Justice for Rebecca Kalam
Plus Belly Laughs at the Coffin Works
Good morning readers — welcome to Wednesday’s Dispatch.
Firstly, we have changed our mid-week schedule a bit which happens here from time to time. Instead of putting out our members-only story today, you can expect it in your inboxes promptly tomorrow morning instead. As a one-woman show (plus a couple of editors) I occasionally need a little wiggle room and the year has gotten off to a very busy start with lots of people getting in touch with potential stories and news. Thank you to those of you who have reached out — The Dispatch is already becoming a community project and I’m so grateful.
In the meantime, your Brum in Brief is below with the most interesting news stories of the past 24 hours and a couple of fun things to do now we are on the long and cold downslope of winter.
Finally, if you want to help us realise our aim of hiring a second reporter, you can contribute to The Dispatch by becoming a paid member, just like Rajan below. Go on, click the green button and make my day.
Brum in Brief
⚠️ Extreme overcrowding at a recent University of Birmingham student union club night has prompted safety concerns. An anonymous security guard told ITV News Central: "We had lots of people crushed, we had someone have a rib injury, lots of people hyperventilating. I heard that someone had to be pulled out of the crowd just to get out of the situation.”
💰 Birmingham City Council has asked the government for permission to raise council tax by up to 21% over the next two years. Whether or not the raise will happen depends on the council’s work to balance its finances, leader John Cotton said. The decision will be made before the council sets its budget next month.
⚖️ Former firearms officer Rebecca Kalam has won more than £820,000 in a sex discrimination case against West Midlands Police. The tribunal heard Kalam had been made to strip down to her underwear during a training exercise. Deputy Chief Constable Scott Green said he was “sorry that more was not done sooner” in a statement on behalf of West Midlands Police.
📆 Birmingham City Council’s Weoley and Selly Oak ward meeting is this evening from 6.30-8.30pm. It will take place online via Microsoft Teams and the link is here.
🧑⚕️ Erdington MP Paulette Hamilton asked a parliamentary health and social care scrutiny committee on Tuesday how we can improve early detection rates of pancreatic cancer.
🍸 Heed The Loft’s call to scrap the New Year’s diet and head to their Eat, Drink, and Drag show instead. It kicks off tomorrow with Tianna Biscuit who takes to the stage at 7.30pm. Plus: you can get two cocktails for £12.
🤣 Belly Laughs festival combines two of life’s greatest offerings this month: comedy and food. Tomorrow night’s gig takes place at the Coffin Works at 6.30pm and the £25 ticket price includes samosas and spring rolls. Also, £10 from every sale goes to Brum homeless charity SIFA Fireside.