A Netflix subscription but for buses
Plus: Fern Brady comes to town
Good afternoon readers — welcome to Wednesday’s Dispatch.
Our late arrival into your inbox today is down to the simple fact that I scheduled it last night and hit 14 December rather than 13! It turns out that even in the world of instantaneous digital publishing human error persists. Sorry about that.
Today’s Brum in Brief leads on the news that Birmingham City Council will be asking the government if it can raise council tax beyond the standard rate of 4.99%, so brace yourselves for that. To lighten your spirits, we’ve recommended a star-led comedy night and a winter cinema that is screening a mix of modern and classic movies.
Before that, thanks to Paul Bradshaw who was “fascinated” by how The Dispatch broke our Monday scoop about Voi e-scooters. He said it had an “innovative narrative structure that feels email-native” which perfectly highlights one way we are trying to do local news a little differently. In case you missed it, you can read that piece here:
Brum in Brief
💰 Birmingham City Council will write to the government for permission to raise council tax above the 4.99% national limit, BirminghamLive reports. “They will also ask for Government permission to allow it to use money raised by selling off assets and properties to meet the costs of an incoming wave of council redundancies, equal pay liability payments and other costs.”
🚍 Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is introducing “try-before-you-buy” introductory offers for Swift cards to encourage people who drive to work to use the bus instead. TfWM has compared the scheme to the free trial you get when signing up for Netflix.
🎭 Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre will stage 10 shows in care homes between January and June next year, providing live entertainment for residents who struggle to get out and about. Care homes can apply on the theatre’s website.
👩💼 1,000 government jobs will move to Birmingham from London over the next four years meaning 1 in 15 core civil servant jobs will be based here. But Labour has accused the Tories of “watering down” original plans for thousands more roles to make the shift, the BBC reports.
🎤 Comedy stars Fern Brady and Daniel O’Doherty hit the stage with Josh Pugh, Kyrah Gray, and Jen Brister at the Town Hall tonight for their Live at Christmas show. 7.30 pm. Tickets £28.50.
🎞️ The Luna Winter cinema is screening lots of festive favourites from Home Alone to Die Hard. Today it’s The Holiday with Jack Black and Kate Winslet at 3 pm. Seating is either a bean bag or a cushion and headphones will be provided, so bear that in mind when booking. Tickets from £13.95.