Birmingham's troubled social services department faces a staffing crisis, with 304 posts unfilled despite an intensive recruitment campaign. Birmingham City Council's strategy of paying more than£50,000 in 'golden hellos' in an attempt to fill the vacancies is having a limited effect. Susanna McCorry, chairman of the social services committee, admitted staff shortages placed employees under 'huge pressure,' reports The Birmingham Post(p1).
FATE OF NORTH-EAST'S MUSIC FESTIVAL IN COUNCILLORS' HANDS
Newcastle residents have hit out at plans to turn open spaces near their homes into car parks for thousands of vehicles for a string of park and ride schemes serving the Love Parade music festival. Councillors have yet to approve the use of the sites, but a report due to go before committee today warns the whole event could be jeopardised if the park and ride schemes are not given permission. The report, by Newcastle City Council's head of arts and culture Paul Rubinstein, states: 'Members should be aware that, should it not be possible to agree this provision, the whole event is at risk,' reports icnewcastle.ic24.com.
INQUIRY LAUNCHED AFTER SWANSEA PUPILS ACCESS PORN IN LESSON
Primary school pupils as young as 10 logged on to a hard-core porn site on the internet during a computer studies course at Mayals Primary School in Swansea, it emerged today. Education chiefs in Swansea launched an inquiry after many parents called the council to complain about the incident, Swansea City & CC director of education Richard Parry confirmed today: 'This situation is very regrettable but unauthorised computer sites were accessed by pupils. The LEA has taken immediate preventative measures so that no child in a Swansea school will be able to access an unauthorised site,' reports icwales.co.uk.
by Assistant Editor Neil Watson