A husband and wife GP team from Maypole who ran a private nursing home have been found guilty of a catalogue of failings which left residents living in inadequate conditions.

Some were found in a "filthy" state while others wandered around half-dressed or were ignored by staff who talked amongst themselves at the Maypole Nursing Home for elderly and mentally infirm patients, the General Medical Council (GMC) was told.

Dr Jamalapuram Hari Gopal and his wife Dr Pratury Samrajya Lakshmi, of Alcester Road South, were forced to close their nursing home in March 2003 after an unannounced inspection which prompted the then National Care Standards Commission to raise "serious concerns" about the care it offered.

A GMC's fitness to practice panel found the couple guilty of a string of allegations relating to the care of elderly residents.


Council tax bills in Birmingham will rise by no more than the rate of inflation in April.

The city council's Tory-Lib Dem coalition is considering undercutting last year's 2.8 per cent increase.

Council leaders say a small rise will be possible because the local authority is now being run more efficiently.

In a politically-charged joint statement, Tory council leader Mike Whitby and his Liberal Democrat deputy Paul Tilsley claimed fiscal discipline had returned to Birmingham and there would be no repeat of the "obscene overspending" of previous Labour administrations.


The Government is not to blame for the collapse of MG Rover, Trade and Industry Secretary Alan Johnson has insisted.

But Conservative Shadow Trade Secretary Alan Duncan claimed the company's fall was partly the fault of Stephen Byers, the former Labour Minister.

The House of Commons clash focused on the events of six years ago, when Phoenix Venture Holdings bought MG Rover from BMW for #10.

The Conservatives said the Phoenix consortium, led by John Towers, should never have been allowed to buy the Birmingham car manufacturer in the first place.


Earlier this month some register offices began removing all references to marriage following the introduction of civil partnerships for same sex couples. Victoria Tickle looks at whether marriage has now become a dirty word.


Former Cabinet Minister Clare Short has been named one of the country's costliest MPs in an academic report looking at Westminster expenses.

In the period 2001-04, Ms Short's expenses claims amounted to #1,260 for each time she voted in a Commons division, said the report by researchers from the London School of Economics.

The Ladywood MP was one of a number of members of the Government, or former members, whose expenses were above average.

She was the seventh most expensive MP in the Commons - with Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Jack Straw taking up the first three positions.

But controversial MP George Galloway, was named Westminsters costliest backbencher.

See Friday's Birmingham Post for more on these stories