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Schools to lose millions in funds
Millions of pounds of funding for sports schools and colleges, including three in Wolverhampton, will be axed under the coalition’s spending cuts, it was revealed today. Ring-fenced funding of around £129 per pupil per year, worth almost £130,000 for each school, will be reverted to the central schools budget and redistributed among all secondary schools. Department for Education documents leaked to Labour reveal some 400 schools will be affected across the country, including dozens in the West Midlands. They will lose their specialist sports status, and cash, as part of the savings drive. Wolverhampton’s Our Lady and St Chad Catholic Sports College, Smestow School and Westcroft School and Sports College will be affected. The Coseley School and Shifnal’s Idsall School, which counts England footballers Michael Owen and Jamie Carragher among its former pupils, will also lose specialist funding. Plans also include cutting £125 million of funding for sport in schools, tearing up Labour’s Sports Strategy for young people, and axing funding for the charity Youth Sport Trust. ● Cuts latest – Page 6
Jobs are to go at law firm Up to 30 jobs are to go in cost-cutting moves at law firm Challinors which has offices in the Black Country and Birmingham. Mainly typing posts will be affected as the firm which has 230 employees blamed “challenging” trading conditions for its decision. Chief executive, Andy Hodges, said consultation had begun. Based in Birmingham and West Bromwich, Challinors expanded last year with the takeover of Shelton Solictors in Wolverhampton and White & Billingham Solicitors in Halesowen. But in December it revealed staff had agreed to take a 10 per cent pay cut to avoid redundancies.
Jury out in abuse case
A jury was this afternoon considering its verdicts in the case of a Wolverhampton IT consultant accused of abusing two young brothers. Stuart Rudd, managing director of Expert IT on Bilston High Street, denies five charges relating to the pair. Rudd, 35, of Summerhill Road, Coseley, who has appeared on BBC Midlands Today to give computer advice, is on trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
Metro passengers travelling to Wolverhampton from Birmingham faced delays today after a tram broke down in Bilston Road around 7.45am. National Express said full service was restored at 9:30am.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
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CSR: 500,000 public sector jobs to go The government expects Report by Maria Cusine 500,000 public sector jobs to be It warns it will ‘inevitably impact’ on lost as a result of tomorrow’s spending cuts – a senior minister workers because the paybill in Whiteaccounts for such a huge proporlet slip this afternoon in an embar- hall tion of departmental spending. rassing gaffe. The papers make clear that the Gov-
Gaffe – Danny Alexander reveals all this afternoon
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander revealed the stark figure when he was spotted driving into Whitehall with an open copy of the Comprehensive Spending Review on his lap. Mr Alexander was reading the open document, which was caught on camera by waiting photographers. It laid out details about the likely effect of the coalition’s spending cuts on the public sector. The document stresses that tackling the huge deficit left by Labour now is ‘unavoidable’ and will ultimately benefit the public and private sectors.
ernment has adopted the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast that 490,000 jobs in the public sector will go by 2014/15. Each public sector employer will have to ‘determine the workforce implications of spending settlements’, the document says. It adds: ‘Government will do everything they can to mitigate the impact of redundancies.’ This will be done by creating conditions for private sector growth, encouraging pay restraint and reduced hours and supporting employees facing redundancy.
On climate change, which was on the opposite page of the document held by Mr Alexander, the coalition pledges to ‘lead efforts to secure ambitious global action’. It pledges that the UK will contribute £2.9billion in international climate finance and sets out plans to focus on developing wind power to help reach environmental goals. Mr Alexander, 38, was promoted from Scotland Secretary to the Treasury within weeks of the coalition taking power after fellow Lib Dem David Laws was forced to quit by revelations about his expenses claims. Just five years ago, he was a press officer for the Cairngorms National Park but he was a key figure in the negotiations with the Tories after the election. Mr Alexander has no experience of finance and has been compared to Beaker, the Muppet Show’s hapless laboratory assistant.
Confidential council papers left in car park
SECRET FILES FOUND DUMPED EXCLUSIVE by Alex Campbell
HUNDREDS of confidential council documents containing personal details, medical history and bank details were found dumped on a Wolverhampton car park.
Controversial arts centre The Public is to get another £1.5 million of council cash a year despite cuts to jobs and front line services. Sandwell Council needs to save £27m by the end of this financial year. But despite vowing that the £72m centre would not get any more taxpayers’ money, council leader Darren Cooper today confirmed £1.5m has been set aside. This is three times the £500,000 the council has quoted as its annual contribution in the past. Taxpayers in Sandwell have already paid £20.5m towards the cost of the project. Fiona McEvoy, of the Taxpayers Alliance, said: “It’s astounding the council are continuing with this funding despite local feeling.” Councillor Cooper said that he will be reviewing the budget before the plans are rubber stamped. The news comes a day after it was revealed the The Public could partially close if the Arts Council fails to provide more money.
Wagner moves into X Factor mansion
Quirky Black Country singer Wagner has joined fellow X Factor hopefuls at the show’s luxury house in West London. The 54-year-old, of Pensnett, has been living in a hotel because there was not enough space. But after two acts were voted out, Wagner has joined contestants at the mansion. Friend Mandy Dhaliwal, aged 26, who travelled to London to watch the live shows at the weekend, said: “Some of the rumours about him have been ridiculous.” ● House of fun – See Page 15
RAF Cosford’s hopes of staying alive as a military base received a massive boost this afternoon after plans to move defence training to South Wales were axed by Defence Secretary Liam Fox. Campaigners living near the airbase immediately claimed victory in their fight to secure its future. Mr Fox said the project, which RAF St Athan won ahead of RAF Cosford, was no longer affordable and reversed Labour’s award of the £14 billion defence training super centre. It opens up the possibility of a much cheaper replacement to meet the training needs of the military, which could mean a reprieve for the airbase near Wolverhampton, currently home to the Defence Training Centre. The announcement came during the government’s defence review, being announced by David Cameron in the Commons today. The Prime Minister was also revealing that the Royal Navy’s flagship aircraft carrier, HMS Ark Royal, along with its Harrier jump jets is to be scrapped. Mr Cameron also announced there would be a defence spending review every five years. ● Fresh hope – Page 6
Temperatures were falling in Wolverhampton today as the region prepared for a cold snap coming in from the Arctic. Winds were becoming increasingly northerly with temperatures expected to fall to to freezing tonight, bringing the city its first frost of the winter. Unseasonally cold temperatures will be accompanied by wintry showers on the east coast and in Scotland, with hail, sleet and even snow on high ground. Wolverhampton will be restricted to sharp rain showers. Forecasters say winds will turn more westerly from Thursday with unsettled, warmer weather on the way.
Workers reported the fly-tipping to the city council at 9am yesterday. The documents, discovered by workers at Reelprint, on Ettingshall’s Spring Road industrial estate, had not been collected by 4pm yesterday.
The Information Commissioner’s Office today launched a probe into whether there has been a breach of the Data Protection Act and council chief executive Simon Warren ordered a full investigation. Private documents in the paper mountain, most of which relates to the council’s leisure services department, include: ● Claims for payment made by casual employees including bank details, addresses, phone numbers, details of sick days and meetings; ● Employment history files including CVs, addresses and letters marked ‘private and confidential’ sent to staff members; ● Gym membership applications including some from children containing medical details, photographs, addresses and mobile phone numbers; ● Bank giro credits dating back to 1998 containing Aldersley Stadium’s bank account details; ● Internal memos between staff members discussing the running of council-run leisure centres Wolverhampton City Council bosses today said the documents had been thrown into a skip, which was stolen by metal thieves from behind locked gates outside Graiseley Healthy Living Centre. Council protection manager Andy Hall said: “The waste which was fly-tipped was recovered by environmental enforcement officers yesterday afternoon and has now been properly disposed of.” Reelprint managing director Jason Wilkes, aged 35, today said he was shocked at the level of details dumped on his firm’s doorstep. He said: “The fact is it should all have been shredded, never mind dumped on the street.” ● Pictures – See Page 4
Cosford is given hope for future
Cat in wheelie bin woman fined Arctic blast is on way
The lorry-load of documents, most of which had not been shredded, were found blowing around an industrial estate after being dumped.
£1.5m will go to The Public
New Cross food boost
Mary Bale arrives at court today where she admitted dumping a cat in a bin A woman caught on CCTV dumping a cat in a wheelie bin in a West Midland street was fined £250 today after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the animal. Former bank worker Mary Bale, aged 45, from Coventry, became a hate figure in August after CCTV footage emerged of her stroking three-year-old tabby Lola before picking it up by the scruff of its neck and dropping it into the bin. Her father was gravely ill at the time. She admitted the charge when she appeared at Coventry Magistrates’ Court today. A second charge under the Animal Welfare Act, was dropped. Bale, who appeared close to tears, was ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and costs of £1,171. Bale was also banned from keeping or owning animals for five years. The judge told Bale the potential to have harmed the cat was substantial, but in reality it had not been hurt. ● Mystery over cat cruelty – See Page 5
A new £5 million food catering centre at Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital has been completed and will open to patients in weeks. The centre, which will dish up 750 meals twice a day has been completed £750,000 under budget. It features the latest technology and sensors to partcook food and then chill meals to keep them fresher for longer. ● Saving – Page 13
Rooney is out
Lola the dumped cat
Wayne Rooney will not play in Manchester United’s Champions League game tomorrow night, manager Alex Ferguson said this afternoon, citing an ankle injury. ● Picture – Back Page
CHAOS AS FRANCE HIT BY STRIKES OVER PENSION PLANS – PAGE 15