Capita plc, commonly known as Capita, is an international business process outsourcing and professional services company headquartered in London. If you want to know what that means it means that they’re a bit like Sodexo but with more computers and less cake, a bit like G4S but with more questionnaires and less security guards and a bit like OCP in Robocop but with slightly more ambition and less quality control. Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the largest and most populous British city outside London, with a population in 2014 of 1,101,360. Birmingham City Council is the biggest local authority in Europe — not for once the second — and has a duty to provide services to the citizens of Birmingham. Traditionally cities used to employ people but nobody made any money out of it so now they …

When will we find the Capita Contract in Birmingham? Read more »

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Soon there will be a new series of the BBC One sitcom set in Sparkhill, Birmingham, Citizen Khan that stars comedian Adil Ray on television, on the BBC One channel and iPlayer. Wikipedia says that Citizen Khan “is a family-based British sitcom produced by the BBC and created by Adil Ray now in its fourth series. It is set in Sparkhill, East Birmingham, described by its lead character, a Pakistani Muslim Mr Khan (Adil Ray), as “the capital of British Pakistan.” Citizen Khan follows the trials and tribulations of Mr Khan, a loud-mouthed, patriarchal, self-appointed, cricket-loving community leader, and his long suffering wife (played by Shobu Kapoor) and daughters Shazia (Maya Sondhi 2012–2014, Krupa Pattani 2015–) and Alia (Bhavna Limbachia).[1] In Series One, Kris Marshall starred as Dave, the manager of Mr Khan’s local mosque.[1] The first name of Mrs Khan is Razia Khan. Mr. Khan’s first …

When’s the new series of BBC One sitcom set in Birmingham Citizen Khan on TV and is it Islamophobic? Everything you need to know Read more »

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If you’ve ever commuted to Acock’s Green in Birmingham, England, in the morning on the Number One (No. 1) bus, operated by Travel West Midlands, then it’s possible that you’ve at times caught a whiff of piss. Unlike farts, it isn’t ‘he who smelt it dealt it’ it’s a man who gets on the number one NXBus bus who smells a bit of urine. The bus stops at such places as: Five Ways, CALTHORPE RD, Highfield Rd, CALTHORPE RD, Carpenter Rd, CHURCH RD, Chamberlain Hall, CHURCH RD, Edgbaston Old Church, CHURCH RD, Priory Hospital, PRIORY RD, Bristol Rd, PRIORY RD, Warwickshire Cricket Ground, EDGBASTON RD, Midlands Arts Centre, EDGBASTON RD, Cannon Hill Park, EDGBASTON RD,Park Hill, SALISBURY RD, Amesbury Rd, SALISBURY RD, Moseley Village, SAINT MARYS ROW,Church Rd, WAKE GREEN RD,Wake Green Road, WAKE GREEN RD, Mayfield Court, WAKE GREEN RD, Billesley Lane, WAKE GREEN RD, Mackenzie …

Which No. 1 to Acock’s Green does that chap who stinks of piss catch, so I can avoid him? Read more »

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Asda Stores Limited is an American-owned, British-founded supermarket retailer, headquartered in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Asda run a number of stores in Birmingham. The company started in Leeds but was bought by American giant Walmart in 1999. It is one of the “Big Four” supermarkets in the UK with Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons and indeed it is one of the “Big Four” in Birmingham. And one of its stores is very big — the Asda at Minworth which was branded as “Asda Wal*mart” for a bit but now isn’t. It used to be a Carrefour, and they make very big supermarkets indeed called “hypermarchés”. Asda sells more than just groceries — it also sells other things like televisions and clothes and many things that you might want to buy like sofas too — but famously it sells groceries. Offering much in the way of fresh food, the Asda …

When do they put near dated cheese in the Whoops fridge at the Asda? Read more »

Select and Save is a supermarket on the Stratford Road in Birmingham. It’s at 870 Stratford Road in Sparkhill. It’s not the only Select and Save (or Select & Save), there’s also one in Moseley, but we don’t know what time that one closes. The Select and Save website says that it “was formed in 1997 by two entrepreneurs. Since its launch this convenience store symbol group for independent retailers has grown from 2 stores to over 100 across the UK, and is still growing. Select & Save retailers are supported by our two regional offices based in the Midlands and the North-East.” It sells “Food Products, Baked Goods, Grocery Stores, Meat Products, Beverages” but does a special line — from what we can tell — in fruit and vegetables that you should cook that very day lest they go off. We can’t find a photo of …

What time does Select and Save on the Stratford Road close? Read more »

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The Yenton is a pub on Sutton Road, Erdington, Birmingham.  Their website says “At Sizzling we believe the people of Erdington deserve more from their local pub. And it’s our job to give you just that.” “We’re a friendly bunch and we pride ourselves on giving the warmest of welcomes. We’re committed to seeking out the very best quality ingredients at prices that are honest and fair. We’re a real part of the local community, proud to help fundraise for charities and offer our function area free of charge to locals and groups. “We’re local to Wylde Green, Walmley and Sutton Coldfield, so whether you’re up for a party, watching sport, meeting with friends and family or just relaxing and taking the time to unwind, The Yenton is the pub putting the sizzle in Erdington. ” We think they clean their pipes every Monday.

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It was the best* of times it was the worst of times, King Osborne had decreed that all citizens of Birmingham must journey back to their home wards for a local government boundary review, leaving him free to remove all funding from children’s services. No-one knew yet, however, why he wanted to kill all the firstborn in Ladywood… Joseph De Jong, and his partner are about to give birth to a start-up, it’s an app that will let anyone hire out their own social capital when they’re not using it. Mary had a vision, in Austin, Texas. It’s called G-Zus, as most sensible domain names were already gone. Money is tight, and they’re struggling to afford office space in digital Digbeth, so Joseph and Mary are looking at renting desks at a co-working space.

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London types can’t afford private school so are moving to Brum’s creaking education system. Jeyklan Hyde, follows the hot new clickbait genre of the middle class woe story but it was deemed too fucking infantile even for The Telegraph so we’ve picked it up for our new Weekend Magazine section. We are paying the author in exposure, which apparently can be spent on a lunch at Giraffe in Grand Central. The squeezed upper middle classes of London are finding it increasingly hard to deal with the current economic climate. The first signs of this growing social problem was the news that some of BMW 5-series Britain were struggling with the grim reality of moving to the countryside. Drawn as far as Buckinghamshire by glossy television shows, they sold up in the capital to upsize to a mini-mansion with good access to the M1 only to find that …

Private school fees priced us out of London — so we’re moving to Birmingham Read more »

People complaining about people complaining that Christmas gets earlier every year gets earlier every year doesn’t it? And as well they might, it seems the only thing stopping the lights going up as soon as the kids go back to school is Halloween. One of the biggest proponents of this christmas creep in Birmingham is the Frankfurt Market, known locally as the ‘German Market’ the ‘Christmas market’ or just ‘the market’ by most of Birmingham who seem to unwilling to split hairs at that point but will delight in telling you that most of the people that work there are “Polish anyway”. The Market has been a fixture of Birmingham since 2001 and time was you couldn’t say a word against it without being labelled as a grinch the equivalent of a 60ft mecha-Scrooge with orphan-killing eye lasers. Of course I publicly coated it off every chance …

Hate the German market? Buy a candle and shut the fuck up Read more »

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We build our identity in different ways on different days, according to the situation and the politics of the time. So it is that we might be white, brown or black but at times of crisis or joy we can become nations under one flag. Kevin McCloud is many things. To some he is a southern imperialist, like a one man John Lewis, coming to Birmingham to tell us what we’re supposed to want. At other times he is other things. Thinking woman’s crumpet. Architectural commentator. A member of the London metropolitan media elite. The guy whose name fits wonderfully into the theme tune to Blankety Blank. Coat wearer of the year 1999-2005 (finally losing out to José Mourinho). Today we say he is a Brummie. And a fucking good one. For is it not the true mark of a Brummie TO BE NOT TOO FUCKING EASILY …

Brummie of the year 2015: Kevin McCloud Read more »

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