Library of Birmingham: Official opening of £189m building

 
Library roof gardens The new library features a rooftop garden and panoramic views of the city

Related Stories

Birmingham's new central library has opened at a cost of £189m. But in an era of spending cuts and library closures across the country, is such an outlay justifiable?

The new building - complete with an amphitheatre, gardens and hundreds of thousands of books - has opened its doors to thousands of excited visitors.

But Margaret Bailey, of Brent, north-west London, said she would not be sharing in the enjoyment.

She has seen six of her 12 local libraries close since 2011 due to spending cuts and said she was angry so much money had been spent on just one.

"We are told you can't keep libraries open because of the cuts forced by central government and yet Birmingham finds £200m for this," she said.

"If staff are being cut and services being reduced I would not want £200m spent on one library. It makes a bit of a nonsense of them saying there is no money."

'Financial crisis'

Birmingham is not the first city to spend millions on its library - Liverpool's central library opened earlier this year after a £50m facelift - but this project has cost more than three times as much as any other in the UK.

So-called "super libraries" have been springing up across the UK while smaller branches are facing closures and cuts as councils try to save cash.

Book rotunda 2 The library will hold one million books including a copy of Shakespeare's First Folio

A £24m library in Newcastle opened in 2009 but the council has said it plans to close 10 smaller branches. In Liverpool, despite the big spend on its central library, four branch libraries have shut and others have reduced opening hours.

The number of libraries in the UK fell by 347 overall to 4,265 in 2011/2012.

Birmingham has made cuts to its library service too. Last year the number of full-time staff fell from 260 to 161 and opening hours were reduced by a combined 139 hours a week.

Borrowed cash

The library's director Brian Gambles said they had been fortunate the plans for the central library were approved just before the economic downturn struck.

"We got authority from cabinet to proceed with this project with that budget in October 2007," he said.

"If we had been a year later, I don't think they would have approved it. I think we would have been right at the outset of the financial crisis."

Most of the funding has come from borrowing with a small amount from donations. The council has also raised some cash by selling land. Mr Gambles said the spending was justified.

Benjamin Zephaniah Benjamin Zephaniah believes the new library is "something to be proud of"

"Even in the middle of a financial crisis, if the private sector investment essentially dries up, the thing that keeps the economy going is public sector infrastructure projects," he said.

However, the fate of the smaller libraries is a concern to award-winning writer Andrew Davies, who scripted the BBC television adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

"One thinks they could have kept a lot of local libraries open [rather than spending money on one project]," he said. "I do think there needs to be some super libraries that you can go into with confidence and get absolutely anything.

"But I got so much from my little library in south Wales when I was a teenager. They mean a lot to communities. It would be a shame if they disappeared."

The new central library has a staunch defender, however, in one of Birmingham's most famous sons - the poet Benjamin Zephaniah.

"I think it's something we should be proud of," he said. "It will be an attraction that will draw people to Birmingham. It's an investment for the future. It will only add to what is already in the city centre.

"I don't know if the council is right to spend that kind of money. You can't have it bigger without spending more.

"The whole idea of libraries is changing. But there will be no one model. A city like Birmingham will need different libraries to smaller towns.

"The thing about smaller libraries is the workers have real knowledge about the items on the shelves. My only fear is that the big libraries are too big for the staff to know the books."

 

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 85.

    @58. Therapne
    "E-Books...?

    What happens when the electricity goes off?"

    I think you'll find e-readers run on batteries that last for several days without a charge. If your power goes off for several days, you would have more important things to worry about.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 84.

    It's money we'll spent! I've personally been using the refurbished Liverpool library for university work and its superb!

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 83.

    It is a ridiculous way to allocate library spending. What use is a library if it is miles away from where people live? Why does anyone need a million books in one place? My local library, which I could cycle to before it was closed down, probably had a couple of thousand and I know I never read them all!

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 82.

    64.Jim
    6 Minutes ago
    Not really sure why they would spend £200 million on a physical library when the entire knowledge of mankind is now available on the internet


    ++
    What rubbish & false.

    For every published article/book there are multiple unpublished articles/books, many of important historical/scientific significance.

    The internet is NOT the sum of humans/the world

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 81.

    If you are going to have these large mega libraries then they should be assigned an area to support smaller local libraries where you are able to browse whats on offer at your local library and pay to have it shipped to your local library from the central library. Who the hell is going to go to the trouble of travelling to Birmingham from out of town to borrow a book from this place.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 80.

    A peoples palace in the city center to show off their wealth and enhance the cities prestige. Meanwhile the perfectly utilitarian libraries that parents take their schoolchildren to every week are closed. I think they made the wrong decision.

  • rate this
    +17

    Comment number 79.

    I see that £650 million was spent on the pathetic circus that is football transfers over the summer.

    That makes this look a bargain - taxpayers money or not.

  • rate this
    +36

    Comment number 78.

    The central library in any town or city isn't just about lending books - hardback, paperback, or e-book - that's what the local branches are for. The central library's collections are a vital part of the city's history and knowledge of itself - its past, present, and future. Use the reference section! Investigate the local history collection!

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 77.

    Another day, another grandiose taxpayer funded scheme so someone can cut a ribbon and feel important.
    Libraries yes yes yes. But £189m for a building to store books and computers and provide seating? It seems very high, when for the same money you could build six secondary schools

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 76.

    Pranab (70) - I hold libraries in high esteem & think they are something we should cherish BUT:

    1) This one has been built at the cost of many other local libraries - I think this has reduced accesibility

    2) Cost has been massively overblown by trying to make an "Architectural Statement"

    3) A simpler/cheaper outer shell could still have an exciting inside to attract the youth you cite.

  • rate this
    +35

    Comment number 75.

    "We are told you can't keep libraries open because of the cuts forced by central government and yet Birmingham finds £200m for this" said.Margaret Bailey, of Brent, north-west London

    Well Mrs Bailey, its Brent council that closed your libraries and why is it so awful that somewhere outside of london gets a first class facility?

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 74.

    Yes, the architecture will divide a lot of people. Birmingham has some amazing architecture, old and new, and I'm not one for trying to replicate the past. This modern building can sit comfortably alongside the more traditional buildings, Birmingham is a city which celebrates its heritage and its future equally. I have to say it looks stunning at night when lit up.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 73.

    I struggle with it. I'm pretty conflicted, dating back from the 90s when we kept getting told that "You cannot have that because it would cost X million pounds."

    But then we all woke up one day to find the treasury had handed 37 BILLION to Northern Rock at no notice and no questions asked and suddenly I figured money was no longer an object.

    I guess I am never destined to understand.

  • rate this
    -13

    Comment number 72.

    Absolutely crazy!

    Technology & online retail has made accessing books & knowledge easy & cheap.

    From my experience the most important function of public libraries these days is as community centres. Maybe it has value as a destination building or landmark.

    Otherwise, this is a massively expensive museum

    Has this been a misguided ego trip for some local politicians ?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 71.

    Its ok if you live in Birmingham close to the library, you can visit and borrow books but in order to get the most benefit from libraries they must be localised and not centralised. The cost of this library would have sustained numerous small town and village libraries. Is the intention to centralise learning as well?

  • rate this
    +13

    Comment number 70.

    Why are we even questioning spending on a library at all ? Have we become so dumb that we don't realize the benefits of a library ? Should be asking what can be done to lure children and youngsters to the library, instead of standing like gangsters in the street, so that they can learn and exploit the resources the library will provide.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 69.

    It would look at lot nicer without all those horrible metalwork circles.

    Less is more.

  • rate this
    +27

    Comment number 68.

    I'm from Birmingham, knew the old library and have looked round the new library. I am so proud. No one would comment on the cost if it was in the capital - i do think for what we've got it's good value for money.
    Many modern buildings can look appalling, this is beautiful, inspriring and if that helps get people into libraries it can only be a good thing.

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 67.

    not too expensive - too bloomin ugly - for gods sake - first victorian bulding destroyed for 60's calamity. this second building is EVEN WORSE!! one fo the worst new buildings in UK - Birmingham - For Gods sake - go back to Victorian times - youve suffered enough as an arichitects playground

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 66.

    @64 "Not really sure why they would spend £200 million on a physical library when the entire knowledge of mankind is now available on the internet."

    Saves you having to wade through all the garbage on the internet. Libraries aren't full of adverts, special offers, conspiracy theories etc.

 

Page 15 of 19

 

BBC Birmingham & Black Country

Weather

Birmingham

Min. Night 16 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    18:00:

    Local Live has finished for the day. We'll be back with more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Wednesday.

     
  2.  
    High street reopens 17:56: Express and Star

    tweets: Hearing that West Bromwich High Street is open again after a suspect package scare. Details and video here. expressandstar.com/news/local-new…

     
  3.  
    Dry and warm evening 17:51:

    A fine evening with some sunshine will be followed by a dry night with long clear periods at first.

    Weather chart

    After midnight, patchy low cloud will spread westwards across the region, giving some mist and hill fog in places.

     
  4.  
    Coming up 17:37: Midlands Today

    On tonight's programme: Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore gives us his reaction to the announcement from the education secretary that she's to appoint an education commissioner to work with the council.

    The first flight leaves Birmingham airport for Beijing - but will it be the start of other long haul destinations from our airport?

    And we have a moving interview with the widow of former police and crime commissioner Bob Jones, a day ahead of his memorial service. Join Mary Rhodes on BBC One from 18:30.

     
  5.  
    Your pictures 17:36: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    Thanks to Daniel Sturley for sharing this picture of the Council House in Victoria Square.

    council house bham

    If you've taken any pictures you'd like to share you can email locallive@bbc.co.uk

     
  6.  
    Your views 17:34:

    Tell us what you think of BBC Local Live. We'd like your feedback about this service.

     
  7.  
    Late buses 17:30:

    Mike Claridge tweets: I think the busses might be late. West Brom High St closed. Suspicious package.

    west brom
     
  8.  
    West Bromwich road closures 17:26:

    High Street in West Bromwich is closed and there's queuing traffic in both directions between the A4031 Trinity Way junction and the Bull Street junction, because of a police incident.

    See BBC Travel News for more information.

     
  9.  
    Town deserted 17:25: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    This is the scene in West Bromwich town centre at the moment after police cordoned off an area following reports of a suspicious package.

    West Bromwich town centre
     
  10.  
    Local athletes withdraw from Games 17:18: BBC WM

    Two competitors from our region have been forced to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games. In athletics, Meghan Beesley is out of the 400m hurdles and in judo Caroline Kinnane has withdrawn from the 78kg category.

     
  11.  
    West Midlands Police rated 'outstanding' 17:11: Birmingham Mail

    West Midlands Police has been rated "outstanding" by national police watchdogs for overseeing a fall in recorded crime while saving almost £150m in savings.

     
  12.  
    Commissioner welcomed 17:07:

    Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said he welcomed the appointment of a new education commissioner for Birmingham in the wake of the Trojan Horse allegations.

    He said: "We have had a very positive experience working with the commissioner for children's safeguarding, Lord Norman Warner, and we look forward to an equally constructive relationship with the new education commissioner."

     
  13.  
    MPs seek judicial review 17:01:

    Two MPs are seeking a judicial review over the introduction last week of the controversial Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act, which gives police and security services access to people's phone and internet records.

    Tom Watson

    Conservative former shadow home secretary David Davis and Labour backbencher Tom Watson (the West Bromwich East MP) are applying for a judicial review of the Act, which was rushed through Parliament in just three days with the backing of all three major party leaders.

     
  14.  
    News on the hour 16:56: Alice Rosenthal Journalist, BBC WM

    The top stories in our 17:00 news bulletin are:

    • The government says it is taking immediate action to improve schools in Birmingham after a report on the so-called Trojan Horse affair found evidence of a determined effort to take over governing bodies
    • British experts are to help analyse the black box flight recorders from the Malaysian airliner
    • Gaza's health ministry says more than 600 Palestinians have now died as Israel continues its bombardment
     
  15.  
    Reports of suspect package 16:47: Alice Rosenthal Journalist, BBC WM

    A police incident in central West Bromwich has caused lots of road closures and police are advising people to avoid the area where possible.

    It follows reports of a suspect package.

     
  16.  
    West Brom police incident 16:44:

    Oldbury Police ‏tweets: Ongoing Police incident in West Bromwich town centre, lots of road closures in place. Please avoid where possible. Many thanks. #updates

     
  17.  
    Teachers claimed Rigby murder 'hoax' 16:38:

    Messages exchanged by teachers at the centre of the Trojan Horse allegations included suggestions the murder of Lee Rigby was a hoax, the government report said.

    Discussions between members of a group set up on the WhatsApp service called The Park View Brotherhood also included a description of homosexuals as "animals" with "satanic ways", the investigation found.

    Peter Clarke said in his report he "came into possession" of a print-out of more than 3,000 postings sent from April 2013 until the group was shut down in March. The "core contributors" were identified as mainly teachers at either Park View School or other schools within the Park View Educational Trust and all were men.

     
  18.  
    Birmingham to get education commissioner 16:28:

    A new commissioner will be appointed to oversee schools in Birmingham.

    Nicky Morgan, Education Secretary

    Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced the move as she unveiled the findings of an inquiry into extremism in some Birmingham schools.

     
  19.  
    Parents speak out 16:17: Chris Blakemore News editor, BBC WM

    I've just recorded an interview with Shabina Bano and Naeem Yousef, from Oldknow Academy's Parents' Association, one of the schools placed in special measures by Ofsted in the wake of the Trojan Horse investigation.

    Members of Oldknow Academy Parents' Association with Chris Blakemore

    Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced earlier today the school is to have its funding terminated, which will allow new trustees to be put in place.

    The school's governing body has been criticised for not resigning. Listen in just after 5pm on BBC WM to hear what they had to say.

     
  20.  
    Former Ram joins Baggies 16:05:

    Former Derby County loanee Andre Wisdom has joined West Bromwich Albion on a season-long loan.

    Andre Wisdom

    The 21-year-old right-back was a regular as the Rams reached the play-off final last season but has opted to stay in the Premier League for the forthcoming campaign.

     
  21.  
    News on the hour 15:56: BBC WM

    The top stories in our 16:00 news bulletin are:

     
  22.  
    Cricket: Sussex v Warks 15:53:

    At tea on day two of four, Warwickshire are 73 for 2 after 28 overs in reply to Sussex's 413 all out.

    Varun Chopra (29no) and Jonathan Trott (28no) are at the crease.

     
  23.  
    Flight to China takes off 15:45: Midlands Today

    It's been a monumental day for Birmingham Airport, with the launch of the new China-Birmingham route. Watch our report.

    air china
     
  24.  
    Buyout secures jobs 15:31: Express and Star

    A management buyout has secured all 40 jobs at a shop fitting business in Netherton, which is also an expert in school library design and installation.

     
  25.  
    Eerie emergencies 15:14:

    More than 70 reports of zombies, witches and ghosts have been made to West Midlands Police over the past three years, reports BBC News Online.

    Zombie, witch and ghost
     
  26.  
    Heavy traffic on A34 15:05:

    BBC Travel News says there's heavy traffic on the A34 Stratford Road in Shirley at the School Road junction in the roadworks area.

     
  27.  
    News on the hour 14:59: BBC WM

    The top stories in our 15:00 news bulletin are:

     
  28.  
    New deal for Foster 14:49:

    Goalkeeper Ben Foster has signed a new long-term contract with West Bromwich Albion.

    Ben Foster

    The England stopper has put pen to paper on a four-year deal with the option of a further 12 months.

     
  29.  
    New Street on Twitter 14:40:

    Birmingham New Street station has recently joined Twitter and has been sharing pictures of the rebuilding work, such as this one of the atrium nearing completion.

    New St Station Birmingham July 2014
     
  30.  
    Sutton Conservative Club demolition 14:30: Birmingham Post

    A project to build a new 65-bedroom care home and sports club pavilion in Sutton Coldfield is set to be approved by city planning chiefs this week.

     
  31.  
    School rated inadequate 14:15:

    Al-Hijrah School in Birmingham has been rated inadequate in all categories in a recent Ofsted report.

    The head teacher of the school was sacked recently after protesting parents prevented a new management team from taking over.

    The inspection was not part of the Trojan Horse investigations.

     
  32.  
    All dressed up 14:04:

    Midlands Today's science and environment correspondent David Gregory Kumar was awarded an honorary degree by Aston University earlier.

    david gregory kumar
     
  33.  
    News on the hour 13:54: Alice Rosenthal Journalist, BBC WM

    The top stories in the 14:00 bulletin include:

    • An inquiry into the so-called Trojan Horse allegations says there was "an aggressive Islamist agenda" to impose hardline Muslim views in some Birmingham schools
    • Meanwhile, inspectors from Ofsted have found that teachers in a Muslim faith school in Birmingham were intimidated by governors
    • The first direct flight to China from Birmingham has taken off
     
  34.  
    Education secretary's full speech 13:45: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    Earlier today newly-appointed Education Secretary Nicky Morgan addressed the Commons, following the publication of Peter Clarke's Trojan Horse investigation. You can read her full statement here.

     
  35.  
    13:33: Birmingham Updates

    tweets: Travel Update - Pershore Road South is blocked towards Cotteridge, due to a RTC. AVOID!

     
  36.  
    On Midlands Today 13:24: Elizabeth Glinka Presenter

    We'll have the latest on the recently published government report into the Trojan Horse accusations. We'll also be speaking to a former local education manager who says he raised concerns as early as 2001.

    Join me at 13:30 on BBC One.

     
  37.  
    MP calls for individual investigations 13:17:

    Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Perry Barr, has used parliamentary privilege to name four individuals, all working for local authorities in Birmingham, who he believes should be investigated.

    Khalid Mahmood July 22 2014

    Mr Mahmood says all four "failed to listen to parents, governors and teachers and weren't prepared to act on their behalf".

     
  38.  
    Did department miss warnings? 13:06:

    "My predecessor (Michael Gove) tells me that he commissioned a review by the permanent secretary into whether the department missed historical warnings in Birmingham and he will report to me later in the summer," Nicky Morgan told the House of Commons.

     
  39.  
    News on the hour 12:56: BBC WM

    The top stories in the 13:00 bulletin include:

     
  40.  
    New education commissioner 12:51:

    A new education commissioner will be appointed within Birmingham City Council to oversee its actions to address the fundamental criticisms in the Kershaw and Clarke reports, the education secretary says.

    "The commissioner will report jointly to Birmingham's chief executive and to me. If we are unable to make rapid improvements I will not hesitate to use my powers further," she tells Parliament.

     
  41.  
    'Destabilised head teachers' 12:47:

    Nicky Morgan said: "Individuals associated with Park View Education Trust in particular have destabilised head teachers, sometimes leading to their resignation or removal."

     
  42.  
    'Not promoted British values' 12:43:

    Education Secretary Nicky Morgan tells the Commons: "There has been no evidence of direct radicalisation or violent extremism, but there is a clear account in the report of people in influence in these schools with a restrictive and narrow interpretation of their faith who have not promoted fundamental British values and who have failed to challenge the extremist views of others."

    Nicky Morgan
     
  43.  
    'Espouse extremist views' 12:40: Sean Coughlan BBC News education correspondent

    The inquiry found no evidence of extremism, said Peter Clarke, but "there are a number of people in a position of influence who either espouse, or sympathise with or fail to challenge extremist views".

     
  44.  
    Earlier report found council failings 12:36: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    Birmingham City Council's report, conducted by former head teacher Ian Kershaw, was released last week.

    Although it did not find evidence of a "plot", it did highlight severe failings on the part of the council.

    "The report has highlighted areas where we have either taken no action, were too slow to take action or have simply done the wrong thing," said council leader Sir Albert Bore.

     
  45.  
    'Council knew things were happening' 12:31:

    Peter Clarke tells the BBC: "It's quite clear that Birmingham City Council either knew or suspected that these things were happening for a considerable period of time, but didn't do enough to stop it."

    Birmingham City Council apologised last week.

     
  46.  
    Watch live: Trojan Horse statement 12:28: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is to make a statement in the House of Commons on Peter Clarke's report into Birmingham schools.

    You can watch a live stream from Parliament on BBC Democracy Live, with the statement expected to start at 12:30.

     
  47.  
    'Prism of community cohesion' 12:23:

    Peter Clarke (pictured), a former counter-terror chief, is publishing the findings of his inquiry into allegations of a hardline Muslim "take-over" of schools.

    Peter Clarke

    Mr Clarke found a lack of intervention from Birmingham City Council and weaknesses in the oversight of academies.

    He said the council viewed the issue from the "prism of community cohesion".

     
  48.  
    'Aggressive Islamist agenda' 12:21: Sean Coughlan BBC News education correspondent

    An "aggressive Islamist agenda" was being pursued in some of the so-called Trojan horse schools in Birmingham, says a Department for Education report.

     
  49.  
    'Laid before Parliament' 12:10: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    We've just received a memo in the newsroom advising that the Trojan Horse report has been "laid before Parliament", but what does this mean?

    Some documents are required to be presented first to Parliament when they are ready for publication.

    The papers are received in the Journal Office and reported to the Commons in the daily Votes and Proceedings (and to the Lords in their daily Minutes), after which they are said to have been "Laid on the Table of the House", though they are not actually placed on the Table.

     
  50.  
    Comedian Tommy Mundon dies 12:08: Dudley News

    Black Country comedian Tommy Mundon has died at the age of 80 after a five-year battle against Parkinson's disease.

     
  51.  
    News on the hour 11:59: BBC WM

    The top stories in the 12:00 bulletin include:

    • A train carrying most of the bodies of those killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine has now passed into a government-controlled region
    • An official investigation into the running of some schools in Birmingham is expected to say there's evidence of a "sustained" attempt to impose hardline Muslim views
    • Tributes are being paid to the Black Country comedian Tommy Mundon, who has died at the age of 80
     
  52.  
    Schools 'extremism' report 11:49: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    We're expecting the government-commissioned report into the alleged Birmingham schools "Trojan Horse" plot to be officially released at 12:00.

    Then, at about 12:30, new Education Secretary Nicky Morgan will speak in the Commons on the subject for the first time.

     
  53.  
    Accenture deal 'face of 21st Century policing' 11:43: Express and Star

    It has been three years in the planning and West Midlands Chief Constable Chris Sims believes the force's tie-up with private consultancy firm Accenture is the face of 21st Century policing.

     
  54.  
    Vaccine trial volunteers wanted 11:34: Birmingham Updates

    The University of Birmingham and University of Oxford are looking for healthy volunteers, who have never had the BCG vaccine, aged between 18 and 55 to participate in a vaccine trial.

     
  55.  
    M5 lane closure 11:25:

    On the M5, one lane is closed northbound between J4, A38 (Lydiate Ash), and J3, A456 (Halesowen), because of a broken down vehicle. It's also affecting the southbound entry slip road at J3, reports BBC Travel News.

     
  56.  
    Cricket: Sussex v Warks 11:14:

    Play recently got under way in Horsham where Warwickshire are playing Sussex. Sussex are currently 324-7 with England limited overs star Luke Wright (pictured) scoring 89. Chris Woakes, who will be hoping for a national call up when the England squad is announced later today, has taken 2-78.

    Luke Wright

    You can listen to live commentary from BBC Sport.

     
  57.  
    Restructure advice to cost £25m 11:06:

    West Midlands Police will pay a private company £25m to help it restructure and introduce new technology.

    Tweets from West Midlands Police

    The force said the challenge for Accenture was to make policing more effective, while cutting the budget by £120m.

     
  58.  
    News on the hour 10:57: Jay Vydelingum Journalist, BBC WM

    In the news at 11:00:

    • A separatist leader in eastern Ukraine has handed over the two flight data recorders from the downed MH17 plane to Malaysian officials
    • A government-ordered inquiry into the Trojan Horse allegations is expected to say there was a "sustained and co-ordinated agenda" to impose hardline Muslim views in some Birmingham schools
    • Palestinian officials say 13 people have been killed overnight in the Gaza Strip by Israeli aircraft which fired at more than 70 targets
     
  59.  
    Fire service cuts senior jobs 10:44: Birmingham Post

    West Midlands Fire Service has slashed £235,000 from its wages bill by getting rid of two of its senior officers and reducing the salaries of others.

     
  60.  
    Doctor Doctor 10:35: Midlands Today

    Congratulations to our science and environment correspondent David Gregory-Kumar, who's being presented with an honorary degree from Aston University today at Birmingham Town Hall.

    David Gregory-Kumar

    David already holds a doctorate from the University of Liverpool having researched the behaviour of atomic layers of potassium on silicon.

    Since becoming a reporter for the BBC, David says his favourite story remains the discovery of a nuclear fuel rod in a Tamworth scrapyard.

     
  61.  
    New signing for WBA 10:26: Rob Gurney BBC WM Sport

    West Bromwich Albion have today completed the season-long loan signing of versatile Liverpool defender Andre Wisdom.

    The England Under-21 international completed his move to The Hawthorns this morning after passing a medical. He will wear the No.2 shirt.

     
  62.  
    Britain's best garden? 10:15: Birmingham Mail

    A green-fingered grandma was left stunned when she had the visitor that every gardener dreams of - Alan Titchmarsh.

     
  63.  
    Train delays 10:06:

    Virgin Trains tweets: NEW: Delays between Birmingham International and Birmingham New Street #MarstonGreen nationalrail.co.uk/service_disrup…

     
  64.  
    News on the hour 09:57: Jay Vydelingum Journalist, BBC WM

    In the news at 10:00:

    • Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is calling for tougher sanctions against Russia at a meeting with his European Union counterparts in Brussels
    • A government-ordered inquiry into the Trojan Horse allegations is expected to say there was a "sustained and co-ordinated agenda" to impose hardline Muslim views in some Birmingham schools
    • The police watchdog for England and Wales says it's concerned that officers are using Tasers at point-blank range, even though they are no longer trained to do so
     
  65.  
    Flight proves expert wrong 09:51: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    Speaking in 2012, Flight International Magazine's David Learmount said although Birmingham could "theoretically" - with its longer runway - become a hub airport and fly to destinations such as China, it was "very unlikely to".

    air china birmingham flight

    The first flight from China landed in Birmingham this morning at 06:30.

    However, airport bosses admit they've struggled to promote the airport worldwide as much as they'd hoped and there are only a handful of further flights between Birmingham and China confirmed at present.

     
  66.  
    'Impressionable' thug spared jail 09:40: Express and Star

    A masked thug who wielded a sawn-off shotgun during a terrifying store raid before being fought off by a shopkeeper will not go to jail - because he is so young and impressionable.

     
  67.  
    Why bigger planes can land 09:28:

    The first direct flight between China and Birmingham landed this morning.

    • Birmingham's runway was extended by 400m, at a cost of £40m
    • It now measures 3km (1.86 miles) and means larger planes can take off and land
    • The extra length brings in range flights from China and the USA's west coast
    • Chinese tourism has tripled over the past 10 years
    • It is estimated to be worth about £15m to the West Midlands economy
    Birmingham to China and LA flight routes
     
  68.  
    AS IT HAPPENED
    • News, sport, travel, weather for Tue 22 Jul
    • More updates from 08:00 on Wednesday
    • Listen to BBC WM
     
  69.  
    Have your say 09:17:

    We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. Tell us what you think.

     
  70.  
    Your pictures: Knowle sunrise 09:07: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    Thanks to Paul Hampson for sending us this picture, taken very early this morning over Knowle. "The chorus was impressive too", says Paul.

    Knowle at dawn

    If you've taken any pictures you'd like to share you can email locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweet us @bbcwm.

     
  71.  
    News on the hour 08:57: Jay Vydelingum Journalist, BBC WM

    In the news at 09:00:

    • A separatist leader in eastern Ukraine has handed over the two flight data recorders from the downed MH17 plane to Malaysian officials
    • A government-ordered inquiry into the Trojan Horse allegations is expected to say there was a "sustained and co-ordinated agenda" to impose hardline Muslim views in some Birmingham schools, when it is published later today
    • The police watchdog for England and Wales says it's concerned that officers are using Tasers at point-blank range, even though they are no longer trained to do so
     
  72.  
    Trojan Horse report 08:48: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    The government-commissioned report into alleged attempts by hardline Muslims to influence how a number of Birmingham schools are run will be officially released later today.

    The content of the report into the so-called Trojan Horse plot, expected to be damning, was leaked to the Guardian last week, so there are unlikely to be many surprises.

    We'll bring you updates as soon as possible.

     
  73.  
    Police officer referred after 'sexist' tweet 08:36:

    A West Midlands Police officer has been referred to the force's professional standards department over a "sexist and offensive" tweet.

    Picture of the tweet

    It shows a picture of a man in a car with a woman who has her mouth covered. The accompanying message says: "A car designer has won an award for designing a seat belt which helps cut down on vehicle noise pollution #IWantOne"

     
  74.  
    First flight from China lands 08:27:

    The first flight between China and Birmingham has landed. It is the only UK to China air route to operate from outside London and was made possible by a runway extension. The aircraft was met by fire engines spraying an arch of water in welcome.

    First China flight lands in Birmingham

    The 248-seat A330-200 aircraft is due to begin its outbound flight at 12:00 and will fly between Beijing and Birmingham on three dates up to 6 August.

     
  75.  
    From racing cars to gridlock 08:20: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    Two topics we're featuring a lot on Local Live this week are both to do with driving on Birmingham's roads, but at polar ends of the scale.

    Birmingham Super Prix

    One is the mooted return of the Birmingham Super Prix, the other is the gridlock caused by the tunnel closures.

     
  76.  
    M6 issues 08:06:

    In addition to the delays caused by the closure of the tunnels in Birmingham, an earlier accident has caused problems on the M6 southbound between J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway Spaghetti Junction and J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich).

    All lanes have reopened but travel time is about 45 minutes. Congestion to J10, A454.

    See BBC Travel News for more information.

     
  77.  
    Warm again 08:03:

    Any patches of mist or low cloud will soon disperse through the morning. Otherwise it will be another dry and fine day across the region, with some good sunny spells and it will become very warm in many places. Highs of 25C (77F).

    weather
     
  78.  
    Good morning 08:00: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    I'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates throughout the day for Birmingham and the Black Country.

    You can get in touch by emailing locallive@bbc.co.uk.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.