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 October 10, 2007

Accusation of Dithering over New Street Refurbishment; Pre-Budget Report TRANSPORT
Byline: By Jonathan Walker Political Editor Business leaders accused Gordon Brown of "dithering" over the urgently-needed refurbishment of Birmingham's New Street station last night. They expressed disappointment after Alistair Darling, the Chancellor,...
A Cynical Stunt from a Desperate and Weak PM; OPPOSITION
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne branded the pre-budget measures a "desperate, cynical stunt from a desperate and weak Prime Minister". Mr Osborne accused Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling of "scrabbling around in a panic" after the Tories'...
All My Own Work ...or Was It?
Byline: By Jonathan Walker Political Editor Gordon Brown sought to steal the Tories' thunder yesterday, as he pledged his own cuts in inheritance tax. The move was labelled a "cynical stunt" by the Conservatives, coming only one week after they...
Ambulance Bosses Accused of Skewing Centre Closure Survey
Byline: By Emma Brady Health Correspondent Ambulance service bosses were accused of skewing results of a public consultation over the proposed closure of two control centres yesterday. West Midlands Ambulance Service said last week that 75 per...
Aqualux Set to Make Big Splash in China after Deal
Byline: By John Revill Business Staff Bathroom equipment firm Aqualux is hoping to make a big splash in China after being bought by Swiss group Arbonia-Forster-Holdings. The Wednesbury firm, which designs, manufactures and distributes bath screens...
Athletics: England Changing Focus in Hunt for Missing Part
Byline: By Andrew Baldock in Paris Martin Corry has warned England that they are "not the finished article" as they prepare for a World Cup semi-final showdown against host nation France. Despite being written off before the tournament started...
Birmingham a Centre of Entrepreneur Can-Do Spirit
Byline: By Tom Scotney Business Staff Birmingham is one of the top cities in the country for entrepreneurial spirit, with more than half of people harbouring a desire to own their own business, a new survey has claimed. The city has the fourth...
Birmingham Comes Magnificent Seventh as a Creative Powerhouse
Birmingham has been named as the seventh most creative city in the UK in a major study, beating places such as Leeds, Sheffield, Bristol and Newcastle. However, Birmingham still lags behind two of its rival cities, Manchester and Liverpool. In the...
Birmingham Workers in 'Chocolate Fireguard' Cadbury Protest
Protesters from Birmingham joined a demonstration yesterday outside a Cadbury factory near Bristol following the company's decision to cut hundreds of jobs. Around 300 people braved torrential downpours as they gathered at lunchtime outside the...
Bravo for the British Bulldog Spirit
Byline: ROBIN FLETCHER Not many people can boast that they have strolled up and down the middle lane of the M4 motorway on a busy Sunday afternoon. But stroll I did, along with many others, while stuck for four hours in an accident tailback....
Burma Wants 'Smooth Relations' with Opposition
Byline: by Des Webster Burma's ruling junta said yesterday it hoped to achieve "smooth relations" with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a day after suggesting that she was unlikely to be released from house arrest in the immediate future....
Busy Day for Merger and Acquisition Moves; SHARE PRICES MARKET REPORT
Signs of a revival in merger and acquisition activity helped the FTSE 100 Index to power above the 6600 barrier yesterday. A joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors and a potential pounds 1.5 billion bidding war for oil exploration company...
Buy-to-Let Is Sector with Big Demand; ECONOMY
Mortgage lending remained buoyant during August as the market was boosted by strong demand from buy-to-let investors, figures showed yesterday. A total of pounds 34 billion was advanced during the month, little changed from July's figure of pounds...
Call for New Uniforms for Support Officers
Union leaders called yesterday for improvement to the uniforms of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in a bid to improve their efficiency. Unison said uniforms of the 15,000 workers around the UK varied widely, with some allowed to wear stab...
Chancellor Crosses Fingers and Hopes; ECONOMICS
Byline: By Nevill Boyd Maunsell Economics Editor Unable to blame his predecessor for gross over-optimism, Chancellor Alistair Darling blamed Northern Rock and the global credit crunch as he quietly dismantled Gordon Brown's forecasts for both the...
City of Culture
The suggestion, even ten years ago, that Birmingham would soon be making a name for itself as a cultural hot spot would have been treated with hysterical laughter in most quarters. It is a measure, therefore, of progress in the past decade that the...
Clampdown on Business Couples Who Shift Incomes; Pre-Budget Report LOOPHOLES
The Chancellor announced plans to clamp down on an income shifting loophole allowing couples who run businesses to shift salaries and dividend payments to reduce joint tax bills. But one tax expert claimed the move showed a lack of joined-up thinking...
Cricket: Axed Test Match Umpire Hair Drops Racial Discrimination Claim
Byline: By Damon Wake Controversial umpire Darrell Hair yesterday dropped his case for racial discrimination against the International Cricket Council. The Australian made the claim after being suspended from Tests and one-day internationals...
Cricket: Collingwood Pleased That the Limelight Fails to Shine on His Team
Byline: By Myles Hodgson in Colombo England are content in the knowledge the English public will be firmly focused on other sporting dramas as they stand on the brink of one of their most significant series triumphs in recent years. Victory in...
Culture Theatre: Jane Will Find It Tough to Stay the Course as Mata Hari; Amateur Theatre
Byline: by John Slim What is the link between an historical play and The Rocky Horror Show? It's Richard Ham, Highbury Little Theatre member and devotee of the cult Gothic musical. Richard dresses appropriately whenever he goes to the show -...
Culture Theatre: Michael Stays Ahead of the Game; Stourbridge Is the Location for Britain's New International Mask Festival. Director Michael Chase Tells Terry Grimley about His Plans
Byline: Terry Grimley Michael Chase first had the idea of an international mask festival back in 1997, when he was installing a British Council-backed mask exhibition in Turin. "I was talking to Tom Morris, who was then artistic director of Battersea...
Darling's Capital Gains Will Be Taxing on Us All; PRIVATE EQUITY
Byline: By John Revill Business Staff The Chancellor drew criticism from both sides of industry by announcing moves to close tax loopholes and ensure that those working in private equity paid a fairer share. Alistair Darling responded to criticism...
Darling Simplifies Tax and NI Systems; BUSINESS
Alistair Darling confirmed the Government's intention to reduce corporation tax to 28p in the pound next year and announced a raft of measures to simplify tax and National Insurance systems for companies and the self-employed. The measures will...
Delays to Continue as Dispute Enters Increasingly Bitter Phase
Delays receiving travel bookings, concert tickets, medical appointments and business documents may be set to continue as the postal dispute enters an increasingly bitter phase. A huge backlog of mail will start to be delivered today as postal workers...
'Double Whammy' over Currency and Slowdown; ECONOMY
Exporters face a "double whammy" of a strong pound and a slowdown in global economic growth caused by the credit crunch, it was claimed yesterday. Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at Global Insight, said predictions of a fall in export...
Dunlop Makes Multi-Million Investment in China Plant
Birmingham-based Dunlop Aircraft Tyres will make a multi-million pound investment in a tyre retreading plant in China. The company, which employs 286 at its base in Erdington, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering...
Fallon Lost Race 'He Should Have Won at a Canter'
Top jockey Kieren Fallon came second in a race which he should have won "at a canter", the pounds 2 million race-fixing trial at the Old Bailey was told yesterday. The six-times champion jockey appeared to stop riding Ballinger Ridge as he came...
Far Healthier Profit as Greggs Gets Green Tinge; RETAIL
Byline: By Tom Scotney Business Staff Bakery chain Greggs yesterday said favourable weather conditions helped drive an increase in sales over the last three months. But the Newcastle-based group, which employs more than 2,500 people in the Midlands,...
Fears over GP Services Deteriorating; HEALTH
Byline: By Emma Brady Health Correspondent Government plans to create 100 more GP practices in "under doctored areas" will lead to a deterioration in services elsewhere, according to a leading Birmingham doctor. Health Secretary Alan Johnson...
Fears over Pounds 20m Annual Rise of Caring for Elderly
Byline: By Paul Dale Public Affairs Editor The cost of caring for Birmingham's fast-growing elderly population could increase spending by pounds 20 million year on year for the forseeable future, it emerged last night. Financial pressures will...
Football: Bruce Lets Actions Do His Talking; GED Scott Finds Steve Bruce Determined to Ignore the Gossip and Simply Focus on His Job at St Andrew's
Steve Bruce has found out the hard way this week that, in the great big goldfish bowl that is football, he is currently one of the most viewed items on display. To the football world at large, Bruce's revelation on Sunday that he is sure he will...
Football: Late Own Goal Allows Harriers to Secure Points from Ten-Men Town; NON-LEAGUE
Byline: By Colin Stoner Kidderminster Harriers opened the scoring for the third game in a row but this time held on to claim three points and move into the top nine of the Blue Square Premier. Harriers played for 79 minutes against ten-men Halifax...
Football: Morrison Will Prove His Worth Vows Mowbray
Byline: By Brian Dick Tony Mowbray has backed James Morrison to shine for West Bromwich Albion even though he was benched for the 3-2 defeat at Southampton last Saturday. The 21-year-old (right) has made a quiet start to his career at The Hawthorns...
Football: O'Neill Pleased to Take Stock of Quality Home-Grown Products
Byline: By Lisa Smith Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has a blueprint for the future based on bringing young players through the club's academy and encouraging the progression of his current young stars. But he has assured supporters he will...
Football: Rooney's Primed for England
Byline: By John Curtis Steve McClaren believes Wayne Rooney is "chomping at the bit" to help England take the final steps towards qualifying for the Euro 2008 finals against Estonia at Wembley on Saturday. Rooney is poised to make his first appearance...
Football: United Starlet Increases Wolves' Attacking Threat; COCA-COLA CHAMPIONSHIP
Byline: By Ged Scott If there has one been glaring deficiency so far in Wolverhampton Wanderers' season, it has been the lack of goals from their strikers. Wolves have scored just six now in their last eight games - two of which have been provided...
Government Grants Rise of Pounds 2.6bn Aiming to Keep Tax Rises below 5 per Cent; COUNCILS
Chancellor Alistair Darling announced a pounds 2.6 billion rise in grants to English local authorities over the next three years, which he said would be enough to keep council tax hikes "substantially" below five per cent. The Comprehensive Spending...
Grassroots Policing in Midlands Is 'Excellent'
Byline: By William Reid Grass roots policing in the West Midlands has been rated as "excellent" in a nationwide performance assessment. The force scored 13 out of a possible 21 points in the all the performance indicators assessed by Her Majesty's...
Hagemeyer Shares Soar in Possible Bid Battle; ELECTRICALS
Shares in Hagemeyer - the Dutch electrical components distributor with a big operation in Birmingham - soared yesterday in response to a possible bid battle. French group Sonepar said it intended to make a 2.5 billion euro (pounds 1.76 billion)...
He's Not Our Darling, Say Region's Business Leaders; Pre-Budget Report REACTION
Byline: By Steve Pain Deputy Business Editor West Midlands business leaders last night gave Chancellor Alistair Darling's first Pre-Budget Report the thumbs down - taking his proposals to help companies with a large pinch of salt. After listing...
High Street Challenge on the Cards for Clinton; RETAIL
Clinton Cards reported a sharp rise in its fullyear profits and is confident of further progress in the coming year although high street trading remains challenging. The card retailer said adjusted pretax profit for the year ended July 29 was pounds...
Horse Racing: O'Neill Ready to Strike
Byline: By Stable Boy With the new National Hunt season gaining discernible momentum, now might be the time to trust in the talents of Jonjo O'Neill, who can score at Towcester this afternoon with Albertas Run. The six-year-old gelding makes...
Important Issues Sidestepped, Say Midland Green Activists; Pre-Budget Report ENVIRONMENT
Alistair Darling's first pre-Budget report was dull and did little to help combat climate change, West Midland environmental groups have said. In his speech, the Chancellor warned that climate change was one of the two "great challenges for this...
Inheritance Tax Changes Chasing the Tory Bounce; INHERITANCE
Byline: By Nicky Burridge and John Cranage The inheritance tax (IHT) threshold has been doubled from pounds 300,000 to pounds 600,000 and will rise again to pounds 700,000 in 2010, chancellor Alistair Darling announced in his pre-Budget report yesterday....
Iraqi Suicide Bombers Kill at Least 18 in Ramadan Raids
Two Iraqi suicide car bombers trying to murder a local police chief and a US-supporting Sunni leader killed at least 18 people yesterday. The attacks were the deadliest in a series of bombings in recent days as fanatics stepped up their promised...
Judges Go Spare over Sue's Pants Product Brainwave
Getting caught short could be a thing of the past thanks to a new product from a Kidderminster businesswoman. Sue Thorley runs the Spare Pair company, and is now looking to expand worldwide. The idea behind her business is a neatly packaged spare...
Laws Need Changing after Northern Rock, Says Bank of England Governor; ECONOMY
Byline: By Nevill Boyd Maunsell Economics Editor The Financial Services Authority's chairman, Sir Callum McCarthy revealed yesterday that he differed with the Bank of England's governor Mervyn King on the issue of "moral hazard" during the Northern...
Letter: Politics Plumbs New Depths
Byline: KEN WOOD Dear Editor, When Labour took control in 1997 they promised (that's Blair and Brown) that they would be a party of truth, honesty and everything else deemed to be needed to make politics clean. After ten years, have they succeeded...
Level Crossing-Death Motorist 'Hid His Sexuality'
A man who died when a high-speed train smashed into his car on a level crossing hid his sexuality from friends and family for years, an inquest heard yesterday. Chef Brian Drysdale, 48, of Reading, was one of seven people killed when the 17.35 First...
Manchester Nudges Ahead as Centre for Business
Byline: By Paul Dale Public Affairs Editor Birmingham has been overtaken by Manchester as one of the top 20 European business cities, according to a major new survey. The Cushman & Wakefield European Cities Monitor places Birmingham in 21...
Maternity Unit Opens Again
A Midland maternity unit forced to close at weekends as it struggled to retain and recruit staff has reopened. The Mother and Baby Unit at Alexandra Hospital, in Redditch, Worcestershire, was forced to shut its doors at weekends in June, but resumed...
Money for Roads and Rail Promised to Double; TRANSPORT
Byline: By Peter Woodman Special Correspondent Chancellor Alistair Darling promised a doubling of investment in transport. He said by 2010 investment would rise to pounds 14.5 billion a year, providing extra money for strategic road schemes such...
Northern Foods Faces Up to Pricing Pressures; FOOD
Northern Foods, which supplies chilled ready meals and frozen foods including Goodfella's pizzas to supermarkets, said trading in the first half year had continued in line with expectations, but pricing pressures were exploding. Significantly higher...
OECD Tells India the Reforms for the Future
India's next round of reforms needs to focus on key areas such as labour, financial markets and infrastructure to further boost economic growth, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said in an economic survey released yesterday....
Powerleague Powering on; LEISURE
Five-a-side football operator Powerleague is to continue its Midland expansion with a new site alongside Shrewsbury Town's new stadium. The company is investing more than pounds 1 million in the centre at the New Meadow stadium, which is scheduled...
Princess Diana Inquest Jury Makes UK Legal History
The jury in the Diana, Princess of Wales inquest were on their way back to Britain last night after touring the places she visited on the night of her death. The 11 members of the public made legal history with their two-day visit to Paris as the...
Refreshing Candour on Northern Rock - but Not from Politicians
Byline: NEVILL BOYD MAUNSELL It shows how it can be when you don't have politicians purporting to run things. Neither the Bank of England's governor Mervyn King, nor Sir Callum McCarthy and Hector Sants at the Financial Services Authority, tried...
REVIEWS: Deadpan Jewish One-Liners Are Chief Redeeming Feature; THE LIST Visiting Mr Green Belgrade Theatre, Coventry **
Byline: Terry Grimley Jeff Baron's first stage play has been a big international hit, despite being a thoroughly corny piece of work. It's a two-hander in which two seemingly ill-assorted New Yorkers are thrown into each other's company. Ross...
Rock Savers Granted New Guarantees from Treasury; BANKING
Byline: By Russell Lynch and Graeme Evans Savers with crisis-hit Northern Rock were granted fresh guarantees from the Treasury yesterday while the mortgage lender attempts to thrash out a rescue deal. The Treasury announced that it had agreed...
Rugby League: Confident France Are Not Afraid, Says Ibanez
Byline: By Steve Douglas France captain Raphael Ibanez believes Saturday's World Cup semi-final against England is "a bigger challenge" than their last-eight clash with the tournament favourites New Zealand. Les Bleus produced the shock of the...
Rugby League: Hat-Eating Aside, Huge Problems Dog England
When I haven't been eating my hat and wiping egg off my face, I've been gorging myself on humble pie these last few days and, as a final act of contrition, I must keep a promise made when the World Cup started. It was my sincerely held belief that...
Rugby League: Knight Could Return for Bees' Crunch Showdown; NATIONAL LEAGUE ONE
Byline: By Brian Dick Dave Knight is set for a return to the Pertemps Bees line-up for Saturday's crunch game with Cornish All Blacks at Sharmans Cross Road. The 28-year-old has played less than an hour's rugby this term, having barely featured...
Rugby League: 'Maradona' Hernandez Spearheads Pumas' Rise
Byline: By Alex Lowe Argentina's director of rugby, Les Cusworth, is convinced the best is yet to come from Juan Martin Hernandez, the Pumas fly-half dubbed rugby's Maradona. Hernandez, 25, and team-mate Felipe Con-tepomi, 30, are the first Argentina...
Rugby League: Patient Gomarsall Happy to Step out of Shadows
Byline: By Andrew Baldock Andy Gomarsall has gone from a support act to England's scrum-half general during the World Cup - with events in Australia four years ago driving him on. Gomarsall arrived Down Under as England's third-choice No 9 behind...
Rugby Union: Pacific Rim Teams Need IRB's Help - Crichton
Byline: By Brian Dick Rugby Correspondent Having spent four weeks representing his country at the World Cup, Worcester full back Loki Crichton has called on the sport to help develop rugby in the Pacific Islands. The Samoan international, who...
Severn Trent Move Will Lose Jobs in Birmingham; UTILITIES
Byline: By John Revill Business Staff Hundreds of jobs will leave Birmingham after Severn Trent Water announced it was shifting its head office to Coventry. Consolidation plans will see about 1,700 staff relocate from the head office in Sheldon...
Small Firms and Elderly Worst Hit by Post Strike
Byline: By Shahid Naqvi Vulnerable small businesses and isolated elderly people in the West Midlands have emerged as the biggest victims of the postal dispute it was warned last night. A small business lobby group said small firms were "suffering...
Smoke, Mirrors, IHT and Gordon's Golden Rule; the Political Parties Have Nailed Their Colours to the Mast over Tax. Neil Davidson, an Independent Financial Adviser at Wolver Hamptonbased FSC Investment Services Limited, Attempts to Sort the Wheat from the Chaff
Byline: Neil Davidson Global warming or the recently passed conference season, either way there seems to be a lot of hot air around, with the three major parties just finishing their annual back slapping. I feel it would be prudent (do I sound...
Spending to Counter Terror Rises to Pounds 3.5bn; HOME OFFICE
Byline: Jacqui Smith Spending on counter-terrorism is to rise to pounds 3.5 billion a year by 2010 - a trebling since the 9/11 attacks. All the Government's work against terror will be paid for from a new single budget, Alistair Darling said,...
Spitfire Island Sculptor Will Design Awards for Contest
The great-nephew of the legendary Birmingham author JRR Tolkien will be designing the trophies for this year's BDI Industry and Genius Awards. Award-winning sculptor Tim Tolkien is making them in homage to the region's creative past. And in addition...
Super-Rich 'Will Simply Shrug off the New Fees' NON-DOMICILED
Byline: By Tom Scotney Business Staff Plans announced in the report to raise funds by levying a fee on people who declare themselves non-domiciled in the UK will lead to the vast majority of small businesses coming back into the tax fold, according...
Target Is to Build Two Million Homes within Decade; HOUSING
Byline: By Steve Pain Deputy Business Editor The Government wants to see two million new homes built within the next decade to counter the country's acute shortage of housing. Mr Darling said the target would be met by an increase in spending...
Targets Missed 'By Decades' on Children; POVERTY
Byline: Peter Hain Chancellor Alistair Darling last night stood accused of neglecting the UK's poorest children and pensioners in his spending plans. Save the Children claimed that the promise to boost child tax credits by pounds 175 a year from...
Tennis Coach on Problems with Her Pupil
Byline: By Alex Jones A top tennis coach has told a court how she shared a room with a 13-year-old pupil. Claire Lyte (29), denies having a sexual relationship with the teenager, her pupil at the lawn Tennis Association academy in Loughborough,...
We Must Catch Up with Pace of US Business Growth
The Government must catch up with the pace of business growth in the US, the Minister for Enterprise has said. Stephen Timms, speaking after a meeting with West Midland businesses, said that while Government had been successful at encouraging start-ups,...
What a Difference a Year Makes - with Individuals at Forefront
Byline: Brian Whitefoot Time was when the Pre-Budget Report (PBR) was a considered reflection on the nation's finances to set the scene for the following year's budget. They were often technical affairs, hardly expected to capture the headlines....
Where's the Big Ideas from Our Copycat Chancellor?
British politics has entered a strange world where the differences between the parties grow increasingly smaller. If there was one benefit to Gordon Brown from the fiasco of his aborted election, it was that he encouraged the Conservatives to show...
Whitby in New Challenge on Transport Cash for Regions
The Government must match its financial support for major rail schemes in London and the South-east of the country by quickly approving the final pounds 236 million tranche of public funding for the renewal of New Street Station, Birmingham City Council...
Why Hecklers Can't Badger Brown's New Boy
Byline: JONATHAN WALKER Some things haven't changed. This was a speech Mr Brown could very easily have delivered. It followed the traditional format of boasts about Britain being more successful than other economies, followed by lots of complicated...
Why I Don't Buy Official Version of Poll Fiasco
Byline: JON WALKER Gordon Brown did the only thing he could this week, owning up to making a hash of this election business and admitting that it was all his fault. On Monday, he conceded he had waited too long to make a decision about a poll,...
Why West Midlands Is in Frame for Animation Lead
Byline: By Joanna Geary Media & Marketing Editor The West Midlands has the talent to become the UK's hub for 3-D animation, an industry expert has claimed. Peter McLuskie, founder of the Wolverhampton-based FLIP animation festival, said the...
Winner of Nobel Prize for Physics Still Anyone's Guess
Discoveries of planets orbiting stars outside the solar system, efforts to better understand the weather and work on carbon tubes are among the discoveries that could win the Nobel Prize in physics today. But the prize, one of the original five...