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 20, 2009

A Growing Passion for Design; Birmingham Artist and Designer Chris Eckersley Is Exhibiting at the Prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. Alison Jones Spoke to Him
Byline: >Alison Jones Back in the days when Chris Eckersley was embarking on his art career, he possibly imagined creating pieces that were best kept on gallery walls and in temperature controlled environments. Certainly not ones that would...
An Exciting Introduction to the Bard Which Is No Error
Byline: Terry Grimley The Comedy of Errors Whitehall Junior School, Walsall I sometimes wonder why schoolchildren are so often force-fed my least favourite Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet, when The Comedy of Errors seems a much more fun-filled...
Arts Council Urged to Pay for Tolkien Statue
Byline: EDWARD CHADWICK The Arts Council will be asked to come to the rescue of Birmingham's controversial JRR Tolkien statue after plans to raise money from fans of the author were derailed by the credit crunch. A scheme to auction off leaves...
Asset-Based Lending Deal Helps BOCM PAULS' Plan
The UK's leading animal feed manufacturer has secured a pounds 77 million assetbased lending package with Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance which will enable it to continue investment in production and support its on-going growth plan. BOCM PAULS is...
A Welcome to the Family for Firm's Latest Recruits
A specialist Midlands family law firm has welcomed three new recruits in the last month as it continues to expand. While many prominent law firms are laying off staff, Stratford-based Woolley & Co is continuing to grow as demand for family law...
Bank Share Rise at Hint of Sell-Off; BANKING
Byline: GRAEMEBROWN Shares in the part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group jumped amid speculation the Government is sounding out buyers for its stakes. But turmoil continues for the banking sector, as Lloyds yesterday...
Blues Haven't Come Waving Pounds 8m at Us - Rovers Chief
Byline: ANDY WALKER Birmingham City are unlikely to make a move for Doncaster Rovers duo Matt Mills and Brian Stock - and certainly not for the pounds 8million fee that has been suggested. Doncaster chairman John Ryan, who will now be used to...
Bonus Revolt after Shell Chiefs Fill Up; TRANSPORT
Byline: HOLLY WILLIAMS Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell suffered a dramatic shareholder revolt yesterday amid fury over its recent pay awards. The group saw around 59.4 per cent of investors vote against its remuneration report at the annual meeting...
Co-Habiting Law 'Taking Away Choice'
Byline: ALUN THORNE A family solicitor from Leamington has attacked the "nanny state" for what he deems interfering in the lives of cohabiting couples. Andrew Brooks, who heads the family law department at Blythe Liggins Solicitors, said that...
Companies Are Still Running for Cover Even Though AIM Market Has Improved
Too many companies are running for cover even though the AIM market has improved of late, according to PKF corporate finance partner Malcolm Cook. AIM's slimming down has gathered pace - a reaction to a grim performance last year - despite more...
Convergence Group Team Expanded despite Gloom
Midland network systems integrator Convergence Group has expanded its operations team as it continues to buck gloomy economic forecasts. Convergence Group has added eight members to bring its team to 35 staff. Three members will be joining the...
Cooking Up a Great Escape; City View
Byline: JOHN CRANAGE I don't know - what with the Speaker of the House of Commons quitting, Marks & Spencer cutting its dividend and deflation raging, it was tempting yesterday to think of emigrating. And who with the means would not think...
Credit Crunch Threat to Pounds 190m Hospital Plans
Byline: ALISON DAYANI Executives at Birmingham's largest hospital trust have revealed that ambitious pounds 190 million redevelopment plans for three hospitals could be hit by the credit crunch. Mark Goldman, chief executive of Heartlands, Solihull...
Cybercrime Fears Felt by Fifth of Small Businesses
Byline: GRAEME BROWN One in five small business owners are worried about cybercrime - heaping on additional pressure alongside concerns like bankruptcy and competition. The survey commissioned by internet content security firm Trend Micro reveals...
Death of Tamil Chief 'Liberates' All - Rajapaksa
Sri Lanka's president declared his country "liberated from separatist terror" yesterday as state television showed the body of the Tamil Tiger rebel leader killed by troops. But in his victory address to parliament, President Mahinda Rajapaksa appeared...
Donald Works Hard to End Two-Year Gap in Limelight
Byline: MARK GARROD Luke Donald plays his first tournament in Europe for a year this week after a barren spell since March 2006. The 31-year-old, who missed the second half of last season with a wrist injury that needed surgery, is back from...
Faster NHS Link Solution to Absences; SICKNESS
Byline: JOHN CRANAGE Manufacturers in the West Midlands are suffering the highest sickness absence rate among employees in the country, a report has revealed. The figures yesterday prompted a call for companies to be given faster access to NHS...
Flower Bullish on Ashes Hopes; CRICKET
Byline: MYLES HODGSON Andy Flower is confident England can build on their emphatic series whitewash of West Indies by delivering the performances required to regain the Ashes later this summer. England's newly-appointed team director has been...
Foley's Irish Call-Up Prompts Comparisons to Irwin by Wolves Colleague
Byline: LISA SMITH Stephen Ward has tipped his Wolverhampton Wanderers' team-mate Kevin Foley to make a huge impression after being included in the Ireland international squad for the forthcoming friendly with Nigeria, even suggesting he could be...
Freeth Cartwright Hits Private Equity High
Byline: ALUN THORNE The Birmingham office of Midlands law firm Freeth Cartwright LLP has bucked the downward private equity trend with a trio of corporate transactions including advising two of the Midlands' leading private equity houses in deals...
Greening Wants Bouncebackability
Byline: ROB TANNER The fight may be over and the cause lost, but West Bromwich Albion captain Jonathan Greening has vowed the Baggies will be going all out to end their season on a positive note with victory at Blackburn Rovers on Sunday. The...
Homeserve to Sell off Its Emergency Repairs Arm; INSURANCE
Byline: JOHN CRANAGE Household emergencies insurer Homeserve has put its Emergency Services operation up for sale after it failed to meet expectations. The company, Walsall's biggest employer, said it now planned to concentrate on growing its...
Howard Victim of Attempt to Unseat Whitby as City Leader
A senior Birmingham Tory councillor was last night sacked from his pounds 21,000 a year job in the fall-out of a failed attempt to topple city leader Mike Whitby. Coun Peter Howard (Sutton Four Oaks) did not return for the second half of the city...
Humanity Has Its Day; Rev Chris Dowd Says Both Sides of the Sexuality Argument Are Finally Listening to Each Other
Byline: Rev Chris Dowd It's hard to believe that there was a time when people of faith argued about who could eat with whom; or that people argued fiercely that men needed to be circumcised to join churches; or that slavery was a Christian blessing,...
"I Had an Opportunity to Win; GOLF
Byline: ROB TANNER Robert Rock has automatic qualification for this year's Open Championship in his sights after back-to-back secondplaced finishes. Rock is the in-form golfer on the European Tour at the moment and the 32-year-old from Lichfield...
International Business Activity Has HSBC Making Global Manager Appointments
HSBC Corporate Banking has appointed Paul Dilkes and Ian Sharp to newly-created global relationship manager positions in its Birminghambased Midlands team. The recruitment is a reaction to the increase in customers in the region doing business internationally...
Internet Route to Sourcing Finance; in Today's Recessionary Marketplace, the Need to Generate Business Funding Immediately and Effectively Is Paramount. the Internet Has to Be the Way Ahead for Sourcing the Best Invoice Finance Deals, Says Simon Carter, Director at Leading Online Broker Touch Financial
Byline: Simon Carter T he Internet can no longer be discounted as a supplementary or superfluous sales generation channel for invoice finance. With burgeoning numbers of business Internet users, the speed and flexibility offered by online fund sourcing...
It's Time for the Bears to Stand and Deliver; FRIENDS PROVIDENT TROPHY
Byline: ANDY WALKER The Warwickshire Bears enter the lastchance saloon in the Friends Provident Trophy today. While that is an apt place to be, given the fact that the county are about to embark on a wild west theme for the Twenty20 Cup campaign,...
Jealousy Can Eat Away at the Strongest Union
Byline: ALUN THORNE A Midland family lawyer has warned there are "lots of Katie Prices and Peter Andres out there" who allow jealousy to wreck their marriage. Michael Vale, a partner at Else Solicitors, which has offices in Birmingham and Burton-on-Trent,...
Johnson's Warning for Cipriani after Test Squad Omission; PA SPORT
Byline: ALEX LOWE Danny Cipriani has been warned his international future depends in a large part on how he reacts to being overlooked for England's summer Test series against Argentina. The Wasps fly half will play for the second-string Saxons...
Late Payments Putting Extra Pressure on Small Businesses
Byline: GEMMA LITTLETON Small businesses in the West Midlands are coming under rising cash-flow pressure after new research found a 58 per cent rise in late payments. Enterprises have been forced to write off pounds 526 million in bad debt in...
LDV Staff to Be Paid Two Weeks' Wages; AUTOMOTIVE
Byline: GRAEME BROWN LDV workers are being paid two weeks' wages this week after the company successfully withdrew its application for administration. The Washwood Heath van maker, which announced this week it plans to resume production in July,...
Lester Urges Firms to Explore Cash Options
Byline: ALUN THORNE The former head of Jaguar Cars has called on West Midlands businesses to seek innovative means of securing finance in order to overcome the shortage of credit from banks and building societies. Andrew Lester, a managing partner...
Leumi ABL - Defying the Crunch and Ready to Help Businesses Thrive; LEUMI ABL: ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE
A t a time when many banks and other financial institutions are finding it difficult to lend, Leumi ABL's positive and flexible approach is resulting in some innovative deal successes. As many businesses increasingly seek flexible and accessible...
Markets in Africa and India Boost Vodafone's Operating Profits; Telecoms Giant Vodafone COMMUNICATIONS
Telecoms giant Vodafone has posted pounds 11.8 billion operating profits but warned that it does not expect to better the figure in the current financial year. The mobile phone company said the 16.7 per cent improvement in adjusted operating profits...
Maternity Pay Deal Could Put Women at a Disadvantage
A maternity pay bonanza planned by the European Union could have an adverse effect on the employment market in Britain - making it increasingly unattractive for businesses to take on women. Sally Morris, head of employment law at MFG Solicitors,...
Media Has Duty to Drag Politicians into the Public Spotlight; AGENDA & LETTERS
Dear Editor, What I have heard over the last couple of weeks has even surprised me - and I was disillusioned in the 1980s when I considered a career in politics. The current crises with parliament is the worst crises since the Civil War, Parliament...
Microsoft Back with Windows 7
Byline: andy dent Finally, Microsoft has nailed its colours to the mast and announced that its longawaited new Windows 7 operating system will go on general release before the end of this year. The release of the successor to the much-maligned...
Middlesex Fail in Attempt to Get Powerplay Problem Put Right at Second Attempt; FRIENDS PROVIDENT TROPHY
Middlesex's request to replay their Friends Provident Trophy match against Somerset has been turned down by the England and Wales Cricket Board. Somerset won Sunday's game on the Duckworth/Lewis method but Middlesex were upset that the Sabres were...
MPs Setting Bad Example as Business Suffers Pounds 1bn Loss on Expenses 'Fiddling'
As the fallout over the MPs' expenses scandal continues, one of the region's leading employment lawyers has warned of the cost to West Midlands' business from fraudulent claims by employees. A recent survey found that UK workers are swindling their...
M& S Profit Plunge and Shareholder Pay-Out Cut Sparks Retailer Slide; MARKET REPORT
Marks & Spencer sparked a share slide for major British retailers yesterday after the high street giant said profits plunged 40 per cent and cut its shareholder pay-out. M& S led declines across the sector with a fall of more than eight...
M& S Slash Dividends as Profits Decline by 40pc; RETAIL
Byline: JOHNCRANAGE Marks & Spencer slashed its dividend payment by a third yesterday as it reported a 40 per cent drop in full-year profits. M& S said heavy discounting and price reductions in the recession had seen profits slump to...
Need for Cash Drives Asset Based Finance Expansion; Stephen Maskell, Head of Banking and Finance at Else Commercial Solicitors, Explains Why Asset Based Lending Is Proving Increasingly Attractive
Byline: Stephen Maskell 2 008 was a landmark year for the asset-based finance industry and 2009 is likely to follow suit. Asset based lending is growing far faster than traditional lending. Not surprising perhaps given the credit crunch, the...
New Health Alert over Drinking Lots of Cola
Byline: JANE KIRBY Experts have issued a warning against drinking large quantities of cola, saying it could lead to muscle problems, an irregular heartbeat and bone weakness. The number of cola lovers suffering health issues is on the rise, they...
New Home Restrictions to 'Impact' on Industry
Byline: PAUL DALE The battle to protect the West Midlands green belt took a new twist yesterday when the country's biggest construction lobby group claimed builders would be put out of business in the recession if existing restrictions on development...
New Web Search Tool 'Could Rival Google'
Byline: GRAEME BROWN A revolutionary search tool that computes answers rather than pointing to related websites was hailed as a potential rival to Google on the day of its official launch. Wolfram Alpha searches its own databases and other sources...
Now Is the Time for Companies to Be Looking Ahead; Kate Sharp, Chief Executive of the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA), Discusses the Range of Business Benefits That Come with Using Asset Based Finance (ABF), How the Industry Is Growing Faster Than Traditional Bank Funding and How It Can Prove to Be a Flexible and Reactive Form of Funding When Other Possible Streams Remain Restricted and Difficult
Byline: Kate Sharp conomists and business leaders are unanimous when suggesting that there was a "frightening deterioration" in the country's finances towards the end of 2008 and into 2009. As unemployment rises, GDP slumps and bank lending continues...
Now We Can Speak Freely about Improving the Expenses System
Speaker of the House to step down - page 16 In the end, the Speaker showed that he was indeed the embodiment of the House of Commons, and no more nor less than that. When a significant number of MPs lost con- fidence in him, including a minority...
Plea to Voters: Think Small; Denise Craig
On June 4, the UK electorate will decide who represents UK interests in the European Parliament. The FSB is calling on all European election candidates to "Think Small First" and remember that small businesses have a vital role to play in reversing...
Presidents Drop in for Oklahoma
Byline: amateur stage Bromsgrove Operatic Society's Oklahama! was visited by two rather special national presidents of the National Operatic & Dramatic Association. The current president, Bert Lumsden, from Dundee, was wearing a brand new...
Primary Care Trust's Frank Warning on Teen Births
A hard-hitting video showing a schoolgirl giving birth has drawn more than 70,000 views. The controversial video is the latest weapon used by a local primary care trust in the fight to reduce teen pregnancies. The clip, dubbed Teenage Kicks,...
Printing Up New Deals; PRINT
Byline: GRAEMEBROWN Print management firm etrinsic has secured two new contracts worth a combined pounds 1.65million pwer per year despite tough economic conditions. The Shirley-based company, which specialises in print, direct mail and marketing,...
Quantitative Easing Call to Stave off Deflation; ECONOMICS
Byline: JOHN CRANAGE Businesses in the West Midlands have called on the Government to act to stave off worsening deflation, which moved into record territory last month. They want the Bank of England to step up its so-called quantitative easing...
Relocated Markets to Regenerate Digbeth
Byline: ANNA BLACKABY A pounds 100 million scheme to move Birmingham's wholesale markets out of Digbeth has been given the green light - clearing the way for one of the UK's biggest urban regeneration opportunities. Birmingham City Council has...
Rodwell Uncertain over Future with Moseley; RUGBY UNION
Byline: BRIAN DICK Moseley's try machine James Rodwell has cast doubt on his future at Billesley Common by maintaining he does not want to be part of the club's community coaching scheme next season. The pacy No 8, due to play for England in...
Sales Surge at SSL Is Driven by Desire; CONSUMER
Increasing desire among Britons for sex toys and lubricants has led to a further surge in sales for the owner of Durex condoms. SSL International said sales of its Durex Play range, which includes lubricants and vibrators, have leapt 17.7 per cent...
Schemes for Adventurous and Cautious Investors; Paul Taylor, Managing Director of McCarthy Taylor, Looks at Ways to Protect Your Wealth during the Economic Downturn
Byline: Paul Taylor With all the doom and gloom appearing in the media about the state of the markets, and Alistair Darling's recent Budget attacking high earners, it has never been more important to preserve your wealth. After all, you've put the...
Schools Need to Tackle Homophobic Bullying; AGENDA & LETTERS
Dear Editor, Steve Ball provides a welcome assessment of the landscape for young gay and lesbian people at school (Supporting gay pupils, Birmingham Post, 19 May) and the frequent failure of schools to act on homophobic bullying. The case for immediate...
Sergeant Reveals Nearly All for the Directors' Benefit
Byline: john bright Top political journalist John Sergeant, now equally well known as the man who resigned from Strictly Come Dancing, was on form when delivering the Institute of Directors' Annual Lecture at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham....
Shorey: We Have Taken Great Strides
Byline: MAT KENDRICK BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE: his team- mate Foley - a right- back - and included squad for the forthcoming Craven Cottage stadium. annouunced this week his the game onMay29saying: allowustoseesome who have distinguished the course...
Speaker's Exit Won't End Parliament Ills - McCabe
Byline: JONATHAN WALKER The resignation of the Commons Speaker will do nothing to end the crisis gripping Parliament, a Birmingham MP has warned. Steve McCabe (Lab Hall Green) said: "If people think the getting rid of the Speaker is going to...
Striving for Happiness; Philip Holyman Tells Terry Grimley about the Joy of Grassroots Theatre
Byline: Terry Grimley Birmingham has proved to be stony ground for small-scale theatre companies over the years, but The Happiness Patrol seems to be one which is putting down roots and attracting some attention. After sell-out performances at...
'Suicide' Note Examined in Case of Burned Body
Byline: MARK COWAN Handwriting experts have been called in by police to examine a note left near the badly-burned body of a woman murdered in her own home. Kuldeep Kaur Sidhu was found at the foot of the stairs with a ligature around her neck...
Surviving and Thriving Today; Alison Scott, Associate in Harrison Clark LLP's Corporate Department, Analyses the Challenges Facing Firms Restructuring Their Debt
Byline: Alison Scott K corporates are facing increasing pressure on sales and margins; and bank support is wavering when it is needed most. Companies are increasingly being met with unpredictable responses from their banks when approaching them...
Talbots and DBL Merger Paves Way for Expansion
Byline: ALUN THORNE Two West Midland law firms have finalised a merger that will create a firm with five offices across the region, a turnover of pounds 4million and 100 staff. The merger of Talbots, which was established in 1828, and Dunham,...
The Underworld of the Almanac
Byline: chris upton Unless you're suffering from a truly awful hangover, it's not hard to find out what day of the week it is, or the day of the month. The relevant information is displayed at the top of your newspaper, on the computer and on your...
Use the Appropriate Facility and Provider; Julian Straker Is Regional Director in the Midlands for BTG Commercial Finance, Part of the AIM Listed Begbies Traynor Group
Byline: Julian Straker T he services provided by asset based financiers, principally factoring and invoice discounting, continue to grow in popularity in spite of, or perhaps because of, the current economic climate. Statistics from the Asset Based...
Victims Tell of Trauma as Menace Car Thief Is Jailed
Victims of a prolific car thief who plagued the West Midlands in a seven-month crime spree today described the impact he had on their lives. Notorious crook Lee Morris swiped luxury cars worth more than half-amillion pounds after breaking into homes...
Walker's Relief at Finally Being Somewhere He Is Wanted
Byline: BRIAN DICK Worcester play-maker Willie Walker has spoken of his relief at making his move to Sixways a permanent one. The midfielder joined on a permanent basis from Gloucester at the end of last week, having spent the final two month...
We Must Not Relax Green Belt Protection
Green belt restrictions threaten developers - page 13 Builders are warning that restrictions preventing development on greenfield sites and the green belt could put them out of business during the recession. Well, they would say that, wouldn't they?...
We're Building Up an Appetite; Taste of Business
We are always looking for new things to say about Birmingham, to grab the attention of the media and the public, and with plenty going on in the city, including commercial development, multibillion pound public sector infrastructure projects, sporting...