL FINANCE: New Law Will Have Impact on Firms
Byline: By John Duckers Business Editor New rules covering electrical and electronic goods will change the landscape for UK producers, importers and retailers, according to experts at Birmingham-based law firm Pinsent Masons. The Restriction...
LEGAL & FINANCE: Summer of Worry over Foreign Assets
Byline: By John Duckers Business Editor The Barclays offshore bank accounts ruling could mean summer of worry for those with foreign assets. The order that it must disclose details of offshore accounts held by British residents could cause a...
LEGAL FINANCE: The Canny Film Investors Hoping for the Next 'Big Fat Greek' Pay Day
Byline: GARY SMITH "Wall Street is awash with cash and it is heading for the film industry," proclaimed Tim Forbes, the proprietor of Forbes magazine, at the inaugural Forbes Film Investment Forum in New York last week. The all-day conference...
Letter: A Process That Winston Churchill Had Begun
Byline: ROGER CORBETT Dear Editor, - The lead letter (Post, May 9) from John Stretton about the expulsion of foreign criminals is at best disingenuous as it contains some very basic factual errors. First, Tony Blair did not as Mr Stretton suggests...
Letter: No Logic in Reid's Plans for Police Forces
Byline: JOHN G ROVE If the Government had deliberately intended to annoy people with its reform of police forces in England and Wales it is difficult to see how anything more could have been done to raise hackles than is already the case. Charles...
Letter: The Real Animals
In the long history of sickening criminality by animal rights extremists, the theft of the body of 82-year-old Gladys Hammond from her grave in a Staffordshire cemetery stands out as particularly repugnant. The 12-year prison sentences passed yesterday...
Letter: World Cup Choice That Looks Naove
Byline: MIKE KELLY Dear Editor, - Having placed a bet on England for the forthcoming World Cup, I now despair having seen the squad selected by our pounds 3 million a year manager, Sven Goran Eriksson. I will retain my betting slip and donate...
London Bombings
Byline: By David Barrett and Neville Dean The July 7 bombings required "little expertise" and cost less than pounds 8,000 to plan and carry out, an official government report into the attacks revealed yesterday. The four suicide bombers had "unexceptional"...
LONDON BOMBINGS; Ex-Firefighter Says Only Public Inquiry Will Do
A Staffordshire man who was famously pictured leading a woman to safety after the blast at Edgware Road Tube station said only a public inquiry would ensure all the lessons from July 7 were learnt. Paul Dadge, from Can-nock, said: "I will do whatever...
LONDON BOMBINGS; the Reports Revealed:
The Home Office published its official account of the July 7 bombings while the Commons' cross-party Intelligence and Security Committee also issued an independent evaluation of the shocking events, focusing on the performance of the security services...
Messenger Quits as Building Society Boss
Byline: By John Cranage Business Staff West Bromwich Building Society chief executive Andrew Messenger is to retire at the age of 55. He is the second boss of a major West Midland building society to quit in a month. Martin Ritchley, aged...
Motoring: PZ Is the Fast Beast to Look for from Mazda
Byline: By John Murdoch Mazda is to give its stunning RX-8 coupe the full motorsport treatment when it launches a new and exclusive model from July 1. Only 800 customers will be lucky enough to buy the RX-PZ which has been developed jointly with...
MPs Goad Reid over Police Mergers
Byline: By Jonathan Walker Political Editor New Home Secretary John Reid has come under fire for planning a giant merged police force in the West Midlands - while his local force is being broken up to create smaller bodies in touch with local communities....
New Home Boasts an Unusual Extra to Boot
Byline: By Marsya Lennox A guide price approaching pounds 2.5 million is quoted by the Cirencester office of Knight Frank for Evenlode Mane at Evenlode in Gloucestershire. It's a precise way of indicating what is expected for this "imposing Cotswold...
Pensioners Free Up Equity in Homes
The equity release market could treble in size during the coming five years as cash-strapped pensioners look to make the most of money tied up in their home, a report claimed today. Market analyst Datamonitor said older homeowners were increasingly...
Powell Jury Sees CCTV Evidence
Byline: By Tim Walsh CCTV footage of efforts to resuscitate a man in custody after police deliberately hit him with their patrol car was played for a jury yesterday. Michael Powell, aged 38, died in September 2003 after he was detained following...
Property Boom Helps Countrywide to All-Time High
The UK's biggest chain of estate agents said levels of business were at an all-time high yesterday as the pick-up in the property market gathered pace. Countrywide, which includes Bairstow Eves, Mann & Co and Midlands-based Dixons, said the...
Region Is Going through a Bad Patch, but Don't Write Us off Just Yet
Byline: By John Duckers Business Editor It has seemingly been a bad run for industry in the West Midlands. Automotive has been hit exceptionally hard - the Rover collapse, the Peugeot closure at Ryton in Coventry and the demise of Jaguar's Browns...
Region's Best Churches Crumble as Funds and Congregations Dry Up
Byline: By Sarah Probert Some of the West Midlands' finest churches are crumbling into disrepair with falling lottery funds and dwindling congregations unable to raise enough cash to save them. English Heritage said places of worship across the...
Rhodia on Mend as It Takes Step to Profit
Rhodia, the scandal-hit French firm which employs 300 people at the former Albright & Wilson works in Oldbury, has halved its first quarter losses. The speciality chemicals group said its would return to profit this year after restructuring....
R&SA Says Customer Focus Is Key
More Than insurer Royal & Sun Alliance benefited from a strong performance in the UK yesterday as it posted first-quarter figures ahead of expectations. The group said operating profits rose to pounds 207 million, a gain of 29 per cent on a...
Rugby Union: Worcester Show They Have Stomach for the Fine Art of Consolidation
Byline: Brian Dick In entertainment terms, Worcester's 2005-6 season was never intended to match its predecessor. No one at Sixways wanted a repeat of the gut-wrenching drama witnessed during last April's final day relegation showdown. Instead,...
Simon Just Wants the Nasty Men to Make Pain Stop
Byline: Jon Walker SiOn Simon says he is "sick and tired" of speculation about Tony Blair's future. The Birmingham MP's outburst this week wasn't a declaration of support for Mr Blair or for Mr Brown. It was simply a desire for the pain to stop....
Somewhere along the Way We Lost Our Pride; Having Overseen More Than 600 Changes to Birmingham's Only Wide-Appeal Independent Guide Book, David Clarke, Managing Editor of the Rabbit Guide to Birmingham, Urges Leaders in All Walks of Life to 'Think Big'- and Long-Term
Byline: David Clarke We live and work in a city that has close on one million inhabitants. We possess a fine concert hall, brilliant theatre, great music and arts festivals. We attract thousands of students to our colleges and universities and we...
Taxman Wins in Crackdown on VAT Fraud
Byline: By Geoff Meade and Joanna Geary Government efforts to crack down on rising VAT fraud were backed by a European court ruling yesterday. Judges at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg supported a tax law change that makes traders...
Textbook Evidence Tied Extremists to Their Crime
A macabre image taken from a medical textbook at Birmingham Central Library was one of the key pieces of evidence which tied the extremists to the theft of Gladys Hammond's remains. Detective Chief Inspector Nick Baker led the investigation into...
The Secret Dreams of Desperate Housewives
Byline: By Victoria Macmillan Bell In association with Cheverolet It used to be that having a family and a husband in a successful job was status enough for a woman. A single lady didn't hold nearly so much clout in social circles as Mrs X. ...
True Bluenoses Stand Right Behind Cunningham and His Criticisms; Kenny Cunningham's Birmingham City Outburst in Yesterday's Post Brought an Immense Response. Here's a Selection of Your Views
Kenny has been a loyal servant to Blues and I think every true Bluenose welcomes his frank remarks - and agrees with them. There must be a reason for our appalling problem with injuries and every fan on the terraces thinks it is down to poor training....
Vauxhall Staff Stage Wildcat Strike over Job-Loss Fears
Production at car giant Vaux-hall's only UK plant was at a standstill yesterday when workers staged a lightning strike over fears that up to 1,000 jobs could be axed. Union leaders refused to condemn the unofficial walkout at the plant in Ellesmere...
Wall Street's Gloom Hits London Gains
Byline: MARKET REPORT Negative sentiment on Wall Street yesterday spilled across the Atlantic as the London markets gave up early gains to plunge into the red. The FTSE 100 Index was as high as 6114VS early in the session but closed the day 41.4...
We Must Have a Technology Council
Byline: By John Duckers Business Editor The Government should establish a Technology Council to aid British industry, Lord Bhattacharyya urged yesterday. Speaking in the Lords, he said one of the UK's greatest assets was its science base. ...
Where Will Our Industries' Workers Go? This Week's Announcement of 125 Job Losses at HP Sauce in Birmingham Is the Latest in a String of Setbacks for the Midland Economy. So Where Are the New Jobs Going to Come from, Asks John Revill
Byline: John Revill The iconic HP Sauce factory is shutting down, Peugeot is closing its profitable factory at Ryton, while hundreds of high tech jobs are set to go at NTL Telewest's operations in the Midlands. And these were only the big stories...
Yoxall Verdict: Life Is for Living and You Have to Live It
The family business of David Hall and Partners had been breeding guinea pigs for more than 30 years before deciding to stop in January this year. Despite the theft of 600 guinea pigs from the farm in September 1999 and a six-year campaign which...
Yoxall Verdict: Now a New Beginning; Glad Mother Did Not Live to See Threats
Byline: By Rachel Armstrong Gladys Hammond's daughter Janet had been relieved her mother died unaware of the vicious threats and attacks that her family would soon face. But this relief was shattered when activists demonstrated that even the...
Yoxall Verdict: The Nightmare's over; Friends and Staff Singled out by Gang
Byline: By Emma Pinch John Ablewhite and his cohorts left behind a wealth of evidence which tied them to their six-year persecution not only of the Halls but the family's employees, friends and relatives. The zenith of their campaign - the desecration...