Did West Midlands Police properly investigate the death of Avtar Khanda?
Plus Roy Hodgson predicts Rooney's comeback
Good morning readers — welcome to Thursday’s Dispatch.
Below is your Brum in Brief with a little round up of recent stories and upcoming events to keep you going until tomorrow. Top of the list is a development following the Guardian’s investigation into the death of a Sikh activist in Birmingham. We have also linked to details of 2024’s first full meeting of the City Council. You can attend in person or online, or watch it back later on their website.
We were pleased to get a shout out from the journalist Hannah Ray on X/Twitter, who is a Brum native. She described us and our sister papers in Manchester, Sheffield, and Liverpool as “reviving local journalism from the ashes”, which was very uplifting. If you want to be a part of our journey, enjoy our long form journalism, and help us to produce more by hiring a second reporter, you can become a member by clicking the green button. We’d love to have you.
✍️ A senior Tory MP has written to the home secretary concerning the West Midlands Police investigation into the death of Birmingham Sikh activist Avtar Singh Khanda in June. The Guardian’s recent investigation into Khanda’s death suggests the police did not thoroughly look into the matter. It also noted that his fatality coincided with alleged Indian plots to kill Sikh activists in North America.
📆 The first full meeting of the year for Birmingham City Council takes place next Tuesday at 2pm and the papers are available online now. The agenda includes the results of a review into the mental health needs of children in Birmingham. There will also be debates on whether the council should support the Climate & Ecology Bill, due to go before parliament this year; and proposed steps to improve transport in the city.
👩⚕️ More than 20 requests for striking junior doctors to return to work at hospitals in England have been made with none granted, at the time of writing, by the British Medical Association (BMA) union. The BMA has accused the NHS of bowing to political pressure to undermine the strike while NHS England insists they are genuine requests, the BBC reports. Today is the second day of a six-day strike by junior doctors demanding a pay rise.
☔ The number of flood warnings for the region has fallen following the chaos caused by Storm Henk. But some West Midlands rivers are still at a high level and there are alerts in place. The Met Office is providing updates here.
⚽ Crystal Palace FC manager Roy Hodgson has spoken out in support of Wayne Rooney following his sacking by Blues. Hodgson, who managed England for four years when Rooney was captain, said Rooney is an “icon of English football” and will “bounce back” from the situation. He added that he thought Rooney was only given a short amount of time to prove his abilities as Birmingham City’s manager. Sky Sports reports.
🚘 A man saved a woman and her three year old daughter who were trapped in their car in rising floods in Hall Green on Tuesday. "I'm not a hero, I'm just a human being with good instincts," Liam Sytch told the BBC.
🎞️ Tickets are available now for the Electric Cinema’s Film Quiz on Sunday 21 January. Bone up on your movie trivia and compete for a prize while drinking a cocktail or three. Tickets are £3 and the quiz starts at 7pm.
🚶♀️ Another one for the future but tickets are going fast — walking tour guide extraordinaire Kevin Thomas will reveal all about the secret history of Birmingham street names on Sunday 4 February. Tickets are £15 and dressing for any weather is a must.