Voters will be asked, at a referendum on 3rd May, to decide whether they want Birmingham Council to be run by a directly elected mayor, similar to the way that London is run. Boris Johnson has been the directly elected mayor of London since 2008.
The Birmingham referendum will take place on the same day as the local council elections.
The referendum question will ask:
- How would you like Birmingham City Council to be run?
- By a leader who is an elected councillor chosen by a vote of the other elected councillors. This is how the council is run now.
- By a mayor who is elected by voters. This would be a change from how the council is run now.
Nine other cities, including Coventry, Nottingham, Leeds and Manchester, will hold a similar referendum on the same day. Two weeks ago, Liverpool voted in favour of having a directly elected mayor for their city.
Teachers at Castle Vale School will be going on strike for three days during March. Members of the NAS/UWT teaching union, which includes over 50 teachers at the school, are planning to take strike action on Wednesday 7th March, and later in the month on Tuesday and Wednesday 20th and 21st March.
The Union says that their members are protesting about proposals for restructuring the staff, and claim that they have endured adverse management practices and lack of support in dealing with disruptive pupils.
A disco for 11-14 year-olds is being held on Wednesday at Castle Vale Pool in Farnborough Road. Entry is £2. Half of the proceeds will go to the Callum Henry Appeal, the other half to providing music workshops for children.
The organisers, Castle Vale Events Committee, aim to run a disco for 14-16 year-olds on the first Wednesday of each month, and for 11-14 year-olds on the final Wednesday of each month.
Three people, a 19 year-old woman, a 14 year-old boy and a 14 year-old girl have appeared before Birmingham Magistrates this morning charged with arson, criminal damage and burglary following the fire at John Willmott School in Sutton Coldfield last night.
The school’s music block has been damaged. The rest of the school is open to pupils.
Councillor Shokat Ali, the last remaining Respect Party councillor in Birmingham, has defected and joined the Labour Party, just two months before he has to stand for re-election to his council seat.
He was elected as councillor for the Sparkbrook ward in 2009, and his four-year term of office ends in May.
His defection means that Labour now has 57 of Birmingham’s 120 council seats. The Council has been ruled by a Conservative/Lib Dem coalition since 2004.
At the Sparkbrook by-election in September 2009, the Labour Party and the Respect Party received over 75% of the votes cast. It was an election marred by controversy.
Police were called in to investigate allegations of postal vote rigging, and 369 voting papers were eventually rejected.
Three people have been arrested in connection with a fire at John Willmott School in Sutton Coldfield. The Fire Service were alerted to the fire, which is being treated as arson, at 10.50pm last night. Police arrested a 19 year old woman and two 14 year olds – boy and girl – on suspicion of arson and criminal damage and they are currently helping with enquiries.
A CVCHA charity event at the Residents Club tonight in memory of Steve Martin, who died aged 39 on Boxing Day 2011, is on its way towards raising its £1,000 target for the High Dependency Unit at Good Hope Hospital.