Birmingham,The Stirrer, Black Country

news that matters, campaigns that count

for Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond

November 2009

TRUST’S “LEGAL THREAT” OVER DEATH RATES

30-11-2009

Birmingham University Hospital Trust – which runs the QE and Selly Oak – is warning of legal action over claims that its death rate is higher than expected. They have answered claims that 11 "foreign bodies" were left in patients bodies after operations. more


POLICE VOTE - IT'S A FAIR COP

30-11-2009

If the Tories win the next election, they’ve signalled that elected police commissioners will be introduced – leading critics to complain about political interference. But in the West Midlands we already have a Force that picks and chooses which laws it wants to enforce. more


1200 SIGN UP AGAINST "MEAN SPIRITED" CHARGE

30-11-2009

More than 1200 people signed a petition in Wednesfield this weekend against Wolverhampton Council’s plans to dramatically increase Meals on Wheels charges - and now local MP Rob Marris has joined the fray, suggesting the new prices are “mean spirited” more


Get Out More.........................Gig News

NEW SHOWS AT SYMPHONY HALL/TOWN HALL

30-11-2009

Comedians Jimmy Carr and Tim Vine, mums’ favourites The Solders and eighties stars Ultravox are amongst new shows announced for 2010 at Symphony Hall/Birmingham Town Hall. Over to the venues’ PR man Lyle Bignon... more


EARLY CHRISTMAS

30-11-2009

Christmas came early this week for Birmingham Council leader Mike Whitby and and developer Gary Taylor as two important decisions went in their favour about the new Central Library - and the redevelopment of Paradise Circus which relies on the demlition of the old one. Library campaigner Alan Clawley offers his personal view.more


Get Out More.................................Dance Review

THE NUTCRACKER/2FACED DANCE

30-11-2009

Two very different dance productions at the Birmingham Hippodrome this week. Richard Lutz (60) and 8-year old Molly Lutz give us a rundown on a Christmas favourite which is a perfect complement to muscular stuff at the adjoining Patrick Centre. more


YAQOOB IN FOR WOOTTON BASSETT QT

28-11-2009

Respect Party leader and Birmingham councillor Salma Yaqoob has been booked for a potentially volatile edition of the BBC’s flagship current affairs show Question Time next month. The programme will be broadcast from Wootton Bassett, the village famous for giving a respectful send-off to British soldiers who’ve died in Afghanistan. more


RATES OF INTEREST

28-11-2009

London Citizens, a charitable organisation which marched against usury in the City of London this summer, gathered at the Barbican Centre on 25th November, calling for a cap on interest rates and the extension of the living wage. Barbara Panvel reports. more


Get Out More..................................Film Review

HARRY BROWN (18)

28-11-2009

It’s already taken £2million at the box office, and this gritty British vigilante drama continues to hold down a screen or two at the multiplexes. Catch it while you can says Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg. more


NO FREE LUNCH

28-11-2009

The Good Food Show ending on Sunday will be attracting customers to the NEC in their droves. But as Dave Woodhall reports, it comes at a price. more


BOXING NEWS

28-11-2009

Dave Woodhall reports on a night of big fight action from Birmingham's Tower Ballroom. Top of the bill Robert Hunt v Daniel Thorpe, with an undercard stuffed full of local talent. more


Kingy’s Wolves Blog

PLAY IT AGAIN MICK

28-11-2009

It’s Wolves v Blues on Sunday lunchtime. Brendan King looks forward to the game and back to Wolves’ previous Premiership season. more


CIVIC PRIDE

27-11-2009

West Bromwich is hardly the rock’n’roll capital of the world. But as Dave Woodhall reports, the town should be making more of its musical claim to fame. more


NEW LIBRARY TO BE "ICON" - OR "MONSTROSITY"

27-11-2009

Birmingham Council leader Mike Whitby has hailed the city's proposed new library in Centenary Square, which was given planning approval yesterday, as an "iconic regional landmark" - but not everyone sees it that way. One senior councillor has described it as "a monstrosity". more


Get Out More........................Film Review

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (15)

27-11-2009

Like The Blair Witch Project, this is all shot on DVD. Unlike that ground-breaking low budget movie, this is a genuinely effective chiller which keeps you one edge right until the end of the closing credits. more


GREEN BILE

27-11-2009

Has The Stirrer turned into The Daily Mail wonders Karen Leach of Localise West Midlands? Here's her response to yesterday's article about the creation of a Climate Change Adaptation and Green Infrastructure Manager at Birmingham City Council. more


ANYONE GOT £3 MILLION TO SPARE?

27-11-2009

Birmingham’s bid to become home to the Staffordshire Hoard has taken a step forward this week, after the collection of recently-discovered treasure was formally valued. Now comes the hard part..... more


CITY OF CULTURE – MAKE YOUR MARK

27-11-2009

Want to get support Birmingham’s cultural ambitions? Here’s how you can do your bit... more


SPONSORED SWIM FOR HISTORIC BIRMINGHAM POOL

27-11-2009

Age is no barrier to staying active, especially when it can also raise money for a worthy cause. Steve Beauchampe keeps us informed of the latest venture at Moseley Road baths. more


LEGAL CHALLENGE TO LIBRARY DEMOLITION

26-11-2009

Campaigner Alan Clawley has revealed plans to mount a legal challenge to Culture Minister Margaret Hodge following her refusal this week to list Birmingham Central Library. The proposed new library in Centenary Square, due to be completed in 2013, was today given planning permission. more


WALKERS TOLD TO KEEP OUT AFTER £40,000 UPGRADE

26-11-2009

Dog walkers and other residents hoping to enjoy a Birmingham nature reserve recently upgraded at a cost of £40,000 were shocked to see “Keep Out” signs yesterday warning them off entering. more


JOBS GO, BUT PLANET SAVED

26-11-2009

Financially-stricken Birmingham Council is in the process of shedding more than 300 posts by the end of the financial year - but taxpayers will be delighted to know that it’s still got cash available to save the planet. more


Get Out More.........................Dance News

INTERNATIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL 2010

26-11-2009

Details have emerged of Birmingham's International Dance Festival for 2010. It will feature a new work performed and choreographed by Akram Khan, the Mark Morris Dance Group will be backed by the English National Opera, and the National Ballet of Cuba will feature guest appearances by Carlos Acosta. To see the full programme click here pdf


BORDESLEY BLUE

26-11-2009

More information reaches the Stirrer about the arrival of two former Liberal Democrat councillors in the Conservative ranks in Birmingham. Neither has yet been selected to fight the Bordesley ward – but the smart money says one of them will be. more


STIRRER TURNS ON WEDNESBURY FOR XMAS

26-11-2009

Quick! Prepare the crush barriers. Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg will be switching on the Christmas lights in Wednesbury tomorrow night. The good news is that JLS and Sugababes haven’t been invited. more


READY AND ABLE

26-11-2009

Coming soon - the history of the radically minded Birmingham Disability Resource Centre. As told by Spaghetti Gazetti blogger - and former BDRC worker - Peter Millington. more


Andy’s Blues Blog

WINNING UGLY

26-11-2009

Blues head into Sunday’s derby against Wolves in fine fettle having “stolen” three points from Fulham on Saturday. Andy Munro is delighted to see the ugly side of the beautiful game. more


Get Out More...................................Event News

VENEZUELA SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN

26-11-2009

Next Thursday (December 3), there’s an event celebrating and supporting the tenth anniversary of the “Bolivarian Revolution” founded by Hugo Chavez. It’s at the UNISON Regional Centre, 24 Livery Street, Birmingham, B3 2PA starting at 7.30pm. more


TRUST MERGER AS NHS FACES 20% CUTS

25-11-2009

Birmingham’s three Primary Care Trusts are considering a merger in light of possible NHS cuts of 20% after 2011. Previous efforts at combining the Trusts were rejected because it was feared the special needs of the inner city might be overlooked. more


SPARKBROOK SURPRISE

25-11-2009

Birmingham councillors and MPs have been registering their concern about the police’s decision not to pursue prosecutions following the recent Sparkbrook by-election – in which almost 400 postal votes were rejected. more


Opera Blog

PEOPLE DANCING

25-11-2009

Canadian-born, London-based dance artist Jen Irons works internationally as a choreographer, dancer and teacher and is Artistic Director of physical theatre company, iRONiNC. Earlier this year she was appointed Assistant Choreographer for Birmingham Opera Company, helping Associate Artist & Choreographer Ron Howells create the company’s first ever Community Dance Company for the new production of Othello premiering at the Argyle Works, a former industrial plant in Digbeth on Saturday 5th December. With just under two weeks to go, she gives an insight into how she went about finding local dancers to take part... more


THE HOME OF FOOTBALL

25-11-2009

The statue of Villa man and football pioneer William McGregor makes its long-awaited debut against Spurs on Saturday. Dave Woodhall reports. more


EX LIB DEMS "CONVERT TO BRUM TORIES"

25-11-2009

Two former Liberal Democrats councillors with what might be described as colourful backgrounds are tipped on The Stirrer Forum to join Birmingham’s Conservative party. The news will strengthen David Cameron’s claim that the modern-day Tories are more inclusive, but will also raise a few quizzical looks among the party faithful. more


Get Out More.........................Gig Review

BOB HARRIS

25-11-2009

‘Twas a wet and windy night in Bilston. But all around was sunshine as Britain’s greatest living music broadcaster took to the stage of the Robin 2. more


BOXING NEWS

25-11-2009

There’s a busy weekend ahead for local fight fans. Dave Woodhall tells us what lies in store. more


Terry’s Baggies Blog

BRISTOL BANISHED

25-11-2009

Albion supporter Terry Wills gives us his lowdown on how the Robins were sent bobbing. more


150 MILLION REASONS FOR WORLD CUP BID

24-11-2009

Birmingham taxpayers will have to spend around £15million if the city’s attempt to become a host venue for the 2018 World Cup is successful – but the financial benefits are estimated at £150million. more


SILVER HAMMER

24-11-2009

In a further blow to the West Midlands declining media industry, the BBC has axed its long-running radio soap Silver Street – produced for the Asian Network from its Mailbox studios in Birmingham. more


Richard Lutz’s Blog

YANKED OFF

24-11-2009

A blow for Birmingham Airport- another airline has pulled out, according to Richard Lutz. more


Get Out More..............................Film Review

2012

24-11-2009

If we’ve only got three years to go we may as well make the most of it. Dave Woodhall spends a few of those precious hours watching the latest Hollywood blockbuster, 2012. more


Central Library 1

LIBRARY DEMOLITION "CREATES 13,000 JOBS"

24-11-2009

Birmingham Council leader Mike Whitby claims 13,000 jobs will be created by the redevelopment of Paradise Circus following the government's refusal to list Birmingham Central Library. As predicted last week on The Stirrer, Culture Minister Margaret Hodge made the announcement in the city yesterday - paving the way for the demolition of John Madin's Brutalist classic. more


WELCOME, DAVE

24-11-2009

The Stirrer is delighted to welcome Dave Woodhall to our editorial team as Associate Editor. Dave, who founded the long-running Villa fanzine Heroes and Villains is now putting his shoulder to the wheel at the West Midlands leading independent news website. more


Central Library 2

Alan Clawley's blog

MINISTER SAYS NO

24-11-2009

As expected, Culture Minister Margaret Hodge has refused to declare Birmingham Central Library a listed building, paving the way for redevelopment. Campaigner Alan Clawley is not impressed. more


PINEWOOD – THE PLOT THICKENS

24-11-2009

The campaign to see Pinewood film studios relocated to the Midlands is gathering momentum. We now learn that residents near its current site in Buckinghamshire are keen to see the British film industry gain a new home.... more


Audrey’s blog

FAITH IN THE CITY

24-11-2009

It’s not just about Bono and Bob Geldof. Audrey Miller tells The Stirrer how religious groups throughout Birmingham are working together to campaign in favour of cancelling third world debt. more


SKINT STAR GOES FOR BROKE

24-11-2009

Birmingham Big Issue seller and telly star Skint Vernon Burgess has a charity single out in time for Christmas. It also features Midlands X Factor girlies Belle Sorelle. more


PHOENIX FOUR SHOULD HAND BACK £11M WINDFALL

23-11-2009

The directors who took MG Rover into liquidation have been urged to plough an £11million windfall from the collapse of the company into the local community. Northfield MP Richard Burden says it would help restore their tarnished reputation. more


TWO CHEERS FOR THE WOLVES

23-11-2009

It seems progress is finally being made in the campaign by disabled Wolves supporters to be able to watch their team play. The campaign, which was first mentioned on The Stirrer and has since achieved national prominence after being picked up by BBC Radio Five Live, has already led to greater dialogue between the club and some of its most loyal supporters. But as you will read, this welcome breakthrough may not be enough to help some. more


Richard Lutz’s Blog

FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN

23-11-2009

X -Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, I’m a Celebrity...all the world’s abuzz about the big stories this week. But Richard Lutz has some important tales to tell about small victories in high places. more


HOW TO BUILD A BETTER MOUSETRAP

23-11-2009

200 years after the death of great Birmingham inventor Matthew Boulton, his spirit lives on in the form of a little-known but potentially significant group of local people. Dave Woodhall went along to meet them. more


HORSING AROUND

23-11-2009

Is there a more quirky event in the West Midlands than the Thomas Vale Pantomime Horse Grand National? If so, we can't wait to see it. more


Get Out More.......................Gig News

'WHISPERING' AT THE ROBIN

23-11-2009

Not many BBC presenters win the approval of the Mail on Sunday but ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris had done so and remains one of the best-known and best-loved voices on the wireless. He’s appearing at the Robin 2 this Tuesday (24th November) and the neighbours won’t be complaining about the noise. more


Barbara’s Blog

AWARD IN YOUR EAR

23-11-2009

Kirsty Davies, the MD of Smethwick metal basher Professional Polishing Services was recently given this year’s Attwood Award - named in honour of the campaigning Birmingham MP Thomas Attwood. Barbara Panvel pays tribute. more


Get Out More Special.......................Things To Do

YOU CAN BE THE MAIN ATTRACTION

23-11-2009

Ever fancied yourself as a songwriter but you haven’t got a clue how to get started? Here’s your chance to learn how, maybe appear onstage, and contribute to a worthy cause at the same time. more


WIN.......WIN..........WIN..............WIN..........WIN

THE NUTCRACKER

20-11-2009

The Nutcracker which starts next week at Birmingham Hippodrome is an unmissable Christmas treat - and The Stirrer has two tickets to win. more


Central Library 1

CONSPIRACY AND BLUSTER

20-11-2009

News that Culture Minister Margaret Hodge is expected in Birmingham on Monday to announce that Birmingham’s Central Library won’t be listed has angered campaigner Alan Clawley. He accuses the government of conspiracy, and the Council of bluster. more


Get Out More.........................................Film News

ELECTRIC CINEMA LISTINGS

20-11-2009

Some interesting stuff knocking around at The Electric - two free screenings, Matt Damon's new thriller The Informant and a Christmas comedy show starring Barbara Nice. more


Central Library 2

DEMOLITION MAN

20-11-2009

Stirrer reader and Birmingham city centre resident Matthew Bott is not a friend of the existing Central Library. In fact, he can't wait for the wrecking ball to begin. more


Get Out More............................................Gig News

FLAMING LIPS

20-11-2009

A joyous, life affirming set from Oklahoma's finest at the Academy in Birmingham this week, enjoyed by Damien Doran. more


Get Out More.....................................Gig News

NEW TOWN HALL/SYMPHONY HALL SHOWS

20-11-2009

Julian Clary, Eastenders actor Larry Lamb, Courtney Pine and country singer Beth Nielsen Chapman are among the latest dates confirmed for Birmingham Town Hall and Symphony Hall. Let their PR geezer Lyle Bignon try and tempt you... more


Exclusive

LIBRARY DEATH KNELL BOOKED FOR MONDAY

19-11-2009

The Stirrer understands that Culture Minister Margaret Hodge will visit Birmingham on Monday to announce that the city’s Central Library won’t be listed – allowing the City Council to send in the bulldozers to Paradise Square. A leading architectural historian branded Hodge a “philistine”. more


BUCK UP!

19-11-2009

Villa fan Buck Chinn – father of broadcaster Carl – was one of the West Midlands first supporter activists, trying his best to counter the dictatorial tendencies of Doug Ellis. With Buck now fighting a serious illness, Dave Woodhall pays tribute. more


Andy’s Balti Blog

JYOTI

19-11-2009

This much loved budget vegetarian specialist has moved from Sparkbrook to Hall Green. Andy Munro checks out how well it’s travelled. more


WHITBY DENIES SETTING COUNCIL TAX

19-11-2009

Spin doctors for Birmingham Council leader Mike Whitby have been in touch to deny yesterday's Stirrer story suggesting that the city's Council Tax has already been set at 1.9%. They also deny that he's been dismissive of the views of backbenchers. more


MAKING ALLOWANCES

19-11-2009

Government plans to provide free home care for the frail and elderly have been unveiled in parliament, but wheelchair user Brendan King is sceptical - not least because benefits for disabled people have already been targeted for cuts. more


CONFESSIONS OF A BRUMMIE MUMMY (Part 44)

19-11-2009

The last time we heard from her, Brummie Mummy was tumbling into the wilds of Shropshire on an adventure with her lover Ian… more


Richard Lutz’s Blog

YE OLDE I-PHONE

19-11-2009

Richard Lutz is an iPhone widower. A sad tale indeed… more


INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT

19-11-2009

Friends of the Earth have weighed into the debate about Birmingham International by claiming there’s an even worse station in the region – Kings Heath. So bad, in fact, that it’s non existent… more


Get Out More.............................Event News

OH MY GOD! IT’S ARIANE

19-11-2009

Ariane Sherine, the woman behind an atheist bus campaign, is visiting Birmingham next Wednesday. Adrian Bailey explains why he’s invited her. more


Get Out More.........................Play Review

ANNIE

19-11-2009

This modern classic runs at the Alex in Birmingham until November 21. Terry Wills enjoys. more


WHITBY LOOKS AT 1.9% TAX RISE

18-11-2009

Council tax in Birmingham is likely to rise by an above inflation 1.9% next year following a private meeting of the city’s Tory Cabinet members. The news comes amid brighter prospects for the local authority’s budget deficit – but is still likely to upset cost conscious Conservative backbenchers. more


STOP THE BLAME GAME

18-11-2009

Arguments over who is to blame for the cancellation of last Saturday’s Christmas lights switch on in Birmingham have rumbled on. Steve Beauchampé calls for a sense of perspective. more


Get Out More.................................Gig Listings

THE ROBIN 2

18-11-2009

There are some knockout gigs at Bilston's home of rock, with Quicksilver Messeneger Service and Jefferson Starship evoking the spirit of Woordstock - not to mention an appearance by Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green. Here are the full listings for November and December. more


"OI! OUR STATION IS RUBBISH TOO, YOU KNOW"

18-11-2009

Business leaders have issued an astonishing press release rubbishing Birmingham International railway station. Scoring a deliberate PR own goal, they’ve voiced “amazement” that it hasn’t been listed as one of the worst stations in the country. more


OCH AYE! THE NEW

18-11-2009

Wondering who’ll be next Scotland manager? Andy Munro offers ten good reasons why it should be him. more


Richard Lutz’s Blog

KEEPING YOU POSTED

18-11-2009

The new weekly Birmingham Post dropped through Richard Lutz’s door. A sad day indeed, he reckons …. more


Terry's Baggies Blog

BACK TO BUSINESS AS USUAL

18-11-2009

After the international break, it's back to league action for the Baggies on Saturday. Terry Wills can't wait. more


Exclusive

LIBRARY CUTS TO BALANCE THE BOOKS

17-11-2009

The Stirrer understands that library closures are being considered next year as part of Birmingham Council’s financial review. Book budgets are also being lined up for a 50% cut. more


CABINET "NO SHOW" FOR MEALS ON WHEELS

17-11-2009

More than 60 people attended a public consultation into increased charges for meals on wheels and day care centres in Wolverhampton last night – but the Cabinet member behind the local authority’s plan was otherwise engaged. more


KHALID'S "SHOCK AND CONCERN" OVER XMAS LIGHTS

17-11-2009

MP Khalid Mahmood has written to Birmingham Council’s chief executive Stephen Hughes voicing his “shock and concern” about the city’s abandoned Christmas lights switch on. He suggests Villa Park, St Andrews or the NIA might have been a better venue than Millennium Point. more


TAKING THE RISE OUT OF PASSENGERS

17-11-2009

Rail passengers can put away those champagne bottles – despite headlines proclaiming that rail fares would rise by just over 1%, Kevin Chapman reveals that tickets for many journeys will rise by considerably more. more


THE MAN WITH A GLOBE ON HIS HEAD

17-11-2009

Morrissey was merely the boy with the thorn in his side. Dick Rodgers explains why he’s the bloke with a globe on his bonce… more


LIGHTS ON, SOMEONE HOME

17-11-2009

Sibyl Ruth is glad she refused to give in to her daughter’s plea to attend the Christmas Lights switch-on in Birmingham on Saturday. Using her experience as an events organiser, she assesses what went wrong. more


Get Out More........................................Gig Review

JIMMY WEBB AND THE WEBB FAMILY

17-11-2009

One of the great songwriters entertained a suprisingly sparse crowd at Birmingham Town Hall recently. Paul Samuels was one of the tasteful few. more


NEW “FESTIVAL STREET” FOR BRUM

17-11-2009

Digbeth could become Birmingham’s “Festival Street”, hosting major arts events, according to the city’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture Martin Mullaney. more


QUESTIONS FROM THE CHAOS

16-11-2009

As the inquiries begin into Saturday's Xmas lights fiasco in which at least 60 people were hurt, Stirrer reader and Spaghetti Gazetti blogger Pete Millington offers a first hand view. more


SPARKS FLY FROM MEALS ON WHEELS

16-11-2009

Expect a boisterous public meeting in Wolverhampton today when the local authority consults over proposed increases in meals on wheels prices and a range of other changes which will push up the cost of living for vulnerable people in the city. more


300 COUNCIL JOBS TO GO

16-11-2009

A further 300 posts are due to be axed by Birmingham Council by the end of the financial year – on top of 400 which have already been lost since April. Staff have also been warned to budget for annual cuts of 5% for the three years from 2011. more


MIGHT AND RIGHT

16-11-2009

Now the dust has settled on Armistice Day, Dave Woodhall reflects on the rise and rise of military madness. more


COUNCIL BOSS ATTACKS STIRRER, DEFENDS FORWARD

16-11-2009

Birmingham Council's Director of Communications has launched an outspoken attack on The Stirrer's report about the local authority's free publication Forward - described on these pages recently as "pisspoor". more


THE LAST POST

16-11-2009

The demise of the Birmingham Post as a daily publication leaves Andy Munro musing on the future of local media in the West Midlands. more


Birmingham Central Library

CONSULTATION - WHAT CONSULTATION?

16-11-2009

With work apparently having started on Birmingham’s new Central Library even before planning permission has been granted campaigner Alan Clawley has been trying to find who’s objected to the new building – and what they’ve been saying. more


DOZENS HURT IN XMAS LIGHTS FIASCO

14-11-2009

Dozens of people were hurt as Birmingham's Christmas light switch-on descended into a dangerous fiasco. The event was abandoned as fans broke through security lines at the climax of a performance by boy band JLS. more


COOPER IN AS TRIBUTES PAID TO THOMAS

14-11-2009

Colleagues have paid tribute to former Sandwell Council leader Bill Thomas who was given a conditional discharge yesterday after admitting theft charges. He was replaced as leader last night by Darren Cooper. more


DUCK FEEDING MUM GETS THE BIRD

13-11-2009

News that a woman has been fined £75 for feeding ducks in a Smethwick park will come as no surprise to Stirrer readers. Last year we revealed that Sandwell wardens were fining dog walkers for walking through a graveyard. more


FORWARD INTO BATTLE

13-11-2009

Birmingham Council’s pisspoor jobs freesheet/propaganda rag Forward hasn’t been published since June – but it’s still causing ructions in the corridors of power. Conservative backbenchers want to know why thousands of pounds is being spent on consultants to decide the magazine’s future. more


Get Out More................................Gig Review

THE SPECIALS

13-11-2009

Following a rapturously received 30th anniversary re-union tour in the spring and a series of summer festival appearances, Coventry legends The Specials are once again on the road. Steve Beauchampé reports on Tuesday’s show at Wolverhampton Civic Hall. more


THOMAS STANDS DOWN FROM COUNCIL

13-11-2009

The Stirrer can reveal that Bill Thomas is stepping down as a Sandwell councillor having already relinquished the leadership of the local authority. There’s also a surprise battle for the top job, with two contenders having been nominated to replace him. more


Get Out More........................................Event Preview

CAPSULE 10TH BIRTHDAY CONCERT

13-11-2009

Birmingham Town Hall's Lyle Bignon promises an extraordinary evening of music and art to mark the tenth birthday of Capsule on Wednesday, December 2. more


Richard Lutz’s Blog

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

13-11-2009

Just a fortnight after sampling some of Britain's poshest nosh darn sarf, Richard Lutz enjoys more humble, but no less enjoyable fare in Balsall Heath. It gives him plenty of food for thought... more


IT MUST BE SLOVE...

13-11-2009

Stirrer webmaster Andy Goff heads to London's Docklands Arena to find out that Israel has moved and nations are united...by the love of money. more


Get Out More.............................Gig News

WOLVES CIVIC LISTINGS

13-11-2009

The latest Wolves Civics listings are out - and they include a date for Madness with tickets going on sale this morning. Other new shows confirmed include comics Dara O'Briain and Sean Lock. more


Andy’s Blues Blog

SCOUSERS STEAL THE SHOW

13-11-2009

Blues were denied an historic win at Anfield thanks to an outrageous dive by Reds star Ngog. Andy Munro is remarkably philosophical. more


AIRPORT BOSS IN RUNWAY WARNING

12-11-2009

The boss of Birmingham Airport has warned Advantage West Midlands that unless it delivers £25m promised in aid two and a half years ago, the proposed runway extension could be scrapped – to the detriment of the entire region. more


POST GOES WEEKLY...NOT WEAKLY

12-11-2009

The Birmingham Post publishes its first weekly edition today after breaking with 150 years of tradition and scrapping daily publication.  Editor Marc Reeves admits the experiment has “got to work” to ensure the paper’s survival. more


Get Out More..............................Film Review

AN EDUCATION (12A)

12-11-2009

Based on the real life experiences of journalist Lynn Barber, this is a top movie evoking the drab, pre-feminist world of early 60s Britain – and the desire of a feisty young woman to break out of the narrow world prescribed by her parents and society. more


PM BACKS UNDERHILL FIGHT

12-11-2009

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has backed the campaign to keep open Underhill House – the old people’s home in Wolverhampton where 106-year old Louisa Watts lives. more


Andy’s Balti Blog

KABABISH

12-11-2009

This upmarket Moseley balti house has long been a Stirrer favourite. Now Andy Munro chows down. more


TOP OF THE FORM?

12-11-2009

An educational “motivator” featured on prime time BBC television despite being exposed by Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg has re-surfaced in Hollywood. Once again she’s left a trail of debts – just as she did in Birmingham. more


 

Get Out More....................Dance Review

DORIAN GRAY

12-11-2009

Contemporary dance maestro Matthew Bourne interprets Oscar Wilde's classical morality tale at the Hippodrome. Terry Wills applauds the artistry. more


BROWN SURVIVES TRIAL BY TABLOID

11-11-2009

Gordon Brown has endured trial by tabloid this week, after writing a letter of condolence then making a follow-up phone call to Jacqui Janes – the mother of a British soldier killed in Afghanistan. Stirrer editor reports on a few crumbs of comfort after a busy night on Talksport. more


UNDERHILL CASE GOES TO PARLIAMENT

11-11-2009

The case of 106-year old Louisa Watts and other residents at Wolverhampton’s threatened Underhill House will be raised in parliament today. more


ELING "TOYING" WITH LEADERSHIP DECISION

11-11-2009

The acting leader of Sandwell Council has told The Stirrer he’s still “toying” with the decision over whether or not to stand for the job permanently – but he says it won’t make any difference to the smooth running of a local authority which will today sign off a £23 million investment in two new swimming pools. more


AFTER THE GOLDRUSH

11-11-2009

Saturday was the biggest occasion in the history of Stourbridge FC when they played Walsall in the FA Cup. Last night, it was back to normal, as Dave Woodhall reports. more


CIVIC SOCIETY OPENS THE DOOR

11-11-2009

Best known for putting commemorative plaques on houses, Birmingham Civic Society is also attempting to broker major discussions about the future development of the city. Trevor Fisher reports. more


CONFESSIONS OF A BRUMMIE MUMMY (PART 43)

11-11-2009

Tonight’s the night. Brummie Mummy heads into the wilds of Shropshire with her to consummate her affair with Ian. more


Terry’s Baggies Blog

LEICESTER OUTFOXED

11-11-2009

Albion's second win on the bounce sees them rise four points clear of the chasing pack, as they consolidate a place in the top two of the Championship. Terry Wills enjoys a day out at the Walkers Stadium. more


RESPECT CALL IN COPS OVER “DIRTY TRICKS”

10-11-2009

Respect Party leader Salma Yaqoob has called in the police after becoming the victim of a dirty tricks campaign apparently targeting white voters. more


CORONATION BECKONS IN SANDWELL BATTLE

10-11-2009

The leadership of Sandwell Council could be a coronation rather than an election on Friday when Labour councillors gather to name a successor to Bill Thomas – currently awaiting trial on theft charges. more


The Stirrer’s Food Notes

LASAN/BLUE MANGO

10-11-2009

You can watch Lasan’s quest to be named “Best Local Restaurant” on Channel 4’s F Word tonight – but it really doesn’t need any accolades from Gordon Ramsay. more


RAISING THE VOLUME FOR DIGBETH

10-11-2009

The battle is on to preserve Digbeth’s status as Birmingham’s coolest late night hangout - so here’s an opportunity not to be missed by anyone with an interest in preserving its unique character. more


CARBON DATE

10-11-2009

News reaches The Stirrer of an open day on Saturday highlighting the ultimate in environmentally friendly living – the house that needs no fuel. What’s more, it’s a classic Victorian terrace in inner city Birmingham. more


CHOCS AWAY FOR CADBURY BID

09-11-2009

If, as expected, US food conglomerate Kraft launches a hostile bid for Cadbury’s today, expect the usual wailing and gnashing of teeth about the potential loss of another great Birmingham brand overseas. But companies who play with the market can’t expect to be immune from market forces. more


UNDERHILL FIGHT GOES TO DOWNING STREET

09-11-2009

Relatives and campaigners fighting to save Wolverhampton's Underhill House - home to 106-year old Louisa Watts - are heading to Downing Street today. They’ll be joining protestors aiming to save similar old people’s homes in Southampton and Hull. more


Alan Clawley’s Library Blog

THE £193 MILLION QUESTION

09-11-2009

Birmingham Central Library campaigner Alan Clawley tries to make sense of the Council’s plans for a £193 million replacement building in Centenary Square – and specifically the cost of replacing the current archives. more


UP FOR THE CUP

09-11-2009

Saturday marked the biggest day in the history of Stourbridge Football Club - a home tie in the FA Cup against Walsall. Damien Doran was among 2,000 fans squeezed into the War Memorial Ground. more


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AMNESTY XMAS CONCERT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

09-11-2009

This year's Amnesty International Christmas Concert is at Birmingham Cathedral at 11.30am on Saturday 12th December. All proceeds will be shared by the human rights organisation and the Medical Foundation. more


MONOPOLY MONEY

09-11-2009

Given the current banking crisis, underwritten by billions of pounds of taxpayers' cash, is it time to give the Bank of England a monopoly role in the creation of new money? Dr Dick Rodgers thinks so - and he's set up a Downing Street petition to prove the point. more


YOU GOTTA HAVE FAITH…

09-11-2009

Birmingham is at the centre of a new initiative to combat global debt, with faith groups from across the city uniting to re-energising to raise awareness of poverty in the developing world. Stephen Rand explains why the initiative is so important. more


Barbara's Buswatch Blog

PASSENGERS IN FOCUS

09-11-2009

Barbara Panvel's update on the Buswatch group - an independent collection of Stirrer-reading public transport users. They recently met with the Passenger Focus watchdog, which will shortly encompass responsibility for buses as well as trains. more


BIRMINGHAM ENTERS CULTURE RACE

07-11-2009

Birmingham has formally submitted a bid to become the first City of Culture in 2013 – but faces competition from at least 21 other cities.  More entrants are expected to enter the bidding before the 11 December deadline. more


“BY-ELECTION NOW” CALL FOR KIRKBRIDE

07-11-2009

The founder of the campaign to oust Julie Kirkbride has called for a pre-Christmas by-election after it emerged that the disgraced Bromsgrove MP has performed a u-turn and wants to stand again for parliament – as predicted on The Stirrer. more


Get Out More..........................Event Listings

7” LISTINGS

07-11-2009

The famously eclectic film/music/anything else that fits guide to what’s on the West Mids over the next few weeks, as compiled by the fab folk at 7”, creators of Brum’s wonderful indie film festival Flatpack. more


AIRPORT FLYING LOW – PART 2

07-11-2009

The Stirrer’s revelations about AWM’s delay in delivering £25million for transport improvements at Birmingham International Airport have caused plenty of ripples.  Here’s a response from BIA’s Head of Corporate Affairs John Morris. more


JACK STRAW'S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET

07-11-2009

Relatives of people who've died in suspicious circumstances could be denied the justice of an open inquest according to civil liberties campaigners. Amnesty International's Steve B explains why Monday's vote in parliament on a bill brought forward by Jack Straw is so important. more


 

SUPPORTING PEOPLE? AN UPDATE

07-11-2009

Following Michelle Lee's analysis of Birmingham's Supporting People commissioning process yesterday which raised concerns about the lack of support proposed for drug and alcohol dependent homeless people, we've been contacted by Cath Gilliver, chief executive of SIFA Fireside, one of the organisations which has lost out. She wants to update the story. more


Get Out More.............................Musical Review

THAT’S AMORE

07-11-2009

For one night only! Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Shirley Maclaine, Peggy Lee and Petula Clarke, ‘dropped’ into the Alex to provide a wonderful night of nostalgia, lapped up by Terry Wills. more


BRUM FILM CENSORED AFTER EMAIL SCARE

06-11-2009

The Stirrer can reveal that an anonymous email has been sent to journalists, cinema managers and the police warning of violence if the movie One Day is shown in Birmingham. The film will not now be shown in the city where it was shot. more


AIRPORT FLYING LOW

06-11-2009

As bigwigs from regeneration quango Advantage West Midlands gather for their annual conference at the ICC today – attended by regional minister Ian Austin – will anyone dare poop the party by asking why it’s taking so long to deliver on a promise to help upgrade Birmingham Airport? more


HORSING AROUND

06-11-2009

What chance of a Stirrer reader romping home in the Thomas Vale Pantomime Horse Grand National in Broad Street later this month? We’re willing to sponsor one entry into the event which is being compered by your editor. more


Kingy's Wolves Blog

DRAWING SOME CONCLUSIONS

06-11-2009

Awesome Arsenal are next up for Wolves with a Saturday tea-time kick-off at Molineux. Brendan King takes comfort from some recent battling displays and an apparent change of tack by manager Mick McCarthy. more


SUPPORTING PEOPLE?

06-11-2009

The Stirrer broke the news in September that a homeless charity in Birmingham was facing closure after 33 years because of a new Council tendering process called Supporting People. Now Michelle Lee reports on what it will mean for alcoholics and drug users in the city. more


TAXPAYERS COUGH UP OVER PLANNING BLUNDER

06-11-2009

Taxpayers will have to cough up thousands of pounds after bungling health and safety executives and council officials fell out over planning permission granted to a the developers of student flats in Wolverhampton. more


Andy’s Blues Blog

NIL NIL TO THE BLUENOSES

06-11-2009

With a game on the horizon against crisis club Liverpool, Blues blogger Andy Munro is in good heart – especially after nil nil thriller versus Manchester City. more


BIRMINGHAM GETS ITS WHEEL BACK

05-11-2009

Birmingham is getting its big wheel back in Centenary Square - and it will remain over the winter. more


ARTS COUNCIL BOSS BACKS NEW BRUM GALLERY

05-11-2009

Arts Council boss Liz Forgan has given her backing to the creation of a major new modern art museum in Birmingham – and she’s praised the “inspirational leadership” of the Ikon’s Jonathan Watkins who is behind the idea. more


BEATTIE’S UNDERHILL OFFER REJECTED - AGAIN

05-11-2009

Councillors in Wolverhampton last night formally rejected a £150,000 offer by advertising magnate Trevor Beattie to keep open Underhill House – the old people’s home that houses centenarian Lousia Watts. But The Stirrer understands the vote could spark another legal battle. more


REGENERATION CRISIS AS DUTTON SIDEKICK QUITS

05-11-2009

Birmingham’s crisis stricken regeneration department, still reeling from boss Clive Dutton’s exit, has been rocked by the departure of his Number Two Philip Singleton – as first revealed on The Stirrer Forum last night. more


Get Out More..........................................Firework News

PYPE HAYES PARK/WEST PARK

05-11-2009

Lovers of traditional Bonfire Night celebrations can enjoy themselves at either Pype Hayes Park in Birmingham or West Park, Wolverhampton. more


“BARRY NORMAN” COP SHOULD BE DISCIPLINED

05-11-2009

A Birmingham councillor has called for disciplinary action against the unnamed police officer (PC Barry Norman, perhaps?) who apparently “warned off” local cinemas from showing the gangster movie One Day which opens this weekend. more


Get Out More.............................Gig Review

UB40 (The Rainbow)

05-11-2009

Not content with one review of UB40's return to their pub gig roots in Digbeth on Tuesday, here's another - this time by Peter Millington. more


MIKEY POWELL INQUEST - DAY ONE

05-11-2009

The inquest began yesterday into the death of Birmingham man Mikey Powell, who lost his life at Thornhill Road police station in Handsworth. John Tyrrell went along to observe. more


Get Out More............................Theatre Review

ROCKY HORROR SHOW

05-11-2009

The venerable shlock horror musical is at the Hippodrome until Saturday. Terry Wills dons the fishnets and suspenders. more


UB40 AT THE RAINBOW

04-11-2009

Brum reggae legends UB40 got back to their roots with a pub gig at The Rainbow in Digbeth last night to support the campaign to keep the area vibrant. Another local legend, Robin Valk, squeezed himself in. more


COUNCIL OF WAR

04-11-2009

With British boxer David Haye preparing to take on 7’ 2” Russian “freak” Nikolay Valuev at the weekend, Birmingham Council chamber staged it’s own David and Goliath battle yesterday as lanky Lib Dem leader Paul Tilsley squared up to statuesque journalist Paul Dale. more


SIX YEARS ON – MIKEY POWELL INQUEST BEGINS

04-11-2009

After a six year wait, the inquest begins today into the death of black Brummie Mikey Powell – who died in mysterious circumstances in police custody. more


WIN...WIN...WIN...WIN...WIN...WIN...WIN...

SHOW OF HANDS

04-11-2009

The Stirrer has teamed up with Town Hall and Symphony Hall to offer The Stirrer readers a chance to win 2 pairs of tickets to see England’s finest acoustic roots duo, Show of Hands, at Town Hall Birmingham on Thursday 12 November, along with two copies of latest album Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed. more


MINISTER CONDEMNS WNF SPENDING DELAY

04-11-2009

The Stirrer can today publish the full letter sent by Communities Minister John Denham to Birmingham City Council in the row over the use of Working Neighbourhood Fund cash – and it certainly pulls no punches. more


Get Out More.............................Theatre Review

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

04-11-2009

Jane Austen classic gets the Birmingham Rep treatment – with a noisy mobile phone thrown in for good measure. Richard Lutz, like the cast, shrugs off the distractions. more


Trevor's Villa Blog

AVFC PR OK

04-11-2009

Villa head into tonight's match against West Ham on the back of decent draw at the weekend - and, as Trevor Fisher reports, some pretty good PR too. more


BURDEN CALLS ON PHOENIX 4 TO COME CLEAN

04-11-2009

Northfield MP Richard Burden called on the Phoenix Four who took MG Rover into receivership to answer the allegations against them following a recent report into the collapse of the company. more


Get Out More.............................Event News

THE EVENT

04-11-2009

An intriguing series of contemporary art "happenings" takes place at The Event in Birmingham's Eastside, starting today and running through until Sunday. more


Terry’s Baggies Blog

HORNETS STUNG

04-11-2009

That's more like it! Terry Wills celebrates a nap hand by Albion against Watford. more


FUNDING ROW CONTINUES OVER £14M "BAILOUT"

03-11-2009

Expect Birmingham’s full Council meeting today to be dominated by the controversial allocation of £14milllion from the Working Neighbourhood Fund to bail out the city’s ailing social services. more


CAN YOU FRIEL IT?

03-11-2009

Liberal Democrat activist Darren Friel writes to Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg, after we featured details of a Facebook campaign he joined against a halfway house in Wolverhampton. We reported yesterday that the site, which referred to the various "scumbags" who might move in had been toned down after following a series of critical comments on our Forum. more


Get Out More..........................Opera News

VERDI'S OTHELLO

03-11-2009

The highly rated Birmingham Opera Company continue their crusade to bring opera to the masses with a radical re-interpretation of Verdi's Othello next month at a disused factory in Digbeth. more


WOLVES FANS ABLE TO JOIN NEW CLUB

03-11-2009

Wheelchair bound Wolves fan Brendan King who has been deprived of his regular parking spot at Molineux this season is setting up Disabled Supporters Association to help others in a similar plight. more


Audrey Miller’s Blog

THE BURDEN OF DEBT

03-11-2009

The arrival of a message of support from Birmingham MP Richard Burden cheers international debt campaigner Audrey Miller. more


"PRINT MORE MONEY" CALL BY BUSINESS

03-11-2009

West Midlands business leaders are calling for the Bank of England to pump another £25million into the economy through its “quantative easing” programme to help the country climb out of recession. more


BILSTON IMPROVEMENT WINS AWARD

03-11-2009

Bilston has been named regional winner in the English Heritage “At Risk” campaign, marking the greatest improvement to a conservation area over the past three years. more


BIRMINGHAM SAYS "JA" TO GERMAN MARKET

02-11-2009

Birmingham’s German Market will go ahead this year despite the late submission of a licensing application. But in a move likely to spark anger among publicans, the City Council has confirmed it wants to extend the area for which the consumption of alcohol is allowed. more


ONE DAY GETS A WEEK

02-11-2009

Controversial gangster movie One Day will be screened in Birmingham next week, and there's a chance to quiz the director in Wolverhampton later this month – all in the face of a bizarre campaign by a West Midlands police officer who has been unilaterally “warning off” cinemas. more


EDGBASTON DEVELOPMENT "RAILROADED" THROUGH

02-11-2009

Residents living in the shadow of Edgbaston have accused the Birmingham Council of ignoring their views and “railroading” though the redevelopment of Warwickshire’s cricket ground. The city’s Cabinet will meet today to rubber stamp approval of a £20 million loan for the scheme, which it claims is crucial to preserving Test match status. more


SHINING A BRIGHT LIGHT ON SLAVERY

02-11-2009

Last week, a statute was unveiled to former Birmingham MP John Bright, who gives his name to slightly sleazy street in the city centre. But as Councillor Martin Mullaney reveals, he was also the man who persuaded Abraham Lincoln to abolish slavery. more


LIB DEMS TONE DOWN VICIOUS FACEBOOK CAMPAIGN

02-11-2009

Wolverhampton’s Liberal Democrats have been forced to tone down a vicious Facebook campaign against a halfway house in the city following pressure on The Stirrer Forum. more


Richard Lutz’s Blog

THE FAT DUCK

02-11-2009

It’s one of Britain’s most celebrated and expensive restaurants – nothwithstanding a recent outbreak of food poisoning. So how does Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck in Bray measure up to Mr Egg? Richard Lutz chows down. more


KEPT IN THE DARK?

02-11-2009

Are visitors to Birmingham city centre being kept in the dark? Sam Ross thinks so. more


Get Out More..........................Theatre Review

GRAPES OF WRATH

02-11-2009

Depression era drama gets a re-working for the recession. Paula Elenor checks out the recent Rep production. more

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