Birmingham City Council has been plunged into a damaging conflict of interest row after it emerged senior officials have been helping the National Exhibition Centre compile a bid for a super-casino.

The council, which is under an obligation to remain independent since it will have to recommend to the Gaming Commission a site and operator for a regional casino, has not given the same assistance to a rival bid by Birmingham City Football Club.

Financial and property advice given to the NEC, in which the council has a major shareholding, was  described as "irresponsible" by Ken Hardeman, council cabinet member for regeneration.


A personal banker at Solihull's Barclays' branch used his position of trust to put through bogus loans for customers and then divert #171,000 to his own account.

Matthew Bardsley told police he had taken the money because he wanted to move out of the Chelmsley Wood area where he was being "persecuted" because of his sexuality.

At Warwick Crown Court, Bardsley (22), of Truro Walk, Chelmsley Wood, was jailed for 12 months after admitting eight charges of false accounting and two of theft.

Sentencing Bardsley, Judge Richard Cole questioned whether he should have been in such a managerial position at his age but said that was a matter for his employers.


The man responsible for bringing Birmingham's canals back to life and inspiring other urban areas to do the same will return to the city he helped shape.

Narrowboat enthusiast Peter White was in charge of canalside regeneration in the city council's architectural department during the late 1960s.

He was one of the first people to recognise and promote the hidden potential of Birmingham's derelict waterways, now a crowning glory of its renaissance.

The 63-year-old, who now lives in Devon, will go down in history as the person who originally told the world that Birmingham has more miles of canals than Venice.

Such was the power of his quote that it has become the basis for a question in the Trivial Pursuits board game.


Grand sweeping steps lead up to automatic doors at the entrance.

Inside the pastille-coloured spacious foyer there is a row of lifts, a smart reception desk, and a stairway leading up to a plaza area with, among other things, a bistro-bar.

No, we are not inside a new hotel, but a college. Matthew Boulton's new #40 million college in Jennens Road.

To city centre workers the location, on land bought from Aston University adjacent to its campus, has been a landmark building site for the last two years.

This week its doors finally opened and a key part of the Eastside redevelopment jigsaw that will see that part of the city turn into a bustling learning quarter was put in place.


The forgotten hero of the Battle of Britain - the inventor of the legendary Spitfire - has been honoured with a long-awaited statue.

Tributes were paid to Staffordshire-born RJ Mitchell, the man behind the aircraft that was vital in defeating the German Luftwaffe in the skies over southern England during the Second World War, at the unveiling in London's Science Museum.

The designer's son, Dr Gordon Mitchell, and American billionaire Sidney Frank, both aged 85, who have fought for Mr Mitchell's work to be fully commemorated, were there to see the results of their campaign on Battle of Britain Day.

See Friday's Birmingham Post for more on these stories