The political leadership of Birmingham City Council will decide tomorrow whether to prepare a bid to the Government for permission to build a super-casino.
A positive decision is crucial to Birmingham City Football Club's hopes of securing a #220 million stadium at Saltley, which would involve a partnership with the Las Vegas Sands gambling group.
The new Blues stadium ? supported by a petition signed by 10,000 fans handed to the council yesterday ? can only get off the ground if the development is backed by the financial security offered by an adjoining casino.
But the club's chances of securing support could yet be dashed by unpredictable factors.
Birmingham is as bad as Chicago when it comes to electoral fraud, a leading city councillor has claimed.
Deirdre Alden said publicity from the recent hearings into ballot rigging in Aston and Bordesley Green, where a high court judge likened Birmingham to a banana republic, was severely damaging the city's reputation.
"We are called vote-fraud city. Our city is as synonymous with fraud as Chicago and our name is being dragged through the mud," she told a meeting of the full city council.
Complaints about West Midlands Police have jumped by almost 35 per cent in the last year, the force's bosses will be told tomorrow.
Some 3,092 complaints were recorded between April 1, 2004 and March 31 this year, compared to 2,040 in the same period the year before.
The rise stems at least partly from changes to the complaints procedure in the last year.
Schoolchildren as young as 12 may get tens of thousands of pounds of public money a year to spend how they wish under radical plans to make them better citizens.
Council chiefs believe giving youngsters cash to spend on community projects of they chose will encourage them to show more respect for their local area.
See Wednesday's Birmingham Post to find out more