'An indictment of the justice system'
Plus 30% off at a swish Chinese restaurant
Good morning readers — welcome to Friday’s Dispatch.
For those of you who are new here, today is a mini-briefing day, containing a round-up of local news stories and recommendations for things to do. Look out for our weekend read tomorrow — an original, well-researched piece to accompany your morning coffee will fly into your inbox at 7am.
Before your Brum in Brief, a short update on the ongoing tussle between the mayor and the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
Andy Street has responded to requests for public debates by PCC Simon Foster over the merger of the policing and mayoral powers. In a letter to Foster, seen by The Dispatch, Street explains that he wants Labour to clarify its position. “I am more than happy to hold debates regarding police governance in the West Midlands,” he says “but I am unclear as to who the debates should be with and when.”
He wants to know which of the following three options applies:
If Labour’s candidate Richard Parker succeeds, Street wants to know if he will reverse the merger so that Foster remains in place as PCC.
Or, will he appoint Foster as his Deputy Mayor for Policing? In either case, Street will debate Foster.
But, if Parker wants to be mayor and in charge of policing, Street will debate him instead.
Finally, an update on growth. We now have 7,511 subscribers and 231 paying members — a real vote of confidence. Thanks for joining us so early on in our journey. If you haven’t subscribed yet, join members like Paul Baker below by clicking that green button there.
Brum in Brief
⚖️ Campaigners have condemned a 12-year manslaughter sentence handed to a man who killed his partner in Birmingham last year. Pawel Ondycz, 50, who had a history of violence towards Kinga Roskinska, 38, stabbed her in the leg and did not call paramedics immediately. The Guardian reports: “Karen Ingala Smith, who with Clarrie O’Callaghan founded the Femicide Census, said the sentence was an indictment of the justice system.”
🗳️ A former Lord Mayor of Birmingham risks losing his honourary title for handing out packets of dates with Labour stickers attached while campaigning in 2022. Muhammad Afzal, who lost his seat in that election, sought to have the results declared void, claiming the allegations were false. However, he then tried to withdraw the High Court case when doorbell footage of him handing out the dates was submitted as evidence. An extraordinary meeting of the City Council next Tuesday will consider a petition for him to lose his alderman status. Labour List reports.
🍻 Burning Soul brewery is giving Saturday tours until 10 February, for those of you giving Dry January a wide berth. £11 gets you a guided look around their operation in the Jewellery Quarter, two schooners (two thirds of a pint) of beer, and a veggie samosa. Tours begin at 3pm.
🌳 Sarehole Mill, the inspiration for Tolkein’s shire, will be open for free all day on Saturday to anyone to wander around at their own pace. Arrive anytime between 11am and 3.30pm and you can pre-book to avoid disappointment here.
🥡 Diners can save 30% off their bill at swish Chinese restaurant Tattu by booking online and using the code TATTU30. The offer is open now until the end of January, from Sunday to Thursday, and until 4:45pm on Friday, for tables of up to eight guests.