Resurgent Labour enjoys its big party in Birmingham
Published: 4th May 2012 13:13:51
It was party time in Birmingham's imposing Council House last night.
As the night turned into the wee small hours of the morning, the atmosphere became more and more boisterous.
Labour activists were celebrating results which they hope send out a message that the tide is turning against Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalitions.
They hope the tide is flowing against not just the coalition that has governed Britain's biggest local authority for the past eight years but the others too, including the Cameron-Clegg combo at Westminster.
And it was particularly tough for the 'Progressive Partnership's' junior partners.
In one ward after another the 'third party' looked more like the fifth party, trailing in behind the Greens and UKIP.
The outgoing Conservative council leader, the indefatigable Councillor Mike Whitby told me his main thought was for "the good colleagues who I have lost tonight".
David will get the message that the Conservatives need to articulate their policies”
I asked him if he felt he was carrying the can for his colleagues at Westminster.
"David", he told me (for that's what he calls the Prime Minister), "David will get the message that the Conservatives need to articulate their policies."
Labour's second biggest cheer of the night came when they captured Bournville off the Conservatives, their fourth net gain which confirmed they were back in power for the first time since 2004.
But their biggest ovation came later, when they even captured the Vesey ward in traditionally Tory Sutton Coldfield, a seat which they had not held since 1945.
As the results unfolded I reminded viewers of BBC One's Vote 2012 that Ed Miliband had launched Labour's local election campaign in Birmingham, and he'd been back again a couple of days before polling.
"I wouldn't bet against the possibility that he'll be here again quite soon," I said.
And hey presto!
Six hours later, the next leader of Birmingham City Council, Sir Albert Bore, was standing outside that self-same Council House with a clearly delighted Mr Miliband, able at last to quell some of those leadership doubts.
Sir Albert Bore and Mike Whitby give their views as Labour takes control of Birmingham City Council
"Ed, welcome back to Labour Birmingham," declared Sir Albert, to rapturous applause from hundreds of supporters.
All this, and a mayoral referendum too!
So we will certainly have plenty to talk about on this weekend's Sunday Politics from midday on Sunday, 6 May.
I hope you will be able to join me.
Follow me on Twitter: Patrick Burns BBC
· All the latest election results are available at bbc.co.uk/vote2012
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Resurgent Labour enjoys its big party in Birmingham [Online] (Updated 4th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1426600/Resurgent-Labour-enjoys-its-big-party-in-Birmingham [Accessed 23rd Jul 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
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