Birmingham will under no circumstances introduce a London-style congestion charge for motorists heading into the city centre, according to the politician responsible for overseeing transportation.
The tough stance by cabinet member Len Gregory is likely to raise questions about the city council's commitment to a West Midlands bid for #1 million from the Government to investigate methods of road pricing.
The region's seven metropolitan councils, including Tory-Lib Dem controlled Birmingham, will on Friday agree to push forward with a feasibility study into methods of congestion charging.
The move could lead eventually to the West Midlands being selected to become the pilot area for a national, satellite-based road pricing scheme - enabling it to access a #2.5 billion fund to improve public transport.
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Ex-Birmingham City footballer Mark Ward has been jailed for eight years over drugs trafficking offences.
The 42-year-old, who also played as a midfielder for teams including West Ham, Manchester City and Everton, was arrested after four kilos (9lbs) of cocaine with a street value of up to #645,000 was discovered during a raid at a house he rented in Prescot, Merseyside, in May.
He was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court after pleading guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply.
Birmingham's civic leaders must stop wasting time and get the rebuild of New Street station underway, the Director General of the CBI has warned.
Sir Digby Jones, the Birmingham lawyer who leads the CBI, said it was time to stop talking about rebuilding New Street, and start doing it.
Businesses in the city and the surrounding region depended on good rail links, he warned during a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool.
Sir Digby said: "As a city, Birmingham has to pee or get off the pot. There are a lot of different ideas, but the time for a decision has come."
Birmingham is on target to meet Government waste recycling targets for the first time.
A green waste kerbside collection project covering 40,000 homes in the south of the city has proved a major success, doubling the amount of garden material previously collected.
The pilot project has also boosted collection of other recyclable waste including cans, glass, newspapers and plastics.
The City Council looks certain this year to recycle at least 18 per cent of all waste collected, meeting the target set by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
A Solihull recruitment agency is warning companies that they will have to make radical changes to their policies on age in the next 12 months or face huge payouts at industrial tribunals.
In October 2006 a series of employment law changes are due to come into effect which will mean employers will no longer be able to recruit, train, promote or retire people on the basis of age unless it can be objectively justified.
Ashfield Personnel is already working with its clients to help them adapt to the legislation which aims to prevent age discrimination in the workplace.
Research has shown that people over 50 are placed as the third most disadvantaged group in the workplace after those with learning difficulties and those with physical disabilities.
More on these stories in Wednesday's Birmingham Post