A high profile drive to move civil service jobs out of London has resulted in just 60 posts coming to Birmingham.
The relocation policy was a centrepiece of Gordon Brown's 2003 Budget.
The Chancellor announced that Sir Michael Lyons, the former Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, had been appointed to review Whitehall departments and see how many positions could be transferred to the regions.
Mr Brown declared: "Public sector jobs transferred to regions and nations could exceed 20,000, to the benefit of the whole country."
West Mercia was left out in the cold as the West Midlands, Staffordshire and Warwickshire police forces and authorities signed up to the creation of a new super police force.
All six signed the proposal to merge, and a detailed business case, which will be presented to the Home Office ahead of its deadline on Friday.
But West Mercia Police Force and Police Authority refused to sign, opting to oppose to the merge in favour of continuing as a sole entity.
Diana Holl-Allen, chairman of the West Midlands Police Authority, said that while the other three police authorities endorsed the plan, they were still concerned about the financial implications. Figures show the new force could be forced to borrow #42.5 million to pay for set-up costs.
German tourists have been flocking to Birmingham this Christmas - to shop at the city's Frankfurt market.
The Victoria Square and New Street stalls - visited by a record-breaking 1.5 million people since November - are proving so popular that German travel companies have been running coach trips.
The short break holidays, also available in Holland and Belgium, give tourists two nights at city centre hotels and are being sold off the back of the Frankfurt experience - which with 73 stalls is the largest German market outside of Germany and Austria.
More people than ever before will have visited the market when it closes tomorrow, bringing millions of pounds of spending power into the Birmingham economy.
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City planners have been accused of failing to protect Birmingham's architectural heritage by allowing many of the city's best buildings to be disfigured by plastic advertising banners.
The Civic Society accused the city council of a dereliction of duty by turning a blind eye to an onslaught of inappropriate hoardings which were supposed to be temporary but often remained in place for years.
Society members are particularly concerned about the former Barclays Bank, 78 Broad Street, a Grade ll* listed building, which was the Left Bank restaurant but is now the Big Bite fast food takeaway.
Plastic banners advertising burgers and baltis have been fixed to the front of the building.
An outspoken national union boss has branded a Midland train operator a Christmas Scrooge following the announcement of two one-day conductor strikes.
More than 500 RMT members at Central Trains are to strike on December 27 and January 2 after, the union claims, the company failed for nearly two years to negotiate compensation for working on festive bank holidays.
RMT members voted by a margin of four to one to strike after the company offered a lieu day for working "substitute" public holidays - the days after official bank holidays which rail workers do not benefit from because the entire rail network shuts down.
"This really is straight out of the Scrooge school of industrial relations," RMT general secretary Bob Crow said.
See Thursday's Birmingham Post for more on these stories