Colors: Blue Color

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.

Soho Road Business Improvement District (BID) has just elected leading local businessman Rav Singh to be its new Vice Chairman. He is part of a well-established family business called C&S Homestore he has been involved for many years with representing the interests of local firms via the Handsworth Trader Association where he was formerly Chairman before it merged with the BID.

Wolverhampton’s popular late night Safe Haven scheme is to be extended after the city’s BID (Business Improvement District) announced it was investing £95,000 over the next five years into the scheme. The Safe Haven, based at the Epic Youth Café on Lichfield Street, provides a warm and friendly place for people of all ages to wait for a licensed taxi after a night out in the city centre. 

Downing Street announced that the Reverend Anne Elizabeth Hollinghurst is to take the position of Suffragan Bishop of Aston in the diocese of Birmingham.Anne is currently vicar of St Peter’s Church in St Albans, a ‘small, historic city’, where she describes her role as ‘growing a vision for an outward-focused mission and ministry’.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) are investigating the decreasing number of Black, Asian and other minority races working in television before informing programme-makers about the glaring discriminate. Figures show that the number of Black, Asian and other minority groups working in the TV industry has fallen by 2000 in the last three years alone.

Community-minded citizens in Wolverhampton are in with a chance of winning £75 every time they place litter or dog mess in a public bin. City of Wolverhampton Council wants to encourage and reward responsible residents and visitors who do their bit to keep Wolverhampton clean and tidy.

Sutton residents are reminded that they’ll receive ballot papers and background information through the post next week concerning the proposal for a Town Council. The consultative postal ballot takes place from 25 June to 16 July 2015 and is part of a wider consultation which has included conferences, round table discussions, feedback from residents, an online questionnaire and area briefings.