A leading Birmingham lawyer has been forced to resign from the board of a business lobby group following a bitter verbal spat with the leader of the City Council.
Andrew Sparrow, deputy chairman of Birmingham Forward, quit yesterday less than a month after claiming the council was mired by a culture of indecision.
Mr Sparrow, who would have been Birmingham Forward chairman next year, claimed last night that he was the victim of "playground politics" practised by Mike Whitby, the Tory leader of the council.
Describing Coun Whitby's performance as "shambolic", Mr Sparrow said the council leader had threatened to boycott Birmingham Forward while Mr Sparrow was chairman.
Midland barristers in dispute with the Lord Chancellor over legal aid pay rates have put their protest action on hold pending a Government review.
Bar leaders in the region say individual barristers will accept legal work, meaning no further disruption to trials, until Lord Carter of Coles's review reports early next year.
But Tim Green, who represents barristers on the Midland circuit's junior bar, warned that barristers would be prepared to take further action if they are unhappy with the results of the Carter Review.
Mr Green said: "Most barristers feel the protest was successful. It demonstrated that without barristers being prepared to take on cases at short notice the crown courts couldn't function.
Leaders of six West Midlands district councils are demanding Government safeguards in return for dropping their opposition to the expansion of Coventry Airport.
The councils intend to fight proposals for a 10,000 sq m passenger terminal and parking for 3,425 cars unless their fears about competition between Coventry Airport and Birmingham International Airport are addressed.
In a submission to the Secretary of State the councils say they are concerned that the development at Coventry should not threaten the viability of scheduled air services at BIA, which is planning to extend its existing runway and considering building a second runway.
The number of home repossessions has risen by 50 per cent in just one year in the West Midlands, as households struggle to cope with mortgage payments.
Banks and building societies have blamed rising interest rates for the problem.
But politicians are accusing the lenders of failing to warn customers about the risks involved in taking out a mortgage they may not be able to afford.
Vince Cable MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor, said: "The housing bubble is bursting for many homeowners."
The man charged with overseeing the revitalisation of Birmingham's Broad Street will tell bar owners, hoteliers and traders that they have to change the public perception of the entertainment district.
Mike Olley, the new #50,000-a-year manager of the Broad Street Business Improvement District, will spell out his vision for the city's "golden mile" at the BIDs first general meeting.
The former Labour city councillor said he would also be "doing a lot of listening" to the concerns of more than 300 businesses involved with the new project.
The BID will see them contribute #1.7 million over the next five years to deliver a brighter, cleaner and safer environment in the Broad Street area.
See Wednesday's Birmingham Post for more on these stories