Colors: Blue Color

Green fingered council tenants and leaseholders across the city are invited to battle it out in Birmingham City Council’s annual gardening competition. Birmingham in Bloom gives prizes for glorious gardens, best balconies and baskets, prettiest pots and voluminous veg.

Britain is nation of prolific tea drinkers, but we’re lagging in the global tea drinking league tables, according to a new survey by working animal charity, SPANA. West Midland tea drinkers get through more tea than any other region in Britain with over half (52%) drinking four or more cups a day, while over one in ten (11%) make their way through eight or more cups each day – equating to more than 2,900 cups per person each year.

A draftsman from Staffordshire has signed up for the Morrisons Great Birmingham Run in October after running 13 events in the last two years. Ian Rowlands, 29, from Burntwood, Staffordshire, was thirteen when a car accident left him in a coma for six weeks and in a wheelchair for a year. Two years ago, he decided to get fit so started taking part in running events around the country; eleven half-marathons and two marathons later he’s showing no sign of stopping!

The system for supporting young people leaving foster or residential care in England to live successful independent lives is not working effectively, according to the National Audit Office. This is despite the fact that there is a clear legal framework and an inspection regime in place. The numbers of care leavers in employment, education and training have deteriorated since 2007-08.

Celebrated on 11th July’15 every year, World Population Day seeks to raise awareness amongst the people about the ever increasing population. The world’s population is estimated to have gone up by 2 billion since 1987. DKT Pakistan celebrated World Population Day on Saturday by setting up specialized stalls in Karachi’s Neelum Colony to raise awareness amongst the people about family planning and contraception.

A recent Ofsted inspection means that all of Haringey’s nursery, secondary and special schools – and close to 90 percent of primary schools - are now rated as either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by the schools inspectorate. The latest inspection took place at Rowland Hill nursery school in Tottenham where the nursery received a rating of ‘good’.

The International Trustees of the Museum of World Religions are conducting some research to understand the dynamics of faith communities, their perspective and understandings of what matters to faith communities. Please feel free to forward this to your networks and contacts as we would welcome as diverse a response from as many people as possible.

There was an unusual visitor to one of Sandwell Council's polling stations Newton Ward last Thursday.  An escaped budgie flew in through the open door in the community room at Hamstead house where voting was taking place. He stayed perched on the polling booth watching over voters for around two hours. He also came over to have a look at the ballot box.

Staff at the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park are being helped to carry out their daily tasks by Wi-Fi installed as a part of a city-wide Birmingham City Council scheme. The free public Wi-Fi project has seen hotspots created at 200 public buildings in Birmingham – enabling the public to get online, with staff at many also benefiting in the process.

The school pick up has been deemed the most stressful time of day for nearly half of parents in the UK (45%) with many blaming it on the fact their child is hungry and angry at the same time, new research has revealed. The research, commissioned by malt loaf makers Soreen, found that the average school pick up takes parents 15 minutes, but with a hungry child in tow it can take an average of ten minutes longer.

Shop fronts in one of the borough’s most beautiful shopping streets have been restored to their former glory in a project led by Haringey Council and traders. The tired frontages of four ornate buildings in Myddleton Road, Bowes Park, have been stripped back and replaced to the stunning original designs after more than £210,000 funding from the council, Historic England and shopkeepers.

Nominations are now open for the Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work, which recognise outstanding young people who have had a significant impact on their communities and wider society. Young people aged 15 to 29 years can apply for the awards, which celebrate the achievements of those who lead initiatives to enhance democracy and development, from poverty alleviation to climate change, to peace building.

Birmingham City Council’s stunning garden now on display in Birmingham Cathedral’s Square. The cathedral themed garden can be viewed at St Philip’s, Colmore Row until September. During this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, the display was honoured with the Diamond Jubilee Award for best in the Great Pavilion, an award that was created in 2012 in the Queen’s Jubilee Year.

A resident of Stockwell, London since December 1962, Neville McKenzie went to Jamaica in November last year to attend his aunt's funeral. Upon his attempted return to England in June of this year, he was issued with a refusal of entry clearance. The situation is now becoming untenable, and the 68 year old is living in what he describes as 'very uncomfortable' conditions in Waterhouse, Kingston

Business leaders in Greater Birmingham have applauded the seven local authorities that make up the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) on their pledge to create the “most effective” organisation in the country. The move was announced by Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council.