Author: Amanda Loviza

It’s unclear when unpaid trial shifts became a thing in the UK. The Trades Union Congress, representing England and Wales, has only become aware of the practice in the last 10 years, through complaints made by workers. The Office of National Statistics does not track unpaid trial work or any form of unpaid labour, so data on the issue is scarce. But a search of “trial shift” on Twitter for a two-week period in May brings up 126 tweets, 63 percent of which were confirmed to be located in the UK. https://twitter.com/VictoriaxRose/status/1129676225012744192 Many of these tweeting, job-seeking hopefuls fall into…

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PCSO Holly Burke. Image courtesy of West Midlands Police A man charged with causing the death of an off-duty community police officer is due in court this morning (Thursday 24th January). Holly Burke, a 28-year-old West Midlands Police Community Support Officer, was off-duty Tuesday night when she was killed in a traffic collision. Police said the driver of the car that hit Burke was 42-year-old Darren Ogom, of Longdales Road in Kings Norton. Ogom was speeding in his Renault Scenic when he failed to stop for police officers in Bearwood, according to West Midlands Police. Officers deployed a stinger in…

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Birmingham Council House. Photo by Amanda Loviza Birmingham City Council’s business management committee will meet today (Jan. 21, 2019) at 2 p.m. On the agenda is a discussion of the committee’s CBM Forward Plan. The forward plan for 2018-2019 has explored a range of issues, from members’ allowances to flooding mitigation. Most recently, in December the committee examined its Impact of Brexit report. Since the committee’s last meeting, Parliament voted down Theresa May’s Brexit deal. It remains unclear what local authorities can do to prepare for the March 29th Brexit deadline. Follow @amandaloviza on Twitter for live updates of the…

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Universal Credit will mean poverty is only going to get worse in Birmingham, a local poverty group says. Esther Spence, of the Birmingham Poverty Truth Commission, said she has seen poverty increase across the city this past year, as Birmingham postcodes were added to the Universal Credit roster. Ms Spence said: “People are extraordinarily poor in our country.” Ms Spence said the problem with policies like Universal Credit is that those who design the programs don’t talk to those who need them. The Poverty Truth Commission specifically works to link people who have lived in poverty with the people who make decisions…

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Nearly 100 schools in the West Midlands have signed on to a new programme that will teach students about compassion and animal welfare. Compassionate Class is an RSPCA project that will supply teachers with comprehensive resources to teach a broad variety of animal-related issues, RSPCA press officer Emily Stott said. Students will learn about areas like farm animals and ethical sourcing of food; wildlife and how litter and pollution can harm wild animals; and animal heroes like bomb sniffing dogs and guide dogs. RSPCA wants children to understand animals’ needs, and how they’re not so different from human needs. Stott said: “It’s about teaching…

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A Birmingham native with Caribbean roots is trying to spice up the city’s cooking skills with her new cookery school in Witton. Lee Sylvester has had a lifelong love affair with the food of her mother’s native Grenada and the islands surrounding it. She and her mum, Monica Cudjoe, began turning this love into a business about eight years ago, when Sylvester moved back to Birmingham after a career designing big-brand sportswear. After most of a decade producing the pestos and spice mixes of Tan Rosie Foods in Cudjoe’s kitchen, dabbling in supper clubs and cooking demonstration shows, it was…

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